Cairns and its suburbs have about 150’000 inhabitants but the city feels much smaller. We felt that there isn’t too much besides a nice boardwalk along the main beach and some nice shops (and not to forget the casino). We would guess that without the Great Barrier Reef nearby and the tourism it created Cairns would be as unknown to most people as Townsville (which is about the same size and only 350 km South of Cairns). Anyway, we had a nice self-contained apartment for the next three day as our home and for sure had a good time.

Still a bit drained out from the long drive of the previous days we decided to explore the outlet shops of Cairns and a have walk along the seaside before ending the day with a nice home-cooked meal.

Having had enough of shopping the next day was more activity based and we explored nearby mountain town of Kuranda. Instead of taking the overpriced tourist train or cable car we drove the few kilometers up to the mountain village. Once up we went for a short jungle boardwalk which brought us to a lookout near the Barron Falls. The falls are quite high but once again were only running at half power. We probably should come back during the rainy season. The town of Kuranda itself was rather touristy and not really worth the visit. So back to Cairns.

The afternoon was good fun as we booked a half day fishing trip. A small boat with about  twelve people brought us to various fishing spots. Henry, the owner and guide, not only showed us a crocodile (impressive beast) but even cooked our catch and served us some crab and sashimi. Despite missing a big catch we had a very enjoyable time on the boat.

This was unfortunately already the last day of Hazel’s parents holidays and the next morning we wished them farewell at the airport. Afterwards we moved our home to the Cairns Holiday Park where we would setup tent for the next three nights.

The next day marked already the last day of 2012 – how time flies and what a remarkable year it was. The weather was rather bad during the whole day and so we spent New Years Eve  relaxing and watching the Hobbits in the cinema. New Years Eve wouldn’t be what it is without a firework and so we headed off to the waterfront for the spectacle. Cairns although much smaller than Sydney offered  a spectacular firework for which we had front-row seats and so we welcomed 2013 with a blast!

The year started rather rainy and so we spent the best part of the first day of the new year relaxing at the campground.

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