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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Cairns Tourists



Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Boulders





Josephine Falls


I'm over here!



Centenary Lakes & Botanic Gardens





Hermit crab

Was that a drop bear calling?




Unusual leaf colouration

 Catanna Wetlands


Watch out for that crocodile!

 Mareeba


 Birthday


My candle, his dessert

Pelicans en masse

Barron River

Lake Placid

"Our" frog

Hercules moth on the office door

Sunday, we headed south to The Boulders and Josephine Falls, with the Misty Mountains region certainly living up to its name.  Unfortunately, the sunny, clear blue skies didn’t follow us to Babinda!  Our first stop was at The Boulders and we were suitably impressed with the track improvements – much easier walking and we only had one wettish spot to tiptoe through.  Kathryn was amazed at the difference in the gorge to others she has seen; the smooth rocks are very impressive.

We stopped for lunch at a rather eclectic coffee shop in Babinda before continuing to Josephine Falls (plenty of jungle trekking today!).  Lots of backpackers at Josephine Falls, sliding down the rock faces and swimming in the very cold water.  Unfortunately, this pretty and popular spot has been the scene of tragedies, with the latest drowning only a few months ago.

Monday was spent locally in Cairns, walking from Centenary Lakes, with its Chinese Garden and wonderful, new adventure playground, to the Botanic Gardens, keeping a sharp lookout for crocodiles and snakes, but only see a large hermit crab looking for a new home.  The Botanic Gardens are always beautiful, even if they do contain microscopic bities!  After lunch, we enjoyed a walk around the Cattana Wetlands and while we didn’t see a snake (it was World Snake Day!!!) we were unsure if the “eye” which kept appearing above the water was actually the recently spotted crocodile or the head of a turtle.  No one was willing to wade out for a quick check, though.

On Tuesday, Kathryn and I drove up the winding Kuranda Range road to spend a couple of hours looking in the souvenir shops at Kuranda before continuing to Mareeba and Jacques Coffee Plantation for lunch and the Golden Drop Winery for Kathryn to taste the mango wines.  Our final stop was at the Mareeba Information Centre and Museum – this seems to grow every year.

Wednesday was a very special day – my birthday – and it rained until lunch time!  After Kathryn finalised her shopping, we had lunch at Barnacle Bill’s (very pleasant) and I was surprised with a candle in the middle of Himself’s dessert, together with a passable rendition of the birthday song.  After an ice cream and a bit of bird watching, we drove to the Barren Gorge power station and Lake Placid.  The day concluded with a visit to the Night Market, just for fun.

Today, we farewelled Kathryn shortly before lunch.

We seem to have acquired a couple of “pets” – a frog has taken up residence in my pot plant and insisted on returning after he was evicted; he is now left to his own devices.  We also have a friendly ghekko (perhaps he is mates with the frog?) who likes to curl up in one of the folding chairs or sit on top of our refrigerator.  Question: if midgies cannot get into the caravan, how can a ghekko get in?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Port Douglas & Cairns


Saturday, 14 July 2018

Port Douglas
Beach babes


St Mary's by the Sea Church

Blowing up a mine

Lady Douglas

Tough at the Top

Old pearl lugger

Crocodile

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair



Cairns Aquarium


Blue yabby

Sawfish and barramundi

Cute turtle

Tunnel view

Green snake

Up close and personal

Golden orb spider

Another crocodile (about the same size as the first!)

Fish

More crocodiles (same size as all the others)

Reef watching

Spotty stingray

Bright pink starfish

Nemo and friends

Hermit crab

Only its mother would love this stone fish

Shark watching

Under the aquarium

The big picture

Happy Bastille Day to all the French people.

Last Wednesday we farewelled to Jenny and Brian in the morning and welcomed Kathryn in the afternoon, with her staying until next Thursday.

Thursday was a day of catching up, some pampering, with Kathryn experiencing her first (and definitely not her last!) massage, checking out the menu at Movenpick and some retail therapy.  We enjoyed dinner at Cazaly’s and Kathryn was most disappointed not to increase her spending capacity although Himself once again added to the washing machine money!

With clear, blue skies and no breeze on Friday, we headed to Port Douglas, stopping first at Four Mile Beach, along with more than half the tourists currently in the region.  Such a beautiful beach made even better by the weather.  Following a walk along the sand, we returned to the car and headed to the lookout over the beach and town, before beginning the search for a car parking space.  It didn’t take too long to do the shops, although Kathryn did get rather excited in the Greg Norman Outlet, and after lunch we walked to the marina and boarded the Lady Douglas for a cruise down the river.  We were welcomed on board with a glass of bubbly each, followed by a good selection of fruit and nibbles as we cruised passed the “white boats” (expensive cruisers) and kept a close lookout for crocodiles when we reached the mangroves.  The captain spotted a couple (no one else seemed to see them) before he saw a large crocodile on the mud immediately before a small fishing charter boat sped past us and scared the crocodile.  When the same boat came up to us later and was forced to slow down by the position of our boat, our captain left the offending fishermen in no doubt as to his displeasure!!!  We were lucky enough to see a small crocodile, about 1 metre long, sunny itself, before we headed out to the head of the river with views of the cold sugar wharf and St Mary’s by the Sea Church.

Today, with the weather continuing in the same vein, we visited the annual Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and admired some beautiful work before wandering around the weekly Esplanade Market.  The highlight of the day was without doubt our visit to the new Cairns Aquarium – definitely the best we have visited.  We commenced the tour in the freshwater section and were lucky enough to have our visit coincide with a presentation on the fish in the large freshwater aquarium (predominantly barramundi, but with a freshwater sawfish as a highlight) before we viewed the many smaller exhibits, including snakes and spiders.  The saltwater aquarium was massive, with us able to walk through tunnels in order to obtain the full experience.  The small crocodiles were being fed headless mice as we watched and after pretending we didn’t really want to pat any of the fish in the petting tank, we crawled under the reef to get a closer view of the very pretty spotted stingrays.  Unfortunately, the dim blue lighting didn’t help with photography.