© 2009 David Gustafsson Beach in Port Douglas!

Spring break in Cairns, Australia

We arrived to Cairns Airport around 6.30 p.m. the 4th of September 2009. It is spring break at UNSW and I and Sofia have chosen to spend it in Cairns, located in the state north Queensland in Australia. I am writing this from an internet café in port Douglas, 60 km north of Cairns. The temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius (I assume) and it is very humid. The last few days have been extremely nice. Since Cairns is located close to the equator the sun rises very high and it is just so nice to lay on the beach/in the water! Today it is Tuesday and tomorrow we are going out on our second tour to the outer barrier reef with a catamaran-boat. On Thursday we plan to visit the rain forest with a guide that will take us to secret places. I will now give a brief report of what we have been up to so far!

Friday night

After we arrived to Cairns we got picked up by the hotel bus and found our way to our hotel room. The hotel was located “outside” Cairns (or 6 km from the city) but had a very nice pool and good standard. On the way to the hotel the driver told us about all dangerous animals, including the crocodiles that populated the river floating through the city. He told us a man fishing crayfish had been killed a few weeks ago the forth night taking up his catch of the day: A bit scary…

After the arrival we had dinner in town at Hilton with some friends from school. Fancy with great food but not very expensive so it was good and could be recommended.

Saturday – Palm Cove

The first day in Cairns we went to the beach. Since Cairns is located in a “swamp” where only crocodiles live you have to take the bus to the northern beaches above the city. I and Sofia went to palm cove, which is the beach with the longest distance from Cairns and the crocodiles. The beach was very long and with very few tourists and people! Except from sun and nice water one event could be interesting to report about; a hammer-head-shark had stranded on the beach! We came across with it when we walked down the beach and understood quite soon that it was a shark. It was about on meter big and with a hammer like face. An Australian guy picked it up and released it back into the ocean. Luckily he managed not to become bitten!

Sunday – Visit to a sand cay

The first time we went to the reef was this Sunday from Cairns. We spent a day in at the outer reef next to a so called sand cay where we snorkeled in the coral with the fish. The sand cay where located 38 km outside the Australian coastline and it was just so beautiful! A sand cay is not an island but very close to an island. The specific cay we visited had been in its place for 3000 years but it is moving a few meters every year. It is created from waste coral and sand that is flushed with the current to pile up as an island. The water around the sand cay is shallow and very suitable to snorkeling. The sand cay is also a place for birds to build their nests and at the time it was about 10K birds at the island. We were only allowed to visit a small part of the island since the rest is a protected Australian national park.

During the snorkeling we got to see a lot of fish and animals. I don’t know the name of any of the fish except from the “nemo-fish” that is in the movie Finding Nemo. It was actually kind of uncommon since it loves to hide in the coral. I also swam with a giant turtle which was exactly as in the advertisement for the trip!

Apart from diving we had a great meal including giant prawns, a lot of strange fruit etc. I also managed to get extremely sun burned. The worst part is actually on the top of my head where I have blisters that has exploded ;) At the time I am writing this it is however much better and I am constantly wearing a hat.

Monday and Tuesday – Port Douglas

We spent the Monday on a bus to Port Douglas after we had spent some time by the hotel pool. In port Douglas we are staying at the Parrotfish hostel in town. It is different from the hotel but has a great atmosphere that I appreciate. Port Douglas are much smaller than Cairns but has a beach right outside the city called the four mile beach. That is where we have spent the last two days reading and sun-bathing.

Beach in Pord Douglas

Sofia at hostel in Port Douglas

Beach in Port Douglas!

Beach in Port Douglas!

For more pictures see flicker!