Cairns Travel Blog› entry 28 of 53 › view all entries
Iâ€™m starting my time in Aus in Cairns. I'll do my diving here then head down the east coast eventually arriving in Brisbane to see my friend Ange sometime before Christmas. Cairns is the state of Queenslands most northern city and is popular among tourists for people exploring the Great Barrier Reef (which is the largest coral reef in the world). Iâ€™ve take an overnight flight first to Darwin and then caught a connecting flight to Cairns. It was cheap to do it this way, despite the odd hours Iâ€™m flying it will be worth it.
I get a taxi to the airport, run into my surf instructor from Kuta at the airport (crazy!), we say a quick hello then I go off to my gate.
I wish I could sleep on this plane ride but I canâ€™t. Iâ€™m too excited for one thing, what is going to happen to me in Aus?! The world is bringing me something; lessons? Adventure? Perspective? Who knows! Maybe all of it. Did I get it all already and Aus was just the catalyst? Iâ€™m not sure yet. I also canâ€™t sleep because this plane is freezing cold and they are blaring English pop music gah I really donâ€™t like JetStar.
I can see the lights of Darwin out my window â€“ saweet! I canâ€™t wait to get onto Aussie soil! The plane arrives, and I now I wait for my flight to Cairns â€“ itâ€™s the middle of the night.
I arrive in Cairns and get a taxi to the hotel, it seems it is the best way to get downtown first thing in the morning. Iâ€™ve decided to stay at Gilligans Backpackers Hotel & Resort, a famous hostel in downtown Cairns. Itâ€™s a massive hostel with numerous floors and tones of people. It has a huge bar on the ground floor and is known for its crazy parties and unruly guests! Well Iâ€™m not on this trip to drink tea and knit sweaters. Take me to the people I say! I found the hostel online (Hostel World.com), read the reviews (not everyone loves the party atmosphere), but I knew this place would be right for me.
But I digress! I ask the receptionist for information on a great pie shop and she tells me of an award winning place, which I happily take my tired body to. My word I love this country. My meat pie is heaven. I get the breakfast one, an egg cracked on top of a steak pie which is topped with bacon. Hello! I pair it with a glorious latte. Sigh. The rest of my time until I can check in is spent touring town. I bought some used books at a great book shop, I walked the downtown, grabbed info on day trips (I need something to do tomorrow on my day off before I head out on the live a board on Friday.
At the lagoon there are convenient lockers to store your things, I lock up my laptop, money etc, and take a rest and then a walk. I walk along the boardwalk along the ocean, there are interesting historical signs and information boards along the way. I learn about the settlement of Cairns, the sugarcane industry (not my kind of work!), disagreements with Aboriginals and the evolution of the city to what it is today.
Notes about Cape Trib (as its often called): its unique because it one of the few places where the rainforest meets the ocean. The famous explorer Captain Cook named the area Cape Tribulation after arriving there after painstakingly navigating the treacherous waters of the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding forests.
I have dinner at Gilligans (itâ€™s not much but it was free with the room). I meet up with one of my roommates for drinks, we gossip about getting jobs in Aus, the drama of restaurant life and how to get work in Aus. I crash and drag myself up for the tour in the am. I am excited but man Iâ€™m TIRED.