After quite a loud night last night with the backpacker balcony right outside our room, we decided to leave The Jack and head over the The Northern Greenhouse. We’d walked past it on our McDonalds wander last night and it looked really nice so it seemed worth a chance. Great for us, it was only 5 minutes walk away too so we didn’t have too far to walk with our bags and that’s always good! Once we’d checked out of the Jack and made it over to the new hostel, we found that we were a little bit too early to check in there so put our things in the luggage room and went to sit in the common area for a while to wait. First impressions of this place were great; it was more like a hotel than a hostel and it was nice to have a bit of comfort for a change. The staff on reception were really friendly and gave us our wifi usernames and passwords so we had something to do whilst we waited and the deck where we sat was really nice too. It was full of big comfy wicker sofas and cushions, tables for people to sit, a pool table and it’s really spacious so nobody is crammed up next to you. I hoped that the rooms would be as nice as that!
About an hour later, Codie went see if we could check in and was we’d discovered we could, we grabbed our things from the luggage room and set off to find it. I was so pleased we didn’t have to go up any stairs and instead followed the building around to room 11 by the pool. It felt a lot more holiday-like then as a lot of places I’ve been have been by pools like Spain and Kos and I enjoyed that feeling immensely. As we opening the door, we were greeted by the most amazing hostel room ever. It was huge! The three sets of bunk beds were strategically placed around the room so that you weren’t packed in together and there was even a small kitchen area with a fridge and a sink and an ensuite. The baskets under each of the beds meant that there was no risk of anybody’s bags being in the way or tripping you up and as someone who likes things to be tidy before going to bed, I particularly enjoyed that aspect. The fact there were lockers was also great as we don’t really want to be leaving laptops and cameras out all the time but then to discover they came with plug sockets inside so you could leave things charging was even better. This was definitely the best hostel we’d come across so far!
Once we’d claimed our beds (a set of bunk beds so we can make a den on the bottom one to watch things in peace) and met a guy called Aaron who was also staying in the room, we set off in search of the famous Cairns lagoon. On the way, we decided that Codie needed a new towel too as we were struggling a bit only having one for swimming/the beach and for showers so popped back to the tourist shop as mine had only been about £4. I struggled not to get anything else there so I was a little bit pleased when we discovered that there were no suitable manly towels for him. It meant that I got to choose a new one with Australian wildlife one it and gave him my road signs one instead. I did feel a bit bad but it was only a day old so it wasn’t all so terrible. We then bought some more $0.80 water from Woolworths and headed over to the lagoon to go for a refreshing swim.
Crossing the road and walking past the bare looking Christmas tree, we made it to the lagoon and it really did look nice. It was massive and the clear blue water was very inviting on such a hot day. We walked around the outside, past the police station and the shaded shops and onto the grass to find ourselves a shady spot under a tree to lay out our towels. I was too desperate to get in and have a swim to stay sat down for too long so after making sure our sun lotion had soaked in properly, off we went. Just like at Airlie Beach, the lagoon had a sandy shore which gave it a more beach like feel, though we’d learnt our lesson and sat on the grass instead. It burnt our feet as we crossed it and it was such a relief to meet the cooling water and wade into the deep end. Every Wednesday the pool is closed for cleaning until 12pm so we’d got here just in time for it to have just been opened and very clean which was lovely. The water comes from the Trinity Inlet and is filtered and has chlorine added so it was almost like being in the salty sea except without the constant threat of stingers and crocodiles. It perhaps wasn’t as nice as Airlie Beach once you were in as it was quite shallow and didn’t have the same fun atmosphere but I did like the big metal fish sculptures spurting water and with it being so close to the sea, you had a much better view.
After a lovely swim and a read on our towels whilst drying off, we left the lagoon and headed back to Woolworths to pick up something tasty for tea before going back to The Northern Greenhouse. They have a pool there and obviously Codie wanted to have a go in it. Having the room so close to it meant that it was really easy to pop back to the room to put the food in the fridge, top up the sun lotion and then head out for another swim. If I’m honest, the hostel pool was much better than the public one as the water was pristine and so, so deep. Codie enjoyed diving to the bottom of it, whilst I wiled away some time by swimming about and drifting along the surface. On a few occasions I had to time him underwater and then watch to see if he could swim all the way across without taking a breath but that goes without saying really! Eventually we left the pool and went inside to have our showers before tea. As it was an ensuite with a shower inside, only one person could use it at a time and so the other person just had to drip dry outside in a towel. I got to go first as it always takes me longer to wash and condition my hair so I left Codie in a puddle of pool water and stepped inside. It was an alright shower and strong enough, I just struggled with getting dry as there didn’t seem to be a decent extractor fan so it got very humid and steamy. Still, it was more private than normal and that was great. I had to laugh as I left the bathroom as Codie was wandering around the room wiping the floor with toilet paper, trying to mop up as much water as he could. In temperatures like this, it’d have taken no time at all to dry but he was having none of it and carried on before getting in the shower. His stubbornness is really making me laugh at the moment!
Following a tasty, meaty and filling tea, we sat down on the comfy sofas to relax for a while and sort things out online. The kitchen, as nice as it is here, isn’t the biggest so it had made cooking quite hard at times. The hobs also have to be lit with matches and as I’m not a huge fan of fire, I could barely look when that was being done! I suppose tomorrow we’ll just have to go for tea a little bit earlier to avoid the fight for pans and space. I enjoyed sitting on the sofas and it was even better when one of the staff came over and put a film on the overhead projector which turned out to be Pacific Rim. I’d never seen it before and it wasn’t really the type of film I usually go for but I really enjoyed it; it was nice to just sit back and relax in comfort. It was a bit annoying at times as the sound kept cutting out at crucial moments but luckily the subtitles were on and as long as you could read fast, you didn’t miss much. I was loving the dramatic music though so I missed out on that. Grrrr. I suppose I’ll just have to watch it again sometime!
Once the film had finished, we headed back to the room and climbed into bed. Like in other hostels, we’d hung up sheets around the bottom bunk to create a cosy nest to watch things in. I feel a bit too exposed otherwise and I know I often sleep with my eyes open so didn’t want to freak people out thinking I was dead (as has happened a number of times!); the hanging sheets benefit everyone! Another good thing about the hostel is that the beds are absolutely massive. They’re king singles which meant that whilst watching TV programmes, me and Codie didn’t elbow each other in the head and that was great. Being elbowed in the head hasn’t been a highlight of our hostel stays so far so I particularly enjoyed this aspect and looked forward to a couple of nights of bed space luxury.
Cairns seems quite nice so far and has a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Tomorrow I think we’re just going back to relax by the lagoon again to soak it all in and enjoy our surroundings.