It took us a bit more than 2 hours to fly from Darwin to Cairns with an Airbus A320 which was operated by Jetstar. In Cairns we took a rent car, but this time for about four weeks. We plan to drive along the East coast from Cairns all the way southwards to Melbourne. We had a bit luck with the rental car. Actually we booked a VW Golf or Hyundai i30 class, but luckily they gave us an upgrade to a higher class, so we get a Toyota Corolla Sedan.
In Cairns I had to buy new glasses because I lost mine at the Kakadu National Park, really annoying the whole procedure…but after around 4 working days I finally got it.
Before our long road trip started we went to buy a cooler with some ice packs to keep our drinks cold and to store some fresh food, it´s really worth to have it because the weather here in the northern part of Australia is tropical hot and also because it would be too expensive for us if we would eat out all the time. We stayed in total two nights in Cairns and among others I visited the Reef Teach, a two hour presentation and teaching lesson about the marine life in the Great Barrier Reef, it was really educational and entertaining.
From Cairns we drove a bit further to the North, round about 140km to the Daintree National Park and stayed there for one night before we went back to the South. On the way to the North we visited some beaches like the Trinity Beach, Palm Cove, Thornton Beach and Cape Tribulation. In the Daintree National Park we booked a night jungle walk, it was really interesting, we saw some birds sleeping, some marsupials and insects. We also made a jungle trekking during the daytime, the crowning moment was when we saw the Cassowary bird, a huge big bird in the middle of the jungle, really impressive to see. On the second day we made a river cruise to see the beautiful mangrove landscape and to see the crocodiles, but unfortunately we didn´t see any salties, somehow they made themselves scarce.
When we drove back southwards we booked a daytrip to the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas. We had two dives and one snorkelling trip. It was always a dream for me to go diving in the Great Barrier Reef. However the Great Barrier Reef is much commercialised, there is a huge industry behind it. There are plenty of boats going out and carrying thousands of tourists to the reef, in some cases more than 200 people on one boat. On the way to the reef we saw a turtle and some dolphins. On our tour we were around 60 people, for me they were already too many but we couldn´t find a small affordable operator for diving at the Great Barrier Reef. But the organisation and equipment’s were really in a good condition, qualitative the tour was great, but it comes at a price. About the underwater world I wrote some words in my “Dennis animal corner”.
Culinary it hasn´t change a lot when we arrive here in Australia. We had quite often Fish & Chips and frequently we cooked in our motels or hostels. Lots of the motels here have a small kitchen in the room or a shared kitchen, really great.
We will as well keep you updated about our road trip towards South.