Photo Diary: The Great Barrier Reef

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Purple starfish, sea slugs, blue spotted fantail rays, clown fish, and coral-chomping parrot fish are a few of the many colorful locals you’ll meet among The Great Barrier Reef. While it’s true that some of the reef is dying, a greater portion is still teeming with life. I had the privilege of snorkeling in two spots along the Reef: Hastings Reef and Michaelmas Cay. Both were filled with colorful coral and curious sea life, both sparkling under the sunshine.

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East Coast Adventuring: From Brisbane to Cairns

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While not quite half way, I’ve split my East Coast Adventure into two parts: From Sydney to Brisbane and Brisbane to Cairns. After 48 hours in Queensland’s capital, Beth and I began the second half of our journey, which included all of our day trips and overnight tours. The scenery between Brisbane and Cairns changes dramatically as rain forests and sand islands are gradually introduced into the tropical landscape. We had much to look forward to and several more stops ahead. First up, the beautiful Noosa!

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Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

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From the first time I caught a glimpse of Whitsunday’s magical, pristine beaches and its famous heart reef, I knew I would be prioritizing a visit. And as I sat with my travel agent to plan the East Coast Adventuring, I was most excited for this tour. I booked a two-day/two-night sailing and snorkeling trip with Explore Maxi and arrived for the tour with very high expectations. Is this ever a good idea? Yes, the trip was beautiful, adventurous, memorable, and eventful, but not quite in all the ways I had imagined.

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Dingoes and Drop Bears on Fraser Island

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As part of our East Coast Adventuring from Sydney to Cairns, my sister and I planned a 3-day/2-night beach camping trip on Fraser Island. We joined a crew of 21 others and our Drop Bear Adventures tour guide for a getaway on the world’s largest sand island. While many know this east coast island as Fraser Island, the Butchulla people’s traditional name is “K’gari” meaning “paradise”, and after our beautiful visit, I can’t think of a more appropriate name.

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East Coast Adventuring: From Sydney to Brisbane


On April 29, my sister, Bethany, and I embarked on a three-week journey up the East Coast of Australia, departing from Sydney and heading to Cairns. We planned our route carefully after consulting travel agents, fellow travelers, travel blogs, and Lonely Planet. The drive from Sydney to Cairns is a long one – 29 HOURS! – so we opted for the Greyhound’s hop-on / hop-off pass. We’re coming for you, Great Barrier Reef!

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Playing in The Pinnacles

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It’s my last full day in Western Australia and I’ve lined up a day trip out to Nambung National Park in hopes of being wowed by the curious limestone formations found among this desert landscape. It’s a trip I’ve been putting off, not sure that it would be worth the full day trip cost and time commitment. I’m happy to say I was very wrong and am so glad I opted to join a small group tour of 20 out into this unique Australian location.

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