Exploring the Tablelands and the Cape

Trip Start Jul 27, 2004
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Trip End Dec 13, 2006


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Thursday, November 24, 2005

We arrived in Cairns on Friday night and met Kylie again! Her Mum, Anne, picked us all up from the airport and drove us up to her house where we stayed with her, Jay her husband and his friend Wayne for the weekend. On the Friday night we went dancing with Kylie at the local B.V. Hotel - a real step back in time night! Anne & Jay were having a party on the Saturday night so we helped with cooking all the food during the day, inbetween having dips in the swimming pool to cool off. The party was great fun and we got to meet lots of the people who work for Anne and Jay - all the food was lovely (of course!) and everyone drank lots as well. On Sunday Kylie and Anne showed us around the Atherton Tablelands which is a beautiful area of lakes, waterfalls, craters & green hills & valleys. Highlights were a refreshing swim in Lake Eacham and the mysterious volcanic crater at Mt Hypipamee . On Sunday night we had another fun time with more swimming, drinking and dancing! Jay, Anne and Kylie looked after us for the whole weekend and made us really welcome - thank you for a great time! After leaving Atherton and saying our goodbyes (2nd time round with Kylie..) we had a brief stopover in Cairns before hiring a car for the next 3 days. Our little Ford Festiva (thats a Fiesta to those of you in the UK) chugged up along the coast where we stopped at beautiful Ellis Beach. We then headed inland to Mossman Gorge National Park where we explored the rivers and forest which are strewn with huge boulders and found a quiet swimming hole for a skinny dip! After driving farther north we crossed the Daintree River on an old-fashioned car-ferry and then stopped for the night at Cape Kimberley. At the Koala Beach resort we had our own 'jungle hut' near to the gorgeous beach but as its jellyfish season we cooled down in the swimming pool rather than in the sea. The following day we stopped at Thornton Beach for a sunbathe and then took a boat trip up the Cooper Creek in search of 'Salties' (big saltwater crocodiles) but they were all hidden away, probably due to the heat. Our guide stressed that it wasn't as likely to see them at this time of year - funny how that wasn't mentioned when we paid for the trip, only once we were on the boat!! We then drove up to Cape Tribulation beach which was the furthest North we went - here we were really lucky to see Cassowaries and their chicks in the forest. Cassowaries are huge birds a bit like Emus but with much brighter colours and really rare - there are only about 1,200 left here in Oz!! Our last stop was in the upmarket town of Port Douglas where we are spending a couple of nights before we head back to Cairns tomorrow for a flight back to Sydney to stay with Paul's cousin Sarah and family.
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