Making My Dreams Come True… Great Barrier Reef

Making My Childhood Dream Come True

I remember studying Geography in my first year in secondary school and my teacher taught us about The Great Barrier Reef and since then it was always my dream to go but never thought I would. As a adult I promised myself I will do all the things I wanted to do as a child – Disneyland and The Great Barrier Reef, and they are both finally ticked off the list! I have never been so excited to see something- I’ll explain more later in this post.
So it was actually here… Our final stop on the East Coast. It felt so weird that Australia was over after being here for such a long time… 9 months was over like that! I still can’t believe I have been away from my beautiful family for that amount of time, however I do not regret this experience at all, I have experienced living and working in a new country, made friends who live all over the world, became close to my Australian family and travelled the East Coast of Australia and loved it.


Everywhere I go on the East Coast I always say, this is my new favourite place… I need to stop that! I have loved the East Coast and had so much fun. Cairns was amazing and it was so relaxed. We caught the 7 AM bus from Townsville to Cairns as we had booked the Ultimate Party Bus and it was the only Greyhound that will get us there at a decent time… I honestly thought I would have so many lay ins but I’m usually up at 7 am exploring.

When we arrived in Cairns we checked into our hostel – Gilligans. Gilligans is the most expensive hostel we have stayed in whilst on the East Coast but it was a really nice hostel, plus everyone we have met on this journey all said to stay in Gilligans! We checked out the city and that evening got ready for our party bus. Natalia had been on this before and said how fun it was, and it really was! The team got everyone talking and mingling. The bus included entry to four clubs and at each place we got a free drink. At each club they put on games which was really funny to watch and during the night we got free pizza (Anyone who knows me, knows I love pizza so this was a major highlight!) I loved being on the English Double Decker bus the most, blaring music and everyone was just watching a bunch of travellers singing (really bad). Our last stop was Gilligans, so Gilligans is a party hostel so you never get an early night! We carried on partying until early hours in the morning (I think I’m getting too old for this!).

Party Bus 3
Ultimate Party Bus. Cairns.

The next day we was pretty tired however we were up early as we had booked the Minjin Swing – The fastest jungle swing in the world! I knew when I booked this I wouldn’t want to do it… So guess what I got there, looked up at the swing and said:
“F**k this.”
I couldn’t go on it, it didn’t help I weren’t feeling the best due to the night before! I got half my money back – At least I got something back as most times there is a no refund policy!

That night we got our $4 meal from Gilligans (I loved the $4 meals!) and went out in Gilligans again! Gilligans tend to put nights on, and tonight was ladies night meaning free champagne! The men also could dress up as women to get free drinks!
When that was over we just partied, but I knew I couldn’t be out too late or drink too much as tomorrow I was going to the GREAT BARRIER REEF!! Sorry my excitement overtook me when I wrote that.

Ladies night. Gilligans.

So the day was here – The Great Barrier Reef! I can’t explain how excited I was to finally be here! Our boat picked us up at 8 AM. I can not explain how amazing the reef was and how big it is! I actually saw NEMOS in their natural habitat! I felt like I was in a massive aquarium – it was amazing! What I loved even more is that we were only allowed on certain parts to protect the reef. The pictures do not do the reef justice at all – When I showed the girls in our room they kinda looked disappointed however they were going the next day and when they come back from their trip they said I was right – The pictures does not do it justice at all. The size of the reef is ridiculously huge and we only saw a small portion! You almost get so caught up exploring the reef you complete forget where you are at that moment in time and that you have to get back on a boat! I felt like a BIG GIANT FISH with my family of little fishes! I loved it and this has to be my favourite day so far! I seriously loved it!

Nemo in his natural habitat.

That evening I felt so tired I couldn’t even go out – I barely slept though as I had a blocked nose and a cough! I decided to rest that night as the next day we was off to BALI!
The next day our flight wasn’t until late so we had the day to explore and I had to get my injections for Asia – Talk about leaving it last minute! However this made me appreciate the NHS back home, I had to pay to see a doctor (I counted and I was in there for 4 minutes) and then had to pay for my injections – which I probably would have had to do back home. This amounted to nearly $200! At one point I was saying maybe I could get away with not having them (I was having a bad moment as I knew I had to pay out!!). However although I had to pay, the service was amazing!
Cairns was seriously the best place and Natalia and I met the most beautiful people here. Our roomies were the best and I wish them well in the rest of their travels!

Bye Australia, for now!

So my Australia journey is over and I have had the best time ever! It’s going to be weird going back home as Australia has been home for 9 months. I honestly can’t thank the people I have met and my family who have made this the best experience – Australia is a beautiful country with so much to see and do!

A big thank you to my Australian Family – My cousins and my aunt. My aunt has been a mother to me whilst I was in Australia and made it feel like home. My cousins took me to places that I wouldn’t have thought to have gone as a traveler. I am so lucky I have my Aussie family in my life and will miss them so much!

Another BIG thank you to all the neighbours, my aunts and cousins friends! I have never met so many beautiful people. I have realised I should make more effort with my neighbours back home! All the events they invited me to (Including engagement parties). I well miss you lot so much!

Telstra SNP Security and Cox Purtell – For giving me the oppurtunity to work in another country! I have met the most amazing friends through Telstra SNP and had the most funniest times! Mel and El helped me so much through work but we had the funniest times. If anyone is looking for work in Sydney or Melbourne Cox Purtell was a great agency and helped me so much!
Lastly all the friends I have made along the way throughout my time in Sydney and travelling the East Coast – Tom, Neila and Grace! You three kept me going and were so positive and uplifting I can not thank you enough – See you in England guys!

Next stop… Bali
See below for tips.
Rae. x

Where to stay: Gilligans (This is pricey and a party hostel, everyone tends to come here on a night out. The facilities are really clean). There are other hostels close by which are a bit cheaper, try and stay at Gilligans or near.
What to do: Snorkelling trip to The Great Barrier Reef (Around $180). The Ultimate Party Bus (Around $40). Minjin Swing (Around $130, they will pick you up from the hostel, however I did crap myself and couldn’t do it. There is also a bungee there. The more goes you have the cheaper it comes). Lagoon.
Where to eat: We mainly had the $4 meals at Gilligans, however we went to Pancake House (2 minute walk from Gilligans) for breakfast.
Where to book activities: Natalia and I booked our excursions through Peter Pans – They have a lot of mixed reviews but they were so helpful and found they had the best deals. We could also use their WiFi as we had booked through them and Peter Pans was everywhere which was a bonus.


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