Well since the last post we've seen some of the iconic sights of Australia.
From Cairns we got on a 3 day liveaboard diving trip out on the Barrier Reef. We had an early start the first day (well every day actually), we were collected at 6am and by the time we got our diving gear and sailed out to the reef, we were ready for our first dive at 11am, and 2 more after that. We were supposed to have a night dive the first night but because of strong currents we weren't able to. That meant 5 dives on the second day and to be honest it was tough going, but we really enjoyed it. It was our first time diving without a dive guide and we only got lost twice! But we did managed to make our way back to the boat on our own without having to get the 'tow of shame' from the dinghy. Over the course of the 3 days we did 11 dives in total, spent 442 minutes underwater and managed to spot 8 sharks, 5 turtles and a huge variety of little fish and some amazing coral. We also did our first night dive, which was a little bit wierd at first but amazing once we got into it. We're now qualified as Advanced Open Water Divers.
After all that excitement we caught a flight to Darwin, to see Kakadu. Kakadu is a 22,000 square mile National Park. The whole park is a huge flood plain with one elevated plateau running through it. During the wet season a lot of Kakady is under water and most of it is unaccessible. The rain that falls on top of the plateau then flows over the edge creating some amazing waterfalls. Some of them had dreid up by the time we were there because the dry season had started, but the ones that we did get to see were fairly impressive. We got to swim in some beautiful plunge pools and waterfall gorges. We did a few treks up to the top of the plateau to look out over some of the amazing scenery. At some of the falls we were only able to swim at the top because there was a chance of crocodiles in the water below!
Speaking of crocodiles, the first part of the trip included a jumping crocodile cruise, where they lured the crocodiles to jump out of the water by dangling meat over the side of the boat.
We spent the two nights sleeping under the stars. The first night we slept in swags. They're basically big waterproof sleeping bags that you put your actual sleeping bags in. The creepy crawlies weren't too bad but you'd never realise how much noise little mosquitoes can make when they're buzzing in your ear.
All the main attractions/formations were at the start of the drive and after that you could have been driving around the Dingle Penisula. It was just like any other coastal road we have at home.
We hit Melbourne then and we've been here for the last 3 days. We're staying with James and Kate, the Australian couple we met in Asia and James has been showing us some of the sights here in between shopping! Having great fun.
Jan and Paul