Trip to the Great Barrier Reef

Monday, November 4, 2019
great barrier reef snorkling tour

Hey Fashionistas,

A few months ago we decided to book another trip - on short notice. Asia, South America, and Australia were in the talking. We quickly skimmed through the pros and cons and ended up with the idea to fly to Australia. Great!

What we didn't know was that we need a Visa to visit this country - I mean we sort of knew. To give you an idea we came up with the idea on Friday and wanted to fly on Sunday.

So I started my research on getting a visa asap. I found a website that promised to expedite the visa. I don't want to mention the website since I wouldn't recommend it.

Since I am a German passport holder my visa would take up to 5 days and I don't have the chance to apply for an e-visa like my husband did. His visa took 30 minutes. Anyways, the website said get your visa expedited in 72 hours - so right on time. I submit my information and we started to book our airfare, hotels, and tours without travel insurance.

Sunday rolled around and we drove to the airport. I still didn't receive my visa, already contacted the website but they couldn't help me. Explanation: They expedited my application to the embassy but that's all they could do.

At this point, I was stressed out! I had little hope left that we can still travel. We were flying with Delta so we went to the check-in and without a valid visa you can't fly. The lady at the counter was so helpful! She tried to get me an e-visa but that didn't work because I have a German passport. Last chance we had to go to Qantas airlines and ask if they can issue a visa for you on the spot. This was our last straw.

Fortunately, they were able to issue a visa for me. In case you are thinking about visiting Australia make sure you arrange necessary documents in advance.

couple goals

Finally, we were sitting on the plane. Lucky us we were sitting in the economy plus section - more legroom and bigger seats! We flew 14 1/2 straight to Sydney.

beach australia

beaches in cairns

cairns beach

what to do in cairns

cairns australia

Sydney wasn't the first stop we jumped on into another plane and flew to Cairns. Although it's currently winter in Australia, the weather was amazing! Blue skies and sunny 75 degrees! Our jetlag wasn't too bad so we went grocery shopping and took a walk on the beach. Later that day we jumped into the pool and damn we got a sunburn in no time! We went to bed at around 7 PM.

australia during winter

australia during winter

winter in cairns

winter in cairns

winter in cairns

Our first tour took us to the Great Barrier Reef. At the reef, we stopped at two snorkeling spots where you spent 2 hours each. The boat ride took around 2 1/2 hours to get to the first stop.
great barrier reef

Snorkling tour

The boat stopped in the middle of the ocean. We put on our wetsuits and jumped into the blue. If you know me you know I love swimming and snorkeling. Water is my element and there is nothing more relaxing than diving. The underwater world was beautiful. Colorful corals and fish.

great barrier reef fish

great barrier reef underwater

great barrier reef underwater

great barrier reef underwater

great barrier reef underwater

After our first snorkeling session, we ate lunch at the boat. It was a mixture of salads, shrimps, and meat. The tour also offered a ride on a glass-bottom boat which we did after lunch. The boat ride continued to our second spot and luckily the sun started to come out.

Food on great barrier reef tour

bottom glass boat

The second spot was a sandbank in the middle of nowhere. Since the water was a couple of degrees warmer I didn't need the wetsuit. Everyone had roughly another two hours to enjoy the water before we headed back to the mainland.
dream destination

white swimsuit

beach in the middle of the ocean

white sand beach

My resume: The boat was packed with people. On that day we had 85 people on board. The ride is shaky so I recommend seasickness pills if you are likely to get sick. We traveled in August which is a good time since there is no stinger season (no jellyfish) and the water is clear. Without a tour, you won't make it to the reef. Book your tour in advance it will sell out!

Thanks for stopping by!

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