Cairns was the final destination of the Wallace, Love trip from Sydney along the east coast of Australia. We had four nights and four days which included two day trips. One with Passions of paradise to sail and Snorkel the great barrier reef and the other to Cape Tribulation and Port Douglas for Rain Forest walks and Corcodile spotting. Our base for the 4 nights was the slightly dirty and very out of town Cairns Beech house.
First up was the reef. We boarded the large catemeran boat early on the first morning and set sail for the first stop at Michaelmas Clay. On the way there we spotted a lone whale but unfortunately it was not jumping out of the water so we only saw a couple of jets from the spout and a brief view of its hump. Michaelmas Cay is a sandy lagoon in a wind protected bay and the coral is immediately adjacent to the beach. Sea turtles are extremely common and you can often see reef sharks, bat fish, and hundreds of varieties of colourful reef fish. Well we were not lucky enought to see a shark (although eagle eye Drew did) but several turtles were spotted and numerous different fish. Despite the wet suit however the water was cold.
After a great buffet lunch we then went to Paradise Reef for more snorkelling. This was an open water snorkel with a drop off reef with depths of up to 25m. The sea was again very rough and cold. Still though thanks to the excellent diving technique we again managed to see many more fish and reef. All that was left was the very rough sail back to Cairns. At least 50% of the passengers were green but we all made it back to dry land Safely.
To celebrate reaching land and the fact it was now a very sunny afternoon we decided to go to a beer garden for a drink. We found one in the centre of town with a band playing and what looked like a great atmoshpere. Ordering our drinks at the bar we came outside and spotted a picnic table in prime spot in front of the bar. Now comes one of the funniest moments of the trip. Laura, Hannah and Drew are all sat down at the side of the table facing the band. This being the side of choice I decide to squeeze one more on that side. Oh my beer seems to be moving better catch that, Oh no the whole table is coming over Argh Timber! The four of us just manage to keep our feet but loose our drinks, except Hannah who has defies the laws of gravity and flexibility managing not to spill a drop and stay on her feet.
Now we all had a little chuckle untill it dawned on Drew and I we had now paid for but not consumed a nice cold beer. Distraught. Thankfully spotting the lookof dismay the barman comes to the rescue and gives us another round on the house for providing such good entertainment. This does not go unoticed by the band who now warn other patrons of the bucking seats and poke fun of the look on our Scottish faces when we thought we were going to have to pay for another round.
That night with a free day following it was decided that we should have our farewell night out. The standard carry out of a box of Goon was acquired, well actualy carried by Bri from Frazer Island, and a few games started to kick the night off. Well After a couple of hours everyone was in fine form especially Drew who had started to show some early signs of consuming too much goon. A bus ride later we made the first pub for a pint of snakebite and that was enough to send Drew over the edge. I think the photos say the rest.
The next highlight was the Cape Trib tour. This was a full day and a long time on the bus. We did see Kangeroos and several Crocodiles from the side of our small boat, including the dominant salty of the area Scar Face. This was followed by rain forest walk and finaly a walk along Port Douglas, very nice.
From Cairns the Wallaces and Loves went our separate ways. A good few weeks had by all. Hannah and I headed off to Sydney and were very kindly put up by Roddy and Lynn for a couple of nights of luxury and excellent hospitality. We were treated to a couple of fine dinners in Mosman and made it for a look round the fish market before catching our flight to Singapore.