Up at 4:00am to catch the 6:45am coach to Sydney. Arrived at Sydney Airport at 11:00am. Checked in and after heading through security, where Mum had to take her boots off and run them through the scanner, and I got pulled up and questioned about my spotting scope (which I’d known I would), we got some Subway for lunch and hung around at Gate 34 waiting for our 2:15pm flight to Cairns.
The flight was brilliant, taking us over inland NSW and Queensland (roughly in a line over Moree and Emerald). Mum had a window seat and I was next to her so we spent the whole flight with our noses pressed to the window trying to figure out which rivers, towns and mountains we were flying over.
On the 737-800 we averaged an air speed of about 800kph and were at an altitude of about 12,000 metres.
At Townsville we hit the coast and then when we got to Cairns our plane took us to the west of town, and then in a loop to the north east and out over the ocean before heading back into the airport, which gave us great views of Cairns and the islands close by, and gave us an appreciation of how quickly and steeply the mountain rise from the coast. This was Mum’s first ever plane trip and she loved it.
On arrival the temp was 28 degrees Celsius and the clothes I was dressed in for the minus four degrees when we’d left home weren’t really necessary. We picked up our car (an auto white Toyota Corolla) at about 6:00pm.
We headed into town and checked into out motel on Digger Street and by the time we got unpacked it was pretty much dark. We walked down to the Esplanade in search of dinner, but the walk was a little longer than anticipated, and after a long day, we ended up eating at the first café we came to which was Muddy’s. We had fish and chips and then walked the six blocks back to the motel. On the walk back we were lucky enough to spot a Bush Stone-Curlew. A lifer for me and yes, it does begin…