Catchin’ up in Cairns

Arriving in Cairns was exciting – here we were catching up with my Mum and Dad (the kids Nanna and Grandad) who had flown over for the duration of our stay for a family catch up.  Just like Darwin we couldn’t wait to get into town and let the fun begin.

The drive into Cairns was the first time in about three months we had actually seen any rain clouds in the sky.  While we were a little confused at first we reluctantly tried to accept that  it was bound to happen eventually! Rain that is.  Funnily enough the first few days the clouds hung around without doing to much to ruin our fun.  We ventured around the vibrant city of Cairns enjoying all the people, food and fun.

A few days in we decided to head out to the Great Barrier Reef to hopefully do some snorkelling and have some fun in the sun.  We decided on a day trip out to Fitzroy Island, lured by promises of reef, snorkelling, ocean trampolines and all manner of other water sports included as part of the day.

We arrived early to climb aboard our boat for the trip – The Raging Thunder! The trip was rough and wet! We made the mistake of sitting up the top of the boat hoping for a scenic and tranquil ride.  Instead we arrived at Fitzroy Island soaking wet and battered from bouncing up and down over the waves that we were punching straight into the whole way!


All aboard the Raging Thunder!

We quickly forgot about that though when we were greeted with this scene……



The day was quite windy, which made snorkelling and swimming less than ideal.  We did a walk trail to Nudey Beach (what is it with naming things nudey?!) where once again we hoped the tourists had read the signs about it not actually being a nudist beach.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach, which was entirely made of coral rather than sand and watched a sea turtle swimming in the shallows.


The beaches made of coral – tough on the tootsies!

After lunch we headed back to the main beach where we enjoyed a swim, went on a glass bottom boat tour to see the coral and fed the fish at the jetty.

All in all it was a great day and just in the nick of time because the wind on the day started the change of the weather.  We said goodbye to the sun and spent the rest of our time in Cairns getting wet and soggy!  Luckily though there was plenty to see and do regardless of the rain.

The following day we headed south of Carins in the general direction of  Innisfail to see what we could find.  Our first stop was Babinda, a charming little town, also the home to ‘The Boulders’.  We headed out there and took a lovely walk through the rainforest to see The Boulders which is a series of little waterfalls made from great big boulders basically.


The Boulders

The scenery was so different to what you see in Kalgoorlie and very beautiful. We even saw a Ulysses Butterfly flitting around in the rainforest.  We finished off our walk with a barbecue lunch at the park nearby.

Afterwards we headed further south, passing through Innisvaile and continuing on the the Ma-mu Rainforest Skywalk.  This was a lovely tree-top walk through the rainforest as well as a climb up a very high lookout tower.


So many trees! So much green!


On top of the world!

Another day we headed up to Kuranda to see the markets.

After wandering around the markets and enjoying some lunch we headed to the butterfly farm.  Here we tried to spot as many different butterflies as we could.


Birdwing Butterfly – the large one


Lockie gets his butterfly!


Lily the birdwing

We then herded to Barron Falls which is also where the Kuranda train leaves for Cairns.  This was a lovely walk through rainforest again to reach the Kuranda Station where we just in time to watch the train pull out of the station.  This railway winds its way through the mountains back to Cairns and is reported to be a beautiful ride.  After looking out over the Barron Falls from the lookout just near the station we headed back towards Cairns.


Barron Falls

Our last big day our from Cairns saw us head towards Port Douglas.  We meandered north stopping at many little beaches along the way.  We had a barbie lunch in Palm Cove where we got absolutely hammered by rain and wind! Then we meandered along the Captain Cook Highway, which took us along the beach pretty much all the way to Port Douglas.


Port Douglas Marina – Fancy!


Lily loses her first front tooth in Port Douglas


The view from the lookout over Port Douglas

On the way back to Carins we stopped at a lookout along Captain Cook Highway that looked out over the ocean.  As you may be able to tell – it was ver windy!


Enjoying the view


Lily takes a leap!


Windy much?

Our last few days in Cairns were spent doing a bit of sight seeing around the Botanic Gardens and all the last minute chores that were required before heading up to Cape York on the next leg of our journey.  Lily lost her second front tooth and we tearfully waved off Nanna and Grandad on the plane back to Perth.


Lily says goodbye to front tooth number two!


Camp Cleggett Cairns Style

Despite the rain we had a great time in Cairns!  Catching up with family is always loads of fun too.  But now we head off on the next big remote leg of our journey up to Cape York.  We are very excited and will be on our way already as you read this.  Stay tuned in a few weeks when the phone range returns, for what happens next!

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