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Great Barrier Reef & Hartley's Crocodile Farm - Cairns, Australia ♡

As i’ve mentioned in the past, and as I’m sure you are all aware – the East Coast of Australia is a very popular route for travellers.

People come from all around the world to see what the East Coast of Australia has to offer be it the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Whit Sundays, The Gold Coast, Byron Bay & Sydney – to name a few.
Cairns is sat at the the top of the East coast and is where most travellers will start or finish their route.
The attraction of Cairns?
It’s the gateway to one of the 7 wonders of the world.
The Great Barrier Reef.
Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef has always been up there at the top of my bucket list and we had come to Cairns to do exactly that.
We booked a full day trip through Cairns Dive Adventures which cost $119 (around £65) including lunch, snacks, snorkel and stinger suit hire.
We all met at the boat on the harbour promptly at 7am, ready and raring to go.
The boat crew sized us up for our snorkels and flippers before offering us a culpa and some biscuits (they were immediately in my good books).
We first dropped off some passengers at Fitzry island which I had never previously heard of and was actually stunning so that is somewhere else you could come and spend the day / night. 
It was 2 hours on the boat before we arrived at the reef and along the way we were safety briefed and told all about the devastating degradation of the Reed due to the ozone layer, or lack of it.

Another thing i didn’t previously realise the extent of.

Inbetween chats and cups of tea we headed up to top deck to tan / selfie it / look out at the beautiful ocean we were endlessly encountering.
We even managed to spot some dolphins swimming and jumping around the boat which was a beautiful bonus.
The day consisted of 2 snorkel spots in the outer reef, one before lunch and then one after lunch. 
You can also opt in for a dive too for an added $50 which isn’t bad at all.
We saw some beautiful coral and fishes (including nemo and dory) in beautiful clear waters which was quite surreal.
Sadly you can tell the reef is damaged and as we were told by many – it’s just not what it used to be – leaving most slightly underwhelmed.
The outer reef is where most of the reef still remains so make sure you book a trip specifically to the outer reef if you can (like our one).

After working up quite the appetite we tucked into a fresh lunch before heading to the next snorkel spot…

Apparently the reef will have completely gone within the next 70 years which is gutting, but I was none the less thrilled to have experienced it and seen the utter beauty of what I did see.
If I don’t give you enough temptation, you now only have 70 years to get your butts to the Great Barrier Reef… 
Like they say… when it’s gone it’s gone.
For the money and the experience it was great value for money and i would recommend it to all of you.
 ♡
After spending a day on the reef we had one day left in Cairns to explore and I realllllly wanted to see crocodiles.
The travel agents were only affiliated with certain tours and so only had expensive or far distanced options. 
Luckily, we got chatting to a local on the reef trip and he recommended a place called Hartley’s Crocodile Farm.

 
At Hartley’s they have preserved a 10 hectare habitat for the Crocs and many other species in which you can tell they are very well looked after.
Throughout the day there are many things to do.

You can hop on a boat around the lagoon where the guide will feed the crocs right by your window so you can see the agility and intelligence of the crocs up close and personal.

You are given a map upon arrival with all the different times of shows and places to be. These include things like feeding time with the Koalas / Wallabies & a crocodile attack show.
Something for everyone – if you like animals that is…

Hartleys is located around 35 min drive from Cairns, which is a beautiful drive within itself with many beaches to stop off on your way should you wish.
We rented a car for the day between 5 of us which was $16 each (around £8/9), and then the Croc Farm entry was $35 each.
I LOVED seeing the crocodiles because I have never seen them in real life – nor have i seen koalas or wallabies, so it was a really unique and special experience.
Another trip i’d say is well worth doing if you come to Cairns 🙂
All in all Cairns wasn’t quite my social vibe on this occasion (read my last post) but it more than delivered on lifetime memories and experiences.
A massive tick off my to-do list – thank you Cairns.

Thank you for reading, lots of love all the way from Australia…
Mollie xxxx
Coming up… Sailing the Whitsundays!
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I’M MOLLIE AND I STARTED THIS BLOG BACK IN 2013 WHEN I HEADED OUT ON MY FIRST BACKPACKING ADVENTURE. I’D LOVE TO SHARE MY STORY WITH YOU…

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