August 10-15, 2014 AUS // August 9-14, 2014 US
Our visit to Cairns, Queensland! Adventures, food, boys, and nature, everything Australia has to offer in one place.
Have you ever thought about crossing a country by traveling primarily on a bus? As two pretty active 22 year olds, we were up for it but were a little worried about how we would pass the time. We both brought books, journals, music, and contemplated buying cards as well, thinking we would need all that and more! Turns out, when you’re in a place in your life where you have nothing ‘waiting’ for you to get done and no real responsibilities, you’re perfectly content to just sit and stare out the window for hours on end. We both found the time to fly by, especially when the drivers would play movies! Which brings me to our 10 hour ride to Cairns, the driver played 3 movies- none of which either of us had seen- Enemy of the State, Sister Act, and Sister Act 2. Hoo Rah for 90s movies!!
Upon arriving into Cairns, the guy we were staying with picked us up. Yes, we decided to CouchSurf again- this time with Rob and his dog Indy! We got along fantastically and were even able to go out one night with him!
Our first day started ridiculously early, as in up at 6:15am to catch our bus at 6:40! We were headed to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation for the day, two extremely beautiful places in Northern Queensland that everyone should experience. We started by driving 2 hours to Port Douglas for breakfast and chillin’ in town, it was a super cute little town and we wished we coulda stayed longer. Then onto the Mossman Gorge!
Next stop was lunch on Cape Trib Beach, even though it was pretty cloudy, it was still gorgeous! Both of us got tons of photos of the coral and all that’s involved. We also had a lot of fun with the phone camera and Sarah’s fancy tripod and DSLR, here’s one from the phone (pardon the goofy faces, we were having a lot of fun!):
After the beach we had the opportunity to go on a ‘Croc Cruise’, while not our favorite part of the tour, it was pretty cool nonetheless. Here, we met Dusty- a 3 meter long female crocodile.
And what would a tour be without the standard Outlook view, after being in the car for almost two hours with no break, we all leapt out to take advantage.
All in all, that day was legit 12 hours, luckily our guide, Shane, was awesome. We were able to sit up front with him all day so were able to learn even more fun facts about the places we had been! But we had been out and about for 12 hours, it was a tiring day- meaning we had a serious lack of want to make dinner. Now while America has KFC and it’s pretty good, almost everyone we had talked to about it, insisted that we try Australia’s version, saying it was even better. Well, here’s our perfect excuse! It was really good chicken, but as someone who looooves ‘Merica’s biscuits, their rolls were subpar.
The next day was even more adventure filled! As some of you know, I’m a teeny bit of an adrenaline junkie, I had the opportunity to bungee jump and shark dive in South Africa this year and knew the next step was skydiving. While I have had this on my bucket list since I was 15, unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to do outdoor diving. Sarah on the other hand, is very much not a junkie, she loves adventure, but not so much the roller coaster/jumping off of things/putting yourself in imminent disaster kind. But after meeting a girl in Katoomba, who had similar feelings, that raved about it and said it was a must do, we bit the bullet and signed up!
It was an ah-Mazing experience, being up that high and seeing forever, being in flight like that? Probs one of the best feelings ever, we both plan to go again someday.
The next few days were extremely low key compared to the last two, Wednesday brought us to another lagoon for tanning and resting, and that night we were ‘kidnapped’ off the side of the street by a group participating in a scavenger hunt! It ended with us dropping a TimTam down our faces, from forehead to mouth, without our hands! Our team ended up winning but as we were leaving in 2 days, we only got the free T-shirts. After the hunt, we headed over to the bar across the street for free pizza and beer (what every broke backpacker wants to hear!), and lots of dancing! It was such a fun night, I met my personality double from Canada, and had my fries paid for by an Indian man who was about to be in an arranged marriage! *Disclaimer: he said that’s what I could tell people!
Thursday we packed up from Rob’s, checked into the hostel, and spent the rest of the day pampering ourselves, and trying to come to terms with the fact that it was our last real day in this beautiful country. Massages, shopping for gifts, and our first Chinese dinner. Asian food is a HUGE market here; Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Kebabs, etc.
Today is our last last day in Australia, of course it was overcast and raining off and on, we’re goin out the same way we came in! We started out with brekkie at the hostel, our standard eggs, bacon, croissant, and fruit (yum! Get Sarah to make you breakfast sometime, she’s wonderful at it).
Then we got picked up by our shuttle and made our way home! Both of us getting things confiscated at security (oh yeah, I was THAT idiot who tried to get a corkscrew with a knife on it, through. Sorry Leah!). But, the plane had Finding Nemo showing, so it made up for it.
Peace out Australia, thanks so much for the memories, I’ll be back soon!