travel with me: cairns, australia

Wow you guys- it's finally time to share my last post from my trip to New Zealand and Australia. This post is all about Cairns, Australia (pronounced Cans), where I held a koala, pet a kangaroo, and snorkeled one of the great natural wonders of the world- the Great Barrier Reef. The last 3 days in Cairnes was the perfect way to end the trip. We had the most perfect weather these days. and I enjoyed each and every activity we took part in. The goofy traveling started to kick in as well- laughing at everything and everyone. I take pride in starting the inside joke of the trip (whoa!) and giggling every time I had the chance to say it. I'm rambling at this point, so let's start with Day 1 in Cairns!

The flight from Sydney to Cairns boasted beautiful views of the country, especially on the descent into Cairns. We also experienced an incredible sunset upon arrival! 

Bats populate Cairns similar to how birds populate the states, so our tour guide took us to a tree that the bats like to cling on. It was such a weird sight to see bats flying around at night. 

The first full day in Cairns was spent at the Great Barrier Reef! We had to take about a 2 hour boat ride to the reef, in which many passengers were seasick from the rough waters. I took in the views of the water instead of focusing on the commotion inside the boat. The water is a beautiful shade of turquoise, as you can see in the pics. But just a warning- the pictures don't do it justice!

The reef was incredible. No picture could ever show the beauty of such an incredibly astounding wonder of the world. You have to see it in your lifetime, and fast, because the reef is dying. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to see the reef while it was still here and "thriving". However, it won't last forever so please go see it soon!

I have never snorkeled before, so having the GBR as my first snorkel experience was a dream. As soon as I put my face in the water I gasped at the magnificent colors and patterns spread throughout the coral and fish. I remember I had a smile spread across my face (yes-with the snorkel on haha!) because I was so excited and amazed.

Later in the evening, I walked around the Night Market in Cairns which holds varieties of street food, Asian buffets, and tons of craft booths and shops. I decided a churro was a must so here is me overly excited for this yummy dessert.

The next day was our last full day of the trip. We made it a wonderful day, though, because we did all the Aussie must haves. We visited an aborigine museum, where I had my face painted by an Aborigine!

At the Aborigine museum, I (unsuccessfully) threw boomerang, watched a tribal dance, and was given instructions on how to play a didgeridoo. After this cultural experience, the group headed up a gondola that took FOREVER. Literally the longest "sky" gondola ever- about 30 minutes to get to the top of the mountain at a rainforest "village" (and I put that in quotations because it's not a village like you would think. It's highly developed and touristy!) called Kuranda. The views were incredible on the way up though- we could see waterfalls and all sorts of vegetation. 

At the top, the group headed straight to the koala gardens. I started crying as soon as I saw how cute the koalas were. I mean they are CUTE. So precious and so cuddly I wish I could take one home. 

This little guy is Charlie! He was so precious! He was falling asleep as he was perched on each person. I learned that koalas are very fragile, as I was barely holding him up in this pic. Next, there was a kangaroo petting zoo right beside the koala gardens. I touched the kangaroos and they were softer than koalas! Definitely reminiscent of cat fur. I held out some food for this little guy but he didn't budge- he was full from all the snacks he ate throughout the day! 

After the koalas and kangaroos, we took a train ride back down to Cairns. I fell asleep on the ride because the windows were open and the cool rainforest air seeped through the train cars. I woke up just in time though to see kangaroos in a field on the side of the road! So strange to think that seeing a kangaroo next to your house is totally normal for someone living in Australia!

Afterwards, we set out for our last meal in Australia. I had schnitzel because that German dish is everywhere in Australia. Then some of us in the group went out to defend the Tennessee team in a volleyball came (that happened the night before as well but I forgot to include haha) where we met up with the other group on the tour (there were two groups who shared a tour guide). After that, my friends and I decided to stay up instead of going to sleep because of our 3:30 am wake up call for our 5:30 am flight. The journey home took roughly 36 hours- and I got barely any sleep on any of it. But the long flights and layovers were worth it. Being able to see such an amazing part of the world is worth the longest flight. 

My journey Down Under was incredible, and I am so grateful to be able to travel the world at my age. Every time I travel, I get this strong sense of wanderlust and amazement at all the places I want to go to. Remember to live boldly. Traveling makes you step out of your comfort zone, opening your mind to new ideas and thoughts and opening your heart up to new people and cultures. Traveling has made me feel more connected with the world, which is why I crave to travel to every continent some day. This trip has made me one step closer. 

One of my favorite quotes about traveling:

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page"
-Augustine of Hippo

As always, 
live boldly


  1. Looks like you had a blast! I want to go someday!

    1. It's absolutely incredible! I will be going back for sure! Must-go

  2. Oh my goodness, this looked like the most amazing trip and I'm super jealous of everything you got to see and do! I'd love to visit New Zealand and Australia one day, they both look so beautiful :) x x
    Ellis //

    1. It was absolutely amazing. A must-go sometime in your life!