In the same mindset of proms in the US, harbor cruises are popular in Sydney: you dress up über fancy and have a party on a boat in the Harbor. Rachel and I happened to get nice secondhand dresses for about sixteen dollars at the same shop – we should have gone together! The boys looked snazzy in their chinos and button-downs. A party bus picked us up at the hall and drove us through Sydney while blasting music and flashing colored lights before delivering us to the marina. Upon boarding the ship, we were swooped upon by waiters brandishing trays laden with glasses of champagne, beer, and soda. There were several decks of dance floors and bars, but we did not stop ascending the stairs until we reached the top, where we posed for literally hundreds of pictures during that 3-hour cruise. At one point Jake and I went on an adventure to find a tray of meat pies. We spent most of the night on the top deck, admiring the Sydney waterfront, with occasional excursions to dance floors on other levels. When our cruise was over, a bus took us to Sidebar: one of our favourite clubs. There was a bit of an issue when I realised I left my ID in Charlie’s pocket (this dress was unfortunately pocketless) but I found him and all was well.
Emerging from the airplane in Cairns, Ryan immediately declared that he needed to change into shorts – it was that hot. I acquired us a shuttle and soon we were on our way. A gondola-like vessel carried us through the Daintree, amongst the trees and up and down the terrain. At a stop a man, who looked exactly like the sort of man you would stereotypically imagine to know everything about the Australian wilderness, took us into the rain forest and taught us about the trees, plants and cassowaries. I wish we saw one in person- I want to meet one of those dinosauresque monstrosities!
A must-do in Queensland: cuddle a koala. We went to a wildlife reserve where I fed kangaroos, wallabies, and pademelons. They were all even softer than expected, and their tongues were super cute. An expert taught us about wombats and we watched one eat some veggies. Wombat feet look creepily like human baby feet. Finally it was time for cuddles: a koala handler arranged my body like a tree and perched a koala in my arms. It was satisfying to check off this bucket list item of hugging a marsupial. Apparently they smell sweet when they are young and gradually smell worse when they age. He was heavier than I expected- very dense.
When our tummies began rumbling, we found a restaurant/store where we tasted samples of kangaroo and crocodile jerky, then dined on crocodile curry. The consensus: crocodile is like stringy chicken. It wasn’t terrible, I ate it and was happy, but I would honestly prefer chicken considering the texture.