My last week in Australia was spent in Cairns and Brisbane. When I arrived after my last Greyhound bus journey, I found I actually had to walk for 35 minutes in 37 degree humid heat to get to my hostel. When I got there, I was literally drenched in sweat. I could have easily rung my t-shirt out, it was like it had been raining.
After having the most welcome shower ever, I headed to Coles in the fresh, air conditioned Central Shopping Centre. It was here I spotted the cinema I later returned to, to watch Beauty and the Beast. I’ve already said how amazing this film is, so I won’t go on about it! In this shopping centre, there was also a tiny shop called Zing; it’s one of those geeky shops with all the Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones etc. Merchandise. Emily, Becca and I always visit these shop when we go anywhere and have a major geek out. I ended up coming back here on my last day and buying a little Gringotts tin box to keep all my pins in and a tiny Belle key ring.
The next day I headed to the lagoon where I spent a few hours sunbaking. I finally decided it was safe enough to leave my stuff and go for a swim. 5 minutes after I got into the water, thunder and lightening started appearing in the distance and they evacuated us from the pool. I was very, uncomfortably wet for the rest of the day.
I booked a couple of tours to do whilst I was in Cairns. The first one I went on the Great Barrier Reef with this massive tour ship where we got to snorkel and scuba dive. I was in the last group to scuba dive, so ended up snorkelling for well over an hour. I found Nemo! This German guy offered to take my GoPro down with him… He was an amazing diver, I literally don’t know how people do it! He went so far and got so close to the coral. I’m going to need to upload the video of this.
So the time came for my scuba dive and naturally I was extremely excited! For some reason I thought I wouldn’t really need to swim, I would just kind of be able to float around. I don’t know why I thought that.
My group and I were all strapped in to out scuba suits and in the water. They let the air out of our suits so we could sink a bit and hold only the bar. We tested our breathing and hand signals, everything was going well. I felt confident. And then the instructor told us to let go on the bar. I immediately felt myself sinking and started to panic as I couldn’t get myself to ‘balance’. The instructor came over and had to sort of straighten me out so I was horizontal and then ended up holding onto me the whole way round (as you can see in the picture below). On the plus side it did end up feeling like I was gliding around. I may have panicked a few more times when I felt my legs were going to hit the coral and I couldn’t see the instructor because he was above me and I had no clue if he was still holding on to me or not!
So overall, it was a very interesting experience! I would love to do it again, however, I think I need experience diving in a big empty pool so I can get the feel for it before doing it in the sea again. I was just scared of hitting the coral.
The next day I went on a Waterfall tour. This was a really nice day; I met a few new people, including a girl from Canada who was excited to tell me about Disney World and Universal Orlando. We went to three different beautiful waterfalls, and I’m happy to say I managed to swim across the pools for all of them, (it’s the little things). I just told myself not to panic, although they were 14ft deep, I wasn’t going to drown.
We even visited the waterfall where the Herbel Essences advert was filmed, so of course I had to do the hair flick! Unfortunately I cut the heel on my foot open whilst doing it and couldn’t walk on the foot for a few days. The last waterfall we went to had a natural slide you could go down. However, this meant all the rocks were slippy around here, so actually getting out of the water was a challenge. And I’m pretty sure I flashed my boob at everyone after coming down the slide.
I tried to make conversation with the two German guys I was sharing with exactly five times. I only ever got 1 response. So I gave up and decided to be an annoying room mate turning the light off when I wanted and when I had to be up early, I made sure I didn’t trouble myself to be quiet.
Monday was my flight to Brisbane, so that was it really for the East Coast. I had done it. It was a very strange feeling… But I was excited to finally start my journey to New Zealand! When I checked in at the airport I was asked if it was ok to be put next to an exit and if I’d be able to assist in an emergency situation. I said yes, feeling special, and was given extra leg room and priority boarding. I felt like a winner. And then when we got on the plane, we were given this full on briefing on what to do in an emergency situation and I suddenly felt they had chosen the wrong person for this. Luckily though, my emergency assistance was not needed.
I planned to get the air train as it’s known to be the quickest and cheapest way to get to the city from the airport. However, after paying for my ticket and waiting for about half an hour for the train we were told it was stuck and the International terminal and they had no idea how long it would take to get here. Desperate for my bed, I got a refund for my ticket and decided to get a shuttle instead. However, as soon as I paid for the shuttle and got on the bus, the train arrived at the platform. I was driven around Brisbane for the next two hours until I was second to last to be dropped off. The train would have taken 20 mins.
Anyways, my last two nights in Australia were pretty chilled. I was in a room with two Korean girls who liked to practise their English on me and commented on how the Yorkshire dialect (they kept saying direct) was harder to understand. I’m not from Yorkshire.
I walked around my favourite areas and went over to South Bank at night as I think the city looks prettier in the dark with all the lights. I treated myself to my first Starbucks coffee since being in Australia and although I asked for a pain au chocolat to go with it, I was given some sort of raspberry and white chocolate danish bun thing which I wasn’t mad at.
So for now, my time is up in Australia. I will be coming back in June for 3 weeks to properly explore the outback, but until then I will be travelling New Zealand and then I have finally booked my flight to Fiji where I’ll be spending my birthday!!
I’m so unbelievably excited to start exploring new places! I think I took a long time to travel up the East Coast compared to other people and I think towards the end I wasn’t really seeing anything new, that’s why I ended up booking two major day tours. I had kind of lost my sense of adventure a bit and I don’t think it helped I wasn’t really making any new friends in my last week because I was in smaller dorms and language barriers. I guess that’s one of the things you need to expect when travelling alone; there’s always going to be a time when you feel a bit lonely. Luckily, with my travel pass most people are going to be on the same buses the whole way round, so hopefully there’ll be some awesome people to meet.
Anyways, I hope everyone is happy and well! I might try and do a blog post on the Top Ten things I learnt in Australia… X