For our last full day in Cairns we headed out on the barefoot tour to the tablelands, the number one rated tour company in cairns according to trip advisor. That’s a pretty big title, but it was a really well organised tour so I can see why! Our tour guide (suitably shoe free) was Wade, he was such a laugh and we had a good group of backpackers on the bus with us which made it great fun. These things can massively depend on who you’re with. I think I’m getting more adventurous in my old age as A few years ago I’d have never described a day jumping in lakes and waterfalls as fun, but it truly was!
The tablelands are just outside Cairns and are so called as its flat land up a hill (like a table), 1km above sea level. Our first stop, after a Macca’s breakfast, was Eacham Lake which is a 60 metre deep lake in the top of a volcano. It was absolutely freezing! We had a little swim in the beautiful surroundings and clear water, until a fish decided to start nibbling my leg and I was straight back on dry land for some hot chocolate and a sunbathe. I can still be a wuss at times!
Next we made a quick stop to view a 500 year old tree. It’s three trees that overtime have been taken over by curtain figs, which creates quite a spectacular image. Afterwards we took a drive to Malanda village to pick up a sandwich to take and eat whilst looking over Malanda falls.
Once we were suitably fed, and had a stroll round the visitor centre to read about volcanoes and tree kangaroos, we went to the most photographed waterfall in Australia, Millaa Millaa falls. Also know as the Peter Andre mysterious girl falls, or home of the Herbal Essence adverts. Lake Eacham was warm in comparison to this, cold doesn’t even cover it! Trying to do the herbal essence hair flick in ice cold water was pretty painful, photos better be worth it!
Last stop before home was Josephine falls, these were pretty damn cool. After doing my best beached whale impression trying to climb up a slippery rock, and eventually being pulled up by one of the guys we went for a little slide down the rock. There’s some pretty funny videos of this but unfortunately I can’t post them here (for my dignity as well as wordpress’ ability).
After a nap on the bus home in our soaking wet towels, we were back in Cairns for our last night out. We headed for one last meal at PJ O’Brien’s where 7 dollars can get you a steak and a glass of wine, before claiming our 5 free glasses of champagne from the topless man. As sexist as ladies nights are, they make for a cheap evening!
That night we got at most about 2 hours sleep thanks to the drunk guy in our dorm that wet himself, which then dropped onto the poor girl below him. You can imagine, lots of drama and screaming was happening at about 4am! Whoever thinks backpacking is glamorous, think again! This was definitely confirmation that we can not wait to get ourselves out of cairns. As much as we’ve had a great first couple weeks and liked the town, it’s a big party place with lots of drinking and drama that starts to get a bit old after two weeks.
Next stop: Mission Beach for a little detox and adventure