After a week up Australia’s east coast, I took three days in the tropical metropolis of Cairns to evaluate my route west. Due to the bike’s temperamental inaugural run at sea level, I elected to have the carb cleaned and jets outfitted by Trinity Kawasaki. I can’t imagine anything worse than running into problems on the 1,800 mile remote stretch from Cairns to Darwin across the Savannah Way. At the shop I met a couple of other bikers on KLR’s who I intend to ride with over the next few days (more on that later).
While in town, I headed off on foot to discover why people across the southern hemisphere rave about this tropical hub. Aesthetically speaking, its no surprise with the panoramic Esplanade and busy urban core juxtaposed nicely against Queensland’s hilly northern vegitation. The beachfront boardwalk boasts a massive, open community pool–replete with banana hammocked Europeans and tourists aplenty otherwise.
I dropped in on Tony at the local digeridoo shop to check out some indiginous instruments and weaponry. The sleek wooden pipes had an impressive presence, and even more impressive sound.
Around the corner, I came across Gilligans Hostel, apparently the epicenter of rowdy fun in Cairns. This massive 700 bed facility was bustling with travelers from every corner of the globe. My modest 24 bed operation in the States is vastly different with regard to style and theme.
Cairns is a beautiful city with incredible people. It reminded me an awful lot of my hometown of Boise, Idaho due to its friendly and scenic streetscape, rugged surroundings, and central functioning layout.
Outside of the city lies myriad beaches and scenic overlooks. I paid an afternoon visit to some childhood friends of my mum’s in Yorkey’s Knob about 20 minutes from Cairns. The 270 degree hilltop ocean panorama upped my appreciation for the region’s offerings.
Cairns–truly a wonderful city.
I also have to thank the Snelling family for hosting me on my visit. Their kindness and hospitality is uncommon even among good folks, and I am truly thankful to them.