After our wait in the rain we got on the bus going to Cairns and were reunited with abbie:). She told us about the bus having no windscreen wiper which is a problem in tropical queenslands wet season so they had to changes buses causing the delay.
So we arrived in Cairns and had a 15 min walk to the hostel from the bus station. We were staying in global central. Before I go any further,, do not stay here. It may be the cheapest place in cairns but it really is not worth it. It smelt of piss and just felt pretty creepy. The staff were really nice but the hostel is too shitty to bare. One bonus is they give you food food vouchers you can use at pj O’briens where you can get a meal and drink for $9 between 1900-2100. Definitely go for the steak. We wont reccoment the fish or chicken Parma.
You can also pick up these food vouchers from most of the travel agents: just say you heard they give food vouchers to customers and you’ll get a handful. So please don’t stay at global central just to get them!
Next morning we were all getting up early to go on our great barrier reef boat trips. Abbie and Marta picked ocean freedom and Dani and I chose evolution. We both enjoyed them and I think they’re all pretty similar prices, make sure you look on ‘bookme’ for the best deals. They’ve always got offers on. All the reef trips sound pretty similar so don’t worry too much about which one you go on. We would recommend our boat (Evolution- Down Under) for a really good lunch and glass of wine! As far as the snorkeling goes they’re all of a muchness. Warning! The rumours about the reef are very true, it’s still beautiful and worth the visit but don’t expect what u see on Google the reef is diminishing. The trip lasts the whole day so when we got back we just had a little rest then went out for some drinks.
Marta was staying in gilligans and this is basically the centre of cairns where everyone seems to go if they wanna ‘party’. Before 2300 the drinks are only $4 and they always seem to have little competitions on where you can win more if you feel up to joining in. That night there was a how far can you throw your paper plane competition (we won two drinks for throwing it the furthest) and a jelly wresting competition. With a $100 prize money and a couple of drinks in me I (Lara) thought this would be a good idea….so 8 girls were entered into a knock out round of jelly wrestling. I managed to get to the final and won woop! The other girl was then given a chance to try again if she took an item of clothing off, she had a bikini on so tool her top off, I won again yay and luckily this time when she was offered another redemption she decided her dignity was more important so I was saved from wrestling a naked American. So it turned out to be a pretty good night:). They also gave me a free great barrier reef trip but unfortunately I’d already been that day. I tried to swap it for something else but couldn’t and then tried to give it to someone else but couldn’t either so if you think you’re going to do any of the gilligans competitions don’t book your reef trip until afterwards!
The next day we had to say goodbye to abbie as she was flying back down south to get her flight to south America. This was very emotional :(.
We still had three more nights in Cairns and decided to switch hostel. For only $5 more we checked into ‘Mad Monkey’. This was so much better. The room was really clean with big lockers and there was a really good breakfast included; eggs, pancakes, yogurt, fruit, toast, cereal and a different cake every day. Well worth the extra few dollars. We didn’t have much planned for these couple of days and all the day trips from cairns are pretty expensive so we just enjoyed the rain….sat by the lagoon and went for a run: soaking wet we jumped in the lagoon in our clothes on the way back :).
Tip for getting to the airport ; there’s a backpackers shuttle which will pick you up from your hostel for $6 pp and the drivers a really nice guy!
So that marks the end of Australia. It went too quickly, we had such a good time working our way up the east coast and met some of the best people. Hopefully we will be back soon!
Now let’s fly to Asia.