While we were in Cairns, we couldn't pass the opportunity to see the Coral Reef. I mean, who goes to Australia and doesn't see the Reeef. Sheesh! We decided that this was to be our big "depense" as the French would say; the one thing that we were willing to pay big bucks for.
We were picked up at our hotel at 7:15 sharp (ouch), transported to Port Douglas to hop on an impressively large, silver Quicksilver boat. Bla, bla, bla. I won't go into detail but we finally got to a station on the sea set up for visiting the Reef. The company cordonned off a little areas where tourists can scuba dive for a couple of hours and see the coral and the fish. Now I'm all for conservation and eco toursim but come on let's live a little! Again, this felt very coordinated and rehearsed.
We decided to shell out even more money and get a special tour with a Biologist. She was a lovely lady who blabbed on and on about different varieties of fish while we shook our heads in sympathy not really listening. We got to see the reef that was away from the station. Definitely worth the arm and the leg we paid for it. It was a full moon so the tide was very low and we could see the reef jutting out of the water. Today, we developed our underwater cameras and the pictures were crap. I'm convinced that those nice pictures that you see in National Geographic are retouched and recolored. Or I'm a crap picture taker. Funny anecdote: the biologist pointed out a shark and instead of fleeing in horror, the whole group beat their little fins out to get as close to it as possible. I swear, this country makes you craaaaZ.