Cairns, Day 1
Day 1 of Cairns actually started at 4:00am in Sydney. We took the red-eye to Cairns, which required getting the very first train into the city from Artarmon. e can attest that flying makes me grumpy. Flying on no sleep doubly so.
btw- I would like to thank e for still being my friend after having to fly with me :P
After checking in and checking out the resort, we took a taxi into town and had over priced sea food. The view was nice, but I vowed that I would not spend $30 on bad food again this trip. I can eat five or six times for that much usually... and it’s better.
Cairns, Day 2
Quicksilver cruise to the Great Barrier Reef where we went snorkeling. This was, for me, the highlight of the Cairns trip, as I had not been snorkeling since the last time I was in Cairns which was about 15 years ago! Still the whole experience left me feeling that I had been hermetically sealed from reality. I think it would have been better to have gotten a smaller boat that didn’t go out so far and spent more time snorkeling.
Cairns, Day 3
The third day we did smallish bus tour around areas south of Cairns.
Our tour guide was obviously a local bloke who was highly entertaining. I often wish I could sound Australian like that.
We got to see some of the devastation which Cyclone Larry had brought in March of last year. We also got to see this crazy water soluble castle in the tropics, which I think I mentioned in a previous post.
Cairns, Day 4
Our last day in Cairns involved a train ride up to Kuranda, which was lame, followed by some tourist shopping, a so-so meal and the “sky rail” back down the mountain. Sky rail is a fancy name for a gondola. The Gondola was pretty cool way to see the forest, especially since there were two stations to stop at and take a look around, but not worth the hefty price tag.
Then we went to Djabugay World (or whatever it was called), which was a little park dedicated to presenting local indigenous culture to tourists. There was nothing new here for me, except for actually being shown how to throw a boomerang by a true native. I was kind of nervous, but with all the other white people behind a net I made a pretty good throw and it did actually come back to my approximate vicinity.
For dinner we had really nice fish and chips. Actually I had prawn cutlets. There were of course too many chips. There seems to be a correlation between the quality of sea food and the amount of chips. The best fish and chip places seem to have way too many chips. They had fresh sea food in the window (which you can also buy to take home and cook), which also seems to be the mark of a good fish and chips place.
Melbourne, Day 1
After fish and chips we flew to Melbourne and arrived today at 12:30am. Slept in, then I went looking for film. I got to know Melbourne a little better. I haven’t been here since 1999. I have to say, for the whole Sydney/Melbourne rivalry, that Melbourne is a pretty cool city. This is definitely the sort of place that I could live if I knew anyone or if I landed an awesome job here.
All of this, despite the fact that I was born in Sydney and thusly should be biased in favour of Sydney. Sydney does, however, have much better beaches, the opera house and the bridge, so I think I will stick with Sydney for now.
Then the kids went down to see the penguin parade. I wasn’t much interested in seeing penguins so I stayed in the city to check out things here on my own.
I am a big fan of the city circle tram which is free and uses these really old looking trams. I don’t know why, but I really have a thing for old stuff. I have always been a big fan of the old Sydney ferries, even though newer ferries would probably be safer, despite not looking as cool.
So that is where we are so far. I still have three days in Melbourne, although the last day is only a half day. Then we are back in Sydney and my friends will be headed back for the states. It’s been really wonderful having them visit. I’ve done a bunch of things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do, and I’ve gotten to know Australia a little better.
I am ready for more visitors, so book your tickets today!