Monday, April 28, 2014

Australia {Cairns}

I'm traveling to Cincinnati this week for my BFF's wedding!  While I'm out of town, I thought I'd share with you one of my favorite vacations that I somehow never blogged about before now.  Enjoy!

Once upon a time Almost 3 years ago, Jason and I were able to take a trip of a lifetime.  Why it took me this long to blog about it is beyond me.  Never the less, here is the beginning of my Australia recap.  Jason was sent to Australia on a TDY (temporary duty) assignment and after 2 weeks in the Outback, we met in Cairns to start our 2 week vacation.

I arrived early in the morning and had some time to kill before Jason joined me.  That early in the morning, the beach was deserted so I found a little spot to watch the sun rise.  I'm quite certain this is my ultimate, symmetrically beautiful, happy place!

Seriously, I knew instantly that I was going to love Australia.

 Once Jason arrived, we hopped on a gondola and rode up to the Daintree Rainforest.

Jason insisted we stop when he saw this sign.  I was less than excited but obliged.

Fruit bats are the creepiest little creatures ever but oddly adorable at the same time...from a distance!

After a fun day of exploring Daintree, we caught a ride on this fun, old train, back down the mountain to Cairns.

We're suckers for a rugby match and this Cairns Northern Pride game did not disappoint!  Their fans were very welcoming and friendly and helped us learn some rules that were unfamiliar to us.

Our second day in Cairns was spent on the Great Barrier Reef.  It was "winter" there meaning highs in the mid 70's which was the perfect break from the sweltering Japanese summer heat but it was slightly chilly out on the water.

That sure didn't stop us though.  We suited up and jumped in.


While I spent most of the excursion bent over the side of the boat (not the best time to discover you've developed motion sickness with age) it was still one of the coolest things I've ever done.  I also discovered on that trip that I'm not a fan of open water.  I hung on to the guide's float for dear life, along with all the little kids.  Jason was so far out that I couldn't see him but me, I stayed as close to the boat as possible.

The next day we picked up this beauty and hit the road.  We went against all the advice we had received and decided to drive the 1600 miles from Cairns to Sydney.  That's essentially the same distance as driving from Bangor, Maine to Miami, Florida, you know, the entire east coast of America!

Because we chose to drive, we were able to stop along the way in some smaller towns, areas that most tourists skip right over when they fly.

Our 1st pit stop was at Cape Byron Lighthouse where we did a little whale watching.

Along the way, I also ate one of the best meals of my life in a little town called Lennox Head.  It doesn't look like much but this buckwheat crepe stuffed with cheese and ratatouille was one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth.  I think about it all the time.

We also got to see views like these while we drove!

Driving in Australia was...interesting.  They drive on the left side, just like in Japan, so that wasn't anything unusual for us but the signs on the side of the highway were so interesting that they'll get their own post tomorrow...I hope you come back!



Chantal said...

We did a road trip too in Australia! Though probably just half the distance you did haha I loved Australia so much.

Jasam said...

Omg, I totally understand waiting three years til you blog about a trip! I have been to Australia too (Perth) and I haven't blogged about it. I haven't really blogged about a lot of places I have been to for that matter! Australia was a lot of fun. That buckwheat crepe looks yummy!

Elizabeth @ Cheers, Elizabeth said...

HOW FUN! What a neat adventure! Australia is on our dream list of places to hit so I will for sure be back to hear all about these crazy signs! Enjoy your trip this week... hopefully we hear about it sooner than in 3 years time ;)

Kassie said...

Ohmygosh... So we're stationed in Okinawa, Japan and those fruit bats fly around at dusk all the time! Sometimes, we'll see them hanging from power lines on our evening walks. Crazy!

PS - I found you "Going Coastal..."