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Journals from James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

2012-04-01 Must-Sees around Cairns

 Every month the James Cook University’s international students office sends out an E-mail to all the study abroad students with a list of all the trips and special deals offered that month. One weekend my friends and I went on one of these, two day trips to various locations fairly close to Cairns. On Saturday we took the bus into town and waited for our tour guide, Tony. He’s been working with the school and other businesses for quite awhile and you can tell he knows what he’s talking about. So we piled into Tony’s twenty-two seater charter van and our first stop was Josephine Falls. It was a short hike to the waterfall and along the way Tony pointed out certain plants, such as the Wait-A-While vines, which get their name because they have these fine spikes which point one direction down the vine, so they’re very good at catching on things. After reaching the top, taking tons of pictures of the falls, we went to the lower deck and went swimming in one of the pools that the falls’s water runs into. There was a certain area of rock that the water has smoothed over time so a bunch of actually went down a nature-made water slide! It was awesome and totally worth getting my bikini bottoms covered in algae. Then we stopped for lunch and went to Etty Bay, which was gorgeous and had some of the coolest rock formations I’ve ever seen. My friends and I spent over an hour exploring the rocks, trying to glimpse the creatures in little tide pools, and, of course, taking pictures. We had hoped to glimpse a Cassowary (the World’s third largest flightless bird), as Tony had said they’ve been known to run around that area from time to time, but no such luck. The next day we got back into Tony’s van and went up to Kuranda, a little tourist village up the rainforest. There were so many cute little shops and animal exhibits, I hope to take a bus up there again before I leave and spend a whole day there. I haven’t traveled as much as I wanted to this first month in Oz, but having really settled in and learned about all the different resources available to me, these remaining two months   

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