Here I am. In the country I said I would never ever ever sanely go. Maybe I am insane after all, am I? I have always been terrified of going to Australia.
Why you may ask? ‘Just’ because of the spiders and the snakes. I am not afraid of the sharks or the crocodiles (I should though right?). I am afraid of the ‘little’ animals than can hide anywhere without you seing them and after that they would jump on you to bite you (or eat you). I know fear is not rational and I know this may seem a stupid thing for not visiting a country. Though here I am. Scared to death of those things (and the ones I don’t know about but are here in Australia too).
I am so terrified of spiders that since we arrived three days ago, I watch every step I make, every toilet seats, shower angles, every corner of a room when I enter it. I don’t want to see huge spiders. I don’t think they are funny in anyway. And if I see one (which I don’t doubt because when you are looking to avoid animals they have a tendency to find you), I am definitely NOT going to take a picture. NO WAY in no way that I am going to stay in a room with a spider in Australia for more than a second!
Being in New Zealand for a year makes you think about the reasons why you don’t want to go to Australia. It is so close to New Zealand that it would be too bad not to go now… Everyone in New Zealand kept telling me that they had never seen a spider there, if I stay in the city I won’t see them either… There are stunning landscapes there… ALRIGHT. I’ll go.
That said, I can tell you more about my first impressions.
Getting a few more days of safe New Zealand
Last week there was this huge cyclone (Debbie, they called it) hitting Australia in Queensland, exactly where we were headed. Bad weather luck again on our part. I’ll have to write about that some day because I really think the little cloud above my head is sticking.
With that, I thought our flight might be cancelled but I hadn’t heard anything from the plane company. Though, the night before we were supposed to fly, I got a weird text saying our flight have been changed. Changed? What does that mean?
It took me a while to discover that the flight from Wellington to Sydney had been cancelled because of the fog in Wellington. WHAT? There is a cyclone and it is the fog that stops us?
Morning flights are the best
The flight took off at 6:30AM. I was hoping to see New Zealand from the air because when we flew in last year it was cloudy so we couldn’t see much.
You can guess that the flight went directly through the Tasman sea from Wellington, not even flying a bit over the New Zealand land. Plus, it was still night – that doesn’t help!
When the sun started to rise over the Tasman Sea, we had the most fantastic view. The sky turned to all those colors I love.
It lit up the clouds from above in a reddish color.
It was stunning.
And then I saw it. I saw it thought the window with those sunrise colors: Australia. I was finally going to see what I didn’t want to see.
The plane flew right over Sydney, showing us how big and beautiful the city is.
Let me tell you one thing: I am already in love with Sydney’s opera. It was so beautiful from up there in the sun, with this orange light. I can’t wait to see it from closer.
Almost missing the connecting flight
When we landed in Sydney, we had a connecting flight one hour and a half later to Cairns, in Queensland. I thought it would be alright but one hour and a half is VERY short when you have to pass the customs, the border AND when they have to wash your shoes…
Because of course we didn’t know but Australia has the same policy has New Zealand: when you have hiking boots and you have been wandering in the wild before taking the plane, you should have very clean shoes when entering the country otherwise they will clean them for you – and fine you for it.
We had less than half an hour left at that point so I asked the lady at the cleaning stand if the place to give our luggage back was far.
When I saw the look on her face, I knew we were not going to make it to our connecting flight. She ran to the person washing our shoes and helped him do it so it will be faster and then she told us where to go but we had to run.
Which we did. When we arrived to the registration, they already had closed the luggage boarding. The girls didn’t want to take our suitcases at first and wanted to relocate us on another flight… The day after.
Technically, I thought it was Qantas’s fault if we missed the flight because we bought our ticket with them and they gave us the two flights – thinking we would have time to make it. In reality I am not sure it works that way.
Anyhow, the ladies did their best to calculate if we would have time to make it to the plane and they decided to take the chance. I could never thank them enough! We would have missed our rental otherwise.
I had never ran in an airport like that before but we made it! I had no time then to worry about the spiders!
Australia is HOT
When we arrived in Cairns, it was SO HOT. I still can’t believe it. It was 30 degrees celsius, a lot of humidity in the air too. We were driving from New Zealand, from Wellington especially, I think I haven’t felt 30 degrees since last year when we were in the Death Valley!
I think I didn’t pack the right suitcase for the weather: Hat, gloves, buff, merino… Yes, yes, I took all those thinking it would be the same weather as in New Zealand. BIG MISTAKE!
Well, we might have a summer after three winter in a row – no offense New Zealand, I love you but your summer was kind of crap.
So far I am liking Australia. Really nice beaches everywhere. We had sun for three days – and LOTS of rain for three nights. We saw crocodiles and a sea turtle… and no spiders yet.
I am very surprised because I didn’t think Australia had such a tropical weather in the North. Yes, the Daintree forest is a rain forest but still. Lot of humidity in the air and 27 to 30 degrees when you wake up.
People are as nice as in New Zealand so far. Of course New Zealanders told me Australians where not as nice but so far they have been really helpful – I have a very good story about that in another article about the Reefs. Let’s see in a few days!
Fingers crossed for me for no spiders please!
Write to you soon!