Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hamilton Island: Day Two

Monday afternoon, our group of 10 boarded a seaplane for a breathtaking flight over the Great Barrier Reef.

Our 30-minute trek took us into the heart of Australia’s greatest natural wonder (literally -- one of the most famous reefs is in the shape of a heart), with magnificent views of the deep, deep blue water and colorful reef formations.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is even more awesome up close than I thought it would be

The only downside -- it was a very bumpy ride, and the turbulence found me and several of the journalists feeling more than a little green.

Thankfully, it was a smooth landing in the waters of Whitehaven Beach, where we enjoyed some sparkling wine and fruit.

The flight back was much calmer, especially because I got to ride shotgun in the cockpit.

Flying High: I enjoyed the cockpit view during the return flight to Australia’s Hamilton Island

The next morning, we all headed over to the koala gallery. It took four trips to Australia, but on this work-related journey I finally got a photo with the native creature.

This koala got very friendly as I posed for a picture with him

Though koalas are notoriously unfriendly in real life, this one not only posed for pictures, he placed his paw on nearly every female breast he came in contact with. What an animal.

After our koala encounter, it was off to the airport to catch a flight back to Cairns. Next stop on our whirlwind itinerary -- Lizard Island.

I love my job!

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