We all love the diving lifestyle, the first spray of the water on your face in the morning and that little shock you feel each time you jump into the water, but there are times when we feel like taking a day off and doing a land-based activity. Watersports are special because they are not everyday activities, if we try to turn every day of our vacation into a “wet day”, then the dives lose some of their specialty. This means that when you are on a diving vacation, make sure that you take in some of the other sights while you are in a new area. While being able to describe the underwater world to your friends is very cool, sometimes describing more of the area to them can make the story richer.
The Great Barrier Reef is something that is on most diver and snorkeler’s bucket list. With many scientists telling us that the GBR is not going to be around much longer, we are all rushing to see the barrier reef in all of its glory before it is gone. I have had the privileges of visiting twice, both times were amazing life-changing experiences. However, when I went to see the GBR, I was in the Cairns area for a week at a time (Trinity Beach). Not only did I have the opportunity to see the GBR and the Tully River, but I also took the time to explore some of the inland opportunities. With the level of exertion that a full day of diving/snorkeling and a full day rafting require, sometimes it is nice to have a “break” day to give yourself a chance to rest. One of the events that I recommend for your break day is a jungle tour.
There are many jungle tours in the Cairns area. Depending on how much walking you want to do, you can choose between “easy” tours to “rigorous” tours. One of the easiest tours that you can do is the Rainforest Station Duckboat tour. Prior to the tour, you have the opportunity to visit a small zoo at Rainforest Station, which gives you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the terrestrial animals in Australia. Once your group is called, you will board an old World War II “Duckboat” which will take you on the tour of the jungle. The tour itself is quite interesting, you will see various animals (which are wild so what you see depends on the animals themselves) along with some of the dangerous plants such as the Gympie-Gympie and the Lawyer Plant. The tour is warm, so bring a bottle of water and dress appropriately. Most of it is in the shade, so you will not get too much sun. Unlike many duckboat tours, this tour is only briefly in the water, so if you are worried about the sinkings that you read about in the paper of duckboats trying to cross major rivers, this tour does not do this. The only water time you have is in a small dam on the jungle stream. Once you return to Rainforest Station, you have the opportunity to eat at the restaurant there, which has an excellent spread of foods, both Australian and international.
For those of you who want to have a little more rigorous trip, I recommend one of the many aboriginal guided trips that go into the Daintree or Cape Tribulation. By selecting an aboriginal guide, you are helping keep the aboriginal history of the region alive, which this area has one of the richest aboriginal histories. T. The tours that I have been on have had knowledgeable guides who tell you about the flora and the fauna while you walk through the jungle. One tip, if you are being bothered by bugs (they tell you to bring spray), brush them off- do not swat them. When you kill them they release a pheromone which attracts others to you. The Daintree is an amazing location and seeing it through the eyes of a guide who is conveying thousands of years of history just makes it better.
If you are looking for a fun hotel that is a little off the beaten path, I recommend the Ameroo at Trinity Beach. This hotel only has about 30 rooms and they are all ocean view from the bluff. There are also several beaches and fishing spots nearby. So while most people are looking for great places to dive, make sure that you have a cool event the day before you leave so you can round out the story for your adventure. Keep Exploring!!!
About the Author
Dr. Smithmyer is the Vice President of International Affairs for Brāv Online Conflict Management, an international consortium of conflict resolution professionals. Dr. Smithmyer is also a columnist for NRN doing mostly political and international business columns. When Dr. Smithmyer is not working with people to make the world a better place, he enjoys snorkeling the waters of the world.
Dr. Smithmyer has traveled extensively in the United States, Australia, Vietnam, and the Bahamas. He has also presented in the U.K., India, Brazil, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Smithmyer is one of the most lettered men in the world with nine degrees. As an adjunct professor in his spare time, Dr. Smithmyer uses his business experience and travels to help bring the world to his students and even brings the students to the world through experiential learning trips.
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