After 2355 kilometers along the coast we ended our roadtrip in Cairns. As many we were mainly heading up here for the Great Barrier Reef and had an absolutely amazing time here. Cairns is much smaller than I expected it to be and if you want to do some shopping for your trip, you may want to get that out of your system before you are in Cairns. In many ways Cairns itself is not that interesting, it is so incredibly hot and so humid and there is not too much to do in the city, but the surroundings of Cairns are just absolutely incredible and gorgeous, there is so much lush, wild nature; the oldest rainforest in the world the Daintree Rainforest is a mere hour and a half a way, the Great Barrier Reef is just in reach and waterfalls surround Cairns. We maybe could have done with one less day in Cairns and one more day in Daintree, but maybe you can learn from our mistakes.

In Cairns

Again Cairns itself was not too thrilling, but you will probably have a day here either before your Great Barrier Reef trip, your flight or before heading further up north. Here are some places to make it worth your while:

Cafe Semra - Ya girl loves a brunch, we have probably established this already. This place was lovely, had real good coffee and served not only avocado, but hummus with your brunch so I was sold to begin with. It is also owned by a German, so extremely efficient and has delicious Lebanese bread. 

Rusty´s Market - This is the best place for souvenirs, snacks and little gifts. I almost felt like being back in South America or Asia here with so much fresh fruit - not all of it familiar to me -, local coffee and great Vietnamese food stands. You can really tell just how tropical Cairns is in this market. Perfect last stop before heading to the airport. 

Gilligans - Next to shopping and brunching I love me a good party. Gilligans is an intense party hostel with a lot of party games, that go beyond insane after a while. Little did I know when I decided to take part in a dance contest, that I would drop out within minutes and would get to see some titties on stage that night. If you are ready to lose all dignity please do take part if not, you may want to stand back and be wowed like I was. Drinks here are cheap as and each night has a theme. 

Cairns Esplanade Pool - Now on to relaxing after all that action and where else would you want to be in 35 degrees and one million per cent humidity than a pool. To be fair we spent the majority of our time in Cairns here and I don´t regret a single thing. (PS: it´s completely free)

Seeing the Great Barrier Reef

I had just gotten my Open Water certification in the Gili Islands and was beyond thrilled to tick a huge item off my bucket list: dive in the Great Barrier Reef. We booked our day trip through Gilligans. They offer a variety of different trips and since we were one certified and one uncertified person and we both wanted to dive we opted for the Evolution trip. It allowed me to take a total of three dives and my friend got to do two plus drinks, lunch and coffee on the boat. You leave at 8.00 am from the pier in town and return in the afternoon. Again the boat ride is intense. I have never seen so many people throwing up in my life. So if you are prone to seasickness get ready to get your pills out.
You stop around 10 for the first time, when the certified divers head down for the first time, while the others snorkel. The boat is really, really busy so to be honest I was so happy to be able to go diving in a smaller group and not to be surrounded by hundreds of people in the water. I was a little nervous before my first dive, because it was the first time I was going down without an instructor, but after a few minutes I forgot all about my worries and just fully enjoyed. I saw reef sharks, an octopus, a manta... being underwater to me is still so amazing and I wish I lived closer to close dive spots - and that diving was a cheaper hobby. From the first stop we headed onwards to our second spot, hopped in for another dive, while my friend got to experience her first ever dive. Since you only have limited time to get all the essentials in, for the first time you dive in a group, linking arms with your neighbours. My friend was not too excited, but the second time around she got to dive by herself and really enjoyed it. After diving again we had lunch: different salads, grilled meats and seafood. We then headed down for our last dive before heading back to Cairns. I am so happy we went for the options, where we got to do the highest number of dives and that we got to have such a great day here. 
My three dives were 170 Euros plus 18 Euros since the dives I did were guided and my friend payed 170 for snorkeling and two dives without the certification. You can also buy underwater photos from your diving and snorkeling and I suggest you take out your mouthpiece for them so you do not look like a complete idiot. They also offer underwater cameras for hire, but I think it makes more sense to just get a GoPro, which you can borrow on land.

Josephine Falls

These waterfalls are an hour south from Cairns and may be a great stop on your way up. The falls are beautiful and you get to dip in the icy waters here. There is not too much to do around here since unless you are a hardcore hiker the paths here are super challenging and a little tale about two inexperienced German girls tells there are fucking leeches in the ground. Falls are great though. 

Mossman Gorge 

This is actually perfect for a day trip: a gorgeous river with natural pools and amazing hiking tracks just an hour north from Cairns. You head to a Cultural Centre and take a bus to the park from here. Dipping in the pools here and taking the track through the rainforest takes about two or two and a half hours. We also headed to our Croc tour from here the next morning before heading to the gorgeous village of:


This little hippie village in the rainforest is an absolute treasure. Yet another chance to stock up on souvenirs and memorabilia in adorable little hippie markets, filling up on organic and vegetarian snacks and cuddling koalas. Plus the scenic drive along the coast back to Cairns is just an absolute dream. 

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