A rainy day at the rainforest

As you should probably expect, when doing a trip into the rainforest, today was veery rainy. Our day has already started wet when we were waking up this morning in our soaked sheets in the back of our camper van, which what we know now is obviously not waterproof. Luckily the temperature is still incredibly hot, and so the rain is refreshing at least, to see the positive side.

regenwald

Ignoring the weather we started our return trip down the coast early in the morning, to have enough time to fit in all the stops we wanted to do. At first we went to do a bush walk to get deeper in the rainforest and wander around. We were absolutely soaked afterwards but the walk was definitely worth it.

noiww

 

Next thing was the Mount Alexandra Lookout, from where you get an awesome view over the rainforest, the Daintree River and the ocean. Without exaggeration: This was the best lookout i have ever seen and definitely a highlight on my travels so far. The atmosphere and all the nature around were just mind-blowing.

ft

After crossing the river we stopped again, to get on a boat that took us on a river safari to see the wild crocodiles of the Daintree. It was really hard to spot them, especially in the rain, but we have seen a few quite big ones and 2 babys. It’s so cool to see them in freedom, but also a bit scary to imagine that those animals are just swimming around in the waters up here. Definitely reminds you to be careful.

 

On the road!

We have picked up our camper this morning and it was pretty scary at first. Driving on the left side of the street can be quite confusing when you have never done it before. Not only, that have to remind yourself to stay on the correct side every time that you turn left or right, also at first it can be weird to shift with your left hand. And finally i also felt it was tough to estimate the distance between the car and the roadside to the left. It was probably also a bit unfortunate that the pick-up spot for the camper was pretty much in the center of Cairns, so that we had to do our first drive through heavy traffic. But we’ve somehow managed it and as soon as we had made it to the calm country roads, we were alright. To be honest, even if we were going a bit crazy, it was still pretty funny.

kost

Our first trip took us into the Daintree Rainforest. It’s the biggest rainforest in Australia and is located 2 hours up the coast from Cairns. We were thinking about, whether we should include this stop in our trip for a while, as it is exactly in the opposite direction of where we should be going, but in the end decided that we don’t want to miss out on it. And literally at the moment that we were driving into it, we knew that it was the right decision. We were absolutely fascinated by all that nature around us. Both sides of the path just looked like massive walls of green and the air was super humid and dense.

ferri

We travelled up Cape Tibulation Road, the only road leading though the rainforest, to a camp site at Cape Tribulation, a small beach town in the middle of the rainforest. After awhile we arrived at the Daintree River Ferry, the only way how to get from one side of the river to the other. The ferry ride was only a few minutes, but the scenery was absolutely beautiful to watch.

Happy new year!

We are back at the hotel after a long, exhausting, awesome night. We have started to celebrate the new year with a pub crawl and then went to see the fireworks with thousands of other people down at the Lagoon. It was a beautiful setting with the palms, the ocean and the life music in the background. Afterwards we decided to go back to our favorite clubs Gilligan’s/ The Attic, which were both absolutely booming.

Now I am going to bed, happy new year again everyone, even if most of you are probably not in 2015 as I am writing this. Time lag can be funny sometimes.

The Lagoon

To be honest the city of Cairns is pretty small and there is not so much to do there, but one thing that is definitely worth one, or multiple visits is the Lagoon. As you can’t swim in the ocean in that part of Australia due to the threat of stingers and crocodiles, the lagoon is a free public pool in the center of the city in order to offer locals and tourists a safe swimming location. It is a beautiful place, with a huge seawater pool that is surrounded by lawn and white sand beach. There are sprinklers and fountains in the water and you can even see the ocean as the Lagoon is right at the Esplanade. Also there is music played all day long and sometimes they even have DJ’s performing right next to the pool.

11908135_1042080552482343_264337776_n

It was a super hot day today, so went there with a few people we met at the hostel and spent the whole day chilling there, tanning on the sand, listening to the music and enjoying life. In the evening we cooked up a little barbecue at one of the free public BBQ’s at the lagoon, sat back down on the beach and watched the sun go down over the ocean.

Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef- alone!

We have had an absolutely amazing day today, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. The world’s largest coral reef is an absolute icon and it’s probably every scuba diver’s dream to get to explore it once. For us that dream came true today. We went out on the reef with a ProDive Cairns boat and have done two dives, the first one with a dive guide, to get familiar with the unknown conditions. The dive site was incredibly beautiful and I just enjoyed it so much to be scuba diving again. And then, our second dive we did just by ourselves. Even though we have done quite a number of dives already and both felt confident doing it by ourselves now, it was still very exciting to be on our own now. It was great, though.

scub

And if just that wouldn’t have been enough adrenaline, pretty much in the middle of our dive, about 18 meters deep we encountered sharks. One reef shark at first, that one was pretty far away and did not seem to be interested in us. As this one had disappeared there were to more sharks coming up, closer this time and they definitely had noticed us. Also even if the size was approximately the same, they did not quite look like the Reef Shark before. At one point one of them even came up so close that we I could have touched it. It was indescribably fascinating but a scary as well. But luckily, just as I started to worry a bit, both of them disappeared again. After ending our dive I went to describe what they were looking like to the guide we went with before and realised that those sharks were in fact not the harmless Reef Sharks, but baby Tiger Sharks! Pretty happy I did not now that under water, but it’s a good story for our first dive on our own.

We are back at the hostel now and I’m so exhausted that i will probably fall asleep as soon as I finish this. What a day!

 

A night out in Cairns

We have had a pretty wild night last night, celebrating our first day in Australia. As a guest of Gilligan’s you get a free dinner with the first alcoholic drink that you purchase at their bar. We went there to try it out but didn’t expect too much to be honest, but the food (I had pasta Bolognese) was surprisingly good. After dinner we had some more drinks at the outside bar area, where a live band was playing. Quite early, at around 10 pm it started getting really crowded in the club. Mostly backpackers, but also locals started to go crazy on the dancefloor. It was lots of fun but after a while we really enjoyed the possibility to go up some stairs in the club and get in a smaller club/lounge area, called The Attic. There was a very good party atmosphere here as well, but much more civilized with less backpackers. The entrance to The Attic is free for all guests of Gilligan’s nightclub, that are complying to the dress code.

Hello Down Under!

We have just landed in Cairns this morning and it still feels pretty weird to be back in a surrounding that is as modern and progressive as we know it from back home. But there is no time to mourn after what we left behind, as we are already looking forward to starting our next adventure. For one month we have rented ourselves a Traveller’s Autobarn campervan which we are going to take on a road trip along the Australian East Coast all the way down to Sydney, where we will hopefully arrive in time to catch our next flight to Perth. We are super excited and a bit nervous for what is going to happen, as we both have never done a trip like that before and the distance we have to travel is quite huge (2400 km!!). We also, to make the experience even better haven’t really planned our stops yet, but have decided to profit from the fact that we are not dependent on public transport or accommodation and make that up as we go. So get back on the blog from time to time and share the surprises with us.

11950883_1042609405762791_315523673_n

Anyway, for the next five days that we have left before we are picking up our camper we are staying at the Gilligan’s party hostel. We have only checked in this morning and I am already loving it here. The hostel offers awesome facilities, such as modern en-suite bathrooms, nice clean kitchens, a big pool and sunbathing area and a deck bar next to the pool. The hostel also hosts two clubs next door, that are meant to be the best party locations in Cairns.

We will go and check that out tonight and I will let you now more about that in the next days.