Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cairns, Australia

Cairns is the tourist capital of the Great Barrier Reef. I was here to go snorkeling, mindful of the fact that the reef might cease to exist in a few decades.

Cairns is very touristy. Europeans, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, you name it and they are here. The only exception being Australians, who seemed to be in the minority. The city is geared for tourism not only to the Great Barrier Reef, but also to the nearby rainforests, Aboriginal parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

My main activity in Cairns was joining a day trip abroad a catamaran to the Outer Reef. It is a shame that one has to travel two hours away from Cairns in order to spot some undamaged coral. The trip was a full day but I only got to snorkel for about 1.5 hours, at two different reefs. I saw some colored coral, anemones and colored (blue, green, yellow) fish. However, I was disappointed at the lack of color amongst most of the coral, probably due to bleaching from pollution and global warming. Isn’t the Great Barrier Reef supposed to contain the best and brightest coral in the world?

One interesting observation I noticed while here (nothing related to the reef) is the ubiquitous traffic roundabouts. Thus, instead of traffic lights or stop signs, Australians prefer to utilize roundabouts at their junctions.

No comments:

Post a Comment