Two years after visiting Queensland, I was back again. This time, I had my family with me.
A trip out to the Great Barrier Reef was compulsory, and since we stayed at the Thala Beach Lodge – just 13 kilometers (8 miles) south of Port Douglas – it made sense to leave from Port instead of Cairns. This time I snorkeled and went S.C.U.B.A. diving, so the underwater explorations were double as fun. Visiting snorkel and dive locations such as SNO (Southern North Opal), Split Bommie and Fish Bowl, I was amongst amongst humphead wrasse, stingrays and mind-blowing coral reefs. It was great sharing the GBR joy with my family.
My second skydiving experience – and the first for everyone in my family – took place at Mission Beach, three hours south of Port Douglas. Circling over the Coral Sea, Dunk Island and the Great Barrier Reef, I jumped – by choice – out of a plane at 14,000 feet. Landing on Mission Beach after free-falling 60 seconds toward the earth will always be one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever experienced. Landing on the sand of Mission Beach felt surreal. Knowing that my family (hopefully) experienced the same euphoria made it even more spectacular.
My 2013 Queensland adventures weren’t limited to the Great Barrier Reef and skydiving though. Along with climbing coconut trees at Oak Beach and exploring Brisbane on multiple occasions – what an awesome city – I took a road trip from Surfers Paradise south to Byron Bay, New South Wales. The drive along the coastline beneath the foothills of the Great Dividing Range is gorgeous!