Monday, September 15, 2014

From Cairns to the Daintree

Our tour really began yesterday when we landed in Cairns and met up with Arn, who is our coach captain. There are seventeen travelers altogether, and our tour guide is Michelle, Arn's wife. Once we were all gathered together we went on a tour of Cairns, most of which I missed as I was snoozing. We had a very early start, and I was feeling not OK, with a bad cold.
I woke up in time to have a quick walk around the Cairns Botanical Gardens, enjoying some of the lovely tropical flowers.

The Cairns esplanade has been completely revamped since we were here almost twenty years ago. There is a memorial walk, culminating with the war memorial, which was built after the end of WW1. At the time of building, it cost £2000, making it the most expensive memorial in Australia.
The clock is frozen on 4.28, the time of the landing on Gallipoli, and the figure of the digger on the top is life sized at 5 foot, 7 inches, which was apparently the average height of the diggers.

However, the infamous mud flats remain the same when the tide goes out, and in the distance in this photo you can see the Shangri-La, the hotel we stayed at for the first night. There is a delightful swimming pool on the esplanade as well, with nice grassy areas for just sitting, or more vigorous activities such as ball kicking.

It was an early start this morning, cases to be at the coach by 7, and us on board by 7.45. Our first port of call was Port Douglas, much larger than we remembered it. Then onward to the Daintree River, where we enjoyed a most relaxing cruise, not only learning a little about the estuarine crocodiles but seeing two as well.

This one was just a little fellow, about a meter long, and very hard to see as he sunned himself on the river bank.

After lunch we crossed the Daintree River on the ferry, and TRO and I are now further north in Qld than we have been before. We pressed northward, to the Cooper Creek Wilderness, which is part of the Daintree Rainforest. This is privately owned land of 160 acres in the heritage listed forest. Read here

We were taken on a walk through the forest by Prue, the owner, who is extremely knowledgable about the forest and it's flora and fauna. She spent a good few minutes telling us about the mating habits of this little creature, a Boyd's forest dragon.
On her property, the forest is advancing at the rate of around one meter per year, but a major problem are the feral pigs, which root out the young plants to eat them.

Looking up towards the canopy of the forest.

The weather is warming up beautifully, and this evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner at Heritage Lodge and Spa, which is also on the middle of the Daintree, and our accommodation for the night. Frank and Kath are helping to hold up a couple of trees outside our delightful cabin accommodation.

We have an early morning start, This touring is not for the faint hearted, and those who like to sleep in !!!

Posted from another day in Paradise

1 comment:

  1. Love the photos. Also , smiled when I read about all the alarms - better to be safe than sorry :))