Australia Travel Diary: Skydive Mission Beach

September 28, 2014
Irish Fashion Australia Skydive 28

Almost 9 whole months after I came home from Australia, and just as I have moved to the US, I am finally sharing the start of my Oz travels with you… better late than never eh?! I tend to be extremely snap happy when I’m traveling (or just in general really), so the main reason it has taken me so long to start these posts is the thousands of photos I had to sieve through. I just couldn’t decide which ones to share. I’ve finally decided and here is the first part of my Oz travels…

Just to give you guys some insight into the details of my trip… I left for Australia at the start of December last year (2013), just a few very short days after I submitted my Ph.D. In hindsight I probably should have given myself a few extra days to recover after submission. I hadn’t slept properly in the weeks/months leading up to submitting and barely slept at all the week I submitted (I pulled some serious all nighters), so a few days catching up on some ZZZZZ’s and getting organised for the trip would have been a great idea. But my sister and our friend were travelling the east coast at the end of their two years in Oz and, as I had missed out on the rest of their Australian adventure, I made damn sure I wasn’t gonna miss this leg of the trip. So off I went, severely sleep deprived and ridiculously excited, for a 6 week trip down the east coast of Oz.

Our whole east coast trip was planned, booked and paid for through Peter Pans Adventure Travel Agents before I even left Ireland. We travelled down the east coast from Cairnes to Sydney (you can travel up too) at the busiest time of year, so having everything booked in advance was brilliant and something I’d definitely advise. It’s so busy during the lead up to Christmas and many of the trips (like trips to Fraser Island or the Whitsundays) can be booked out, so if you are thinking of doing it at that time of the year just book it all in one go… you’ll probably get a better price too. 🙂 All our trips, travel and accommodation were included and all of the trips had food too. It was great to have everything organised (thanks Áine) and have an idea of where we were going before I even left Ireland…

I had pretty much the most direct flight you can get from Ireland to Australia. I flew with Emirates from Dublin->Dubai, had an hour stop over in Dubai and then flew on to Sydney. An hour stopover in Dubai is definitely not long enough, especially from the main international terminal (I’ve flown from other terminals before and they are a lot smaller). By the time you get off the plane, go through security and find your gate, your flight is pretty much ready for take off. Anyway… after 24 hours of flying I arrived in Sydney. I spent that first night at the Rydges airport hotel. I’m so happy I booked to stay here. I arrived really late and this hotel was right outside the International terminal, so I didn’t even leave the airport grounds. The bed was ridiculously comfy too… just what I needed after my flights. The next morning I was out and about early to catch a flight to Cairnes to join the girls and start the adventure. I arrived in Cairnes two days after the girls so I missed out on one or two trips (like rainforest and scuba diving trips) but it did mean that the first thing I did in Oz was jump out of a plane 14,000ft above Mission Beach…

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Yep… I willing jumped out of a plane on Australia’s highest skydive. But first a few more little details… We did a day trip to Mission Beach from Cairnes to do our skydive. Mission Beach is about 2 hours down the coast from Cairnes. We could have stayed a night in Mission Beach and cut some travel time off the journey to our next stop. but apart from the beach and skydive there’s nothing else here, so it would have been a complete waste of our precious east coast travelling time. So after our skydive, we went back to Cairnes and got a 14-hour night bus to Airlie Beach. Night buses are great because you don’t lose time travelling during the day and you save on a nights accommodation too… winner!

So back to the skydive. Honestly… it was AH-MA-ZZZZING! It was the craziest/scariest/most amazing thing I’ve ever done. When we were getting ready to jump… all I could think was “please god let the parachute open… please god let the parachute open!!!!” It did and I lived to tell the tale.

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Emma, Aine and I

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The nerves were starting to hit…

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We all got videos of our jumps… well if you’re gonna jump out of a plane you may as well get evidence right? The video isn’t included in the pre-booked price, so you have get it separately. There are two types of videos… the video I got where my instructor had a go-pro attached to his wrist. Or a video where a separate skydiver jumps with you and they film your jump. It would have been amazing to get the video with a separate skydiver capturing the whole thing but only two people per plane can get it and it costs a lot more $$$.

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I was the first one on the plane, which meant I was the last to jump. Seeing everyone else jump didn’t do much to ease my nerves, but I was right beside the pilot so I was having the craic with him and few of the other instructors on the way up. Before I knew it we had reached 14,000ft and it was time to goooooooo…

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Once the doors of the plane opened there was a few split seconds and all of sudden everyone else had jumped. MY TURN! My instructor waited a few extra second and then BOOM… we were gone. Like I said, the skydive was AMAZING but (yes there’s a but) my ears popped VERY badly during the free fall (it felt like I was being stabbed in both ears), so I didn’t really enjoy that part. When the parachute opened the popping stopped right away, I knew I wasn’t gonna die and I just relaxed and it so much. It was incredible. We even went though a cloud (it just feels really moist), which was pretty surreal. The views over Mission Beach were out of this world and, as my instructor had waited a few extra seconds before we jumped, I had a few extra minutes coming into land where it was just me in the sky. It was class!!

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Touchdown… I SURVIVED!!

We all got such a rush from the skydive and, as cheesy as it sounds… such a feeling of being ALIVE!

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After the Skydive we hopped on the bus back to Cairnes, spent a few hours strolling around the town (checking out the Christmas decorations) and got ready for a 14 hour night bus to Airlie Beach…


These LONG night buses, a lot of early mornings and going out are the reason you need your sleep before travelling. The buses had wi-fi and plugs though so it was pretty good. We arrived in Airlie Beach the following morning ready for the second part of our adventure around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Check back real soon to hear all about that… 🙂

So that’s it from part 1 of my Oz travels. This post brought back such great memories for me, so I really can’t wait to do part two. In the meantime, if you want to keep up with my days exploring New York be sure to follow me on Instagram (@lcscloset). I’m a little addicted on Instagram so I’m always updating it. 🙂

Not to forget the all important outfit details… my outfit is all Penneys/Primark with a pair of Converse (similar here).

I hope you’re having a great weekend,


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1 Comment

  • Reply Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays October 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    […] baaaaack with part two of my Oz adventure. In my first post I shared the first big trip of my travels… my skydive! As I explained in that post (which you […]

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