Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Our trip to the Far North of Queensland Australia

Our trip to the Far North of Queensland Australia last year.

Hi Everybody,
We had a lovely holiday in the Far North of Queensland, Australia, last year. and thought some of you might like to hear about some of it.
First we went to Townsville to visit with family for 4 days and we sure had a fine time, spending every possible moment with Erle’s son and his sister. I managed to win a Jackpot playing the machines that meant we had extra spending money to enjoy the city, before catching the train up to Cairns.
We arrived so hot and tired that as we started to walk the short distance to the accommodation of our choice, we came across a place called Leos with rooms vacant so didn’t bother going any further. That’s how we came to stay at the Backpackers! So cheap was this accommodation only $40.00 with free breakfast and dinner thrown in. The young people have it all too easy, but the food was a little basic to say the least (we upgraded it) but the room was just the same as a motel with air conditioner and a fan and fridge and hand basin etc, plus swimming pool and pool table etc available also the full bar.
Next morning after a good sleep we hired a rental car and headed up to Port Douglas, where we stayed for 3 nights. There is so much to do around this area we could have stayed longer. We went out crocodile hunting on an evening cruise up the Cairns River and we saw two great big ones, went to a wildlife reserve as saw many of the native birds and lizards and more huge crocodiles, dinned on a upstairs balcony in the sunset, also did heaps of sight seeing all around the city, while swimming every day and eating masses of tropical fruits, before going on up to Daintree and Mossman. The Mossman Gorge was so nice and cool and lush with nice walks in the forest. The Daintree was where we saw a Kangaroo family under some trees.
There was a wee Joey in the pouch of one of the Kangaroos. Also we saw the Daintree River Ferry that we didn’t go over.
Our original plan had been to go to Cooktown but short of hiring a 4-wheel drive vehicle we just couldn’t go there, we gave up that idea. Still we saw and did other good things, and we got to go stay at Palm Cove the expensive beach mainly for the rich and famous. We were so lucky to be able to get rooms in a posh place right on the Esplanade just a step across from the beautiful beach. The Hotel was virtually closed up because the wife of the owner was in hospital ill and he couldn’t manage it on his own. We were the only people staying in the whole huge building, I think the reason he allowed us to stay, and fairly cheaply too, was for security reasons, so we had the run of the place and used the spa and the pool up on the roof just as we wanted. Wish we could have stayed longer, but the Atherton Tableland up from Cairns was calling us, actually it still does, as we didn’t really get there completely! We drove up the Gillies Highway and didn’t find it too bad at all, enjoyed Devonshire tea at Lake Barrine, looked at lots of beautiful waterfalls then where drawn to a place called Ravenshoe, it was just the name. Auzzies say ravens hoe we said raven shoe! However the great taxi driving team of Erle and Glennis got hopelessly lost, took the wrong turning somewhere and went charging down the Palmerston Highway. I don’t recommend this drive to anyone, it was very, very steep, but a pretty drive with lots more waterfalls and lookouts, eventually we ended up in Innisfail, not a town you will have heard of, but its quite a nice fishing village and we stayed overnight in a room the size of a shoe box but it did have air conditioning and it was cheap. Went to the RSL where I won another Jackpot on the poker machines. It was on the way back to Cairns we discovered the Babinda Boulders, which was a very nice side drive to a beautiful mystical place that’s important to the Aboriginals. When back at Cairns we went to the Casino (surprise, surprise) and up to the wildlife dome on top to see the Koala and other wildlife all loose and free inside the huge dome, you could touch most things if they let you. Sadly I lost a few wee dollars at the casino! But won quite a lot in the hotel later. Australia might pay for me to stay home in future or at least to stay off the machines, I did really well everywhere except the casino.
The next morning at 4am we departed for the airport and home, arriving at 8pm NZ time a long day of travel.
And that folks is the short story of our holiday. We plan to go back; we didn’t see Ravenshoe!
Thanks for reading. I hope you feel inspired to go there too, its a great place for a holiday.
I took heaps of photos and have them on Webshots, link below.

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