Yesterday morning we overslept. Our bus to the Atherton Tablelands was meant to be in ten minutes and we were all still in bed! After we realised we obviously shot out, we were running around getting dressed, brushing teeth like mad people and then we remembered that Katie isn’t in our room and DEFINITELY isn’t awake! The bus was now. So Juliet ran to Katie’s room while Nicole and I ran to the bus to try and stall it. Luckily we had a really nice bus driver / tour guide who said he wasn’t leaving without a member of the tour! And so he went to another hostel to do his last pick up then said he would come back for us. This was good for me and Nicole as it meant we could go to the bakery and get fresh pastries for breakfast while we waited for the other two and the bus.
After about an hour of introducing ourselves on the bus, telling stories and listening to music, we arrived at our first destination. It was a freezing cold lake and the weather really wasn’t that nice either. We decided that as the whole day is about swimming in waterfalls and lakes, we can’t let the weather or the temperature of the water stop us – we’d do nothing all day otherwise, so on the count of three we all jumped in, screaming! Once you’re in the water it’s so much better but it was still absolutely freezing swimming around in the lake, and we found a massive tree to climb and sit on while the crazy Danish boys (and Juliet) climbed all the way up it and then jumped down into the lake!
On the way to our next stop, we picked up the lunch that we’d ordered in the morning and my name on my little sandwich parcel was spelt the best way I’ve ever seen…
This is because all the German people we’ve met pronounce my name “shhtefaani” or “shteffi” as that’s how they say it in German, so now everyone calls me that the whole time and the sandwich people clearly picked up on it!
Our next stop was Josephine Falls, a massive waterfall with a huge rock slide!
The current here is so strong, and to get across to the waterfall slide you have to dive in at an angle and swim really hard against the current and then grab the rock. One of the guys from our tour who basically couldn’t swim, decided to attempt this and obviously it didn’t work out too well, he was flapping about in the water being pushed away by the current, so two people and our tour guide had to swim over and basically hold him up as he was exhausted and then drag him over to the rock. Nicole then went and had her turn sliding down while we all watched and climbed the rocks in the waterfall.
Then after that the drama started, obviously the guy who hadn’t been able to swim by himself was not stranded on the rock and couldn’t get himself back. Then it started to pour torrential rain and so the current and the waterfall got way stronger, making it more difficult for him to get back!
In the end they had to get a massive cord and get people at different stations to hold it taught so that he could use it to lever himself across but he still wasn’t strong enough to do that by himself! He nearly got dragged by the current and then had to go back to his rock. At this point a massive tour group arrived and so he had an audience. Our tour guide had an idea and so ran off to the bus to get some floatation devices. While we were waiting for his return we realised Nicole had four leeches sucking in between her toes and on her heel, I also had one on my foot! It was such a horrible feeling and I had to rip Nicole’s off her while she screamed and squealed. Leeches are probably the most disgusting animals and once we’d ripped them off us and chucked them away, shivering with disgust, where they had just been on us would bleed loads as obviously they’d broken the skin – such a pain.
Anyways back to the dramatic incident…
Our tour guide had now appeared with a noodle that the guy could use and as he swam over to him with it, they both got into the water and attempted to get across the current together – our guide basically holding him up. Anyways eventually he did manage to get back and it was all very dramatic and everyone cheered, but fancy jumping into a waterfall if you can’t swim?!
We were all absolutely drenched, the rain water drops were massive and fast and even though we were in bikinis we were more wet than if we’d jumped into the waterfall! So we all ran back to the bus to get dry and eat our lunch.
The next stop on the agenda was another massive waterfall that you can swim behind! It’s also the waterfall that features in Peter Andres music video to mysterious girl when he appears out of the waterfall running his hands through his hair. We all jumped in the FREEZING water in the rain and swam over the waterfall where we reenacted his music video, flicking our hair and singing mysterious girl! We also had massive group photos and actually swam underneath it, it was so cool.
There were two more stops on our adventure day at the Atherton Tablelands, a massive lake that was full of turtles swimming around and a huge 500plus year old tree that grew around another tree, killed that tree and now stands so talk and hollow and you can stand inside it!