Australia Day 2015 Cairns

Australia Day in Cairns

Australia Day 2015 Cairns

 

Wow – what an epic day!

 

With all of our mates back at home in Melbourne, we occupied ourselves by trying to have the most Australian Australia Day possible, and that meant checking out all of the fun community events that were on offer.

 

Pie Eating and Bull Riding at Cazaly’s

Our first stop was Cazaly’s, a massive entertainment and function complex.  They were hosting a huge Australia Day bash, complete with jumping castles, face painting and the staff dressed up as iconic Aussie characters.

 

We watched a few rounds of the pie eating competition, downed our first beer of the day, and just as we were getting ready to leave, we were intercepted and convinced to have a crack on the mechanical bull – YEEHAW!

 

 

Sausage in Bread on the Esplanade

It was surprisingly easy to find a free parking spot in the city (nobody wants to park under the trees where the smelly bats live).

 

The Esplanade was packed full of picnickers and people cooling off in the lagoon, with the scent of BBQ wafting through the air.  The members of the Cairns Surf Life Saving Club were doing a sizzle so we pulled out a few bucks for a sausage in bread – a cheap snack before our next stop.

 

Australia Day 2015 Cairns

 

Thong Tossing at the Court House

Our next beer was at the Courthouse Hotel, and the main bar was packed with fellas wearing green and gold or donning Aussie flags as capes.  We were just in time for the Rubber Thong Toss so we signed up and took our beers outside to prepare.

 

This thong throwing competition was all about accuracy, as opposed to the Whyalla comp which was all about distance.  Whoever got their thong in the fountain scored, particularly if the thong landed in the top, central tier.   Dave made it through two rounds while Juz tossed her second thong right over the back fence and was declared 6 and out!  In fact, she was the only one to throw a thong over the fence, thus making her the unofficial winner for distance.

 

 

Pool Party at Gilligan’s

The heat and humidity lured us to our next location – Gilligan’s – who were having a massive pool party with Triple J playing over the speakers.  Juz had a dip in the pool and a few pina colada slushies, while Dave picked up another pair of sausage sizzles for snacks.

 

 

Cocktails at Salthouse

With the Hottest 100 approaching the top 20, we walked over to the Salthouse to chill out with a cocktail by the marina.  We scored some limited edition Australia Day XXXX Gold stubbie holders and Juz sipped on a Lady In Red concoction as the day started to come to a close.

 

Australia Day 2015 Cairns

 

Australiana Triviana at The Red Beret

We popped home briefly to shower and compose ourselves before heading to our final destination – the Red Beret for Australia Day trivia with our trivia teammate Philip.  Our team’s name was the Budgie Smugglers and we ended up in 5th place.

 

Australia Day 2015 Cairns

 

Getting to sleep wasn’t difficult.  We got home at about 9:30pm, watched rage briefly and passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillow.  Happy Australia Day!

 

Thursday Night BBQ - Bungled

Party In Port Douglas : Dave & Juz’s Birthday

If we had left Darwin in mid-August with the Troopy, we were expecting to be in Port Douglas in time for our birthdays.  However, we decided to stick around in Darwin and experience the Wet Season, so we flew over to Queensland for a week-long getaway in with family and friends.

 

Day 1 : Wednesday

We woke up at 4:30am to be picked up by a cab at 5am.  Our flight at 6:20am got us to Cairns at 9:30am.  We caught a cab into the city for some coffee before realising that we had 4 hours to waste… so we decide to have a pub crawl.

 

 

Dave’s folks arrived in Cairns at about 3pm, picked us up outside The Union Jack and we headed for Port Douglas.  They dropped us off at our accommodation, where we freshened up and got ready to meet our mates who had arrived a few days earlier.

 

Everyone was at the Rattle and Hum – we drank a little more to prevent a hangover from the pub crawl, had some dinner and caught up with some general chit chat.  Juz was exhausted and went home to sleep while Dave stayed out until midnight (lest he turn into a pumpkin).

 

The CAKE that Dave's mum made - AMAZING!

 

Day 2 : Thursday

We got up nice and early and joined the family group to head to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Forest.

 

LOOK OUT!!  The Daintree

 

Cape Tribulation was gorgeous.  We had a nice walk on the beach, saw some mangroves and stingrays before having lunch at Mason’s Café and explore the water hole nearby.  We stopped at the Daintree Ice Creamery on the way back and tried some tropical flavours like yellow sapote, wattleseed and coconut.

 

 

We got back in the late afternoon, rested our weary legs before preparing for the evening celebrations.  Everyone met at Anzac Park with BYO booze and meat and we had a feast and cut the amazing cake that Dave’s mum made before the real shenanigans started – climbing things was the theme of the evening.  After making a 10-person human pyramid, the boys climbed the picnic shelter, and the playground, and the playground shade cloth to check out the full moon over the water.

 

 

Once we were done with the park, we packed up and headed to the Iron Bar for some more drinks and dancing.  This is when things start getting a bit blurry.  Dave and I left with Cyn, Matty and Chris and we went back to their hotel.  We did some skinny dipping in the pool, Juz scrapped her hip on the bottom of the pool and Dave ripped his nipple open trying to pole dance on a flag pole.

 

Rip Nip!

 

The night manager told us to scram so we fled and headed home, but not before Matty poured Dave a full glass of Chivas Regal.  It goes without saying that Dave doesn’t remember much from that point on.

 

Thursday Night BBQ

 

Day 3 : Friday

A tough morning – but no rest for the wicked.

 

We peeled Chris off our motel couch, got cleaned up, checked out of our studio room and went to Mossman Gorge with Chris and Dave’s folks and new arrivals, Kieran and Maria. Stupidly, we didn’t bring our swimmers so we couldn’t refresh ourselves in the cool waters, but there was a lovely 2km track through the forest to enjoy.

 

 

Once again, we had to pretty ourselves up for the evening, but instead of doing it at our hostel, we cleaned up in comfort and Dave’s parental unit.  It was probably for the best because Dave’s ripped nipple needed some serious attention and Juz was too squirmish to finish the job so Dave’s mum stepped in.  Once we were all bandaged up and smelling sweet, we headed to On The Inlet – the location for Juz’s special 30th birthday dinner.

 

Everyone was there – we took up two tables and were taken care of by an awesome waiter who had a great sense of humour and perfectly pronounced Gewurztraminer (and made us look silly).  Dave ordered the whole baby barramundi while Juz and Cyn shared a bunch of entrees.  Everyone’s meals were incredible and the drinks kept on coming, but because Juz had burnt herself out the night before, it was an early night for her and Dave, but some of the others partied on until the wee hours.

 

Watching the footy at On The Inlet

 

Day 4 : Saturday

Attempted recovery – we woke up just in time to meet Jess and Trav at Mocka’s Pies for breakfast before a total faff day wandering around town and sunbaking on the beach.  When we got back to the parental unit, Dave took the plunge and shaved some of his beard off, leaving a long purple goatee.

 

 

We went downstairs to the Rattle and Hum for happy hour drinks while we watched the Sydney– Fremantle game before heading down the street for a delicious Thai dinner.  The plan after that was to go to the Full Moon Party at the marina but it was full of teenagers dancing to terribly mixed music so we spent the rest of the evening on the beach.  Juz bowed out at midnight while Dave partied on with Glenn.

 

 

When Dave and Glenn got back to the hostel at some ungodly hour, there were some people sitting on chairs in a line on the side of the road.  They assumed that some sort of show was about to start, so they pulled up a couple of chairs.  It turned out there wasn’t a show, but they met a cool Italian backpacker, caught (and released) a bird and found a bunch of glow sticks before eventually crawling into bed somewhere around 5am.

 

Day 5 : Sunday

It was Parksy’s last day in Port Douglas and Juz woke up just in time to meet up with him at Mocka’s for a final breakfast pie.  When she got back to the hostel, Dave was still in a coma on his bunk, but she had to rouse him so that we could get cleaned up at the parental unit before heading to Cyn and Matty’s exotic accommodation, the Sea Temple.

 

 

We spent the afternoon sitting by the pool and drinking cocktails before the girls dolled themselves up for dinner at a secret location.  We were picked up by a shuttle bus and taken into the forest for the most magical experience in Port Douglas – Flames of the Forest.

 

Our dinner was perfect – romantic live music sung by a girl surrounded by guitars and ukuleles, dream-like lighting, candles, red velvet and knives and forks that were lined up for miles.  Each course that came out was a taste sensation, and the wine was free-flowing.   After a quick dance at the end of the night, we were shuttled back to town and passed out when our heads hit the pillow.

 

 

Day 6 : Monday

Breakfast with Juz’s mum before another day of faffing.  Drinks at the Rattle and Hum started after Cyn, Matty, Glenn, Liz and Chris left for Cairns at around 4pm before whoever was left headed over to the packed-out Tin Shed for a pub style meal.

 

 

Day 7 : Tuesday

Our last day in Port Douglas.  We checked out of the hostel and walked down to Origin Espresso for the best coffee in town before cleaning ourselves up at Juz’s parental unit.  We packed the car up and headed to Cairns for a pho lunch with Kieran and Maria.

 

We checked into our motel room and waved goodbye to Juz’s mum, Kieran and Maria before stripping down to our underpants and watching TV all night long.

 

 

Day 8 : Wednesday

We woke up relatively early to have breakfast at Paleo Café before catching the shuttle bus to the airport and coming home to Darwin for some well-deserved rest!

 

 

We want to extend a massive thank you to our friends and family who were able to get to Port Douglas for the festivities.  We had a fantastic time seeing the sights and catching up with you all.  Where should we have our birthday party next year….?

 

 

Croc Bar at the Grand

Drink : Pub Crawl in Cairns, QLD

We flew to Cairns for our birthday week in Port Douglas and realised that we had about four hours to spare before Dave’s parents arrived so we figured that the most logical thing to do to pass the time was go on a lunchtime pub crawl.

 

Railway Hotel

The first stop was the Railway Hotel, which was a smelly pub full of bar flies.  We went outside into the beer garden but most of it was closed off so we necked our drinks and moved on.

 

The Railway Hotel

 

Grand Hotel

On the opposite corner to the Railway Hotel, this pub features the Croc Bar, a long wooden bench carved out like a crocodile, complete with a toothy head at the end.  As soon as we walked in, Dave’s beard got all the attention.

 

Croc Bar at the Grand

 

Crown Hotel

Heading north east along Shields Street, we arrived at the Crown Hotel, which was really modern with all the concrete and stainless steel.  We checked out the menu and the meals were fairly cheap but we had our eyes on a place around the corner for our lunch.  The chick behind the bar was really cool and because the Crown is on a corner, it’s great for people watching.

 

The Crown

 

Meldrum’s Pies in Paradise

Time for some food!  This place is supposed to be the best pie shop in Cairns so we thought we’d give it a go.  Dave got Steak, Cheese and Bacon, and said the bacon gave it a sweet savoury flavour that really stood out.  Juz got the Steak, Cheese and Chilli Pie and relished the burn.  We were amazed at how a single ingredient could make such a difference in flavour.

 

 

PJ O’Briens

The Irish pub in town – we found the drinks to be quite expensive, and while the indoor area was a bit cluttered, the outside benches were nice.

 

PJ O'Briens

 

The Courthouse

A very swish place with gorgeous architecture– well-lit rooms with high, ornate ceilings, a huge beer garden out the front and a few little ones out the back.  This was supposed to be our last stop but there was a delay with the flight that Dave’s parents were on so we had time to visit one more place.

 

The Courthouse

 

The Union Jack

Our last stop before our ride to Port Douglas.  The front bar had a very British colour scheme so we took our drinks out back and were in awe at the space they had created.  There was a smoking area, a stage, heaps of decking and places to sit.  It was a really cool space.

 

The Union Jack FrontbarThe Union Jack - outback