Waking up after almost 12hrs of sleep, we finally got a chance to check out our first Aussie hostel. It was really nice and quirky, with a great communal area complete with pool table and VW camper!!!!
We spent a lot of our time in Cairns adjusting to the Australian weather and planning the next few weeks. We knew we were going to road trip down the East coast, but I had always insisted on getting a small car so we could zip around and park up easily anywhere we felt like. However, after a half hour talk with the hostel’s receptionist, I was sold a people carrier-convertable-into-campervan for four whole weeks. It turns out it was almost as cheap as any car rental, plus we’d save on accommodation and have tons of space to unpack our gear a little bit. It was a great decision, but more on that later.
Next day, we walked around the town, which had lots of nice restaurants and bars and was definitely very touristic. There was a public lagoon area which seemed a great place to cool off, and a nice promenade along the beach front.
The day after was our trip to the Great Barrier Reef! A catamaran took us an hour offshore (with the help of seasickness pills) and we kitted up with wetsuits and snorkelling gear. We snorkelled twice during the day, seeing all shapes and sizes of brightly coloured coral and fish; our highlights were a turtle and almost all of the Finding Nemo crew, except we couldn’t find Nemo… It was a great tour, with great food and lots of sunbathing opportunities on top of the amazing marine life.
The next day, we picked up our campervan, named Gazzy3000, and drove an hour north to Port Douglas, getting to grips with the windy coastal paths and a car twice the size of any I’ve driven before. We made it in one piece and arrived in the beautiful seaside town, walking up and down the high street before finding our first campsite of the trip. We spent a full day on the beach and enjoyed our first two nights camping – it’s a great atmosphere when everyone is sat outside their campers, cooking dinner and having a beer whilst chatting with anyone who’s camped close by. The beach was beautiful, even though it was fairly windy all day, but we topped up our tans nicely and was defintely worth the drive up, before a long seven hour drive down the next day to Airlie beach, and the Whitsundays.