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Cairns, Australia

Hi friends! I’m so excited to share the rest of our trip to Australia with you today!

Our first stop in Australia was Sydney, and just in case you missed it, you can see the photos HERE! Our second stop was the beautiful city of Cairns.  This was my favorite city in Australia and it exceeded all of my expectations!

We arrived in Cairns around lunch time.  This cute, quaint city was quiet and the muggy air hit us instantly as we stepped out of the plane.  We dropped off our bags at the hotel so we could begin to explore the city and scout out a place for a late lunch. Much to my surprise, Sydney was primarily Chinese and Japanese cuisine, so when we arrived to Cairns I was in majorly craving some classic seafood.  Fish and chips anyone?! Yum. After lunch, we walked along the boardwalk and esplanade where we found the most beautiful trees and waterfront views.
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Already exhausted from our trip, we decided to explore the city for the rest of the night and then turn in early.  After all, we were jet lagged and had to rest up for our scuba diving adventure the next day!

Bright and early, we got out of bed to get ready for an amazing adventure! I took a scuba diving class when I was in my 2nd year of college, but that had been nearly 7 years ago! The scuba class was taught in a 8 ft swimming pool and I never finished my certification class which included open diving (the ocean).  I won’t lie… I absolutely love the ocean but more than anything it terrifies me.  Its vastness, its strength, and its depth is something that I cannot even begin to comprehend and that scares the living daylight out of me. It’s always been a life goal for me to drum up the courage to scuba dive in the ocean.  And this was it. It was about to happen. It was time to face my fears of the unknown, of the deep darkness, and of crazy big fish. haha! Yes, I am TERRIFIED of large fish.

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After a mini panic attack, I managed to calm down and grasp the slow, steady breathing technique that it takes to scuba dive. That was the hardest part. Once I was under water, it was like a dream. Am I really doing this? As soon as my head emerged under water, I was greeted with a barracuda within 2 arm lengths of my body.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared at all. I knew it wouldn’t hurt me and I just stared into its eyes, amazed at its size and calmness.  Anyone that has ever scuba dived before knows that every few feet you go further down you have to equalize your ears so you can prevent your ear drums from bursting. This definitely scared me knowing all of the risks involved with diving, but with amazing scuba guides, I knew I’d be in good hands. They did an amazing job calming me down, guiding me, and helping me enjoy the entire process. The Great Barrier Reef was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Absolutely breathtaking!  All of these underwater shots were taken with my GoPro4 Hero while scuba diving and snorkeling.  Thank you TUSA Diving for such an incredible experience! I will never forget it!

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Our last day in Cairns we decided to take a day trip to Kuranda, a small city north of Cairns.  To get there we boarded a historic train that included a 2 hour ride through the rainforest, mountains, and beautiful waterfalls.
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On the way back to Cairns, we conquered another one of my fears (heights!) and took the Skyrail.  It was a 1.5 hour ride that soared high above the rainforest in little cable cars, only big enough for about 4 people.  Vince and I got to ride in our own cable car! 🙂 We laughed at the way it made our skin crawl just to look down and to our surprise, it kept getting HIGHER AND HIGHER as the trip went on.  Only in the last 10 minutes did it finally descend. My heart raced the entire time and by the end of it, my legs were like jello, but it was SO much fun! The cable cars made a few stops along the way so we could get out to walk around and view gorgeous scenery, which was really nice.

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This trip, visiting a zoo (so I could get hold a koala!!), and an amazing dinner at Tha Fish ended our time in beautiful Cairns.  Below is my “typical tourist koala photo”! I’m pretty sure I was just as excited as the 4 year old behind me in line about holding the koala haha!

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The next day we would be in Brisbane for just one short night before we made our way to New Zealand.  We got an exclusive look at one of the penthouses in Brisbane which gave us this amazing view of the city! Um…can I live here? That penthouse was amazing!! 
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Since it was really only a stop through for us and we were just going out for dinner, I decided not to bring the big camera along.  Instead, we documented Brisbane on the iPhone which worked out really well because by the end of the night, we were drenched from the rain storm that rolled by! We walked around the main area of town and found our way to Eagle Street Pier for an amazing dinner that overlooked the water. Watching the sun set as we ate was the perfect way to end our trip in Australia.

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I can’t even tell you guys how much I love this guy. He makes me so happy and we had such an amazing trip to Australia.  Even if we had gone home at that point, we would have still had the trip of a lifetime, but guess what? It didn’t!! We still had one more week to explore a entirely different country. New Zealand is one of Vincent’s favorite places on Earth and I was so excited to experience New Zealand for the first time with him by my side.

I can’t wait to share more from our amazing adventure!!