Ok, I last left you when we had finished our Whitsundays tour.

Monday 21st Jan: The next we drove up to Townsville. Its a really really boring drive. When you get this far north the area is much more sparcely populated so you can drive for hours with just road ahead of you. Still, it was too far and we got to Townsville late afternoon. We checked into a caravan park with cabins and relaxed after our drive.

Tuesday 22nd Jan: We got up early (ish) and headed over to the marina to catch the ferry to Magnetic Island. The fast ferry only takes about 45 minutes which is no time at all. Once there we hired a mini moke, which a tiny car with no sides and roof that seems to have been built in tjhe 1960s. Actually they may have been because there was only 4 gears, the seats didnt move forward and the streering wheel was so so heavy. Anyway, this was our mode of transport for the day so off we went to explore. We found Horseshoe bay and sat on the beach for a few hours, then after lunch drove back down to Nelly Bay and Picnic Bay. The beaches were nice and some had stinger nets up so you were protected from the jelly fish (though dont get too close- their tenticles can reach up to 3 metres thorugh the net!). After this trip I have such a hatred of jelly fish and the sea swimming time thry ruin...

Once back on dry land early evening we drove to Igham and spent the night in a small B&B on our way to Mission Beach.

Weds 23rd January: Today we continued our drive to Mission Beach and found this really amazing eco lodge to stay in. All the huts are made out of netting and are set high in the rainforest with a view of the sea below. The place was stunningly decorated with yoga classes and home cooked gourmet food. The only downfall was the bugs... there was a gecko or two in our room and god knows what else outside. We also saw the BIGGEST spider you will ever see. It was bigger than my handspan by far and could run like the clappers. It was a huntsman, so not poisonous, but terrifying all the same. All we did at the lodge was read and catch up on sleep and eat nice food. A great way to recover after a mad week.

Thurs 24th Jan: This was the final day we had the camper van so we drove the last few hundred Km to Cairns. We checked into a hostel, dropped the campervan off (sad moment!) then headed into town. Its a funny palce Cairns, its almost only a city because of the attraction of the Great Barrier Reef and the trade that that supplies, but its still a decent size with plwnty to do. Still, in keeping with Aussie wet season tradition it rained.... so we went to the cinema to see American Gangster and had a great italian meal afterwards. We pretty much did the same the next day too!

Saturday 26th Jan: My Birthday!! And Australia Day!!! Though for some reason Cairns doesnt seem to be celebrating this year... random. So back to my birthday! Deb had been very naughty and booked us a room at the Shangri-la hotel right on the waterfront. The room was amazing, with great sea views from the balcony and a totally awesome pool. We spent a good few hours at the pool then Victoria had bought me a massage at the spa as my present so I went and had that done (amazing) then heased back to the room to drink the nice bottle of bubbly Debs has also ordered for us! After that it was out for some cocktails and a nice dinner with views of the sea.

Sunday 27th Jan: We managed to get a late check out of 2pm then we had to head back to the hostel (sob). We then headed to the Lagoon which is a huge swimming pool with grass and decking right on the sea front in the town. I think they built this because there isnt much of a beach in Cairns, and its really well done too.

It was then just a case of relaxing in Cairns, repacking and waiting for the flight back to Sydney!

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