Sarah and I got away for four nights in Cairns and had an absolutely awesome time. We usually go away at this time of the year – it’s something that we’ve done since she was a little girl – but usually we head to Melbourne. Melbourne this year though is off-limits due to COVID-19 so we went north instead. I’ll tell you more about it over the next few weeks, but bucket list items were ticked.
It did, however, feel weird to be flying again and, indeed, holidaying when Melbourne is again in lockdown and Sydney is scrambling to control outbreaks, but touch wood, there are just two active cases in Queensland at the moment…
Okay, to the five…
You are afraid of surrender because you don’t want to lose control.
But you never had control – all you had was anxiety.Liz Gilbert
This really spoke to me.
2. Social Distancing Far North Queensland (FNQ) style
I love these signs. What I didn’t love so much was the attitude some people took to contact tracing information in restaurants. It’s a requirement in Queensland that if you are dining in you need to leave your full name, address, and phone number. Most people did the right thing but I also saw things like:
- Dominic – Riley Hotel
- Alice – Parramatta Park
- Mary – Abbott Street
Seriously guys, the details are needed for a reason, and cafe and restaurant owners – your job is to make sure the proper details are there in case contact tracing is required.
3. FNQ Hospitality
From Tony the taxi driver, to the publican I bought some wine from, the the rail worker we got chatting to while waiting for the train on Saturday morning to the crew on the reef boat to the owners of the distillery I did some tasting in too… it seemed that everyone we came across had suggestions about what we couldn’t go home without seeing.
This is a region that relies almost completely on tourists for employment and income and (I think I read somewhere) is the postcode that has the highest number of businesses claiming job keeper – an unenviable statistic. You can see that they’re hurting, and also that they’re grateful that people are choosing to holiday in the region – even if the numbers are still substantially down for this time of the year.
And as we walked across the tarmac to our plane yesterday ground crew are there waving people off, ‘see ya next time!’
Direct flights between the Sunshine Coast and Cairns with Alliance Airlines kicked off on Friday so it was fabulous to be able to fly straight back in to Maroochydore rather than into Brisbane followed by the hour or so drive back up the highway. Cairns is now just under 2 hours flying time away – very do-able for a long weekend.
4. The Reef
This was beyond awesome. I’ll tell you more about it, but I actually got to swim with this guy and he was this close. (By the way, the photo isn’t mine, it was taken by the on-board photographer.)
This, however, is me…
5. Prawns on a boat
Okay, more than prawns. On this little tower of pure yum was also oysters, bugs and some salmon. And we ate it on the back of a trawler in the sun.
We also tried crocodile for the first time – and yes, it does taste like chicken with the texture of pork.
Okay, that was my week…how was yours?