Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Friday, June 20, 2014

East Coast Travels - Great Barrier Reef

22nd of May

We were in Cairns from the 20th until the 24th of May and on the 22nd we had our Great Barrier Reef day trip. We got picked up from out hotel at 7.10am and went on the 1 Day Outer Barrier Reef Experience from Cairns tour. We booked through the company Reef Free and the tour company was called Reef Experience. It cost us $185 per person and it was one of the cheaper tours that saw more than one location.  It was a pretty large group, but it didn't feel busy as the boat was huge and there was a large crew.

When we first got on board we were told the water was going to be pretty "choppy"... great. I literally developed a fear of "choppy" water back at the Whitsundays and started panicking massively. The crew walked around with motion sickness tablets - just in case - and that made it even worse. We decided to get some since we didn't want to ruin our trip by being sick. It took us about an hour to reach the first reef and the water was pretty calm the whole way. There were definitely some waves, and I did get the "help I'm falling" feeling, but I freaked myself out more than I should have. It was NOTHING like at the Whitsundays. During the hour and a half we had a breakfast barbecue, a demonstration about snorkelling and diving, a photographer introduction and also a marine biology presentation.

We didn't realise this to start off with, but diving was included in our price! We thought we were only going snorkelling. We had a quick intro to diving and got in the water. I had never done any diving before and freaked out. The fact that I panicked about the "choppy" water and then going into the water wasn't the best.. I couldn't breathe! For some reason I found it incredibly difficult to breathe with the diving gear and after trying about 4 times, I really began to panic and decided it would be best to get out of the water, rather than push myself and freak out when I'm a few meters under water! Anyway, my boyfriend still went ahead and loved it! He studied Marine Environmental Science at university so he was right in his element. (photo taken by on board photographer)

Everyone was incredibly kind and helpful when I got out the water, I calmed down and decided to go snorkelling. The reef we were at, Norman Reef, is a favourite of all the crew, this is because it's a really shallow reef. Obviously the pro of diving is that you can get right up to everything, with snorkelling I got pretty close too, at some parts I really had to make sure I was completely horizontal or else I'd be kicking the reef! The photo to the left shows how shallow it was! (photo taken by on board photographer)

Some areas, however, were incredibly deep! Especially at the second reef we went to, you'd look down and all you see is blue! It was so incredible to see the coral reef, there was so much colour and so many different types of fish! We took the GoPro out with us, but unfortunately they really wash out any colour and make it blue, I think it's because the GoPro doesn't have a flash. In the photo to the right you can see a parrot fish, they are amazing rainbow coloured fish and they were everywhere.

I'm not sure how long we spent at each reef, but I think the first one was over an hour and the second one was 40 minutes? In between the first and second reef we had a delicious lunch. At our second reef we decided to take part in the Marine Biology tour. This cost $20 per person extra, but it was definitely worth it. We swam around with the marine biologist on board and she showed us the different types of species of fish and corals. She picked up a sea cucumber too and we each got to hold it. It's surprising how heavy they are when you hold them above water! The tour was about 20 minutes (I think) so we still had a bit of time to swim around.

You also had a chance to take a trip on a glass bottom boat, we skipped on that and decided to continue snorkelling instead. On our way back to Cairns we had some more snacks and had a chance to look at all the photos the photographer took. I bought three photos for $40 and received a CD full of photos of the reef which is really nice.

This was such an amazing trip, and 100% better than the one at the Whitsundays. The crew kept us entertained the whole time and at the reef we had a bit of freedom to swim around and do what we want. It was also great that we went to two different reefs rather than staying at the same one the whole time. Everything was very well organised, and even though it was a huge group of people, it didn't feel busy.

After the trip we were dropped off at our hotel at about 18.00.

This is my last East Coast blog post! Although I might still do a summery of all the places. We had such an amazing time on our East Coast travels, I'd say my favourite places were Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef. My least favourite was Port Macquarie, only because it was so small and it was really just a stop over. We travelled up the coast incredibly quick, doing it in 24 days wasn't difficult, but very very exhausting. The places we've seen were absolutely amazing and I loved everything. We tried out completely new and exciting things like a the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and a helicopter ride around Brisbane. It was an amazing end to our stay in Australia.

We flew out of Cairns International Airport to Tokyo on the 24th of May at 13.20. We bought the tickets in the Jetstar Easter sale and only cost us $249 each. Incredibly cheap. We ended up flying over the Great Barrier Reef which was beautiful and so unexpected! What an amazing end to Australia.


  1. Wow all these pictures are stunning. I wish I could have such great travel experience in my life. Well I am a Port Macquarie Photographer and I love Travel Photography. So I frequently visit beautiful places to capture their beauty.