This is Australia (if you can’t tell that from the above picture, seriously rethink your life) known as the land where the beaches are fine and the bit… I mean ladies are finer.
Quick idiot’s guide to Australia: it’s a really friggin’ big island. Like, bigger than all of Europe. 85% of its population live on the coast, because the mainland (the Outback) is 2.5 million square miles of mostly baking hot jack shit. That seems like an awful lot of empty space, especially when you’re from a country as crowded as the UK. Maybe we should send all our convicts there, why has no one ever thought of that before?
…oh, someone did.
80% of the indigenous species of animals in Australia are found nowhere else in the world. And most of them want to kill you, right now. The jellyfish are venomous. The regular fish are venomous. The spiders are either venomous, or big enough to wrestle you to the ground. Or both.
Man-eating saltwater crocodiles that can grow over 20 feet long are plentiful. And of course, who doesn’t love snakes? Australia is home to 21 of the 25 deadliest snakes in the world. Should you wander into the outback, you might be lucky enough to encounter the inland taipan snake, which is the world’s 2nd most venomous reptile, surpassed only by my ex-wife. (That joke would probably work better if, y’know, I had an ex-wife.)
One local species I’m sure the ladies love is the flying fox. These are giant f**k-off bats that can grow up to a 1 meter wingspan. Walk under any tall tree in an Aussie city at night and you’ll see dozens of the things hanging upside down from branches, or swooping around, while cackling and shrieking. In Cairns the sky was full of literally thousands of them. Up close, in a cage, they almost look quite cute. But when one basically divebombs you and flies just a couple of feet over your head, like one did to me in Surfers’ Paradise, suddenly they don’t seem so cute. It was like being attacked by Batman.
‘Tell me, do you bleed? You will.’
Luckily, they are fruit bats, and have zero interest in people or the sucking of their blood… for now.
In addition to these, you see birds and lizards casually wandering the streets that you don’t get anywhere else.
The ibis: Like a weird cross between a seagull and a flamingo.
The kookaburra, aka ‘the thieving little shit who steals your lunch.’ If you visit Australia and see one of these things, tell them I hate them.
We spent a week in Sydney seeing the many sights, burning like all British tourists on the many beaches, and visited the famous Blue Mountains. Perfect weather for it too:
Thank the Lord for giving me eyes, so that I could witness this incredible natural wonder. SO. F**KING. SPECTACULAR.
We moved on up the east coast via hop on-hop off bus, spending a couple of nights in Byron Bay…
Very nice town. We went kayaking, got really close to some dolphins, and managed not to drown.
Followed by a couple more nights in…
Looks nice here but unless you like kids’ theme parks, there’s pretty much nothing to do. Except drink, of course.
And finally a few nights in…
Genuinely a lovely city.
In Brisbane we paid a visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
Koalas are like the Tesco employees of the animal kingdom; they spend 20 hours a day sleeping, and the remaining 4 eating, expending as little energy as possible.
The party never stops with these fellas.
If you book online, it’s $ 32.50 for entry to the park, and having a professional photo taken with a koala brings it up to $50. Holding koalas is illegal in most Australian states, so this is one of the few places you can still do it.
I paid an extra $18 for this photo, and I hate it. It’s waaay too HD. You can see every laughter line, every grey hair, every tiny imperfection
on the koala. Poor thing.
You can also feed kangaroos;
They also have platypuses, which, if you haven’t heard of it, is a completely absurd animal with a furry body, a duck’s bill, and webbed feet that also lays eggs.
Image search to the rescue.
I’m not sure what Mother Nature was smoking when she cobbled this thing together.
Wombats, which look like a large cross between a pig, a hamster, and my ex-wife. (Seriously, I need an ex-wife, does anyone want the job?)
Fun fact: Australians call flip flops ‘thongs.’ For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been wearing thongs everywhere. We at This Is Probably A Bad Idea hope you enjoy that particular mental image.
Following Brisbane we flew north to Cairns, missing out on popular tourist destinations such as Fraser Island and the Whitsundays. You’d need, like a year to tour Australia properly. We crammed a lot into just short of a month but there’s just so much to see.
Cairns is a sweaty, sweaty town, and folks mostly use it as a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation and other sights. We took a day tour of the Atherton Tablelands where you can swim in lush freshwater lakes, climb behind a waterfall (on rocks too slippery to stand on. Fun times) slide down a natural waterslide, and visit the waterfall where the Herbal Essences advert was filmed. All the girls (and some guys) film themselves there doing the classic hair flip.
Filming the advert for my new brand of shampoo. Who wouldn’t want hair like mine? Especially with my advertising slogan: Because You’re Worthless.
Special mention to the tour guide, who despite being from New Zealand, was the most Australian man ever. He would say literally anything and not give a f**k. Hilarious bloke.
The following day it was time for me to cross a big one off my bucket list, and get really high. I mean that literally.
This is probably a bad idea.
This is definitely a bad idea.
Dunno why I needed to pay this dude to throw me out of a plane, I know quite a few people who would happily do it for free.
Maybe you need the tiniest bit of a death wish to skydive, I dunno what it is. But I figured, it may be scary, it may be unpleasant, but I have to just go up there and get it over with. Just like with the ex-wife. (SOMEONE DIVORCE ME. THESE JOKES ARE HOLLOW.)
I don’t want to spoil skydiving for those who want to do it. But going up is the worst part; sitting on the floor with nothing to hold onto, next to an open door thousands of feet up.
Having to lean over the doorway to look down, then move to sit with your legs dangling over the edge with some guy strapped to your back? Nothing pants-shittingly terrifying about that.
Then comes the fall. Pfft, nothing to it.
Piece of cake.
But when the parachute opens… the total, peaceful silence. The breeze. The view. The feeling of freedom as you glide to earth. The straps on the harness they put you in that, to quote Deadpool, go right up main street. (That’s kind of the downside.)
It may be daunting and a little expensive, but skydiving is so worth it. My first thoughts upon landing were ‘AGAIN! HIGHER!’ Maybe the adrenaline rush is addictive. But given the right opportunity (and discount) I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Will jump out of 100 planes, still won’t approach a group of ladies in a bar. Sigh…
I only paid for photos of the skydive, not video. Luckily someone was nice enough to film my dive for free:
Yes, that is how it went.
We wrapped up Cairns with a snorkelling tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, without an underwater camera, I have zero pics worth showing. You’ll just have to see it yourself. But it’s like visiting another world. Colourful, beautiful, full of thousands of brightly coloured fish, including clownfish. (NOT NEMOS. CLOWNFISH. Stupid Disney.)
Sadly, due to climate change (or according to President Trump, due to voodoo magic or some shit, because climate change is all a lie) the reef is dying; miles of coral are already bleached and lifeless. Some of it can grow back over many years, but the reef will never be the same again. If you’ve always wanted to see this amazing place, you may only have a limited window of time to do so. Just saying.
I won’t miss the high prices of… well, everything here. But leaving Australia is a sad feeling. Several times, I’ve wondered if I’ve died & gone to heaven here. Nah, heaven wouldn’t have this many Chinese tourists.
Our next destination is New Zealand, where there’s sod all Wi-Fi. So if you don’t hear from us for a while, it’s because we’ve fallen off the face of the earth. Peace!