Hello from the Great Barrier Reef!!

November 26th, 2008 - 9:32am by Rabbit
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Well, I've finally moved away from Fremantle! The last few weeks have been packed! Our last three weeks of Uni have been for finals (one study week and two weeks of finals). I quit work during this time in hopes of relaxing on the beach and enjoying my last few days. During the study week, we took a 'retreat' as a group for one night. We went into Rockingham and went on a dolphin watching tour, penguin watching tour, and sea lions! We saw so many wild dolphins and penguins (we only saw two sea lions who were sunbathing on the beach). We got to see a pack of dolphins mating, there were about 15 of them right in front of our noses!

A few days after the retreat, a few friends and I decided to go go-carting. So the five of us randomly rented a car for a day and drove an hour away to the go-cart track. Go-carting was so much fun. These weren't your average putput go-carts. These were pro-am racing go-carts that went 80km/hr (50 mph)! We had to wear racing suits with helmets and everything. On the way back, we randomly drove around to beaches and tried to figure out the meaning of a round-about. I got to drive as well! It was interesting driving on the wrong side of the road, but after a minute you don't even notice the change. The hardest part was signaling (with the right hand) and not turning on the windshield wipers (with the left hand).

Then we went into finals weeks. I hate finals here. For all the finals, you sit in a room with about 400 different kids at one time and have 2hr 10min to finish the final. Nearly every final is a written essay, where you don't know the question in advance. I hate writing non-stop about a topic for 2hrs. I'd much prefer the multiple choice and short answer tests I have back home! All-in-all, my finals went alright and I'm glad I'm now over with school for two months!

We also went to the beach a few times! It cooled down during study and finals weeks but it was still warm enough to catch some rays. One of the days I even tried surfing! Despite the waves being extremely flat I still got up.

Last Saturday, we headed out away from Fremantle to Sydney. We spent the night there and caught a small glimpse of the city. The next morning we flew to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef and see the rain forest! We rented a car to drive three hours Cape Tribulation. I was the driver and the seven girls I was with were navigating. It was a great ride, with a ton of nice scenery.

At Cape Tribulation, we went zip-lining through the Daintree Rain Forest. This is the oldest rain forest in the world (120 million years) and houses more species than North America and Europe combined! Zip-lining was a lot of fun. We got to see the rain forest in a very unique way! That night, we took a nighttime walk through the forest. It gets completely pitch black in there and a lot of cool critters come out.

The next day we drove to Port Douglas to go to the Great Barrier Reef. We took a huge yacht out there and went snorkeling at 3 different locations. I wanted to scuba dive at the Reef but they wouldn't let me because of my chest surgeries and lung collapses. The Reef was still amazing. We saw a ton of great fish and coral. We got an underwater camera and I took way to many pictures. (I only have 10 minutes of internet and am trying to upload them but I doubt they'll finish in time).

After the Reef, we spent the night in Port Douglas then drove back to Cairns the next day to catch our flight. We flew back to Sydney to spend two days there. The hostel we're in is extremely nice. It's like a hotel room with our own bathroom and TV. It is in a very sketchy place though. We're in the Red Light District and there are adult shops and strip clubs every 10 feet.

The first day we got a ticket for a "hop on, hop off" bus to bring us around the city. We saw all the cool sights including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. The next day we spent more time in Sydney seeing the stuff we missed on the first day. We went on a dinner cruise around the harbor. They served excellent food! After that we went to see the new film "Australia". It was really good, I recommend it.

Tomorrow we fly out to New Zealand to do a bus tour around the country. We're going to see Milford Sound, hike on a glacier, and going sky-diving and white water rafting. We'll be there until Dec 5th, and then we head to Fiji to spend the 4 days in an all-inclusive resort!

This trip is finally winding down and it's been a great time. I can't wait to see all of you when I get back!