Journey to Down Under – 10. stage Cairns

Finally, the time had come. Our last bus ride in the Greyhound. Don’t get me wrong, the Greyhound was really pleasant to travel with, but I didn’t had the desire to take the bus another time and driving for several hours.  Next time I would definitely rent a car or a camper van, because it offers much more flexibility.

We arrived in Cairns in the afternoon. That day we did not do much. We went shopping and settled in our Air BnB for the last time. I remember being very sad that day because I knew it would be the last leg of our trip to Australia before going back home.

The next day we strolled along the Esplanade and I reminisced. You must know, I was in Cairns many years before. However, in my eyes Cairns had changed completely. The city had become more modern and much more touristic.

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Esplanade

While we strolled along the Esplande, we got the idea to go snorkeling one last time. We listened to many offers from the different diving and snorkeling trip providers until we found a suitable offer. For about 200 CHF we got a trip to the Outer Reef with a yacht, meal & beverages, snorkeling equipment, wetsuit and a boat trip with a glass bottom. After the booking we visited the city and ate sushi in a sushi restaurant called Sushitrain and finally we splashed in the Lagoona of Cairns.

The second day we wanted to visit the Botanic Garden of Cairns, as it is said to be huge and also very beautiful. The Botanical Garden was indeed huge, we saw many thousands of tropical plants and thanks to the signs we learned a lot about them and their usefulness for the Aborigines. In the early afternoon we had a picnic at the Centenary Lakes and afterwards we had a milkshake in the restaurant of the Botanic Garden.

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Lost in the Woods

Last but not least we looked at the Papillon with the different orchids and the thousands of butterflies.  I was really very impressed and I think this was the most beautiful part of the Botanic Garden. I would have spent the whole day there, but we really wanted to see the nightmarket of Cairns, so after a few hours we left the park.

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Some very special orchids

In the evening we went to the Nightmarket. Everywhere was delicious food and many small stalls offering everything from clothes to jewellery. Eventhough we liked the Nightmarket very much, we only bought our food there and went then to the Esplanade to eat. We watched the sunset and ate our food. I can recommend you to eat at the Esplanade and enjoy the atmosphere there. So many different cultures come togethere in the evening. There are sportsmen doing sports, artists who are painting, musicians giving live concerts, little children running around and many tourists taking pictures of the Esplande.

The next day we went on our planned snorkeling trip with the Ocean Spirit. The trip to the Outer Reef took about 90 minutes and I got very sick on the trip, but the trip was definitely worth it. We anchored near Michaelmas Island. It was more of a sandbank than an island and most of it was protected and closed for people so we didn’t disturb the islanders. The sandbank was inhabited by thousands of birds.

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Michaelmas Island

The island was dreamlike. Very fine sand and crystal clear water. But before we went snorkeling, we took another boat with a glass bottom to see the flora and fauna from the dry. We saw many fishes and many healthy corals and even a shark. After 30 minutes the trip was over and afterwards we finally went snorkeling.

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Coral reef

I immediately jumped into the water, but Sureya was still worried about the shark in the beginning. After a while she was able to overcome her fear and so we snorkelled together in the Outer Reef. An indescribable experience. Unfortunately, this day also ended faster than desired and so our last day in Australia broke in.

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Undescribable

On the last day we decided to have another comfortable day. We prepared our own brunch and packed. In the afternoon we went hiking on the Red Arrow Circuit. We passed the Botanic Garden again and walked the whole way through the tropical rainforest. The trail was very nice and there were very few people, so you can hike undisturbed. On the way home we even saw a wallaby in the thicket at the end.

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Wallaby

And with this day our journey came to an end. It was a wonderful journey with ups and downs and I got so many impressions of Australia. I fell in love with this country. It is so versatile, you live in close touch with nature and the people who live there are so hospitable. I already know that I absolutely have to return again. But next time I would like to travel the west coast by car so that I can experience even more of this breathtaking country.

I want to thank Sureya for the wonderful and incomparable journey with her. Eventhough our paths have finally parted, I still remember this journey with pleasure.

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End of a long trip

 


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