Cairns

Travel is such a glamorous thing (sometimes).  Once we got to our studio flat in Cairns the first thing we did was catch up with our washing.  We took a backpack each, but you find yourself wearing the same clothes over and over again, not necessarily cleaning them each time, thankfully there is always the sniff test!

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And from here there is a magnificent view of the sea!

Where we stayed was very handy for the shops, takeaways and coffee bars, and just opposite the adult store (lots of these in Aus)!   The flat itself felt like a bit of luxury, pretty big for a studio, but like the rest of eastern Australia, the wifi was terrible (hence I’m running about 2 weeks behind with the blog), so we ended up standing in the corridoor desperately searching for a signal, as we still had much of the New Zealand accomodation to book.

Cairns is a really nice town (except for the Tourist information which was terrible – but that’s another story), not exactly stunning, but nicely laid out and right on the sea with more boats and helicopter trips than you could shake a stick at.

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No beach to speak of in Cairns, but it does have a beautiful man made lagoon.

We took it easy on our first full day, wandering around the town, but it was 35° and the humidity was pretty high so you couldn’t do too much without feeling exhausted (or perhaps were getting old).  We did have a very nice lunch at a place called La Pizza on the front, an Italian restaurant, and despite the name neither of us had pizza.

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The lunchtime view

After lunch we had a wander round the botanic gardens, which were beautiful and then back to the flat for a bit of a rest and an evening frantically searching for wifi.

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Botanic gardens

The next day, on the recomendation of my friend Louise in Adelaide (ta Lou), we boarded a heritage train at Cairns station bound for Karunda.  If you have been reading the blog you know that we love a good train journey, and this one was right up there!  We set of on the long journey up the mountain and through dozens of tunnels to the town of Kuranda.

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At Cairns station
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Our luxury carriage
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Rounding the bend
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The view onthe way up
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Kuranda station

Kuranda itself is pretty much a tourist town, but we went on the river and rainforest walk, not too long at just over an hour, but one of the most memorable walks we have been on.  The rainforest was just like you see in a wildlife documentary (except for the well laid out path), teaming with trees and wildlife, but what really gets you is the sound of the insects, which at times is deafening, pretty much a walk for all the senses.  The hot house at Kew was never like this!

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It’s pretty dense
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But the walkway makes it easy

Then it was back to Kuranda to Annabelle’s Pantry for one of her famous pies (aussies love their pies, kind of their unnoficial national dish), then it was on to the main attraction, the skyrail rainforest cableway!

We had booked diamond carriages, which meant you got a car with a glass floor so you could look down onto the forest canopy, this was only $10 each more, so we couldn’t understand why no one else took it.  There are 2 stops on the way down, but each journey we took, we had the carriage to ourselves.

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The cable car down
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The view through the floor
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Yet another selfie
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And down to the sea

A truly amazing ride and a must do if you are in Cairns!

Back to Cairns and a little shopping before making making dinner and enjoying a bottle of wine.

Our last day in Australia was mostly a lazy one, we did however want to go to have a swim in a river, so we drove 25 minutes to Crystal cascades, a gorgeous spot where the water is very clear and the fish swim right up to you (freaked me out to be honest, but I was assured there are no piranhas in Australia).

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Enjoying the beautiful waters of crystal cascades

Then a quick tour of Rustys market, a bit like an undercover Romford market with exotic food.

And sadly that was it.  A great end to a fantastic 5 weeks in Australia, and an awesome 2 weeks in Queensland.  We completely missed the rain, not bad seeing as it was the wet season and they had record rain 2 days before we got there!

I’ll leave Australia with a couple of images, the first is of bats.  Every night in Cairns, just after sunset thousands of fruit bats would fly across the sky on the search for food, I think some of the locals thought we were mad, as we would stop in the street and look up, truly amazing.  The last picture is from our flight out of Cairns and away from Australia.

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Dracula was nowhere to be seen
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The Great Barrier Reef

 

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