I arrived on Thursday 16 August around 7.40pm. I was really looking forward to my internship at the Cairns Post and to go up north.
I planned my trip in detail and I got a cheap flight ticket – so cheap that my luggage didn’t arrive. There I was, standing with a bag full of school books and that was it… I can tell you, I wasn’t happy!
Delayed luggage happens more than once a day but WHY would it happen to ME? I have never seen so many people staring at me when I checked in at YHA. Payed for two weeks and just a little pink Coles bag in my hand.

Next day was full of joy and happiness. My luggage finally arrived and I was so worried it wouldn’t get here before Monday and my BIG DAY.
Went to the Cairns Post on Friday, introduced myself and met the people.
Cairns doesn’t look like what it used to. I live in the same area I did two years ago and I could hardly find my way back to the hostel.

Monday morning. Was up around 7am to make sure I had the bathroom.
Felt like a backpacker again… The sun was shining and I started up having breakfast down by the lagoon.
The news room was busy when I stepped in 9am (sharp) and I got my writing desk beside Jschool James.
I was introduced to Elinor, a photographer and SWEDE! There’s one Swedish word that all the photographers know and that’s “Dorrmatta”
This means doormat. Have no idea why this specific word circulates here.
The first thing I went to was an APEC meeting at Cairns Convention Centre. I was listening to Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Terje Skavdal (Norwegian) talking about co-operation when disasters happen. Sweden was mentioned connecting to the Tsunami disaster because we lost so many people.

During my first week, I have been listening and trying to learn as much as possible about an Australian newspaper. It’s one thing sitting in the class room but out there it’s totally different. Now is the time to remember all the things John and Desley taught me. Everyone has been nice and helpful to me.
I started up spending time in Supreme and District Court.
There have been some very interesting cases to follow up. I went to court in Brisbane and thought I had seen the worst but just wait till you get up to Cairns. Sometimes I left the court room with open mouth and blinking eyes.

I wrote an article on Raine Island off Cape York Peninsula. This place is the world’s largest known green turtle rookery. It is now granted National Park status. An agreement between Queensland Government and traditional owners. People with permission to monitor or study this vital turtle rookery will now have access to the fragile island.
The previous status as a Nature Refuge didn’t give the island the highest protection under the Queensland law. This status (National Park) is only granted to areas to protect species or habitats of exceptional scientific value. The island is home to the endangered herald petrel bird and the vulnerable red-tailed tropic bird and is arguably the most significant seabird rookery on the Great Barrier Reef. The Queensland Government has signed a new Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are the Traditional Owners.

The week ended with the Cairns Festival. I wanted to go and listen to Cat Empire but was in bed coughing my lungs up. The air-conditioning on the plane totally killed me and I have been hoarse all week. It’s not better to have roomies wanting the air-conditioning on during the night and especially an 80 year-old lady from Britain travelling around Australia, living at a hostel called “Youth Hostel Accommodation.”

Walking and talking while crossing the street. Apparently, more than one pedestrian get hit by a car per day in Queensland for sending text messages or listen to music while crossing the street. We did a street survey on that topic and believe me – we saved a life… One guy we interviewed got so shocked when he heard the statistics so he promised to put the MP3 player aside when he is out walking. An hour later I caught myself doing the same thing while crossing the street. I guess some people never learn…

I started up with a photographer and we went to the Art Gallery to take some pictures of the exhibition “Melting pots.” Then we took off to Cannon Park to the racecourse. The Amateurs starts soon and the horse flu “Equine Influenza” is the trouble maker this year. It might not be a race with horses this time, they are thinking about a camel race.
The question of the day was of course “Will you still go to the Amateurs if there are no horses”? Some were going just for the party when others thought it was too much people. “You can’t move to get to the toilets or the bar.”

Feeling green… It’s totally different out there. I have had a good time in Cairns and I am thankful to the Cairns Post for letting me spend a couple of weeks there.