Flying from Brisbane to Cairns was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. Not because I wanted to see Cairns so badly that I would willingly miss out on the best bits of the East Coast but simply because I didn’t travel in the car with the four other idiots who thought they could make a 1700 Kn journey in a beat up old ford falcon and not run into any problems. Don’t worry they aren’t dead but after 27 hours driving with one blown out wheel and no petrol in the middle of the outback I’m sure they were glad when they reached their destination.
No Cairns wasn’t the top of my list but after waiting out for work in Brisbane which seemed like it would never come we set off in search of farm work in Northern Queensland. Of course when we got here we discovered there wasn’t any work here either. It’s also wet season so the weather quickly moves from a 34 degree blistering heat to a rain storm that leaves you soaked in 0.01 seconds. In short, we f#%ked up!
Looking for work was never going to be easy, it never is, even at home so we’ve reached an impasse where some days are spent in the hostel applying for jobs we will never hear back from and others are spent exploring the area. One thing I can say for Cairns is that this place is absolutely beautiful. Lack of work equals lack of funds though so Great Barrier Reef tours, bungy jumps and skydives will have to wait. However the most beautiful places can be seen for free in the surrounding national parks.
Our first visit was to Davies Creek in Mareeba, it wasn’t our original destination (we got lost) but it was an adventure all the same. We spent the day climbing over rough terrain to get as high as we could. It was definitely worth it!
Most nights are spent watching movies in our room and moaning about needing work whilst others are occasionally spent on a night out the town. Cairns nightlife is great, mainly made up of backpackers everyone is out to have a good time. Gillian’s and Woolshed are both great spots and the Irish Bar PJ O’Briens is always pretty lively.
After a few more days spent around the hostel mostly due to the adverse weather we set off again for another popular location in Cairns. The Crystal Cascade waterfalls, where if you are brave enough you can part take in the popular activity of cliff diving. The highest point being called ‘no fear’, local youngsters braved the steep and slippery climb to jump into the frothy water below while bewildered tourists looked on in awe.
After a few more days with no more luck on the job front we once again set out to Josephine Falls. I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to in my life. In the middle of a humid rainforest the waterfall drops with a fast current into stunning fresh water pools. The best part of all is that you can swim in the bottom pool and even go down a natural water slide embedded in the slippery smooth surface of the rocks.
The best part about all these adventures is the realisation that even though we are complaining about work and money or lack of it, that there are some things in life money just can’t buy. When you are sitting in a natural fresh water pool in a rainforest in Australia then you must be doing alright for yourself.