Time to jump back on the tour bus, so to speak. Our flight to Cairns was scheduled for 11.15am and the shuttle bus arrived for us at 9.30am. Denied a seat in the business class lounge, we settled down in the café to write our postcards.

The aircraft was a 747, and we were both rather childishly excited to be sitting on the upper deck. It was not the most comfortable flight for either of us – Brigid nearly jumped out of her skin every time the plane hit a bit of turbulence, and John winced every time she gripped his arm!

Cairns was hot and humid on our arrival, and slightly chaotic. Remembering the helpfulness of Sydney’s Information Desk, we hadn’t booked accommodation – hoping to get a better deal at the airport. No such luck.

John rang Hides Hotel and booked a double room with shared bath (marginally preferable to a dormitory, and all they had available). Hides is one of Cairns oldest hotels, but certainly not one of its grandest. We found our room to be small and dark, and the bathroom served the whole floor. After a short discussion, we moved up the street to the much more pleasant ‘Club Crocodile’ hotel on Lake Street.

Again short on time, we booked a combined reef cruise and rainforest cable car ride for the following day.