Well here goes the story of the last few days... In short... We arrived in Cairns on Tuesday evening (01/02), hoping to head up to Kewarra, one of the northern beaches, the following day.
But by that evening, a depression heading our way progressively got 'upgraded' to become a level 3, then level 4 tropical cyclone.
At that point, an evacuation order was made for Kewarra and the northern beaches plus some other coastal towns. Cairns is pretty large, with a population of over 100,000.
By Wednesday morning (02/02), the cyclone was re-assessed to the highest level 5 severe tropical storm, heading our way. Level 5 is the highest on the aistralian scale.
So we bunkered down at the Cairns Colonial to ride it out - in our bathroom. The staff were really good all the way through, and in true canteen style we were issued with a boxed up dinner and breakfast for the wednesday evening and thursday morning so that we had no excuse to leave the room!
Once again we were fortunate in terms of rooms - as we were originally only intended to spend the one night passing through Cairns, we got upgraded to an Executive Suite - one of just a small handful of their largest rooms. We spend our whole stay in there!
Good and bad though - it meant more, and larger, windows...
Whilst a bit of a scary experience, first with the winds of the cyclone, the radio emergency broadcasts, then the thunderstorms and flash floods, it all faired not too badly for Cairns in the end.
Towns very close by though were totally devastated and our thoughts are with those returning home, in some cases literally to nothing...