Day 53 - Arriving Cairns

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Jan 09, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our flight from Tokyo to Sydney was overnight. We landed a little late due to a passenger missing the plane in Tokyo and needing to unload their luggage. As we had to catch a connecting flight with little time for mistakes - we disembarked a little on edge,
Landing at 0745 we needed to clear immigration, collect bags, and get through the notoriously strict oz customs to check in for our flight leaving at 0900. We ere sure we were going to miss it, especially as we were right at the back of the plane.
We had a run of luck - the plane was full of students - which Were held back by teachers, so we were quick to get out of the plane, the immigration line was short, our bags came out quickly, the customs was thorough but efficient, and there was a Qantas check in at the terminal, were we managed to check in on time, and then get bused across to the domestic terminal on time. Supremely fortuitous!
Our flight to Cairn's has us head 3 hours back north, landing at 1100.
Cairns is a tourist town in Australia famous as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. There is also rain forests, white water rafting and other adventures in the area. We are here to board our dive boat tomorrow for a 2 night Great Barrier Reef dive experience.
We got a taxi into town for R200. It dropped us at our back packers - caravella backpackers.
It was great to be back in summer- it is very hot here.
Our room is surprisingly spacious and the backpackers very cool.
We had a swim, showered, and headed out to get lunch and find a towel and hat for Anton.
Cairns is a smallish town very focused on tourism. The town is focused around the esplanade, a lovely strip on the waterfront with cafe's and restaurants galore,
It has a massive public pool which is to compensate for the lack of beach around the town, the waterfront is reduced to large expanses of mud flats and brown water. There is a harbour and lagoon on the far side of the town. You can apparently swim in the lagoon.
The pool however is very popular with lots of sun bathers on the grass.
We had lunch at a delicious burger spot, then did a bit of walking around town and got an ice cream each.
Feeling rather exhausted from the travel we had a good 2 hour afternoon nap, before packing our big bags and dropping them in the storage room, as we can only have small bags on the boat.
For dinner we headed out to find the Wool Shed. A saloon bar focused on backpackers. We had coupons for a free meal. A very cleaver way to get people to the bar. They had smile options, but you could upgrade for a small fee.
The bar triggered a lot of memories for Anton of his days in Australia.
We had a lovely evening, the bar had a very good vibe. They had an adaption of Deal or No Deal, called Meal or No Meal, as a promotion game. Great fun and very cleaver.
We looking forward to our dive trip starting tomorrow!
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