I just spent one of my most amazing spring breaks in the remote rainforest of Australia. What is Kristin Melody's idea of an amazing spring break, you ask? No it is not a drunken crawl through Cancun or catching up on the TV show "Teen Mom"; it was surrounded by natural beauty, zip lining through the Daintree rainforest canopy, being surrounded by toxic plants and animals, lovely hippies, lovely hippie parties and live music, having no cell reception or internet, beer, laying on the pristine beaches of Australia, seeing my best friend, and experiencing the overwhelming beauty of the great barrier reef.
Australia is big, as in virtually the size of the contiguous United States. If all you think of when you think of Australia is Sydney and the Outback, than you are sorely missing some highlights. That would be like only knowing the states for Los Angeles and The Rockies. This spring break gave me an opportunity to go explore some other parts of Australia besides Melbourne because my best friend is coincidentally here and working in Australia at the same time.
|Where 2% of Australia's population lives: map by e8odie on Reddit|
|Let my vacation within my vacation begin|
|Friends reunited...in another country...again.|
After cruising around Cairns, we began our road trip up to Cape Tribulation. On the way we were graced with absolutely gorgeous views of the coastline, friendly faces, and stops of absolutely beautiful beaches (like Palm Cove and Coconut Beach). It felt amazing to have the sun beating down on me, and perfect 75 degree weather after nearly two months in chilly and windy Melbourne. On the trip, you must cross the fairy to get to Cape Tribulation, and once you do it becomes another world because it is the Daintree National Rainforest. Cape Tribulation is a very small secluded town in the middle of this rainforest (the 2006 census showed a population of 101); this is where Julie lives and works at Jungle Surfing canopy tours and Ocean Safari reef trips.
|Where I got to stay for 10 days.... living THE LIFE!|
|Looks horrible, right? Gosh it was rough.|
We stayed at this closed down house/cafe/restaurant/art gallery that we were watching for a friend. The rainforest is all around you, the sounds of it are louder than you think but soothing all the same. With those sounds comes all sorts of critters and insects (yes, all of you that asked me about spiders, this is where they are). In my time in Cape Trib, I saw: large creepy spiders (!), black snake (about half of black snakes are poisonous), pythons, kangaroos, tree kangaroo (only about 300 left in the world), goana lizard (lace monitor), the famous cassowary (an emu like creature, about 1,200 left in the world), countless smaller lizards, cockatoos, cane toad (a slight poisonous and invasive toad), sea eagle (not that is not a joke...and no I do not mean seagull), countless other birds, and probably many more things that I didn't even realize I was seeing.
Just a normal day in Queensland, Australia
|This spider was larger in length than my entire hand|
|That is a mould killer bottle....nothing is safe up here!|
|The invasive, destructive, and highly reproductive cane toad|
|That is a bug....not a stick....so yes it is a stick bug|
|This was the kangaroo that had an affection for scratching his balls|
So yes, Australia is full of these kinds of things, but you just kind of get used to it after awhile....after awhile you don't even continue to worry about it because if you leave them alone, they leave you alone. I was lucky enough to come in this "winter" month (read: dry, non-muggy month) and have spectacular weather with clear skies and hot weather. I was also fortunate enough to miss the marine dangers that are usually present. At this time of year, there are no deadly box jellyfish in the water, the crocodiles are keeping themselves, and the sting rays aren't too bad, and lucky enough, the beach here is absolutely beautiful. So I laid on the beach every day for either 20 minutes or 2 hours. I had to be careful though because, you know, I'm white, and you know I burn, and Australia has a damaged ozone so the sun is much much stronger here.
This was only part of my trip there in Cape Tribulation. My next blog will be a detailed description of my zip lining, canopy experience, and the great barrier reef..... until next time, CHEERS!