Hi everyone!

As part of my photography course, I have to track my development on a blog. The posts from September 2011 until January 2012 are part of a module called Project Management, for which I was required to work in a group of eight students to create an exhibition. The blog followed every step we took in order to create a successful gallery. The blog posts starting from September 2012 follow my final year on the course. I'll be documenting my research and analysis of my final year projects, as well as include notes of my Professional Practice unit - which prepares us for a range of post graduate options. Finally it also looks at a project called New Creatives, where I'll be working alongside an artists to help college students get more involved with art.

Friday, June 20, 2014

East Coast Travels - Cairns

20th - 24th May

We left Townsville nice and early at 7 in the morning on our way to our final stop: Cairns. Townsville and Cairns are the only two placed we have breakfast included with our hotel, I probably had the best breakfast EVER in Townsville. It was a bittersweet moment getting on our last (ever?) Greyhound bus.

The whole journey has been so organised and easy and I definitely recommend checking out the Greyhound busses if you're thinking of going travelling. There was never any problems with luggage as they organise the bags in the bottom of the coach to where people get off. Everyone gets checked before getting on the bus, and there is a final head count at most stops to check if they're missing anyone. When we had our 4 hour stop over in Hervey Bay, the bus driver had a small space where everyone could put their luggage so they don't have to carry it around with them. The best thing about the greyhound was the free wifi. We didn't have wifi on all the buses, but when we did it was great. We didn't have wifi in many of the hotels, and if we did there was a ridiculous limit... Anyway, our last bus was really nice, a brand new 7 days old bus.

We arrived in Cairns at about 1, we had a lovely stopover somewhere along the way.  I forgot the name but it was a beautiful place. The bus driver told us to keep an eye on the time because you can easily go for a stroll and miss the bus... which has happened many times before. These were the signs for the toilets, how funny?!

We stayed in Cairns for 4 days and I didn't actually take any photos until our last evening.. oops! Cairns was a little different than we expected, for a place that has the Great Barrier Reef and the Rainforest, the town wasn't the greatest. It wasn't bad at all, but for some reason we were expecting a city so were a little disappointed when we saw how small it was.

We stayed at a place called Cairns Queens Court, it was the cheapest hotel out of everything and was less than $100 a night. It was about a 10-15 minute walk to the town centre. The hotel was nice, the room was a decent size, there was a swimming pool (which didn't look like it was really for using) laundry facilities, and breakfast was included. We honestly spent most of our time at the hotel to catch up on all our sleep and prepare for Tokyo. From our hotel we walked down to the waterfront and from there walked along the promenade towards the town centre. It's a really lovely walk especially in the evening with the sunset. The photo above is looking away from the centre and the photo to the left is towards it. Cairns is surrounded by mountains which is a beautiful sight. Especially because while we were there the clouds were so low and curved over the tops of the mountains. You can kind of see it in the photo above. Although everyday it was really cloudy, it was incredibly hot and humid. It was around 27 degrees every day and drizzled every now and then, making it super humid.

When you're reach the centre along the promenade you get to the lagoon. It's similar as in Brisbane where they've been an artificial beach. On one side it's more like a swimming pool, whereas the other side has the artificial beach. As you can see from the photo, it's right on the waterfront. There are tons of free things to do in this area, the lagoon is free to swim in, there as sports classes there is free wife, etc.

Around this area are tons of restaurants, and of course our favourite Grill'd. It's literally amazing and the thing I'll probably miss most... We had our third final Grill'd here. Our first final one was in Melbourne, our second in Brisbane and now our real final burger. The prices were a bit more expensive here than in Melbourne or Brisbane though, which was strange. If you want to go out to dinner, make sure you have an early or a late dinner, it's VERY busy at 7ish!

If you walk away from the water towards the restaurant and continue going up, you'll reach the shops. There are a couple shopping streets with random little tourist shops as well as well know brands. If you continue walking that way you'll eventually reach Cairn's Shopping Centre. It isn't massive but has a large range of shops, including a T2 store, the most amazing tea in Australia which has actually recently opened a store in London! Everybody going to Australia must stop in the T2 store since it's a very unique tea store, but also because they have tons of samples you can try. They're delicious.

Cairns also has a night market every night, it's located just off the promenade near the lagoon by the restaurants. It starts off with a food court and at the back of that is the entrance to the market. It's mainly souvenirs stalls selling everything kind of souvenir you can think of.

For three of the four days we just walked around Cairns and the shopping centre, buying any last souvenirs and enjoying our last couple days in Australia. On the 22nd we had our Great Barrier Reef trip which I'll blog about in the next post, it was incredible!

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