Cousins in Cairns

by laur3xplores

My cousin and I planned a mini trip to Cairns from 2-5 July.  Vicky arrived to Cairns from Canberra around 6pm, and I flew in from Brisbane later around midnight.  I took a cab to Caravella Backpackers Cairns City Waterfront, where we had booked a room to stay for the night. I was super excited to be spending time with Vicky-this was our first time having a quality cousin trip together one-on-one (we come from a large family-10 aunts and uncles with 20 or so cousins  so, one-on-one is pretty rare for me).

We were supposed to have a good night’s rest, but ended up having a good night’s celebration and catch up with champagne (courtesy of Vicky) and our updates and reflections regarding our family.   We probably stayed up til 3am.

Regardless, we woke up early around 6:30am; and checked out of the backpackers (20/person/night).   We went to A1 Car Rentals (I wouldn’t rent from them again) on 141 Lake St Cairns.  The lady, Rosa, was pretty rude towards us-a bit condescending towards Vicky and I which made the transaction pretty unpleasant.  We rented a small white Hyundai Getz for $59/day plus $19/day for insurance for two days =$234, and an additional $400 bond that would be frozen until the car was returned in one piece (it was refunded in full).

Our itinerary was very similar to my previous trip to Cairns with Ryan.

We drove south for about an hour to stop in Babinda for shop for snacks and toilet break, then continued on for an additional 25min to Josephine Falls (my favourite waterfall).

There I convinced Vicky to jump into the pool of freezing water and swim across to the natural water slide (waterfall streaming down a fat slab of rock).

We arrived around 10am; and there were several other people around enjoying the pool.  We both just dove in and went down the slide once, and headed out soon after.

We drove through Innisfail and stopped to check out Mission Beach, and took photos of the empty and scenic beaches around the area.  Vicky has a good eye to capture artistic angles, I really liked how her photos turned out.

We stopped to have lunch at Bingle Bay Cafe and shared a meal together: steak and chips, it was quite the wait, but delicious.

Afterwards, we made our way to Paranella Park (see  We were welcomed by one of the friendly staff-and he told us a brief history of Paronella Park.  He asked where we were from, and mentioned he was in LA a few months ago, trying to promote a film about the park.  He gave us a nice departing gift as we left the park- a little piece of the park itself.

Most of our driving was us trying to beat the sun.  We tried to fit as much as possible into a day.  The drive itself around the Atherton Tablelands and through Daintree is breathtaking.

We didn’t make it to Mareeba before 4pm to try their coffee, so we drove onwards to Palm Cove where we parked the car and slept.  Vicky took beautiful photos of the sunrise the next day, and we made our way to Port Douglas for our scuba diving trip with Poseidon (highly recommend them).  It was Vicky’s first time scuba diving, and she was a natural!

We stopped at Mossman Gorge and continued north to Cape Tribulation.  We parked the car in the parking lot of a bar/club for the night.  The moon was bright and round and we saw a fire along the way and took a photo.

The next morning wanted to see the sunrise, but it was too cloudy.  We saw young cassowaries around 5am near Cow Bay, which is a pretty rare sighting.  The tropical icecream place wasn’t opened that early so we missed out on the experience.  We checked out Daintree as we made our way back to Cairns.

Along the way we stopped to check out Kuranda and Barron Falls (which Ryan and I did not get to see our last trip).  We filled up the tank, packed our things, returned the car and took a cab to the airport.

It was really cool having quality time with my cousin.  It is really cool because I got to see a lot of Vicky whilst travelling (Vietnam and now here in Australia).  It was nice.  I look forward to her coming to Brisbane!