I have posted pictures from my trip to Australia to visit Tom during his study abroad, then from us snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, but today I’m going to tackle half of our side trip to Cairns. Cairns is in the Northeast of Australia, which is really just a 3 hour long plane ride straight North of Sydney. We first stayed in a youth hostel in the town of Cairns, which is when we went to the Great Barrier Reef, then in a bungalow on the beach farther North than that. It was so far out into the rainforest that we came across this sign warning us of cassowaries, a big bird like an ostrich who has a huge front nail that it attacks with. Of course, someone decided to add their own humor to this set of signs:

This is us on our ride over to our “beach bungalow,” which of course had a beautiful view:

We also decided to go on a sea kayak adventure while we were there. It started off with some of the freshest, most delicious coconut I’d had in a long time, followed by us kayaking around to a nearby beach. Of course, while we were out there, our guide started telling us about the box jellyfish that frequent the area. But, being the dry season, they were mostly not in that area at the moment, but he advised us against putting our appendages into the water… We had a bit of a spill on the way into the beach, but here we are, safe on the other side:

While on that beach, our guide gave us what are called Anzac cookies. History lesson for the day: ANZAC stands for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and the popular history was that soldiers’ wives would send them these cookies, Anzac “biscuits” (gotta love those other former British colonies…), which are made with like dried coconut and oats and butter and other things because they didn’t spoil easily on the way to reach their guys. Anyway, we had some and I had to admit, they were pretty good. Nowadays, they sell these cookies commercially in Australia.

And this is us at the beach our bungalow was on:

That’s it for now, but I’ll write a second (rather, third) post about Cairns soon, showing our encounter with Nicola the koala, amongst other things back near the city of Cairns.