Cairns Day 1

My Cairns trip has finally come around.

I'd been hyping myself up for this trip for a very, very long time. One of my life dreams was to go see the Great Barrier Reef, and it was finally coming true.

Also, late schoolies. Even though 1/3 of the people who went were already in Uni.

We decided to catch a super early plane, departing at 6:00AM, so we'd have one extra day to explore Cairns. That meant waking up at 3:30AM, which was a lot more tiring than I had anticipated.

Needless to say, we were exhausted on the plane, and slept basically the entire trip.

After arriving safely with my two friends, PT and VA, we hop onto a shuttle bus which drops us right off in front of our apartment.

Since we arrived early in the morning, it wasn't that hot... Yet.

But either way, we settled in, chucked our luggage down, and attempted to plan the next few hours before our first tour actually started. With our trusty 'Big Gateway Map of Cairns' and google maps, we emerged from the sweet air-conditioned lobby room, into a city that none of us had ever been to.

First thing that we quickly learned was that Cairns was hot. And I mean hot. Hot and humid, which is probably the worst kind of hot. Over the entire time, I felt like I was never truly dry.

We thought it'd be nice to 'walk along the coast', so we did, only to find that the water was a murky brown colour and didn't look too inviting... Not to mention the heat of the sunrays beating down on us. There wasn't much shade along the beach.

Something about Cairns is the vegetation -- it was an absolute field trip for a biosystematics kid like me, and just seeing so many tropical plants was such a change from the xerophytes in Sydney and the rest of Australia.

So after about 5 minutes, we gave in, and walked back inland to shelter under the shade, and essentially play a spin-off the game 'the floor is lava', where we attempted to run from shade to shade, in a bid to protect our skin cells. It had reached about 11am by this time, and was well over 30 degrees Celsius.

One thing I noticed about Cairns was the population; there were a lot less people out and about. It wasn't a desolate town, no, it just wasn't as bustling as Sydney. And there were more tourists, too.

And for some reason there was an abandoned group-photo set-out just on the side of the footpath.
Since we had planned on cooking at least some of the nights (for dinner), we huddled into Woolworths (relishing the full-blast air-con; my friend PT: "I would work in Woolies just for the aircon") and bought quite a big trolly-full of food and drinks.

Lunchtime rolled around, and after being refused entry to one restaurant because "you aren't allowed trolleys in here", even though the restaurant was outdoors, we transferred to Villa romana.

Not going to lie, it was an expensive restaurant. But the food was good. Oh, so good.

With 2pm approaching, we had to head back to the apartment to dump down our food, check in, and then head off to our first tour.

We underestimated the difficulty of walking back from Cairns Central to our apartment. Yes, it was only about half an hour walk, but in the sun with a trolley full of groceries, and running on 0-3 hours of sleep? Yeah nah.

But, you gotta make the most of what you have. So we took out our umbrella and hustled our way back.

Unfortunately, we couldn't salvage everything, and our Tim Tams sadly passed away and melted.

The apartment itself was quite decent! The aircon was strong, fans, plenty of towels. Also five beds, and the kitchen was satisfactory (although some pans were scratched). Looked like it'd be a pretty sweet stay.
The lounge area.

At 2pm we were collected by Foaming Fury and taken White River Rafting -- our first activity of our trip.

No DSLR photos, for obvious reasons, but I took a share of GoPro footage (the video will come soon).

Let me just say that it was far better than I had anticipated it to be. Although the weather was hot, with plenty of sunscreen, we managed. The rapids were so fun, and the instructors/guides were such a bunch of hilarious people (by far the funniest tour I'd been on).

Within 5 minutes of being on the raft, I was literally dumped into the murky brown water by my instructor. No, I didn't 'fall' in, I was dumped in as he "looked at my shoe" as a prank to break the ice. Needless to say it caught me off guard, and I probably swallowed a mouthful of brown water, but it was all in good fun and I laughed a lot (as did everyone else).

Later on I was also selected as the victim to enter the 'Jacuzzi' and basically swallow another litre of murky water (though it was fun), and then I happened to get kidnapped onto another raft and proceed to become a 'traitor' to the first boat.

Though many bruises and tired arms were to be had, it was definitely a great experience. I'm also not sure how to feel about being told that there are crocodiles in the water down-stream (I'm assuming up-stream near the rapids, it's okay).

I'm only kidding (not about the crocs part though). It was really such a great start to the entire trip, and I loved it to bits. I would pay to go to the Rapids again, definitely. Would recommend.

Be sure to have a good bath later to wash out all the gross brown water though (which we did, as we spent the next hour in the swimming pool, and filmed a lot of weird underwater videos.)

Dinner time rolled around, and we thought we'd cook our own Pasta Carbonara.

It tasted good.
We cancelled our plans to go to the Night Markets, because honestly we were all so absolutely exhausted. We called it an early night and just slept the day away, keen for tomorrow's adventures.


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Hello! I'm a student from Australia. I like photography, am aspiring to be a Doctor, have fallen in love with many things that life has to offer, and hope to see more of it. I've been blogging for a while and over the years what it means to me has changed. Currently still trying to figure that out, but here I am in a weird hybridisation of photography, film, blogging, and the confusion of a young adult, you'll find me here writing about my experiences and life. Or whatever tickles my fancy. Whether that's entertaining or not is yours to decide. Stay hydrated, kids.