Archive for September, 2015

September 30, 2015

Relaxing day at Palm Cove

I decided to go for a drive and explore one of Cairns’ northern beaches: Palm Cove. I’d heard from one of my friends that this was a nice spot. I drove past the
giant statue of Captain Cook and past tall palm trees on the highway.

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Within about half an hour I was there. I’d never seen so many palm trees in my life! The area had a sense of sophistication about it and was flanked by groovy shops, cafe’s, a surf club and fancy hotels.

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I found a carpark and headed straight for the beach. Life guards were patrolling and the red and yellow flags were up. It was a bit overcast but the sea breeze was refreshing and the sound of the palm fronds moving in the breeze brought me pure relaxation.
I waded into the water and went for a swim. The water felt quite warm for the ocean put refreshing. I turned and looked at my surroundings. There were two islands out to sea: one larger on the other side of the jetty which was filled with people fishing and another, a small island straight out from the beach.

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A sail boat crossed the water in front of the smaller island. Later I
walked along the jetty and back and marvelled at the views surrounding me. Then I bought a hot dog for lunch and a mango and passionfruit ice cream for afterwards. Lastly I wandered along a pathway to the end where it met entry to a beach and back again. What a relaxing day.

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September 29, 2015

Exploring Fitzroy Island

I caught a boat to Fitzroy Island. The boat was a huge catamaran which could fit loads of people. We took our seats and began our voyage to Fitzroy Island! The journey took about 45 minutes and we were lucky that the ocean was calm.20150928_100115wpid-20150928_100124.jpgwpid-20150928_100239.jpg

Soon we arrived at the island. The ocean surrounding it and its reef was a brilliant turquoise blue which blended into a darker blue as the water got deeper. We all disembarked the vessel and boarded the wooden jetty which led to the island.

Once on the island I hired a snorkel, goggles and flippers for $15. The company had laid out different flippers with sizes marked on them for us to try on beforehand. Once I’d hired the gear, I made my way down the coral sand and snorkelled around some rocks. Tropical fish greeted me and their bright colours gleamed in the sunlight beneath the ocean’s surface. I saw Parrotfish, Clownfish and an Angel Fish. The fish ate what looked like moss around the coral and I could even hear them eating under water.wpid-20150928_120016.jpg

After snorkelling for about two hours I sunbaked on my towel. Later I returned my snorkel gear and did the Secret Garden walk. There were a lot of rocks to climb but it was good exercise. I came to a wooden platform lookout with a bench. It was very peaceful looking up into the green rainforest foliage and hearing the sounds of its creatures. I saw some brown skinks which camouflaged well with surrounding twigs.wpid-20150928_131712.jpg

After the walk, I made my way to Nudie Beach. The walk afforded fantastic lookouts of views of the ocean. I arrived at Nudie Beach, laid down my towel under some shade and went swimming. Even without a snorkel and goggles I could still see tropical fish in the clear water which had excellent visability.


I sunbaked again. Then seeing it was almost time for the boat to depart the island, I made my way back towards the jetty. On the way I arrived at the General Store and bought a choc mint Drumstick ice cream. I sat on a rock near the jetty eating it and gazing at the brilliant blue ocean between the palm trees. Then it was time to go and I bid farwell to a beautiful island and boarded the boat back to Cairns.wpid-20150928_105808.jpg


September 13, 2015

Weekend in Cairns

I spent the weekend living it up in Cairns. On Friday night I went for a drink at the Wool Shed which had a beautiful wooden polished floor and gorgeous shiny furniture. It had a very cool atmosphere. Then I was off to Gilligan’s for some dancing. I entered Gilligan’s, had a drink and watched some live music play.Then it was off to the dance floor and time to shake my body to some cool beats.

The next day I walked down to the Esplanade and looked at the markets. There were many exciting and interesting wares on offer. Then I spent the rest of the day relaxing on a towel by the lagoon. I’d brought a book so was reading that in the gorgeous sunshine. It was a bit breezy but the breeze was cool and refreshing. I went into the lagoon and began swimming around. It was wonderful to cool off from the tropical sun. Back on my towel again I gazed at the blue lagoon and out at the sea. The silver fish statues gleamed in the sun. The palm tree fronds rustled in the breeze. I could not be any more relaxed. September 2 048 September 2 050 September 2 051 September 2 053

September 13, 2015

Exploring a Historic Village

I drove to Herberton to explore the Historic Village I’d read about in tourism brochures. I entered, bought my ticket, was given a map and stepped out into the village. It felt like I had stepped back in time. I wandered along paths people of this historic mining village from 1880 would have wandered along many years ago. I tried to imagine them in their old fashioned clothes going about their daily lives.

I wandered inside and past a lot of places: a post office, a mechanic, a bank, a dress salon, a toy store, a grocery store, a school, a cottage and a fancy white house with a beautiful verandah surrounding it. The coach house was amazing. Each building had so many fascinating objects inside, it was astounding. Statues and figures wearing costumes of the time gave us a feel of what it would have looked like with people of the time inside. September 2 028 - Copy September 2 029 September 2 030 September 2 031 - Copy September 2 032 September 2 033 - Copy September 2 034 - Copy September 2 036 - Copy September 2 037 - Copy September 2 038 September 2 039 September 2 040 September 2 041 September 2 043 September 2 044 September 2 045 September 2 046 September 2 050 September 2 051 September 2 052 September 2 053 September 2 054 September 2 056 September 2 057 September 2 058 September 2 060

September 13, 2015

Lunch at Malanda Dairy Centre

I decided to stop by for lunch at Malanda Dairy Centre while I was up on the Atherton Tablelands. I walked inside the glass and wooden doors past cow statues with fancy decorations on them. I ordered a burger with chips, a slice of pecan pie and a lime smoothie. I saw there was a museum section inside too. I sat at a table, ate my lunch and enjoyed the atmosphere. September 2 063 September 2 064 September 2 066 September 2 068 September 2 069

September 13, 2015

Trip to the Atherton Tablelands and Crystal Caves

Rachel

I went on a drive to the Atherton Tablelands. It was about a 2 hour drive and I took my GPS to guide the way. The road did have a few blind corners so I drove extra carefully.

Once I had climbed to the top of the Atherton Tablelands, the view I saw was like nothing I’d experienced in my life! It’s so hard to put it into words because it was that September 2 010 - CopySeptember 2 011 - CopySeptember 2 013 - CopySeptember 2 014September 2 016 - CopySeptember 2 017 - CopySeptember 2 019September 2 020September 2 022 - CopySeptember 2 027 - Copybreathtakingly beautiful. Rolling grassy hills and fields swept away towards the lower ground dotted with cows grazing. Purple mountains rimmed the horizon. Leafy green trees lined the road as I drove along.

I came to the Crystal Caves and parked my car. I saw a groovy four wheel drive outside the Crystal Caves. I walked inside, bought my ticket and was given a miner style helmet with a flashlight at the front of it. I wandered in…

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September 13, 2015

Josephine Falls

The next attraction was within driving distance of the Babinda Boulders: Josephine Falls. I used my GPS and followed the signs again, parked the car and I was there. I read the signs reminding people to be careful around the waterfall. I began walking up the path. It was flat but pretty uphill. I walked along it for about 600m, past the surrounding vegetation. I love the dark green, lush rainforests of the wet tropics: they are absolutely beautiful.

Soon I was at the waterfall! I walked down some stairs, left my things on a rock and walked across the rocks at the base of the falls. I gazed up at the huge amount of water gushing down to the rocks below. This place was pure magic-no wonder I’d heard it was a place people fell in love at. September 2015 761 September 2015 763 September 2015 764 September 2015 767

September 13, 2015

A Trip to the Babinda Boulders

I’d heard there was this great place called the Babinda Boulders which was within driving distance from me. I hadn’t brought my swimmers with me but definitely wanted to check it out so I hopped in my car and off I drove. There were clear signs guiding the way but I used my GPS anyway with its lovely Irish accent.September 2015 755 September 2015 756 September 2015 757 September 2015 758 September 2015 759

I turned into the road to the boulders and parked my car. There were grassy picnic areas with tables and tall green tree ferns dotting the path to the boulders. I walked along the path and saw people out enjoying themselves. It was a nice sunny day and there was plenty of shade to shelter from the tropical sun.

Coming to the end of the path I saw some stairs leading down to a platform on the water. People were in the water and I could see the boulders-great big rocks dotting the water too. The water was green and shrouded in trees. I tentatively felt it with my hand: cool and refreshing. I stood and marvelled at the boulders for a while. We didn’t have anything like this back on the Gold Coast. Then I made my way to the next attraction of the day: Josephine Falls!

September 13, 2015

Journey to Paronella Park

I went on a journey to a place called Paronella Park. I had never been anywhere like this before so it sounded really mysterious and exciting. It was an interesting drive to get there past banana plantations and rolling green grasslands and over railway crossings. I bought my ticket, entered and waited for the next tour to begin which I was told would begin soon.September 2015 701 September 2015 703September 2015 714 - CopySeptember 2015 715 - CopySeptember 2015 716 - CopySeptember 2015 718 - CopySeptember 2015 722 - CopySeptember 2015 724 - CopySeptember 2015 726 - CopySeptember 2015 727 - CopySeptember 2015 729 - CopySeptember 2015 735 - CopySeptember 2015 736 - CopySeptember 2015 740 - CopySeptember 2015 747 - CopySeptember 2015 750 - CopySeptember 2015 752 - CopySeptember 2015 753 - Copy

I sat on a chair on the verandah outside and waited with other travellers. I saw international tourists and families all eager to explore this place like me. Soon our guide arrived dressed in the green Paronella Park uniform and sporting a beard. He gave us each a map of the park and directed us to follow him.

Our guide guided us through the park, stopping at numerous locations for us to appreciate the beauty and take some photographs. We stopped at a water feature, the Tunnel of Love and at waterfalls. The first waterfall was small but beautiful. The second one was magnificent. A bridge crossed its top and water cascaded down into the big green pool below. I could not resist photographing the beauty. Our guide bid us farewell under some tall trees for us to explore the park ourselves.

I made my way over to the turtle feeding area. We had all been given fish food for the fish and turtles which had been included in our ticket price. The freshwater turtles clambered over and beside each other to get the fish food. This brought back memories of when my family travelled up to Cairns and stayed at a caravan park in the area. There there were freshwater turtles.

I wandered through the many paths winding through the rainforest of the park and took lots of great photos. Eventually I made my way back to my favourite waterfall with the bridge across it. I sat at a stone bench, marvelled at the view and just listened to the sound of the water cascading down. It was very peaceful. Then I walked up the stairs and crossed the bridge across the waterfall! I had to get my courage up to do this as I’m not a big fan of heights. I walked across the bridge and back again. I left the park awestruck at my experience there.

September 12, 2015

Cairns Zip Lining

Rachel

I went for a weekend to Cairns and decided to go zip lining! I had actually never done this before. I remembered old high ropes courses from my school days when I would climb across an obstacle course with a safety harness on. 20150823_10173520150823_102240

I remembered this being scary at the time.  I do have cousins in Melbourne who go zip lining all the time at an adventure park there so I thought I’d give it a shot. I got to the Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns and caught the lift to the floor where Cairns Zoom was.20150823_102457

I walked out the doors, showed my prepaid ticket and walked up the stairs through the glass doors. Animal noises greeted me as did rainforest trees and a glass dome above my head. I could see the high and low Zoom courses above me.20150823_11251320150823_113002

I walked past black cockatoos, ducks and other animals…

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