Cairns a tropical oasis with the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropical Rainforest both at your doorstep, and we were just lucky enough to spend 3 months enjoying and exploring all of its wonderful surroundings! Sadly things had just started heating up a bit too much for comfortable caravan living but we still enjoyed all of your time there. I still remember the drive into Cairns being such a beautiful change from the scenery we had been passing on our long drive there, all of the sudden there were stunning tropical mountains and lush green farms.
Arriving we happened to end up at the Coconut Holiday Park and it was by far the nicest park we have come across on our trip and even though it is more tailored for families and children we still found things to enjoy. Having two pools a gym, mini golf, tennis court and many other things to keep you busy it was a great spot. We also made some great friends while there, it was so nice to have Rachael and Peter to go out to dinner with and have a few friday night drinks once and awhile.
Work was a bit trickier for me to find, although Cam had no problems at all just getting work with the same company he worked with in Darwin. I got some casual work at a day spa in the City and also temporary work at the Surf outlet I had worked with in Darwin.Yes waving around a sign in the Cairns heat by morning and massaging people by night what a contrast! Spending far to much time in a hot caravan applying for jobs I needed to get out. The good thing that did come out of having some free time was having the time to volunteer again. Community Foods in Cairns is a non-forprofit, volunteer run organisation with the most lovely volunteers. I was fortunate enough to learn a lot from some of the lovely ladies there.
Cairns life was so enjoyable, it was quite health minded with a cooking class, expo or something to that effect always going on. Because it was so small I generally got to know most of the people involved in all the same things it was hard to believe that in two months I almost felt like a local. Rusty's market was always worth s weekly visit being open 3 days a week with all type's of fresh in season veggies and fruits it was amazing how accessible fresh ingredients were. Being able to chat and get to know the farmers and learn more about the tropical produce. One lady got me completely addicted to fresh Lychee's which; when not in season and fresh are not even close to the same taste or texture.Yum! Mangos were literally everywhere growing on the trees on almost every corner, at one point we had about 8 mangos from either picking them or having them given to us! I had to start freezing them for smoothies because we just couldn't eat them all! Crazy! (Fresh coconut meat, mango and almond milk was my favourite!) Yum!
The night markets were generally a weekly appointment, the markets are on every night and to be honest they are pretty awful with the exception of the 15$ 45min Chinese massages. So almost every Saturday after I finished at the spa Cam would come and pick me up and we would go visit are little friends and get a great little massage! Perfect way to kick off the weekend!
Of course there where things that were a bit less enjoyable in Cairns. Simple daily thing like going for a walk was not a likely part of the day the heat was just too much, unless of course I got up with the sun (didn't happen) also without daylight savings it got dark really early so evening walks were out as well. Things were starting to heat up not long after we got there and the humidity was a bit hard to handle at times, especially in the caravan. I can honestly say I have never sweat so much! I looked like I had just done a spin class by the time I finished hanging the laundry on the line! We were lucky enough however to get to experience some amazing thunder and lightning. We were in the city one night when the black skies came over head and thousands of bats took to the sky. The sheet lightning was just constant and the loud grumbles of the thunder had us in awe, so much so we forgot that a couple of the windows in the van were open! Once we remembered we made a mad dash to get home and close everything up….but we were to late and the skies opened up and bucketed down. We could not see two feet in front of the car and by the time we got home we had leaks and streams of water flowing through the van! After using all the towels we could find we settled in the van and realised the rain was so loud we couldn't even have a conversation and hear each other, guess it was time for a wine or two and just kick back and listen to the rain!
Luckily before we took off down south and departed Cairns we were fortunate enough to have a visit from Bob and Denz! It gave us a chance to do all the lovely day trips we had not made time to do yet. We explored the waterfall circuit, looking at enough waterfalls to do us for a year! A weekend in the lovely Port Douglas, heading across on the ferry to Cape Tribulation and also exploring the little Village of Kuranda. We covered almost everything and loved it all, thank goodness we had a pool to get into and cool down when we got home!
Over all we loved our time in Cairns and will surely be back one day!