The journey from Mission Beach to Cairns was my final ride on the Greyhound bus, and it brought the total distance I’ve travelled by Greyhound up to 3,020km. For most of my travelling companions, Cairns was the end of the road, and everyone was talking about home. Although I still had Melbourne to visit before leaving the country, I also started to wind down a bit.
My time in Cairns got off to a bad start on Friday, May 11, when I lugged my bags to Nomads on the esplanade only to discover that the woman at Mission Beach had booked me into the other Nomads instead – the one so far away it wasn’t on the map of the city centre. As I’d already paid for my first three nights, I had no choice but to go there. The air conditioning didn’t work, which made life uncomfortable as the daytime temperature was 28 or 29 degrees and the nights were also warm. There were other aspects of the hostel that I didn’t like very much, so on Monday, May 14, I moved to the YHA hostel where I was happier. I made more friends there and I enjoyed the barbecue and free cheese and wine (well, goon) night.
The city centre was nothing special, but it had an Abbott Street, and two branches of McDonald’s where I could get my cheap ice-cream fix. The best part was the esplanade, but I didn’t think the lagoon was as good as the ones in Brisbane and Airlie Beach. I also passed time at the shopping centre, the night market and the park, all of which were unremarkable. On the plus side, accommodation was slightly cheaper than further south, and it didn’t get dark quite so early.
The highlight of my time in the city was my night out that technically didn’t end until 6.15am. It included a visit to the famous (and although everywhere in Australia claims to be famous, in this case it’s true) Gilligan’s. But that’s all I’m going to say about that night on here!
The main reason for going to Cairns was to go on a trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef, but that deserves a post to itself. I also went on a trip to the rainforest in Daintree National Park, north of Cairns, and that can also have a separate post.