A Relaxed Day in Cairns


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns
July 29th 2018
Published: July 29th 2018
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I checked out of the hostel in the morning and left my main pack in their luggage room so I could go out for the day before my evening flight.

I decided to walk into the city along the full length of the esplanade and bird along the way. At the very top of the esplanade there was a pair of Beach Stone Curlews resting under some mangroves until some idiot children scared them off. Being a Sunday there were lots of those about.

Once I reached the bottom of the Esplanade I decided to visit a zoo type thing I hadn't been for o yet: the Cairns Zoom and Wildlfie Dome. This is a small zoo theme park combination place located in a small glass dome on the roof of the Cairns Casino in the of the city. Visiting the zoo involves quite possibly the world's strangest zoo entrance because you actually go into the casino and take the casino lifts up to the roof of the building.

I tend not to like zoo and theme park combination places as much, but this place instantly eliminated the price issue of zoo and theme park combos with a wildlife only ticket option for $24. It's not a large places, in fact it's about the smallest place that could charge admission and be its own zoo, but there is quite a bit of free-flying birdlife within the dome as well as separate exhibits with reptiles and mammals as well as other birds so they've managed to get quite a bit in the small space. The theme park stuff doesn't actually interfere with the zoo too much either because they've filled the upper area of the quite tall glass dome with adventure climbing type things and zipwires and all that sort of thing. There are nice views across the city, the ocean, and the raonforested mountains too of course.

I then went to have a proper look at the Spectacled Flying Fox colony in the city during the day when they're all roosting and then went for lunch. After lunch, I decided that the best thing for the day would be to bird the Botanic Gardens since there's lots of nice wildlife around theren and the possibility maybe for some new species. I had almost four hours at the gardens and it was very relaxing just walking around enjoying the wildlife. It has been dry for a while and rained less than it should recently so there weren't many mosquitos. Although I think this also made adverse conditions for the main species here that I had not yet seen which was a Pale-vented Bush-hen but oh well. I did see a Little Kingfisher which is very cool and they're lovely little birds. This was only my second ever sighting after the one in Kakadu National Park in the Darwin part of the trip.

I had a look in the plant greenhouse thing too where they had a very impressive collection of Nepenthes which are probably my all time favourite plants so I enjoyed looking at those, and they also had an absolutely stunning collection of tropical orchids, most of which were in flower, with a huge array of shapes and colours. It was one of the most spectacular orchid displays I have ever seen because of the extreme diversity of shapes and colours in a very small area, so I really enjoyed that.

Although I didn't need the day today in Cairns from a listing perspective, I really enjoyed having a relaxing day to walk around just wandering around on my own and having enough time to just sit around in a place free from being told to hurry up because other people are getting bored or hungry and need to go.

I did have to leave at about five to walk back to my hostel to pick up my bag before getting an Uber to the airport and a day of walking meant I was nice and sweaty before my flight to Perth which is very long for a domestic flight at over five hours, though I suppose it is about the longest domeatic flight you can do in Australia. Jetstar also decided to make a fuss about my hand luggage that I always carry being slightly over the weight limit. Well I say slightly, it was about 12kgs with a 7kg limit, but I always carry that same amount of stuff as hand luggage and they normally only care about the size of hand luggage fitting in the bins and under the seat which mine did. Well there was no way I was going to check in my camera, binoculars, small tablet/laptop device and those in an empty bag came up to the limit... So everything else apart from phone, documents, and small snack box had to go in the checked luggage. I had enough checked capacity so it's not like it cost any more fuel, but it's just annoying to have all my stuff in the wrong place. I may have hinted slightly at my particular dislike for Jetstar in the past so I'm not going into it again. I was tempted to buy something every heavy past check in just to spite them.

However having said that, I didn't actually need any of the torches or field guides or raincoats or bunches of pointlessly heavy metal and locks in the flight and it made for a much lighter bag. I also found out something interesting earlier that I was keen to try out: you are now allowed to take unlimited amounts of liquids on Australian domestic flights. So I took a full 600ml water bottle through, rather than an empty one that I would fill up on the other side like I normally do, and the security person didn't bat an eyelid. You actually can take whatever volume of liquids onto Australian domestic flights!

The Cairns airport, at least the domestic terminal seems to have absolutely no natural light whatsoever which I found really disturbing as a place to spend an hour and a half in but anyway. I will be boarding my flight to Perth shortly so I'll post this now on the assumption that nothing will happen on an evening and late night flight to Perth. I suppose I'll finally be getting to my destination since this whole time has been me going to Perth as I do every two years to see relatives. I just got a bit side tracked with a 10 week layover.


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