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Last updated : Nov 2009
Cairns, Australia
Nov 19, 2004


Our flight arrived to Cairns very early in the morning (4:45 am). However, our bodies were still on Bangkok time (1:45 am). Trying to function normally as we were nearly strip-searched, hosed down, disinfected, and quarantined by immigration was rather amusing. It was probably from having answered honestly to the question of where we’d been prior to Australia (particularly India) that we were interrogated and searched as such. Fearing that they might confiscate or burn half our things, we actually did remarkably well – even our Indian spices made the cut. An hour and a half later, we left the airport, groggy-eyed and missing only a package of dried bananas.

With the small time-warp, it took only a few days for us to feel ‘normal’ again. We were definitely in a good place to acclimate, as northern Queensland is a slice of paradise. And speaking of ‘fresh air,’ what Bangkok is to Delhi, Cairns is to New Hampshire. It’s amazing up here. Cairns is a city of about 150,000 and a launching pad for many tours of the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest coast. Cairns itself is the most ‘city’ you’ll see for miles. It’s quaint yet well developed, and it boasts a wicked nightlife. However, it’s a place that has held up pretty well in the face of tourism and development, and its beaches and surrounding green hills are gorgeous.

After a few errands we left for Daintree, a small town north of Cairns. The drive is beautiful – the topography and vegetation quite similar to Hawaii – with luscious green mountains, sugar cane fields, turquoise coast, and winding roads. The drive takes just under two hours, and we arrived to Daintree in the late afternoon.