Well, we are coming to the end of Australia :(
Ended up having a really good end to my birthday (sorry mum for not telling you I was alive after the rafting...!). We went out for a nice Italian meal and some vino. Then while we were waiting for a taxi home we bumped into 3 Irish guys and a girl who'd been on our rafting trip. We ended up chatting and I told them it was my birthday, so I got a rendition of happy birthday! Interesting end to the day.
Mission beach was really cool to chill out in the day after. We went for a wander around the very small town, and I bought a top for my birthday which apparently makes me look posh! We attempted to walk back to the hostel, but were picked up by the girl who works there in her minibus, on her way back from walking the dog. On the ride home we were made aware of quite how long the walk was, and very glad for the lift! We ended up being a bit retro and playing a lot of scrabble and some monopoly as it was pouring it down with rain a lot over there! The hostel was awesome though, just like a treehouse (which I guess is why it was called the treehouse!). It was a big wood building with no windows, just wooden slats, very at one with nature! And rather too at one with nature judging by the vast number of mosquito bites we ended up with... But oh well, it was worth it.
Yesterday we left Mission and headed to Cairns, our last destination. It's a really lovely place, really chilled out and completely the opposite of Sydney. Life seems to slow down here. We had a good wander of the place yesterday and went to the pub to claim our free dinner, which the hostel gives us tickets for every night. Any traveller's dream, free food!
Today we went on the second part of our Rapids n' Reef package, the Great Barrier Reef! We went on a cruise on the boat Ocean Spirit, which took us to Michaelmas Cay. We were fully set for a day of snorkelling and lots of food, as the brochure suggested! However, when we went to investigate how ridiculously expensive diving would be, we found that the package included a free introductory dive! So after our snorkelling, seeing lots of pretty translucent white fish which swam right next to you, rainbow fish and a tiny ray, we went diving! Felt really good to go after 5 whole years! We did a little dive around the boat, gonig down a fair few metres and seeing lots of pretty fish. When we got back on the boat, one of the instuctors asked if I wanted to do the second dive, a certified one this time, for $45, ridiculously cheap for a dive! So after lunch I was off again, with only the instructor and one other girl. Was pretty nervous after having not been for such a long time, and I thought I would have forgotten everything! But most of it came back, we saw two turtles, a shark and thousands of pretty brightly coloured fish and every type of coral you can imagine. Was an experience I'll never forget.
So, another thing to cross off the list... DIVING ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!