helping keep hungry backpackers fed:

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Epic Aussi Adventure: Cairns, Kuranda and South

Today's Scenery:
Barron Falls Near Kuranda

Today's Travelling Track:
Grouplove- Naked Kids
Oh hello readers, how nice to bump into you here! Shame about all this rain isn’t it? Let’s hope it lets up soon. Cairns seems like a perfectly nice city. In fact it’s a backpacker haven with extremely cheap dorm rooms, meal deals on at every restaurant, a plethora of pubs, clubs and bars and loads of stuff to do. Unfortunately few of these activities are entertaining and enjoyable in non-stop torrential rain, which is what we were greeted with and what persisted for our entire stay. The city wasn’t without its good news and high points though.
The BF tucks into epic amounts of food
 1. Turk had developed a bizarre screeching sound when we started him. This was particularly prominent when it rained. We took him to the Cairns branch of Travellers Autobarn, where they directed us to a mechanic who fixed it in about 30 seconds and charged us nothing.
2. The night markets were an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours, even though most of the stuff for sale was junk. At least it was interesting junk. The food court there is a backpacker’s dream where seafood and a variety of Asian cuisines are available on heaping plates in a buffet style manner.
3. Most of the backpacker’s hostels offer free meals with a stay.
 4. The Asian influence seems to be strong in Cairns which gave some sections of town a very multicultural feel.

 Aside from that I don’t feel we really got to see the city at its best. The hostel we chose to stay at had a lot of long term residents who were strange and somewhat haughty, the rain stopped us from sitting on the beach or relaxing on the esplanade and we weren’t really in the mood to party, knowing that St Patrick’s day was imminent.
Cool quote on a Kuranda toilet floor!
On the way out of cairns, after a particularly stressful morning in which I had to visit a variety of places to obtain an Australian police check and traffic history for my next Canadian visa, we stopped at the Kuranda Skytrain for a trip up what was essentially a ski gondola, over the rainforest to the town of Kuranda in the Atherton Tablelands. Suddenly it was like the stars aligned. The rain stopped and the scenery relieved any tension from my body. The Skytrain had 2 stops before the eventual disembarking, one at a peak offering a jungle boardwalk and the other at the spectacular Barron Falls, at their best of the year due to all of the rain. Kuranda itself was also exactly the kind of place me and the BF had been looking for. A hippy haven full of markets and weird little shops, it was like a neighbourhood of San Francisco in the rainforest. We meandered around; looking at jewellery, clothes and anything else that caught our eyes and grabbed lunch at a German-themed-and-run BBQ shack which was particularly kooky and fun. We did a rainforest walk, of which there were a few around the town, and reluctantly hopped on the Skytrain to return to Turk and the real world.
Big spider!
We drove until we were just outside of Mission Beach and stayed at a free rest stop for the night. It rained sporadically, but the next morning the weather was clement, and we decided to head back into Mission Beach and go on some walks. We headed up the Bicton Hill track, which offered stunning views of the whole mission beach area, on the walk we spotted another cassowary (although from a far safer distance!) and lots of big spiders and bugs. The walk took us an hour or so and as we got back to the bottom of the hill it started to rain. We assessed our options. We had wanted to drive up to Wallaman falls, 40km off of the Bruce highway and spend the night there, at a national parks campsite, however the description of a windy, ‘mostly sealed’ road put us off somewhat, especially considering the weather, so we decided to just drive to Townsville and take the opportunity to charge the laptop. This proved difficult and we were told off by 2 different establishments for using their power. Eventually we found a shopping centre which happened to be below a library which had free Wi-Fi and accessible power points. It’s always difficult when camping to keep phones and laptops charged.

We drove a few kilometres south of Townsville and spent the night at another free rest stop in a town called Home Hill. Previously we tried to stop elsewhere and realised we had found a mosquito haven and had to drive to escape the buzzing insects!
In the next instalment: St Paddy’s Day at Airlie Beach 

Turk Meets... A Cassowary (just like the Hungry Backpacker and the BF)
Don't get too close Turk!



    think this is it ..a crazy cassowary..