|Transition day - the big one. We're off to Australia! Worth getting up at 3:00 in the morning, right? Absolutely! Beat the Auckland and get a direct flight to Cairns. All 50 people on time and dressed - no pajamas. Okay, so we sit and wait two hours at the airport - what's new?
A five hour flight to Cairns, but we get two back. Most people think of New Zealand and Australia together, but at the closest points it's still over 2000 kilometers apart.
We arrive and it's still mid morning. An east trip through customs and immigration - an advantage of a smaller airport. No tour plans for the day, so we're free to swim in the pool, walk the oceanfront sidewalk, enjoy the locals at the protected lagoon, and select from the many restaurants along the esplanade - or "espy" as the Australians abbreviate it.
Australia has thousands of kilometers of beautiful beach and shore line, but most of it in the north and northeast is unusable much of the year due to saltwater crocodiles and box jellyfish. It's such a shame, but taken very seriously. Lots of warning signs, medical alerts and cached treatment kits (usually lots of vinegar), and constant warnings from the locals. Look - but don't touch!