Published: June 24th 2012June 24th 2012
When we arrived at Kewarra Beach Resort in Cairns (pronounced "Cans"), the first question Brian whispered to me was "What did this place cost?!", to which I replied, "Don't worry about it!" We felt like movie stars. The resort was open air, with views of the beach through the palm trees and they brought us a fresh cocktail while we waited for the bellman to arrive to escort us to our own private bungalow: Bungalow #69! Brian said, "I wonder if they give this room to all the honeymooners!"
Anyway, to get to the room we basically walked on a path through a rainforest before arriving at our bungalow. We washed up and then headed back to the main lobby for a wonderful dinner at Paperbark Restuarant. Brian opted for the Kangaroo (since we'd just so many in the wild - I guess he wanted to see how they tasted!), while I went with the Bay Bug Spaghettini! Yes - bay bugs. Bay Bugs are only found in the waters around Cairns and they're very similar to Lobster, except they're smaller and even tastier! Brian even enjoyed them and credits his newfound openness to seafood to the Bay Bugs. The
kangaroo was good too - a lot like steak, but a little leaner and tougher. After a wonderful dinner we headed to bed to get a good night's rest before a full day of snorkeling the next morning.
We woke up early the morning and boarded a large boat with about 80 people on it. Since it was early in the morning when we left, Brian slept all the way out to the reef. He was pretty alarmed that he missed the "How to Snorkle" video - which cracked me up. I said, "Kick your feet, put your head in the water & breathe - if you get water in your mouthpiece - blow it out, that's all there is to it!" He was still pretty nervous when we started putting on our gear. It was FREEZING! Cairns is normally 70-80 degrees at this time a year and it was in the 60s! Also, it had rained multiple days in a row (which is also extremely rare) so the water was really choppy in addition to being cold! After getting in our wetsuits and a little more coaching, Brian and I were the last to enter the water. While
the coral was pretty disappointing - the variety of fish were amazing. The best part was meeting Wally - a Napoleon Maori Wrasse. He was a huge, colorful and friendly fish - about a 3 feet long and 2 feet wide!
Overall, I wouldn't recommend Reef Magic if you're hoping to get a true feel for the Great Barrier Reef. It was a big boat, with lots of people and we were docked at one location on the reef the entire time. Also, the lack of colorful coral just did not meet my expectations for the Great Barrier Reef! Despite my disappointment, Brian thought the trip was awesome and he was the very last person to get out of the water! When we returned back to the resort we decided to book another trip (with a different company) out to the reef, and this time - we would try Scuba Diving!! More on that in the next entry!
There are more photos below