Sunrise in Oz

We woke up this morning around 6.30 to the most amazing racket. The cockatoos all sit in the surrounding trees for the dawn chorus and it sounds as if we are in the jungle. We get up and stand looking at the sunrise. Simon takes the most beautiful photograph and I’m sold on Australia with that one picture.

Everyone is rushing around, Justin getting ready for work and Tara getting ready for school. Although it also seems so familiar, getting the kids breakfast, making sandwiches, I don’t miss any of it and can only think that I’m glad I won’t be doing any of that for a while. We sit having a coffee then Justin drops us off at the hostel.

We all have a quick shower before packing up our stuff and moving rooms. We were in ’2 Kangaroos’, now moving to ’3 Turtles’. This room is better, a bit bigger with a double bed (Simon and I have been sharing a single). Our old room only had 2 bunk beds and was really tiny so we were all starting to get on each others nerves a bit!

We then head off for The Esplanade, basically a seafront promenade it’s lovely along here and as it has finally stopped raining we can hopefully start to appreciate Australia’s famous sunshine coast a bit more. There is a huge, manmade saltwater lagoon surrounded by grassy areas. There are lots of people lazing around in the sun, having a swim and cooking food on the free BBQ stand. (What a great idea that is)

We wander around a bit, have a go in the arcade where Maisie and I whip Simon and Ali at air hockey and enjoy a cappuccino over looking the boats before heading to the tourist information centre to book our reef trip. In the end after much debate we decide on a day long trip to a slightly quieter area of the reef. The total cost is 160 pounds which is loads and we are a bit shell shocked at having to cough up so much money. Still, can’t come to Cairns without visiting The Great Barrier Reef so pay up happily enough. I’m sure it will be a fantastic day and there seems to be quite a lot included in the price.

We go shopping on the way home at the supermarket and get enough food to last us the next few days. When we get back the kids continue their literacy lesson on the wildlife of the wet tropics of Australia. We all learn a bit and I’m very pleased with their presentations. Maisie especially has worked hard and seems very confident. Simon spends some time chatting with the Aussie fellas who are staying here. It seems to be a magnet for lots of blokes working in the area as it’s cheap and despite their rough and ready exterior they are very friendly and seem to enjoy a good chat. One fella who knows the area really well tells us we have picked a good trip tomorrow on a good boat and not been skinned too much on price so I’m pleased with that.

Its 9pm now and just getting ready for bed. Didn’t sleep too well last night and feeling tired so figured an early nights in order before our day out tomorrow. I hadn’t given Australia any consideration until I arrived and therefore hadn’t thought about the reef. But now we’re going there I’m feeling very excited. Can’t wait for the morning.

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