The first trip was a jeep tour of the rainforest and the Aussie bush. There were eight of us on the day trip and our guide was great. He knew EVERYTHING about the history, geography and plants/animals of the area and seriously looked like he had walked straight out of the set for Crocodile Dundee (see below photo). He drove our jeep through rivers, showed us the Australian stinger plants in the forest (if you touch it, you're in excruciating pain for up to three months and even morphine can't help you) and, like any good Aussie, stopped the day for morning tea along side a lake where we looked for six foot tall cassowary birds (we didn't see any).
We drove all day through these different areas, stopping to check out fig trees as big as California redwoods, gathering places for thirsty kangaroos and a roadside fruitstand that sells lychees by the kilo. On the ride back to Cairns, our group tackled the lychees and crocodile jerky while our guide told us how the movie "Open Water" was based on a Port Douglas/Cairns snorkel and dive boat. Despite the soothing undulations of his Aussie accent, I began to panic silently in my jeep seat thinking about my boat trip the next morning. Meanwhile, everyone else chatted happily about the adventures of our day, hoping to spot a koala out the window.
That night I packed my "toggs" and sun screen in my bag and set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. when the shuttle to Port Douglas would pick me up. I laid in bed, sweating, with visions of Jaws dancing through my head.