Cairns + Beer + Bacterial Infection = Good Times!

Australia is known for its wicked times on the beach – and for good reason – but sometimes the best times take place after you’ve spent a day on the water and are looking to go nuts on the town. If ever there were a town designed for this, it would be Cairns.


Pronounced ‘Kens’ by the Aussies and situated on the northeast coast of Australia in the state of Queensland, Cairns’ most recent claim to fame is being the unofficial gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. From here people put on skintight suits, breathe out of tanks and gawk at plants and fish. (side note: it’s a lot of fun)

But everyone has to come into shore eventually, right? Enter the nightlife.

After having spent a few days doing all the typical day trip stuff – scuba/snorkelling, rainforest trips, hostel drinking – we decided to try one of the pub crawls that happened every week. We would start off at one place that would give us food, then move on to four others, being taken around on a double-decker bus. How thoughtful!


Our ‘party’ bus. In reality, I wanted to kill most of the people on board…

The only problem was… we were in our mid 20s and everyone else seemingly just turned 18. Not to sound like a snob or anything, but how many of us want to party with our barely legal selves? Except in the case of me, who was/is awesome at any age, you would probably want to punch that version of you in the throat, or drink to erase the memory. So guess which option we took?

The first few places weren’t bad – they had games like every guy takes a different size screw and every girl take a different size nut and try to find the matching set (which considering the second most famous thing Cairns is known for, being a swamp of sexually transmitted infections, seemed apt). Even the bus rides weren’t terrible, as the severely drunk and stupid were thoroughly entertaining. Maybe it was the people I was with, one of which I had lost all patience for after the 53rd attempt at finding her husband from bar groping and one night stands, or the general old feeling I was experiencing, but I wasn’t having the best time.

Sadly this place was undeserving of such a declarative name…

I should probably mention here that I had caught some sort of jungle fungus at some point in the trip, but being a trooper, I still made it out. Something about not sleeping for a week, drinking too much and being in a tropical climate that seems to create a perfect storm for bacteria. If drinking got me into this, surely it would get me out too… right?

Wrong. Ugh.

I ended up having a decent time at the last place because the music was more to my liking, the annoying people had disappeared and… well… maybe the additional refreshments helped. The next day though… well, there was some regret. It just goes to show the perfect recipe for good times is equal parts awesome people + liquid refreshments. Oh and a garnish of bacteria for that extra kick.

Oh Mr. Clown Fish… I bet you never had to worry about jungle fungus killing your buzz

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