Be ready for a photo heavy post!
Well, in five days, we saw as much as we could – and we paid the price :p Quite literally – travelling in Australia is most certainly not cheap. However, Cairns clearly lives on the tourist dollar as it’s main export crop, sugar, has seen prices dip of late.
Our Vietnam holiday was incredibly leisurely, involving lots of lying around and ‘now what?’. We didn’t go on one tour, and apart from the relaxing parts, we walked around places and ate. This is largely how my family travels, absorbing the country and the culture, rather than learning through day long tours and trips to even known monument and museum.
With Cairns, I decided we’d try the alternate side of the travel spectrum – try to do everything that appealed! Being near the Great Barrier Reef, a cruise with snorkeling was a given. Then there are amazing rainforests in all directions, so decided I wanted to walk amongst the rainforest canopy – until I saw I could zip line through it! I also thought it would be nice to swim in the pristine waterways, which converted into tubing down the river (instead of the more expensive white water rafting) and a tour that included swimming holes. The result of this list was many number of calls to tour companies, and our wallets a WHOLE heap lighter!
Our first full day in Cairns I marked as ‘planning’ day – where we booked in all our tours, starting from ‘hardest to get into’ (the reef boats) to the easier ones, or at least so we thought. As a result, we ended up with a half day tubing on day 2, a day in on a bus tour to the south on Day 3, a reef tour on Day 4, and THEN… a frantic scramble ‘up north’ in a hire car to Cape Tribulation to stay overnight, before leaving in the afternoon of Day 5.
Sadly, some activities, I managed to get no photos of. Our tubing adventure saw us hike up river, and then proceed down three sets of rapids. If only I had my waterproof phone still in action – or even a waterproof camera. I heard they were (only?) $150! Likewise, the best parts of the Great Barrier Reef trip were again underwater.
Here’s some observations of Cairns
- tattoos are incredibly popular – and there’s always a parlor open no matter the public holiday!
- children are incredibly well catered for. There are great parks for playing in, and almost every ‘tour’ offered a kids price, and were equipped to handle children
- not all rainforests is the same – between what we saw north and south of Cairns there was incredible difference.
- the best advertising is word of mouth (every tour we went on, we were told this at the end!!)
- housing is incredibly affordable, whilst consumer goods such and things like clothes remain at the national prices
- there is no lack of places to drink in Cairns, and it appears there never was! There are SO many old hotels. I suppose sugar cane also makes rum…
Sadly we didn’t see any butterflies like this, but we were able to see a cassowary in the wild. I did attempt to take photos, perhaps they are on the BF’s phone? We only slowed to see it because the car in front of us had stopped.
I’ve not seen a parking meter like this in Sydney, ever! So perhaps they are a Queensland thing only? In any case, I thought they were quaint.
How generous, there was a bottle of vinegar at every beach we passed. There’s a season when you can’t swim without a stinger suit. Thankfully, we avoided that, but I did see the (sexy) Lycra one pieces around! They do nothing for you – I’d even go as far as say a wetsuit makes you look good in comparision!
For Breaking Bad fans ‘Who washes a hire car’? Well, Skyler, we did, cause we didn’t want to be charged more for the mud splashes!! We found this when we were finished.
This was one of those things I was really hoping to do, it was great to see beyond the ‘ground’ level and walk among the trees, and then up and over them!