If you haven’t already heard on-air or through Twitter and Instagram, we gave away a trip to Australia to one lucky winner to go on Contiki and travel through various parts of Queensland! And guess who gets to tag along to share this wonderful experience with all of you? That’s right, they sent me and the lovely Seena and we’ll be tweeting, instagramming and blogging throughout the whole trip so YOU can enjoy this adventure with us :)
We said goodbye to Los Angeles on Friday night and headed straight to LAX, after getting some thai iced tea of course, and hopped on our Air New Zealand flight with a breeze. Filled with energy and excitement we didn’t really know what we were going to do on our 12 hour flight to Australia, but let me just tell you that the in-flight entertainment is AMAZING! They had pages and pages of the newest movies, music, and television shows. The first few hours were spent watching and crying to Life of Pi (I was actually the only one crying). After the movie, we decided it was time to sleep so we pulled our seats back, we lifted our foot rests and knocked out. When we woke up we had about an hour or so to landing so we decided to get ourselves pumped up with some music. We pretty much spent that hour alone just browsing through the music selection. They had everything from rock to rap to indie and EDM. Seena was stoked on the newest Swedish House Mafia since she hadn’t yet had a chance to listen to the full album and I started listening to some A$AP Rocky.
Once we landed in Australia we met up with our winner- Deepak, DJ Yonni and his friend Manny from New York and another lucky winner from New York, Brit. We then hopped on our transfer flight to Cairns and a few short hours later we were meeting with our tour guide, Elizabeth, and heading to check in to our hotel in Cairns. To our benefit, our hotel- Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel, is filled with hot young Australian boys (we can get into that later).
We quickly changed and met back with Elizabeth to set out on our first adventure, minjin swinging and bungee jumping at AJ Hackett Bungy! Check out the videos below to see Seena do the minjin swing and watch me bungee jump- but just to paint the picture for you- we were in the middle of the rainforest with the river underneath us and the view of Cairns above the lush trees (yes, I know…BEAUTIFUL!). Seena was catapulted through the trees with DJ Yonni by her side and although she was screaming her lungs out she said it was the most amazing feeling in the world. I was up next and decided to bungee 50 meters into the water! We were even lucky enough to meet Mr. AJ Hackett himself. He’s pretty much the coolest dude ever and basically popularized the whole sport of bungee jumping by jumping off the Eiffel Tower!
Then we headed to dinner on the Cairns Esplanade lagoon and watched the sunset over the sailboats (no big deal). And yes, the food is delicious and melts in your mouth!
Day 2 started bright and early as we were picked up by our charter bus and headed to go WHITE WATER RAFTING with Raging Thunder (not that kind of thunder). We had never been rafting before, but I am pretty sure this was the best rafting experience one can have. The 7 of us (our friends from NY and our winners) got one raft to ourselves with our fabulous guide, Tomas. Tomas became our best friend, not because he’s from Chile and has the craziest Chilean and Australian accent, but because we had to trust him with our life. He guided us through the waters of the tully gorge, took us through some crazy drops and showed us the most amazing waterfalls. And yes, if you must know, Seena was so excited to jump that she slipped, fell and laughed hysterically after :)
After rafting they took us to a local pub to celebrate our accomplishments for the day. We had some delicious beers and yummy chips (French fries) along with the chance to get to know the locals. We then headed back to Cairns and literally were mesmerized by the scenery on our 2 hour drive back. I’m sure my words won’t do justice, but you can see for yourself when you check out our photos!
We had a free night so we decided to explore the city a bit. We hit up a few local pubs and took a walk down the esplanade because…well, why not?
The weather is amazing, the people are friendly, we’re having a great time…and it’s only been 2 days!
Check back tomorrow for another update!
-Rita Manoukian, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles