Week 2 (Revised)


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City
October 6th 2010
Published: October 11th 2010
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30/09/10 - Cape Tribulation
We hired a car today for a day trip to Cape Tribulation, an area that Captain Cook ran aground on with 1 of his ships. On our way to Cape Trib we went up to the Daintree River and got on a crocodile spotting boat trip where we saw 3 different crocs ranging from 3 to 5 metres in length.

As we carried up on the road we stopped at the Daintree ice cream company and had an ice cream sunday with 4 flavours including Jackfruit, the worlds largest fruit, it tasted similar to bubblegum.

Further up the road we stopped for a walk at Jindalba and it finally felt like we were in a proper rainforest, such a dense undergrowth and thick canopy.

Arrived at Cape Tribulation beach which was stunning with white sands, clear blue water and the rainforest on the beach... mind blowing. On our way back from the beach we noticed people taking pictures of a tree, as we got closer a girl pointed out a Huntsman spider to us, it was so well camouflaged I would not have spotted it if she hadn't nearly poked it.

Stopped at the daintree Village to have a look around. Not much was open so we went to the local bar and tried crocodile patties. Crocodile was a white meat and didn't really taste of anything, it had quite a crumbly texture.

Heading home Bobby had a tone deaf attempt at singing 'in the jungle the mighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight', which had us laughing so much my stomach hurt. Can't believe the views here, driving through an enclosed tropical rainforest and suddenly being alongside the sea and next minute seeing vast open planes and expecting to see kangaroos or dinosaurs leaping out in front of the car.


1/10/10 - Great Barrier Reef
Scuba diving today on the Great Barrier Reef. The crew of the Poseidon were so friendly and a great laugh. The boat took an hour and a half to get to the reefs. Lots of people were sea sick and the ride out was VERY choppy, but I loved it!

We met Ciara, an Irish girl working over here who came diving with us. Very nice girl and a good laugh.

The boat stopped at 3 different reefs. I did 2 scuba dives and 1 lot of snorkelling. The views were amazing and I spotted Angel fish, Parrot fish, Clown fish, Lizard fish, Groupers, Wrasse, Sweetlips, GIant Sea Slug, Puffer fish, Brain Coral, Palte coral, a Giant Clam so big I could have laid down inside it, Cuttle fish, Flute fish, Reef shark and a Stingray. Lots of colourful fish.

The on board marine bioligist explained that Clown fish tend to live in small groups with 1 lead female and the rest are male. The head female will bite at the males to keep them small and male. If the head female was to be removed then the males would all grow as quickly as they could and become female. The largest female would become the leader and bite at the others to keep them small and turn back into males. If the original female was to be re-introduced to the group shoe would become the leader again. Fascinating! What an amazing day.


2/10/10 - Cairns
Said good bye to Dougies which we both loved so much. Dougies put on a free bus to Cairns and on our way I spotted a field of Wallaby's, they were sat around like rabbits would be back home, awesome.

We arrived at our new hostel, Calypso. It certainly doesn't have the Dougies chilled out feel and the staff aren't as helpful but it's a place to sleep and shower.

Had a walk around Cairns and the market here, there was a man making tree frogs out of clay, we were both tempted to buy one at the looked so good and he was really friendly but we were too worried about breaking them in our travels.

Finally got a picture of a parrot, they are as common as pigeons back home. Had to dodge the rain showers while we were out and by the evening it was raining constantly. Popped into a bar to escape the rain and watched an AFL game which is similar to rugby but with an oval pitch and looks like a free-for-all bar fight with a ball. Great fun to watch 😊

Quote of the day 'did you know a short cut has to be hard and arduous? Otherwise it would just be called the way!'


3/10/10 - Road Trip
Hired a car for 3 days. Bobby drove to Kuranda, we have been before but didn't get to see the village or Venom Zoo. The zoo was great fun but quite small. Got to see some of the worlds deadliest snakes, spiders and scorpians. I wanted to hold a tarantula but was not allowed to, however I was able to feel a dead one which everyone else chickened out of.

Continuing our road trip we went to Mareeba, the only thing there really was a distillery which we didn'y fancy, but I did get a bunk up on to a statue of a bull and nearly crushed Bobby getting down.

Carried on to Atherton, Queensland's tidiest town (well deserved) then on to Yungaburra which comprised of just a few quaint, oldy worldy shops.

Arrived at Lake Eacham and were amazed at how clear the water was. Walked around the 3km circumference and spotted some turtles in the water, fantastic! Continued the walk to be constantly surprised at the size of some of the trees around, absolutely mind blowing.

Headed to Lake Barrine (the 2nd of the crater lakes) and did a 700m walk which it seems was just enough time for Larry the Leech to bite my ankle. He walked with me for a while and fell off. The cheeky little bugger made a right mess of my sock and shoe with blood everywhere!

The journey home and it's my turn to drive, yey! Jumped on the Bruce Highway and onto the Captain Cook Highway and into Cairns. Odd feeling of freedom and homliness driving. I think the rain helped though.

Quote of the day from Emi 'at least the horn works'.


4/10/10 - Millaa Millaa
Drove to Babinda Boulders and walked up to Devils Point lookout to be greeted by a fast flowing river with GIANT boulders in it creating a mass of white water that even the bravest white water river rafter wouldn't chance. The sound of the water was so loud that we had to shout to be heard over it. Breath taking!

Heading over to the waterfall circuit, Millaa Millaa, we passed through huge banana and sugar can plantations. Constantly changing scenery included cast flat planes of farm land then a mountain springing up in the middle of it. Finally we came to some hills (the Table lands) and it did feel like home, well Yorkshire anyway.

Before we reached Millaa Millaa Bobby spotted a lookout point known as Crawfords lookout. We pulled over to see a deep gorge with a river and noticed a 3km walk which did warn was a difficult treck. The route down wasn't too bad but there were a lot of tree roots to be weary of and the wait-a-while palm attacked me which made Bobby laugh. We came out of the forest into a grassy clearing and had an amazing view of the Johnstone river below us. A few pictures later and we were back on the trail which suddenly didn't seem so easy walking up in 31 degree heat!

Arrived at Millaa Millaa falls which were breath taking. We went for a swim under and behind the waterfall. It was one of the best experiences of my life, I still cant get over the whole thing.

We got chatting to a couple from Dorset who come to Australia every year and they told us of an optical illusion where you stare at the waterfall for 30 seconds and look at something stationary and it will rise before your eyes and it really worked.

We completed the waterfall circuit by visiting Zillie falls, where we were stood above them and Ellinjaa falls which were just as spectacular as the others.

Ravenshoe was our next stop because Bobby thought it sounded like something from Lord of the rings (bless him). It was the first non-touristy town we have been to. Ravenshoe seemed like a sleepy little town you might see in an American movie.

Quote of the day from Emi 'we've had quite an education on Australian road signs today haven't we? We've had the rape sign, the abducting a child sign, Michael Jackson moonwalk sign and my favourite the man head-butting a horse sign'.


5/10/10 - Mission beach
Today we headed to Mount Bartle Frere, the largest mountain in Queensland at 1622 metres tall. As we approached the mountain we couldn't see the top for clouds. We came to see the waterfall nearby but decided to take an hours hike up the start of the mountain. To reach the summit would have taken 8 hours one way. The hike was very demanding as the signs had warned us. We had to negotiate steep inclines and climb over rocks and tree roots, all in 32 degree heat. At one point Bobby had a leech on his hand and as we stopped for him to get it off we were swamped with them all over oour boots, it tooks some time to get them off and we headed back down the trail.

Josephine Falls was next to the mountain so we went for a swim to cool off. It was great fun and we had to climb over boulders to get to the water and carefully try to not get swept down the stream. There was a rock slide on the lower end of the falls, we just had to have a go, sooo much fun.

Heading to Mission beach we passed through Innisfail which was a large town and didn't feel touristy at all, seemed very homely and welcoming.

I fell in love with Mission beach when we arrived, it is a long beach with palm trees, islands in the distance and rocks at one end. Again Bobby felt the need to dig up the crabs that were desperately trying to hide from him and one finally got its revenge by pinching his finger, mwah ha ha ha! I tried to take some artsy pictures of things I found on the beach but all I managed was fartsy.

We had been told about Paronella Park by a couple we met at the Millaa Millaa falls, they were so passionate about it that we had to go and see what it was like. We arrived at the park and were greeted by a truely enthusiastic tour guide and owner.

We were told of Jose, a Spanish man who's dream it was to build a castle to share with his fiancee. He travelled to Australia and made his money by clearing an area of forest (by hand) for sugar cane plantations and selling the land for a profit. He returned home after 11 years to find his fiancee had married another. Jose wanted to return to Australia with a wife and proposed to her younger sister Margarita. The couple returned to Australia where they worked hard to build a castle and a cottage (out of concrete) next to a waterfall. Paronella Park was a part of the community with a ball room, cafe, picinic area and tennis courts for people to enjoy.

The park was hit by many difficulties including a flood, a hurricane and a fire but the couple always re-built it. Tragicalaly, Jose died 13 years after completing his dream and Margarita decided she had one last chance to go home to Spain but she never made it as she died of a heart attack on the way. What a sad ending to the fairytale.

We had a look around the large grounds and waterfall and booked ourselves onto the night tour. I couldn't believe the park was built in 1933 as it looks like an Aztec building. On the night tour the park seemed to be transformed and we saw fireflies (something I have not seen before) they seemed so magical. We also saw glow in the dark mushrooms and turtles and eels at the turtle nesting area. Along the tour we came to Lovers Lane and the tour guide told us all to hold hands, all I got from Bobby was 'touch me and I'll kill you', charming! We saw a giant spider and Bobby nearly stood on a brown snake (hope it wasn't the deadly brown tree snake we saw at the venom zoo). We met a couple from Ipswich who have lived in Australia for 22 years and are now touring the entire country in their caravan over 3 years!

Quote of the day from Bobby 'farts are like success, everyone enjoys their own'.


6/10/10 - Cairns
Moved out of our (African style) hostel Calypso and into Global Palace (an art deco museum feeling hostel) so when we get picked up at 7am on Friday we can roll out of bed and onto the bus.

Today has been a day of moving, planning and chilling out at the pool by the sea, finally!

Went out for a few drinks at the local bar and they had a goldfish racing competition followed by a wet T-shirt competition which I tried to get Bobby to enter with no success.

Quote of the day from Emi 'I think I've broken my arse'.

Can't believe my 2nd week is over already.

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