I left Magnetic Island early in the am to catch the ferry back to the mainland. The ferry ride was nice and calm this time, making it for a much more pleasant morning, especially following a long and non sober yet epic Australia Day(night) party. My backpack was filled with drenched clothes from the previous days bushwalk in the rain and dance party, smelled pretty bad.
Anyhow I then boarded my final greyhound bus that took me 6 hours north to Cairns, the so called adventure capital of Australia. Cairns marks the end of my east coast trip. It has truly been a great one and all has gone very smoothly. Greyhound was a great means of transport, mostly always on time and suprisingly comfortable, including both my 12 and 15 hour rides.
Anyhow I got into Cairns aroudn 6pm and experienced the humidity of north tropical queensland the second I got off the coach. 2 cyclones had just hit Cairns a few days earlier, the rain was off and on but one this for sure..it was very warm and humid. Anyhow I checked in my hostel, The Northern Greenhouse. The hostel has been the cleanest hostel I have ever stayed in, and they offer free brekky and internet...highly recommended by me.
I then took a trip to the local supermarket, woolworths to stock up for the week. I headed back to my hostel and prepared my meal. Turns out movie night was going on, the featured film, BLOW. I don't usually like the feeling of staying in and watching a movie while travelling, but since I had to get up early the next day for a tour I let it slide. The movie ended up being great. I have heard about it before and have several mates recommend it to me. Johnny Depp is in it, worth a rental for sure.
Anyway, I was knackered from the day of traveling so headed to bed quite early around 11.
Today I did a day tour to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest, about 2 hours north of Cairns. I did the trip thru a tour company and had a great time. Was in a small shuttle bus with about 20 other people, old and young and had an extremely informative tour guide, Debbie. The benefits of these tours is you learn more about the culture/history. Anyhow we headed up along the coast till we hit the Daintree River where we went on a Crocodile Cruise on the river. It is not too common to see crocs on the river at this time of the year but we spotted 2, 1 baby on the shore, and 1 swimming alongside the boat, around 2 meters long. Pretty great seeing some wild saltwater crocs.
Croc, middle left of picture
After the Croc cruise we headed into the Daintree Rainforest where we went on a walk thru it. It was very tropical, and having it rain during the walk really gave you a better feeling of a true "rain"forest. The Daintree is the oldest rainforest in the world. It is hundreds of millions years old.
After our walk thru the forest we got back in the van and headed towards Cape Tribulation where we raomed the beach for a bit and then had a nice sit down lunch at PK's, a restaurant in town. I had the fish n chips, not too shabby. I had made good friends with an Australian couple from Melbourne, Troy and Catherine, they were in their late 20s and we exchanged cultural differences. They were shocked about how cheap beer is in the US, it truly is shocking compared to what you pay here.
Cape Tribulation was as far north as the trip went. On our return we stopped at a lookout point, which included a overlook of bat reef, the area where Steve Irwin was stung and killed by a sting ray.
We also stopped at the Daintree Ice Cream Company. I tried the 5 dollar sampler cup. The flavors were Rasperry, Mango, Coconut and Wattleseed, whatever the hell that is, but it was great.
We then continued onto Mossman Gorge for a quick bushwalk and a trip out to the gushing river
The final spot on the trip was Port Douglas, the wealthiest city per capita in Australia. Not really my sort of town but was worth the 20 minute quick stop just to give it a gander.
The bus dropped me off back at my hostel in Cairns around 6. After doing a quick weather search, I decided to move my Great Barrier Reef trip up 1 day to hopefully avoid some increasing off shore winds. I headed out to go hire an underwater digital camera. A pricey 45 dollar rental I think it will be worth it as this is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the world.
For dinner I took advantage of a backpacker deal I had, Free wings at the local Blue Sky Brewery with a purchase of a drink. The coupon said only 5 wings, well it was my lucky day. After sippin on my great blue sky locally brewed beer, I was brought out my dish of wings, and I got 10! These wings were super tasty, I got the hot ones. The ten were so much better than the 5. They rivalled Hooters wings, I was lovin them. It was a great meal, all for the price of a beer.
- Reef tour tomorrow, looking forward to it, hoping for the best conditions and minimal motion sickness
- Anxiously awaiting to try out the Cairns nightlife, supposedly may be the best party stop on the entire east coast.
- Routing for Federer to win Aussie Open
- Less than 2 weeks in Oz