Cruising Log - Touring Cairns and the Daintree (16th October to 1st November 2006)

Monday 16th to Wednesday 18th October 2006 Cairns

We arrived at the marina late on Monday afternoon. After tying up we went up to the clubhouse and had drinks on the deck. The deck is covered overhead and is a delightful setting overlooking the boats on the marina.

Tuesday we caught a bus into Cairns and strolled around the shops and Cairns Marina. It took over 4 phone calls to this marina before they could tell us they had no vacancies. We have since been told that the gates are not locked overnight, although one evening we were here we noted the security guard locking the gates. However, during the day anyone can access the fingers. We are glad we stayed at Yorkeys.

Wednesday we just stayed at the marina and did the washing and had drinks at the clubhouse.

Thursday 19th to Monday 30th October 2006 Brisbane/Sydney

We flew to Brisbane on an early morning flight to attend to business, then on to Sydney.

We met our son, Michael, and two of his friends at the airport on Monday morning. They were returning from Canada where they had spent almost a year holidaying and working in Whistler Mountain. Needless to say they did a lot of skiing. Michael had a job working in a ski shop during the winter which included testing all the new skis. During the summer he got a job painting. He saw lots of bears. He had his backpack raided for his lunch and there was bear droole all through his bag and teeth marks on his friends iPod.

While we were in Sydney we stayed at our house in Gosford. There were baby ducklings around.

Monday 30th October 2006 Cairns

Liz & I flew back into Cairns after our Brisbane/Sydney visit. There we met our friend Elaine who had flown up from Brisbane to join us for a week of touring and cruising.

We hired a car for 2 days so we took off in the afternoon for Port Douglas, stopping at the Cairns beaches along the way. The picture is of Liz & Elaine on the jetty at Palm Beach with Double Island in the background. Halfway along the beach road to Port Douglas we stopped at the lookout and were greeted by a few dolphins frolicking near the shore. We enjoyed the walk through the main street of Port Douglas and the drive up the coast was picturesque.

Tuesday 31st October 2006 Cairns

We drove up to Kuranda, in the Atherton Tablelands. The village is full of delightful tourist shops of all types. You can also travel here by Skyrail or Scenic Railway from Cairns, or go up one way and return by the other. We have been told to get off at the different stations along the way. Also at Kuranda are a Birdworld, Butterfly Sanctuary and Koala Gardens to enjoy, although we did not do this.

Next we drove to Barron Falls which were spectacular. It was a delightful walk through the rainforest to the falls. The railway stops at the falls (viewing platform) and the Skyrail passes overhead.

From here we drove to Mareeba and Tolga where we turned off to Lake Tinaroo where we stopped for lunch overlooking the dam. We had an amazing burger at the Dam…. Good Food restaurant. Next we drove to Atherton, Yungaburra and then to Gordonvale and back to Cairns. The drive down through the mountains from Yungaburra to Gordonvale was delightful. We were glad we did the trip this way round as I wouldn’t enjoy driving up the mountain from Gordonvale to Yungaburra, especially in an Getz with three passengers.

Wednesday 1st November 2006 Cairns

Today we did an organised tour from Cairns called "Cape Tribulation, Daintree & Mossman Gorge" with Down Under Tours (07) 4035 5566 $144+$2 ea. We dropped our hire car in Cairns and were picked up at the Oasis Resort opposite at 7.00am. Our coach driver, Greg, was fantastic. He had lots of information to share with the group.

We stopped at Daintree Discovery Centre for morning tea and then a guided walk up the Rainforest Canopy Tower, stopping at each layer of the forrest along the way. We then went on the Aerial Walkway, which was simply amazing. We even saw a wild Cassowary.

Next stop was Cape Tribulation beach and boardwalk. The water was like "soup" – an expression our guide, Greg used. The water was so hot you could not swim in it. From there we drove to our lunch stop in a rainforest setting, alongside a creekbed. The water was crystal clear. The food was excellent – steak, sausage, fish and 3 salads, red or white wine, and some fruit for desert.

Next stop was the Daintree River Cruise (this is not the boat). Unfortunately we didn’t see any crocodiles but we did see some birds and a frog.

From here we went to Mossman Gorge where we walked through the rainforest alongside a stream of crystal clear water running down the stream. We walked across a rope strung bridge. Which was rather hazardous if too many ventured on at the same time. The bridge swayed rather precariously. Walking back to the bus our guide, Greg, asked if we had seen the lizard and the snake, and promptly took us back to the spot to show us for a photo op. Liz of course did not got near the snake. The day was filled with exciting and different sights. An excellent tour and thoroughly recommended.