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1 May 2014

CAIRNS + MISSION BEACH

The humidity hit us like a tidal wave the minute we stepped off the plane. It was then that I instantly knew I was going to love our time in Cairns. From rain and chilly temperatures in Melbourne to 30+ degrees tropical heat and blazing sunshine, to be able to leave my jeans at the bottom of my suitcase and start (somewhat frantically) whipping out skirts and shorts in a fit of glee was just what the doctor ordered. THIS is what holiday weather should be like!

We had only one evening and half the next day in Cairns before our drive up to Mission Beach, so spent it walking by the water, tasting some local delicacies (crocodile and kangaroo aren't bad!), enjoying some refreshing scoops of ice cream, downing cans of coconut water (my fav) like there was no tomorrow and doing the tourist-y thing, of course - incessantly photographing the scenery.

kangaroo and crocodile, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
Cairns, Australia, Euriental
helicopter, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
bird, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
These little guys were everywhere! Australia has so many beautiful and unusual birds, I found myself turning into my dad (an avid bird & nature photographer in his spare time) and chasing them all over the place trying to get a good snap. Luckily this one was a total poser.

Cairns, Australia, Euriental
Cairns, Australia, Euriental
Cairns, Australia, Euriental
outdoor pool, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
palm trees, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
helicopter and palm trees, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
Cairns, Australia, Euriental
rack of ribs, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
octopus salad, Cairns, Australia, Euriental
The drive down to Mission Beach takes about two hours, through endless greenery. 

Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
We stopped at this tiny market shop our friends mentioned, in the middle of nowhere just off the road, where a little Thai lady sells all manner of delicious fruit and veg for insanely good prices.

fruit and veg market, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
This is the gorgeous view from the house we were staying in: 
Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
Not too shabby, huh?! It's even better at sunset:

Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
We spent the evening at the house, four of us, cooking, drinking Bolly and Aperol Spriz, and generally just hanging out until wayyy past our bedtimes. After the cyclone that had hit nearby, mosquitoes were rife at the house, and Jarv and I were absolutely destroyed by them. I mean they went to town - it was disgusting. I felt like I had the chicken pox all over again. A guest I was more than happy to see, however, was this gorgeous tree frog. Isn't he handsome?
green tree frog, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
The next day, we woke up happily refreshed (in my case. Jarv was a hungover whimpering wreck) and ready to set off for the day on a boat. We'd originally planned on snorkeling some of the nearby islands, but after the cyclone, a lot of debris was floating around. Plus, we missed the morning boat anyway, so there's that. Instead, Jarv and I said goodbye to the others for the day and decided to rent a boat on our own.
Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
exploring islands, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
boat hire, Mission Beach, Australia, Eurientalboat hire, Mission Beach, Australia, Eurientalboat hire, Mission Beach, Australia, Eurientalboat hire, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
Best. Afternoon. Ever. The islands were all completely devoid of people, leaving us feeling like we'd discovered our own little paradise in the middle of nowhere.
exploring islands, Mission Beach, Australia, Eurientalcassowary, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
Sadly, during our time in Mission Beach, we never spotted any cassowarries (an endangered species of bird that grows up to 6 ft tall and looks like a cross between a turkey and an ostrich with a magnificent blue head...just a little unusual, you might say).
After a long, tiring and extremely rewarding afternoon at sea, we were ravenous, so we traipsed across the beach twenty minutes to a massive American style restaurant for dinner. I had surf and turf, and then, for dessert... a deep fried (giant) scoop of pistachio ice cream. Yeah.

deep fried pistachio ice cream, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
We stumbled our way back to the house in the (almost) dark, guided only by the luminescent light of the moon.

beach at nighttime with full moon, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental
beach at nighttime with full moon, Mission Beach, Australia, Euriental

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