Sorry it’s been a while but it’s been full on lately here. The good part about that, is I have a massive backlog of blogs to update you on.
To kick it off, I’ll start with part 1 of my recent trip to Cairns. And no, you dont pronounce the ‘r’. It’s said just like the word ‘cans’. Easy. Cairns is in the north east of Australia and basically the northern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. That’s right. it’s bucket list time. JJ goes Barrier Reef…
So basically, a quick hop, skip, and 3 hour plane flight from Sydney.
To start, there were 2 reasons I was going to Cairns.
Reason 1: I’ve wanted to see and dive the GBR since well, FOREVER.
Reason 2: My buddy Bryon was setting up a big trip with 30+ people for Labour Day.
Same idea as Labor Day in the US, just in a different month and spelled with an extra letter. So, Bryon LOVES arranging trips. I LOVE going on trips. Brilliant, right?
The flights were booked, the accommodation was arranged, the activities were laid out. What did I have to do? First, pay. After that, it was just a waiting game for the trip to arrive. Some hard work, exercising, tanning and a few weeks wait… the day had come.
It all started with a luau themed meet and evening drinks at the airport.
Blah blah blah…flight. (I nodded off)
At arrival, we had a bus waiting and our driver/coordinator was waiting to take us… well, where else? To a reception with drinks. I think I failed to mention this was a Spring Break themed trip. We all wanted to take a trip down memory lane from college and do it right this time.
The first stop post-airport was the Salt House. An open air bar right on the promenade. I didn’t take many pictures since I was too busy trying to remember everyone’s names and drink mojitos. Needless to say it was a fun night, but we were all exhausted.
I’m gonna skip around a bit here since I’m breaking the trip up between blogs. The next morning was an early scuba trip, but more about that next time.
In Cairns we were staying at the Mantra Trilogy Resort, which can be seen below. It’s 3 towers of vacation rentals which are independently owned apartments, rather than hotel suites. We had (I think) four 3-bedrooms and what I call the mega suite. All with multiple bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens.
To start with a few things about Cairns… Cairns was founded in the late 1800’s because it had potential as a deep water port. Unfortunately, back then it was simply a big mangrove swamp with what could be a deep water inlet. After a lot of dredging and infill they had a workable port. For tourists this means that there is no “beach”. You’re free to hop the sea wall and take a swim, but don’t be upset if you get eaten by a crocodile. Yes. Just one more thing that can kill you in Australia… So, with a burgeoning tourist population and no place to swim but resort pools, what did they do?
They built a big ass lagoon. And, unlike most things in Australia… It’s free.
Back to my trip… So after a day of scuba… more on that later. We had to pick up some beer.
We got a bit of a deal from the local brewery. It worked out better than kegs. Once the beers were put away in our rooms (and some in our bellies) it was off to a group social BBQ on the Esplanade.
These coin powered gas barbecues are all over around Australia in picnic areas. This time we had some lovely ladies cooking up everything from traditional burgers to grilled onions and haloumi. I was like a fat kid with cake.
A quick selfie with Bri and Liz. We were reminded shortly after this that “no alcohol is allowed on the Esplanade” pssh. pass me a plastic cup for my “apple juice”
After dinner was back to the “mega suite” for drinks and an ice cream social.
It was gluttony…
Of course I had to have some whipped cream.
A few drinks and big SPRING BREAK cheers later, we were off to Gilligans. A HUGE backpacker bar/club/nightclub/pool/shitshow. It was AWESOME.
A selfie with Chris Liz and Bri
And a few more selfies…
Disclaimer – not a member of our group, but this probably sums up best how we all felt the next morning.
More on that next time…