Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cairns Stop the Music!

Diving the GBR!
It has been awhile since I updated this. A few buddies and I planned an epic trip up to Cairns to dive the Great Barrier Reef and get rowdy in FNQ (far north Queensland)! On our first day we arrived early in the afternoon and checked into a crazy hostel called Shenanigans. It was a hostel by day and bumping club by night. We spent the first day walking all around cairns exploring the beaches and small town. We booked a kayak hire for the next day in Babinda which is the wettest part in all of Australia. It was a very mellow 9k kayak that took us about 3 hours. The river had some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen and you could see all the fish on the bottom. After our morning kayak we went to the famous Barron Gorge and Barron Falls. After our three hikes and kayak trip we called it quits with nature and headed to shenanigans for some shenanigans. 
Kayaking in Babinda
'Scuba Scuba Scuba oi oi oi'
Crush!
The next morning we did two more hikes around Cairns before heading up to Port Douglas. On one of our hikes we found a natural waterslide down the face of a huge boulder with water running over it. The road to Port Douglas runs right along the ocean and the lookouts were awesome. Port Douglas in a really small town on a 4 mile stretch of pristine beach. We stopped at Trinity Beach to get some food and sampled about 10 different types of Aussie candy. With our tongues blue we continued the trek north to Port Dougy. We checked into an awesome hostel with free brekkie called the Parrotfish Lodge. Unlike the city of Cairns, Port Douglas is muy tranquilo. We booked out dives for the following day and called it an early night. We booked our dives in Port Douglas (recommendation from friend) and because the Great Barrier Reef runs right along the Continental Shelf. 
diving with the bros
The boat we were on was called the Super Sonic and it got us to the outer edge of the reef in just over an hour. We stopped at three different dive spots. I did two dives and one really long snorkel sesh in total. The reef was epic! I saw a gnarly looking shark when I was snorkeling by myself but it didn’t look hungry. I also saw friendlier looking Nemos and turtles. I had only done one other dive before in Byron Bay about 3 weeks ago so this was an experience. The whole reef was pulsing with colorful life and the underwater clarity was unlike anything I had ever seen. The visibility was 30m plus! After our second dive site they had an all you can eat buffet on the boat. We had been living pretty cheap in Cairns with PB and J so we went to town on it. I could barely move but still managed to get into my wetsuit for my final dive.  We just missed a hammerhead shark at the final site. After diving and the trip back to Port we headed straight back to the hostel for their $2 happy hour (best deal we’ve scored in OZ thus far).
watering hole #27
SO MUCH NATURE!!!
The next day in Port Douglas we did some more hiking and exploring before heading back down to Cairns for our early flights the next morning. We had a big night at the biggest party hostel I’ve ever seen called Gilligans. We woke up early the next morning for our flights but missed the memo that we were flying out of the international terminal. We were pinched on time and the international terminal was about half a k away. We were quite the scene running to the other terminal to make the 45 minute cutoff time. I came sprinting into the terminal panting just to be denied by a grouchy lady. We were 43 minutes early and she wouldn’t help us out. Other backpackers filed in behind us just to be denied as well. The next flight wasn’t for 6 hours so I had a solid nap on the airport floor before heading out of Cairns with my tail between my legs. Partying at Gilligans and early flights do not mix! As soon as I stepped off the plane back in the Gold Coast I got the call from the Cali surf bros two building down for a sunset session. We scored some pretty good waves before calling it quits as we were risking being shark bait by staying out that late! I have my finals over the next two weeks but I did well enough throughout the year that I’m not stressed about them. We have some epic plans for another Byron Bay trip and camping excursion. With only two more weeks in Australia before flying home I have to make the best of it! I can’t believe how fast this whole trip went. It has been quite the run so far! 

getting critical in Cairns!
natural waterslide on the left

2 comments:

  1. you have an amazing blog! love it, it's so cool.
    i was in Cairns and Surfers right before the floods in December hit. Miss it so much haha, i live in Sydney :)

    anyway do you have any other blogs like a tumblr or anything? if you do what is it? i'd love to see it

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  2. Fabulous blog,
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