Cyclone Season

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
1
20
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Trip End Mar 26, 2010


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We arrived in Cairns to find it hot but very wet. Our backpackers collected us from the airport and we checked into our
double room on the Esplanade and received our free dinner voucher for the Woolshed. (luc - yep, meal vouchers, this is what our
life has come to, next up we'll be queuing for the dole!)
We went for a wander into town to find out about diving trips and general activities for Cairns, Port Douglas and Cape
Tribulation as well as to get a beer or two in before dinner.
We had a chat with the first of the many travel agents we came across and he advised us that there was a tropical cyclone
just off the outer barrier reef that was threatening to come across the reef to cairns! Not good news for our diving plans.
He told us that we shouldn't even consider going out until Friday or Saturday, so that sorted our itinerary for us. We would
get out of Cairns up to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation for a few days, do the rain forest stuff and come back to go
 diving on Saturday. So we booked our backpackers in Port Douglas based on the lonely planets
 (increasingly becoming the Lonely Liar) recommendation and went for a beer. We then hit the Woolshed for our free dinner.
I will let Lucy tell you about this as it is her new favourite place........

Oh my gosh, my happy place, the Woolshed. After feeling very dubious about this place hearing how dave ate here about 12 years
ago when he was an 18yr old backpacker, we set off (meal vouchers in hand). We queued for a bit and had to order as we got in,
i'd clocked the t bone steak on the menu and was able to "upgrade" my meal voucher for $8 to have the t-bone, fabulous, although
i cant say i was expecting much. The place itself was much better than i expected, it had a really cool vibe about it, very
different compared to the rest of the skanky Cairns bars. Once our number was called out dave came back with the two HUGEST
plates of food i have ever seen in my life, bloody massive! Dave was convinced i wouldnt finish and was eyeing up my steak nicely,
only to find that i cleaned everything off my plate, it was ammmaaazzzing!!! the best t-bone by far, and purchased with a meal
voucher, brilliant. def my happy place.  (DC, I had gone for the ribs instead sure that Luc would get nowhere near finishing
her steak. I even put a nice dollop of English mustard on my plate to accompany her left overs!!)


Next morning, our Port Douglas backpackers collected us from Cairns and we were off on the 1 hour coastal journey. PD wasn't quite
how we had hoped. It was more like Port Ghost town. There was hardly a soul there and the restaurant, bars, and basically
 the whole town was closed by 9pm! We did manage to find one place that was open, The Central hotel, so we went in for a
 drink and who was the live entertainment that night?! Yep, the one and only Dave Cooke!! (see photo)
We also learned that they had nice double rooms for cheaper than our backpackers in a much nicer place and better location!
Thanks lonely liar!
The following day we decided to do our own Cape Tribulation day tour as we figured we could hire a car and go to all the sights
for a fraction of the cost of the organised trip (luc - we're getting to be savvy little travelers now hey?;).
We swam in Mosman gorge, took a river trip and saw salt water crocs, tree
snakes, and frogs. This by the way was all in the p*ssing rain as cyclones Neville and Olga built momentum.
We then drove further north to Cape Trib itself to take in the rain forest and beach. It was all very nice, but the rain
and mozzies did become too much after a while so we set off back to the thrills of Port Douglas.
It was actually a little livelier and we took part in the local Cane toad racing and met a roight nice couple from
North Walsham in Norfolk who have lived in Perth for 11 years, although you never would have known from their accents!

More rain on Friday and with PD put on full cyclone alert we decided it best to call time there and head back down the
coast to Cairns in hope of better weather and hopefully some diving. Along the way though daves roight noice friends from
Norfolk had recommended we visit the small town of Kurumba! So we figured what the hell and had a bit of a detoured road
trip back to Cairns. We stopped off at one of the wildlife farms and seemed to be the only people stupid enough to be out in
the cyclonic weather! But once we were in the farm place i was in my happy place!!! They had kangaroos and wallabies just
jumping around in the open, you could pet them and feed them and yes i know im sounding like a 5 year old but it was
AWESOME!!! they were so, well not cute, but just so weird and australian, was the best $14 i've spent yet i tell you! (well
besides my upgraded meal at the woolshed that is;) When dave eventually managed to drag me out of the animal farm place we went
to a really cool waterfall where we got to put our nice matching africa rain coats to good use, and then ambled through the
 markets and visited a sweet factory place which had to be the second highlight of the
day, we got given free sweets, YUM!

Back in Cairns we were ready to book our live-aboard and for me to now move onto night diving (yes, craziness i know!)
But when we went to book we were told that the cyclones had now joined and were increasing in intensity and all diving was
cancelled for the next few days!!!!!! AARRRGGHH!

So we though f that, and booked ourselves into a posh hotel ( where dave somehow managed to wheel a deal with the assistant
manager by merely batting his eyelids and asking for a room half price to which she agreed??? amazing, although i was miffed
i didnt have the same effect on the male concierges) and decided to change our flights and get the hell out of this
place (after one last meal in the woolshed) and head to Melbourne a few days early. Bloody cyclones.
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