We enjoyed our last day with Jan and John and their fantastic pool. The next morning, we were packed and ready to go. We didn’t feel like leaving, but we said a heartfelt goodbye, and John offered us a ride to our next Airbnb. Upon arrival at our new accommodation for the next four nights, we were warmly welcomed and shown to our room. It was an old place but clean. We quickly agreed that we already missed Jan and John. It will be challenging to find an Airbnb that can compare to theirs. We had to make the best of it. We quickly went back into the city and had lunch. By evening, our lunch was still weighing heavily on our stomachs, as fried food is often served here, so we didn’t eat anything else and went to bed quickly.
We quickly had breakfast the next morning and headed towards the city center. Our first stop was Rusty’s Market, a weekly market selling all sorts of fresh vegetables, fruits, exotic products, and trinkets. We strolled through the streets and took a refreshing dip in the local lagoon. My eye caught sight of the public BBQs, and I suggested to Ely we have a barbecue there. Without hesitation, we returned to our accommodation, grabbed our groceries, and walked back on foot. Thankfully, we’re getting plenty of exercise here, and my FitBit loves it 😀 We prepared a delicious and healthy meal, enjoyed the beautiful sunset, and ended our evening with a drink at the bar. It was a fun day!
On Saturday, our alarm clock went off early. Both of us had slept poorly. We couldn’t linger in bed because we had booked a trip to Kuranda. It’s a village located in the middle of the World Heritage Forest near Cairns.
We took the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This cable car takes you 7.5 kilometers through the tropical rainforests of North Queensland. We made several stops with stunning viewpoints. Secretly, both of us were a bit scared (especially Ely) because we were 40 meters above the rainforest at some point, but it was phenomenal. The last stop before our final destination was Barron Waterfalls. Usually, much more water flows here, but it hasn’t rained in months.
Arriving in Kuranda, we were disappointed. It was a tiny village in the middle of the rainforest, but so touristy, crowded with souvenir shops and attractions. We quickly decided to move on and walked through the rainforest along Jumrum Creek. There, too, we were a bit scared (this time it was me, Inez, who was more nervous than Ely), as we heard many sounds that made us think some big animal or snake would come out from every corner. At 3:30 PM, we took the train back to Cairns. The train tracks from Kuranda to Cairns were built in harsh conditions in 1887. We slowly descended 330 meters through various tunnels, steep ravines, and impressive bridges. After two hours, we finally arrived back at Cairns station.
On Sunday, our last day in Cairns, we decided to spend it again in the city center. We were pretty much done with it and really looking forward to leaving. I thought it was time for me to weigh myself for once. We had been away for three weeks (without a scale, haha), and I was becoming curious. We quickly stopped at Kmart and looked for the “scales” section. Luckily for Ely, my weight was more than okay. We explored the city and took a dip in the pool. As expected, we ended up at the Courtyard in the late afternoon. It was a delightful way to wrap up our time there, and we were ready to leave the following day.
Monday morning, our alarm went off way too early, at 6:30. We dragged ourselves out of bed, and a refreshing shower felt good. We walked to the train station and caught the 9 AM train. You can take this train all the way to Brisbane, but that would be a 24-hour journey. However, the train had all the necessary facilities. Pillows, blankets, TV screens… Not too bad, we thought! We arrived in Tully at 11:40 AM. We were the only ones getting off, and it didn’t take long for us to realize why. We had ended up in a deserted town. Fortunately, this was not our final destination, as we still had to take the Greyhound bus to Mission Beach.
However, we had to wait until 6 PM for the bus. We found a somewhat cozy place and made the best of it. Eventually, we ended up at the local “brown pub” and enjoyed a beer. The bus ride lasted only 20 minutes. We quickly noticed that there was no reception there, and we had to walk to our hostel. Fortunately, someone was waiting for us to be taken to the hostel by van. Nothing but good karma here. I hope it doesn’t turn against us anytime soon, haha.
We checked in and had the opportunity to join the BBQ for 5 dollars. The hostel was older but clean and decent. There are many backpackers here looking to complete their farm work (to extend their visa for another year, you need to complete 88 days of farm work). It’s very demanding work and often underpaid. We have realized that Ely is too old to extend his visa, which is a good excuse not to do farm work. Most backpackers stay here for a more extended period. There’s a nice, relaxed atmosphere.
Our hostel is near Mission Beach, so a walk was on our next agenda. We walked to the supermarket, bought our supplies, and had a delicious breakfast. In the morning, we planned the rest of our journey and felt it was time for some exercise.
From Wongaling Beach, we enjoyed a lovely stroll along the beach to Clump Point Viewpoint. Swimming is not recommended here due to crocodiles and jellyfish. Because there are so many jellyfish in the area, First Aid Kits with vinegar are regularly available to relieve the pain.
During our walk, we enjoyed the pristine nature, and the beautiful view of Dunk Island, and saw countless sand crabs leaving their tracks. These sand crabs live in caves on the beach. When it’s low tide, they start their meal. They sift through the sand, consuming the thin edible layer around the grains. Along the way, we got thirsty, so we decided to make a quick stop at Mission Beach. The prices for beers here are quite reasonable. What a pleasant surprise!
On our way back, we encountered a tropical rain shower. Luckily, the shuttle bus returned us to our hostel dry and safe. With a total of 24,000 steps and 16 kilometers on my FitBit, we’ve been quite active! It’s a bit of compensation for missing my workouts… and Ely’s usual lack of exercise, haha.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so enjoy the snapshots below.
X Inez & Ely