Australia and its marvels – Part II
Off to the Great Barrier Reef region
We flew into Cairns, which is one of the closest airports to the Great Barrier Reef. Our Airbnb was 5-minute walk to Trinity Beach and shopping. Our general rule when we travel, is that we will have one meal per day at a restaurant and the other meals we will eat at the Airbnb. We do this for a few reasons. The first reason is because it gives us a break from “the dining out experience with food allergies.” The second reason is because it gives us the opportunity to learn about local cuisine. Reason number three is because it gives our wallet a break, and the fourth reason why we eat in two meals is because I love to cook! With all those reasons in mind, this was the perfect location for us. While in Cairns, we spent one day at the Great Barrier Reef, one day in the Daintree rain forest and two days at Trinity Beach. Each experience was more different than the next. Wait until you hear about this…
Enchanted Rain Forest
Our first day was spent in the Daintree rain forest. We took an old fashioned locomotive train up the hill. This was used to bring gold down from the mines back in the day. The train went through 55 tunnels before reaching the top of the mountain. Once we were there, we had the opportunity to walk around a quaint village, named Kuranda. It was full of artisan style craft from shirts, to purses and pottery. You never knew what you were going to find. We had the privilege of visiting this area thanks to a friend of a friend. We met Hughie at the top of the hill. He took us around the village and introduced us to one of his customers. You see Hughie makes homemade bread for the local restaurants and hotels. After walking through the village, he apologized but he had to get back and attend to his bread. He asked us if we minded popping back to his place for a second to tend to the bread. “Are you kidding me? I thought.” I was going to be given the behind the scenes of his bread making magic. For someone like me who loves to cook, this was like having ice cream with extra sprinkles. Not only do I love to cook and travel, but I especially like to visit things off the beaten path. I am not a fan of tourist traps. The main reason for this is because frequently tourist traps will use temporary labor in their kitchens, and they have no idea what is in the food. Anyway, back to Hughie. He brought us to his hand made kitchen. He built it himself. It was created with more than 3000 wine bottles. They acted as an insulator but allowed natural light to come through. He creates more than 1,500 pizza doughs per week. Also popular on his menu are his sourdough breads and his pita pockets. I can attest to them, they are delicious!
The Great Barrier Reef
Our return down the mountain was via gondola. We got to see firsthand the expansiveness of both the rain forest as well as the Great Barrier Reef. Do not fret if you are afraid of heights, you can do this! The Daintree rain forest overlooks the Great Barrier Reef. This is quite unusual. The rainforest is on the World Heritage list and the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral system. Can you think of any other area that has two environmentally protected regions right beside each other? I bet you can’t! As stated in our previous post, visiting the Great Barrier Reef was the whole purpose of this trip. You can have the option of scuba diving, snorkeling, or swimming. We chose to snorkel. The adventure began from Cairns, where we boarded a 6-million-dollar boat that held approximately 200 people. The boat sailed out for roughly 2 hours. It stopped twice for dives, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. No matter what I tell you about this excursion, I cannot do it justice. It was a very calm day. Apparently, this is not ideal if you want to see sharks, tortoises or dolphins. I was fine with that! No need to have sharks on my swim. I did get to see dolphins zipping by at one point. While snorkeling, I got to see Nemo (clownfish), damselfish, Maori wrasse, butterfly fish and small barracudas. If you are even debating about going, don’t debate…JUST GO!
The rest of our time in this area was spent at the beach or by the pool. One thing I will say is that Aussie’s live an active lifestyle. I don’t remember ever turning on the TV. There is no shortage of things to do outside. Admittedly, I did spend a lot of time looking up in the trees. I heard that the most poisonous snakes and the most poisonous spiders can be found lurking in the trees. I am thankful to report that I did not see any! We did see wallabies, kangaroos, and bush stone-curlews up close and personal. Have you been to the Great Barrier Reef? What sea creatures did you see? Next week will be the last blog of this 3-post series. Stay tuned as we share details from our trip to the Gold Coast.
#blog #blogging #australia #foodallergy #travels #allergictraveler #chefcards #foodallergyaustralia
Author: Tarah Jakubiak
After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 25 countries and 34 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.