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Tubing the mighty Mossman

Tropical North Queensland is the gem in Australia's crown. Hidden away in lush rainforest, almost 2000km from the nearest major city, Cairns is a paradise which must be visited. Yes, the Great Barrier Reef is only a short boat ride away, we all know that. But whilst distracted by the lure of finding Nemo, most travellers miss the abundance of crystal clear fresh water that flows only a pebble's throw away.



28 January 2018


On a whim, several months earlier, I had somehow had my leave approved and tickets purchased to spend Australia Day with my old friends, arguably the closest thing to family I have here in Australia. For months we had chatted about what adventures we were going to do and by the end I was super stoked with our plans to do a 100m multi-pitch climb and three days of camping down in Cardwell. Out in nature...excited!


I arrived in the late afternoon, touched down into overcast weather, and waited for my mate Fintan to pick me up. Soon enough his white sedan pulled up, we embraced awkwardly as two do when over a foot of height difference exists. "Weather looks good", I quickly observed. The silently raised eyebrow immediately tingled my spider sense. Apparently it had been raining non-stop for the past two weeks and whole weekend was forecasted to rain...did I say rain? I meant bucket down. 95% chance of 30-40mm of rain. Although optimistic, the following morning, over an elongated coffee stop sipping Annie's Vietnamese iced blend at Rusty's Market, both the climbing and camping was called off.


So we kicked off plan 'b', BBQ at the Molanus'. Amazing how rain and the scent of charring meat can bring people together. "We could just do this all weekend," I thought. I guess we could have, but the nice thing about living in the tropics is that when it rains, it's actually refreshing. So after a few beers, the plan was set: $10 inflatable mattresses would become our vehicle of fun.


We woke up the next morning to clear blue sky. Another aspect of living in the tropics is the 4 month threat of cyclones that can flatten your neighbourhood like a bad Trump hair day. On this instance, however, it worked in our favour. A stirring system out in the Coral Sea was sucking all the weather out to sea, fuelling the storm to be able to wreak havoc. So after a quick stop to spot crocs hunting in a nearby estuary, we headed off to tackle the mighty Mossman.


It was an amazing trip, full of laughter, full of friends, and full of comfort knowing there's people in my life who's got my back, even in croc infested waters.

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