A Travellerspoint blog

Arrival in Cairns

It took a while but we're here. Time to explore

sunny 27 °C

After a 37 hour journey that included planes, boats, taxis and trains we made it to our resort in Cairns. So, after a good nights rest it was time to explore. We decided to take it easy for the first day and did some shopping. Along the way we were directed to a casino that had a wild bird (and some other animals) exhibit on the top floor. So, off to our first real photo opportunity in Oz. It turned out to be a log of fun. Julie make friends with a large black cockatoo named Zorro. He wandered over to her and just walked up her arm as if he'd known her all his life. After getting some pictures of the two of them having a chat he flew over to me and perched on my shoulder. It was all fun but Zorro wasn't done visiting. It took a while but we were able to get him to head back to his perch and we explored the rest of the aviary. There were a few dozen different kinds a birds including other cockatoos, parrots, lorakeets, owls and others. There were even a couple of small roo's there as well.

The rest of the day was given over to shopping and exploring. We ended up getting the weeks excursions set up and then back to the room.

Tomorrow we head for the Great Barrier Reef. The largest living thing in the world for a day of snorkeling.

Posted by garciamag 16:12 Archived in Australia Tagged events Comments (0)

Week One Done

Cairns is complete

sunny

Hi everyone. Just a quick update. More details will follow. There wasn't much access to the internet at the first resort so we haven't been able to share some of the wonderful experiences we have had so far. But fear not. They're coming! And hopefully they'll allow up to add some photos too.

We're heading out of Cairns for Brizzy (Brisbane for you mainlanders) just in time. A cyclone is predicted for Wednesday.

We are going to learn to drive on the 'wrong' side of the road. We're going to drive down the coast from Brizzy to our next stop. Beware Aussie drivers!

Flight is calling. More details later!

Posted by garciamag 09:29 Archived in Australia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

We made it...almost

Customs, immigration and buses. I thought the Aussies were supposed to be cool folks?

sunny 30 °C

Well so far so good. Our first leg from Seattle to LA went well. The overnight flight went relatively well. The seats were comfortable but nothing to be excited about. The service on the flight from LA to Sydney was pretty good and the food was reasonable. We didn't even miss the Monday we never saw.

But trying to get from Sydney to Cairns didn't work so well. We went without delay from the plane to customs and then immigration but we just couldn't get past the luggage area. It turns out the QE2 and QM2 are both scheduled to dock in Sydney today and there are no dearth of ugly, pushy and whiney Americans arriving in Sydney to take in the cruises.

Anyway, once we got to the domestic terminal we couldn't get on our 9:30am flight. The Qantas guy that is supposed to help with such issues didn't seem to care about out plight at all. He did get us on the 7:30PM flight to Cairns. A nice bloke helped us figure out how to call Cairns from Sydney so we could alert the resort we would be late. We are also quickly getting used the various sized money. Both the paper and coins are different sizes but their size isn't in order of the amount. I got 25 cents change and the 20 cent piece was almost the size of a 50 cent piece. But both are larger than the $2 coin.

So, we now have an 'extra' 9 hours to explore Sydney.

So we try to get help from a few more Qantas airline personnel but none we approached seemed too interested in helping us. We did finally find a nice lady at an information booth who suggested we buy a day pass and go explore the harbor and see the ships.

The public transportation in Sydney is really easy to figure out. We took a train out of the airport to the ferry docks then took two different ferry rides around the harbor area. Our first sight was the Opera House and the bridge. We did see the QM. The QE2 didn't arrive until later this afternoon.

So after the day crusing Sydney harbor, we grabbed some lunch then headed back to the airport. The domestic terminal doesn't seem to a lot of travellers during the week. Even Burbank seems to have more folks walking through it on a normal business day. It was strange to see such a big terminal area be so quiet on a workday.

So we are waiting at the very last gate for domestic Qantas for our flight. We are a little early but 60 minutes before our flight there are just three passengers...;-0

Tomorrow Cairns... then the Great Barrier Reef!!!!

Posted by garciamag 18:04 Archived in Australia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

We're on our way

The last day before travel was full of excitement. It was a sunny day so the outlook started off great. The house painters came out, the appliance delivery folks arrived, the dishwasher and new faucet were installed, softball practice went off alll without a hitch. Guess it's time to pack now...

It rained all night....Then, only hours before we are due to head for the airport I find that I don't have the proper connection for my dive gear! A call to my local dive folks got me fixed in just minutes and all was good.

We have made the first leg of the journey just fine. We are now checked in and waiting for the LA-Syndey leg. As as reminder when we checked in with Quantas the gate attendant said "they serve dinner and breakfast on the flight and free drinks for the duration of the flight so eat too much in the airport. Ya gotta like that.

Posted by garciamag 19:48 Archived in Australia Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Almost ready

All the planning will come to pass

We are now less than 48 hours away from heading down under. We have made huge progress and things just keep falling our way. We are mostly packed and all the planning has made things work out will less stress and worry then trying to figure it all out at the last minute.

Every person we come into contract with that has been to Australia has only glowing comments about the place so we are even more excited then ever to get there and experience all the great sites and experiences that await us.

We still have about 24 hours of plane travel ahead before we get to 'relax' but it still beats a good day at the office!

Posted by garciamag 22:08 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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