Uncle Brian’s Rainforest Tour
For my last day in Cairns, I decided to go on a tour of the rainforest outside Cairns. But I didn’t choose just any tour, I chose ‘Uncle Brian’s.’ They focus exclusively on backpackers, and to stand out from the crowd, they offer a unique twist – the driver is crazy and the whole tour is interactive.
While they take you to the same places all the other tours go, Uncle Brian tries and succeeds at making the entire tour and especially the long bus ride in between destinations exciting, interactive, and wild.
These activities include games, funny & personal stories, song singing, dancing, and contests. They try their best to promote this idea of family, and by the end of the trip, you really do feel as if you are leaving your close relatives.
Of course, besides the activities listed above, the best part of the trip is your driver. In this case our driver was “Uncle Brad;” a deranged though hilarious native Australian with long hair, a grizzly 3 day old beard, and looks that, no doubt, resembled Steve Busemi. When we weren’t interacting, he was busy telling jokes and funny bits here and there. He wasn’t afraid to put people on the spot or act crazy himself. His partner in crime was ‘Gus’ the bus. Yes, even the bus took on a persona of its own. Gus would sometimes get sad and cry (windshield wipers with washing fluid) or other times get lost (go around the roundabout 6 times). He would have trouble moving forward (driver messed with the clutch) or sometimes refuse to go (driver would stall).
There was also another Gus traveling that day and Uncle Brad had no qualms about us ambushing him twice on the road with handfuls of mud. This was after, of course, the other Uncle Brian tour group had so cleverly drew inappropriate objects all over our Gus’s windows with sunscreen. I single handily covered someones entire window with mud. All in all, it was good old fashioned humor albeit with a tacky flavor.
The actual tour consisted of various rainforest stops. Like any rainforest should, it rained the entire time. We visited various rivers, waterfalls, and lakes. It was very beautiful as you can see from the photos below. During one hike, some people (myself included) were attacked by leeches. They weren’t very big; maybe 1 cm. The worse part was that you couldn’t feel them and they only looked like pieces of dirt. It wasn’t until the bus ride until someone noticed them. Immediately we all went through the process of pulling them off our legs. The resulting blood is from me squishing them (see below) on the bus floor. I was told they weren’t harmful so I wasn’t really worried. Still such is the life of a backpacker.
That night and my last night in Cairns, I went out to Gilligan’s, the infamous backpacker bar/hostel in Cairns. It is more like a backpacker resort than a hostel. It is HUGE and has its own club and massive pool complex. It is the biggest party hostel in Australian and that is why I purposely chose NOT to stay there. But, of course, it was okay to party there. Luckily, it was Tuesday night, and jelly wrestling was on the menu….
Sadly my American friend lost in the finals. Daggers.