Townsville - Magnetic Island - Cairns - Cape Tribulation..., Queensland
We were on our final stretch up to Cairns! We stopped off at Townsville to catch the ferry over to Magnetic Island. We hadn't planned on staying here very long but were regretting it as we got closer it looked beautiful.We had to catch a bus after the ferry to our hostel so felt proper backpackery. We got to our accommodation and it was absolutely beautiful, it looked like a resort, surrounded by palms trees, wooden terracing over rocks right on the beach, a cocktail bar and little wooden huts where we stayed. It felt very luxurious, i couldn't believe we only had one night here, but i had to get up to Cairns really as i didn't want to miss my flight by mistake! So we tried to make the most of it, we got settled in, went for a quick dunk in the swimming pool right over the ocean as we couldn't go in that for the stingers, then took our stuff down to the beach, me, Beccy and Beth scrambled over the rocks to find a secluded area and lay there for an hour or so taking in the atmosphere, it really was beautiful, and magnetic island has 320 days of sunshine a year so we couldn't really go wrong!When we got worried the tide was coming in too far we started to make our way back and sat on the terracing with cocktails for the rest of the afternoon.
In the evening we walked up the hill to a pub, having to ask a lovely old lady on her porchway which way we were going, where we had our last meal as the four travellers. Beccy was staying on the island for a few more days as she wasn't on a tight schedule so it'd be the last time I'd see her.We had a really nice meal and then took a walk along the pier as we waited for the bus back, it had been a pretty scary walk up to the pub with no lights or anything so we decided not to risk it on the way back.We got snuggled in our little cabin and just chatted for a while in bed, it's going to seem weird not having the three of them with me after 4 weeks of them!
I said goodbye to Beccy in the morning and we had to make our way back on the ferry to the bus in the morning, we had a huge bus this time, with about 57 people and it was our last bus route up to Cairns. On the way we stopped off at a crocodile farm, we went in and as we were paying Beth jumped out of her skin as she realised the crocodile she had her hand right next to by the till wasn't fake but very live indeed! We got to hold a baby crocodile which was cool and had a $3000 black cockatoo on our shoulder.Then we walked around the farm with two guys explaining all about the crocs and feeding them with chickens, they were huge - he demonstrated how fast and strong their bite was as well and warned us that if we ever had the choice between a shark attack and croc attack, take the shark!
We fed some kangaroos after this, saw some wallabies and held some dingoes which was good, it was a nice break up to the long journey we had. We got to Cairns at about 6 o clock, we checked into our hostel and then went to RhinoBar where our whole bus would meet, we had some really good comfort food and free drinks, then made the most of the PowerHour Deal, $8 for unlimited drinks for an hour so me and Patrick were on a mission, he managed 14 spirits in the hour and I got to 10 but I had crucial time lost when i bumped into Dave from Thailand it was ace, we had a catch up and found out we were both going to New Zealand at about the same time so that was good, it was a really chilled out night and the first drinking one for me, but i liked to get my money's worth!
The next day i had booked a Cape Tribulation trip, so I got up early leaving Beth and Patrick for the first time in 5/6 weeks to do my trip, I got on the bus and instantly had about an hours conversation with a few of the girls on the bus so it reassured me that i could still make new friends on my own!! We went on a crocodile cruise down the Daintree river trying to spot some crocs, i felt quite nervous sat on the edge of the seats seeing as I'd seen the crocodiles jump about 6m the day before and there i was with just a little metal bar next to me! We saw about four or five baby ones, i have no idea how the guy spotted them as they were tiny and very well camouflaged but there were much bigger ones in the river somewhere around us. We then went for a walk in the rainforest, it was a really nice botanical boardwalk but half way round in true rainforest fashion it tipped it down and we got drenched, so the walk was cut a little short with our powerwalking back to the bus!
We got dropped off at our accommodation and for some reason which was a bit annoying I was in a different hostel to pretty much aall the other people in the bus apart from one girl (who was pretty much complaining about everything we did and not wanting to be there) we weren't near anything either so that was a little disappointment to the trip. And as I was walking down to the cabins I could see these huuge spiders in giant webs with yellow stripes, they were everywhere, I don't particularly mind spiders but my heart was definitely beating fasting than normal for most of my time there!
In the afternoon I had booked jungle surfing, I got picked up and we were taken into the rainforest where we were harnessed up, me with an Indiana Jones hard hat, and jumped off the trees onto huge zip lines, they talked to us as we went around it, we could see the Barrier Reef meeting the rainforest in the distance and were told that the forest was 120 million years old, 3x as old as the Amazon. We did the ziplines upside down, running man, no hands and all sorts and it was really good fun, and then were taken back to the hostel.
I wanted to go to the others hostel for some drinks in the evening but there wasn't a shuttle bus or anything so I had to stay at mine, I just cooked my tea with Carey and then read my book on my bed, but ended up falling asleep at 7! I woke up at 11 with my arms still in front of me holding my book completely dead so had to run around shaking them for a while to get the feeling back! But i just went back to sleep, obviously needing it as i had about 14 hours in total!
I had a lazy morning the next day, I sat by the pool reading and sorting my onward plans out, had a little look at the beach where literally the rainforest met it about 2m away from the sea, it was beautiful and then in the afternoon we got back on our tour. We stopped off at Mossman Gorge for a quick swim and then had a little bit of time in the town of Port Douglas which looked really nice, but then we had to start the journey back to Cairns. I got back relieved to see Beth and Patrick again and actually went to look at a house with Beth in the evening as she's staying to work in Cairns for a few months, I felt like I was at uni or something, it was a nice apartment but bless him the man got a bit persistent on the journey back, asking what she didn't like about it, he was doing so well beforehand so Beth had second thoughts. We had dinner down at the Zanzibar and chilled out in our room again for the evening catching up.
My last day in Australia was a chilled out one, I did all my washing, caught up on emails and repacked my ever expanding bag! We went into town to a cafe for some lunch and just sat in the sun with a lady singing in the background soaking up the atmosphere, it was lovely, we looked around a few of the shops and Beth got herself a trial at a restaurant for the evening and we spent the evening talking, am really going to miss being with them, but I'm getting butterflies at the thought of New Zealand I really can't wait, even though.. I'm over half way through my travels now; it's going ways too fast!! x x x