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Gladstone to Mission Beach to Cairns
Another long day of driving saw us arriving at Mission beach. We had officially moved into salt water croc area so although we were by a beautiful beach we couldn’t swim. We stayed in Bingil Bay Rest area which was a pretty little lot by the beach. We managed to wash our hair under a cold outdoor tap so we felt a bit more fresh, and after a scare of thinking we heard a croc we chilled in the van for the evening.
We set off for Cairns for the last day of driving. After half an hour we pulled over by an honesty box fruit stall and it came to my attention that my surf board was not in the van… FUUUUCCCKKKKK
I’d only gone and done the impossible, left my board under the van when we drove off. Everything was racing through my mind as I rushed the girls back into the van to go back and get it… would it be snapped if we drove over it? Had someone stolen it already? Of course the girls couldn’t stop howling with laughter. Thankfully it was there , propped up against a tree. I jumped out of the van before it had even stopped, ran up to my board and hugged it like a human.

After this slight mis-hap we got the Bruce Highway a final time for Cairns. We arrived in Cairns and it wasn’t exactly what we expected. We thought we were maybe in the outskirts of town because it all looked rather scatty. We pulled up to check out some rest stops and found out that they don’t exist in Cairns because they don’t like camper vans very much… so eventually we found a camp site near by and decided to go there for a hot shower and to do our washing before we gave the van back tomorrow.

The camp site was called Sunland, it is hidden away in a housing estate and doesn’t look much from the outside but inside it is actually rather good! Hot showers (which trickle out cold, but that’s not too much of an issue in the muggy climate), kitchen, BBQ and washing machines, we couldn’t complain! We did our washing half hand wash and half in the machine because we didn’t have enough change and a hell of a lot of washing and hung them out on the line hoping they would be dry for the next day. Of course it rained all night and we had to check out at 10am. So back into the bin liner the stinky clothes went after a failed dryer attempt and we drove to a parking lot to clean the van and pack our bags up before giving the van back.

We went to find our hostel for the next few days, Reef Backpackers in the centre of Cairns. Although it looks like a crack den from the outside… and kind of the inside too, it is actually a really cool hostel. Full of fun people and the facilities are pretty good as well. It does have a pool but it looks like a mix between a swamp and my grandma’s green pond in her garden back in England! Probably not safe to swim in…
We gave the van back and ended up being ignored by the woman after handing back the keys for over an hour for no reason so half the day was already gone. The BWS up here forbids you to buy goon before 4pm which was a shocker as well. The hostel has something on quite a few nights of the week and tonight was the BBQ night. $2 gets you the BBQ food and a good few cups of goon! The room we paid for was $17 a night in a four bed dorm which is perfect for us girlies!

I’ll check in soon with an update on my opinion of Cairns!