A Visual Journey To Queensland & The Great Barrier Reef

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Below, join us on a journey from Sydney to the north where we took in the Great Barrier Reef.

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Flying over the Reef.

^^ Be-aut-iful!

It only takes about two hours to fly from Sydney to the island where we were staying , Hamilton Island, which is part of the 74 Whitsunday Islands all located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

^^ The view from our balcony. Not too shabby.

The view from our balcony. Not too shabby. Everyone on the island rents little electric golf carts to drive around — no one except the owner of the island is allowed to drive regular cars on the land. We only rented the car on Tuesday, as we were doing excursions the other days we were there.

It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway — the beaches here are gorgeous. And during low tide, you can walk out for what seems like miles into the ocean, with all of these little pools of warm water around you, and tons of sea life surrounding you.

^^ Yup, it was jellyfish season. You pretty much have to be aware of that, then ignore it, or else you'll be obsessing over it the whole time you're in the water.

It was jellyfish season. You pretty much have to be aware of that, then ignore it, or else you’ll be obsessing over it the whole time you’re in the water.

Having a drink poolside at one of the other hotel pools. Pool-hopping was one of my favorite things about the low-key feel of this island.

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Beautiful birds.

^^ What? I'm not paying attention to you.

^^ What? I’m not paying attention to you.

^^ Oh yes I am. As our waiter pointed out (and as we later witnessed) the cockatoos on this island are not shy, and they WILL steal your food if you look away for even one second.

As our waiter pointed out (and as we later witnessed) the cockatoos on this island are not shy, and they will steal your food if you look away for a second.

^^ The fruit bats seriously come out at night. Ick!

The fruit bats come out at night.  We rented our little golf cart early in the morning, and then spent the morning eating breakfast with the koalas at the zoo.

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Don’t worry — he was behind glass ;)

^^ Who knew this docile (and weird) looking bird would be Australia's deadliest bird. Doesn't he look like a turkey?!

Who knew this docile (and weird) looking bird would be Australia’s deadliest bird.

^^ I know, right. It's like, how can this  much cuteness exist in the world?

Having wine and cheese and crackers on our awesome porch with a view to die for.

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Beautiful stunning Queensland.

^^ Goodnight, Great Barrier Reef.

^^ Goodnight, Great Barrier Reef.

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^^ This little guy landed right on my arm which, of course, caused me to freak out. Oh, nature.

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Life in the Great Barrier Reef isn’t just above ground.

^^ Fish at the Reef, as seen from the glass bottom boat ride.

^^ Fish at the Reef, as seen from the glass-bottom boat ride.

^^ Some coral from the same ride.

^^ Some coral from the same ride.

^^ A view of the part of the Reef where we snorkeled and dove. Look at all that gorgeous green/blue coral under the water, just waiting to be checked out!

^^ A view of the part of the Reef where we snorkeled and dove. Look at all that gorgeous green/blue coral under the water, just waiting to be checked out!

^^ A storm was brewin' on our way back from the Reef. It made for some pretty awesome pictures.

^^ A storm was brewin’ on our way back from the Reef. It made for some pretty awesome pictures.

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Cheryl Lock
Cheryl Lock is a former magazine, newspaper and website editor turned full-time freelance writer. She has worked on staff at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, More and Parents magazines, as well as for Learnvest, the leading women's financial website. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Forbes, Ladies' Home Journal, the Huffington Post, AOL Travel and more.

Cheryl was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up moving around every few years as an Army brat. The urge to travel has been with her her whole life. While she calls New York City home, Cheryl makes it a priority to travel as much as possible throughout the year. Some of her favorite places include Iceland, the Great Barrier Beef, Cabo, Rome, Calabria and Munich, although she hopes to never stop exploring. Cheryl blogs about her travel adventures (and what's happening in and around New York City) at Weary Wanderer.
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