The last stop on our East Coast trip was Cairns. We arrived just after lunch we texted our friends and decided to set out to meet up with them. The hostel was about a half hour walk from the city centre where we met up with them for frozen yoghurt. Not only were we with our friends from England but also another couple who we knew from back home who were also on a year working holiday visa in Aus and staying up in Cape Tribulation. We headed to the lagoon for a catch up and to plan our evening (Gilligan’s obviously?!) then went back to the hostel to get ready. We met up with them again later that night for dinner and then went back to the room to start sneakily pre-drinking before heading downstairs. After finishing an entire bottle of cheap wine and a couple of shots of gin I was ready! That night it was ladies night so me and the girls helped ourselves to 3 glasses of champagne to keep us going. That night we ended up roaming the streets of Cairns, playing odds on and making a massive bed for all 6 of us to sleep on together before eventually passing out at 5am ready to check out at 10 later that morning.
I woke up still very drunk and decided the best way to get back to our hostel was to walk. On the way I stopped at every public toilet to be sick!
The following day me Sam Toby and Katie (English friends) had a bungy jump booked. I was dead against doing a bungy jump but somehow got talked in to booking one so had to go through with it! After arriving at the jump site, signing our lives away and getting set up for the jump we sat at the bottom and watched a few other people make the jump before going up ourselves. We decided to do it in couples, so me and Sam went up first. I wanted to be the first to jump because if I saw someone go before me I’d probably chicken out! So after a lot of nervous talking it was time to strap my ankles up and waddle to the edge of the platform. I asked the person if I could just be edged forward rather than dive off the platform but this just ended with me jumping feet first and being spun upside down mid air and not having a clue where I was. All the while screaming ‘I don’t like it’ and flapping my arms around. I eventually got back to the bottom and tried to sound reassuring to my nervous friend whilst inside knowing I hated every second. My advice to anyone else would be to do a swan dive (like they recommend) because my method was not very enjoyable!
After we all did our jumps and got our free t-shirts we called it a day and got a lift back to the hostel. We were all a bit knackered after a crazy night and a bit of an adrenaline kick so went and had a pretty chilled night in.
Of course you can’t go to Cairns without getting a glimpse of the World famous Great Barrier Reef. So we had booked a tour in advance and headed down to the docks to get on the boat. Unfortunately we had ended up going on a very choppy day and the hour long journey out to the reef resulted in the majority of the passengers of the boat being very sea sick. However, we eventually got to the reef spot we would be diving at and after a safety briefing it was time to take the plunge. We were the third group to do the scuba dive and our group ended up being just me and Sam. After practising the skills we had been taught on land we got to go down to about 7-8 metres and explore the Reef. Although it was amazing to see the GBR in person it was a bit disheartening to see it so empty and dull. In pictures and videos you see bright colours, schools of tropical fish and a happy environment but all I could see was slightly bleached coral, a few tropical fish and environmental damage. I have previously scuba dived in Fuertaventura and can honestly say that was more impressive. We really need to change the way we treat this planet if we want to be able to witness it’s full potential!
After the dive we were able to go back in for a snorkel, which I preferred to the dive. Without having the constant worry of checking the diving equipment and equalising snorkels give you the freedom to see what you want to see and really explore the reefs and fish.
Now to one of my favourite day trips of the entire East Coast…Uncle Brian’s Rainforest Tour!
As soon as we got picked up by our tour guide Sid I knew it was going to be a good trip. He was charismatic and hilarious from start to finish. Our first stop of the trip was to the Babinda Boulders. On the hour and half drive to the location Sid told us an aboriginal story about the boulders and other facts about the Daintree Rainforest. When we arrived we had morning tea and got to know people from the group. After that it was time to take a dip into the lake which Sid described as ‘refreshing’. Whilst most people slowly walked into the cold water me and Sam did as the tour guide did and went straight for the plunge. This lake had a really deep part where you could jump off a boulder into the water safely. After each diving and bombing a couple of times our guide cleared the way and took everyone by surprise when he back flipped off the rock! (For a bit of context Sid was a rather large middle aged man).
Next up was a natural rock slide! After a short walk through the rainforest we arrived at the watering hole. Sid gave us some basic knowledge of the rock slides and how best to get to the top and slide down safely and then we were able to go. The walk to get to the slide was very slippery but sliding down was great fun! After heaps of times going down on our fronts and backs and sides it was time to get back to the bus for our lunch stop in the Atherton Tablelands. The location for our lunch was so pretty, up high in the tablelands overlooking rolling hills and farms. After an unbelievably filling lunch, freshly grown tea and even dessert it was time for Mila Mila Falls (the famous waterfall from Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl and the Herbal Essences Advert). Before we could go to the waterfall we got a detailed lesson in the perfect hair flick from our bold guide.
After another trip on the bus we arrived at the waterfall. We had been warned that this stop would be the coldest of all the water we had been in and he wasn’t lying. The water was absolutely freezing and the only way to deal with it was to completely submerge yourself in the water and keep moving. After going under the waterfall and swimming around it was time to do the hair flick. Luckily Sid was not only an expert hair flick instructor he was also an expert hair flick capturer and managed to get this beautiful picture of me and Sam in action!
After getting out and desperately trying to warm up (everyone else was smart and had warm clothes with them except us!) it was time for our final stop. A lake that went 60m deep and had one fresh water crocodile swimming around somewhere! Unfortunately I was freezing and couldn’t think of anything worse than getting wet and cold for the forth time and so opted to sit out and watch the others. It turned out that only about 5 people actually went in for the spot and didn’t last too long before deciding to call it a day. After being fed again!!! It was time to get on the bus for the final time and head back to Cairns for a warm shower and clean, dry clothes.
That night we decided to go to the Irish Pub in the centre with Toby and Katie for their final night in Cairns. We watched a bit of the football (or soccer depending on where you’re from) and then called it a night considering we were knackered and they had a pretty early flight.
The rest of our time in Cairns was spent trying to save money and look for a job. We were hoping to get farm work to go towards our 2nd year visas but really struggled to get anything. Eventually we managed to get a job in Brisbane au pairing and so we quickly booked our flights for 2 days time and headed down to our new home.