A Travellerspoint blog

Cairns to Airlie Beach

Long Travel Day.....

semi-overcast

Arrived at Cairns TILT train station bright and early this morning for travel down to Airlie Beach. The train left at 9:15 am promptly. I had a nice business class seat with ample leg room. The train is very clean and modern. Traveled on the train all day until arriving at Proserpine Beach around 7:15ish... about 25 minutes late. The Whitsunday Transit delivered me to my complex. It is dark out so not sure where I am situated in relation to the sea... they are building a marina right across the street so can already see a "not so pretty" construction site.....

Train ride itself was pretty uneventful. Tried to look at scenery around but it all pretty much was the same.... Mountains / Tall hills in back drop.. flat agricultural land in between. The track follows the perimeter of the coast except not right at the coast line. As it got later in the afternoon, had a couple "oh cool" moments where I saw Kangaroos hopping around with the cattle in the fields.

Just settling in at hotel now... tomorrow is a "free" day for me to explore Airlie Beach. It appears to be a bit commercialized.... alot of the hotels and accommodations are layered on the tall hillside... I'll know more in the day light.

Hope all is well back home!

Posted by cyntiast 13:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Daintree National park - Cape Tribulation - Mossman Gorge

Rain??

overcast 24 °C

{draft work still inprogress}

Ok, Shari and I had discussed that if it rained in Cairns; then “I” am the reason!! And guess what!! …. RAIN! Just a sprinkle in Cairns; heavier rains in Daintree. I think I will start a business where regions who are in drought circumstances hire me to come to their territory and then their droughts will end.

Today was a great day regardless of the weather.

The Tropical Excursion bus picked me up the front door at 7:30 a.m. I thought that we would go to a central location and pick up another bus. That was not the way it worked. The tour bus picked up everyone at their accommodations and then started the trip up to Daintree. It took almost two hours from the time before all passengers were picked up and we were at our next place.

We stopped at a little diner place called Crossroads Cafe. It was a very unique diner and would be interesting to go one time when it was later in the day. We basically stopped to use the rest rooms and for our tour guide to check out her paperwork.

We drove a short distance to catch a Daintree River cruise. They had tea/coffee/biscuits (aka shortbread cookies) for us prior to the cruise. The tea was called Daintree tea and was very very good. This hour long cruise took us up and down the Daintree in hopes of seeing some Australian wildlife such as crocodiles. The only thing we saw was one tiny little sun bird. Apparently the tide was too high for the other creatures.

Our bus picked us up on the other side of the river and we continued our trek up into Daintree. The drive was absolutely gorgeous as we hugged the coastline a large part of the trip. Reminded me of the Great Ocean Road (GOR). Our tour guide / driver, Nick, was fantastic. You could tell she genuinely loved her job. She was providing information about the area and the culture all during the trip. She made sure to point out little things like “chocolate” ants (smell like cocoa) and plants used for medicinal purposes.

Stopped at the xxxx walkway.. this is a very nicely appointed walking trek thru the rainforest. Of course it started to rain HEAVILY right before we did this walk so we waited a few minutes before we set out on the trek. Nick pointed out the different trees, vines, bugs, etc. We saw no animals during this walk but I think they were smart and headed inside. It ended up pouring down rain again before we made it back to the bus. At least it wasn’t freezing cold. LOL
Stopped at xxx campground for our lunch. Some of the folks on our tour bus were staying there overnight. It looked like an awesome campground in the middle of no where. I wouldn’t mind going back there to camp!

We did a special stop at the Daintree Ice cream Factory. They had unique tropical ice cream made with the fruits they grew on the grounds. They had a special where you got four scoops of ice cream for $5. They were prepared for buses as they quickly dipped out the ice cream for the crowd. The flavors of today included mango, coconut, black….. , and whi…. It was quite good!
Mossman Gorge portion of Daintree park was our next stop. This was a scenic vista of the Mossman river. They had very nice hiking treks to the water. The one huge characteristic of the river were the large large stones. We had option of swimming but it was a little too chilly to think about that. We just got everyone back on the bus when it started pouring down rain again.

Port Douglas was next stop. That was a pretty cool place too. Classy beach town with neat shops and restaurants. Easy walk to the beach as well.

That concluded our actual trip and we continued the journey to drop everyone off at their accommodations. I made it back about 6:45 pm so a long day indeed!

Karunda on Tuesday!!

HI to everyone back home!!!

Posted by cyntiast 03:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Great Barrier Reef

Cairns

sunny 28 °C

Cruised today on Passion of Paradise catamaran to Michaelmas Cay and Paradise Reef. It was a very nice vessel and all the staff was very friendly. I’m usually very shy, but I did meet a couple people so that was nice. (lol on that shy part huh.. well sometimes I am…) On the way out to the destinations I sat outside on the front of the boat. I’ve been super blessed all trip so far with no motion sickness. I applied my prescription patch before the cruise. I was doing super fantastic for over 80 minutes until they called the beginner snorkelers in the cabin area for a lesson. Something about that cabin put me on the downward spiral…. I was sick the whole rest of the trip… funny how many more people you meet when they remember you were the one barfing!! The truth of the matter is the water was choppy and there were lots of people getting sick.

http://www.passions.com.au/#


When we got to our first destination they ferried us out to Michaealas Island…… very tiny….. very white white sand… clear blue water… so awesome….. except I felt like dying. LOL so I just laid on the beach for about 30 minutes and took a nap. Finally I felt well enough to try the snorkeling but the time went by so fast and soon we were back on the boat. When we first went out I didn’t feel well enough to take my camera; so missed some good photo ops from the Island.
They crew prepared a very nice buffet lunch for us which included prawns. I was nervous to eat too much so basically missed the scrumptious meal… I stuck primarily with the rice and bread and pasta… We started to our next destination that was only ten minutes away. Xxxxxxxx There was no island here; you had to jump in off the back of the boat. I still wasn’t feeling well and afraid to risk anything, so I didn’t take advantage of the second snorkeling session. I took a nap on the front of the boat while others did snorkeling; I would say 70% of the people did not snorkel / dive at the second destination.

I was starting to feel better so strategized that I was NOT leaving the front of the boat for anything on the return trip. I had done fine in that location on the way out prior being called to the cabin. The front part of the boat worked out great until we were out of the protected reef area. Then the crew put up the sails and turned off the engine. They warned everyone in the front would get wet on the return trip and advised us to move. And there was no way I was moving!! A few other folks stayed in the front with me.. so we had the adventures of big splashes of water pouring over us during the trip back. It was actually fun and I am happy to say I stayed well the whole trip back. I have a Frenchman story associated with this trip.. but you’ll have to just ask me about that one. LOL

Evening was pretty quiet. Had planned to meet up with Columbia Ski club folks but it didn’t work out. Enjoyed some Vietnamese Pho Ga at Bobby's Vietnamese to let my stomach continue healing. They had the Morton Bay bug on the menu which Dan had told me to try; but couldn't do it this evening. It was much more reasonably priced though at $35. LOL

I thought it was going to rain on our trip and / or in Cairns…. That would have been hysterical because apparently it doesn’t rain here either! But no rain… nice temps.. not too hot so that was a plus for the trip today.
Off to Cape Tribulation / Daintree Forest tomorrow!

Posted by cyntiast 03:50 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney to Cairns

Wanted it and got it! HOT!

sunny 26 °C

Cairns!!!

Shari drove me to the airport at Oh Dark Hundred; somehow my suitcase grew in the last two weeks and I was nervous it would be too heavy but it went thru just fine. Flew Jetstar from Sydney to Cairns and we arrived early in a little under three hours. Cairns airport is under renovation so we had to walk quite a distance to get to our luggage. I was able to catch a ride on the Sun Palm bus with no problem. My hostel was the first stop. My room wasn't ready so stored my luggage and I went down the street and had a very nice egg and asparagus quiche and chai latte at Meldrums. It was excellent. The street I'm staying on is very commercial - not particularly upscale. Lots of young folks around - this is a big area for backpackers and hostels. I decided to continue walking around town and found the Esplande which was really cool. And yes Chris - found another Macca's - so popped in here to start my journal while I wait for my room. It is pretty warm out. I am going to try to hook up with folks from Columbia Ski club today as they are suppose to be in Cairns as well.

This blog is to be continued........ it is 11 am Cairns time... 9 pm Friday night Fredneck time...

10:30 pm Sat night 8:30 am EST time continuing todays blog....

Walked and walked and WALKED around Cairns. I think I've seen almost everything here. LOL Including finding a nice nice shopping centre. That closed at 5:30 pm on a Sat.. all the malls close around that time here except for Thursday when they stay open late until about 8:30. That always blows me away because we have shopping available in the states for more extended periods of time.

Tried a Victoria Bitter at "The Crown"; it was nice. Went to Kani's on Esplande for dinner. Decided to try for dinner the Queensland Mud Crab that Nestor had recommended. Ok. My first spew of the trip. There was a MAJOR miscommunication between me and the restaurant folks... I went to one restaurant that had a 30% early bird specials but I was a little too early and didn't feel like waiting so went to another placing figuring I was only losing $5-6 dollars in savings...... well, I asked the hostess about the price and I swear I heard 19.95 for the dish. I repeated like five times. then the waiter comes out and I verify the price with him.. and he says oh that is per gram or whatever the weight.. and he said he'd pick out the smallest grab that would weigh 19.95.. or that is what "I" heard... so imagine my shock when the bill came out for $90 for the dish!! You know me.. Miss Frugal.. there is no way in high hell I would pay $90 for a dinner unless special special SPECIAL occasion. I was pissed..... so a lesson learned. I will have them WRITE out the dollar amount next time for any market price entree. I went ahead and paid but left no tip (that was on the receipt). I wouldn't even look at the people when I left. There was nothing else on that menu any where close to $90... so i should have waited ten more minutes for the 30% place huh??

Ok that was my vent and second cry of the trip. I hate being ripped off. LOL I walked and walked all over cairns today... i can see now why all the travel agencies only put you here long enough to do the specialty trips. There really isn't much here except for shops and eating.. and that esplanade place which one day is enough to entertain. LOL

I decided to go to the hostel gathering place for their 2 for 1 special between 7 and 8. It started out slow but ended up being an interesting time. Engaged in a conversation with a couple from London, England.. Maxine and Hugh... quite good conversation that had an interesting twist because of the person who sat behind me.. my back was to this person so I couldn't really see them until they walked around me to go outside to smoke but the brit couple had full on view. It was a "shem" who was dressed in very provocative lacey outfit. They kept coming and going from their seat so never did figure all that out.

Internet service is really bad in my room so sitting out in common area to get on internet. Very nice area.. big big deal with tent type canopy over head. Nice to have decent weather after being treated to late winter fares while with Shari.

Need to get to sleep as I do cruise to GBR tomorrow.

Posted by cyntiast 05:40 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney to Cairns

Wanted it and got it! HOT!

sunny 26 °C

Cairns!!!

Shari drove me to the airport at Oh Dark Hundred; somehow my suitcase grew in the last two weeks and I was nervous it would be too heavy but it went thru just fine. Flew Jetstar from Sydney to Cairns and we arrived early in a little under three hours. Cairns airport is under renovation so we had to walk quite a distance to get to our luggage. I was able to catch a ride on the Sun Palm bus with no problem. My hostel was the first stop. My room wasn't ready so stored my luggage and I went down the street and had a very nice egg and asparagus quiche and chai latte. It was excellent. The street I'm staying on is very commercial - not particularly upscale. Lots of young folks around - this is a big area for backpackers and hostels. I decided to continue walking around town and found the Esplande which was really cool. And yes Chris - found another Macca's - so popped in here to start my journal while I wait for my room. It is pretty warm out. I am going to try to hook up with folks from Columbia Ski club today as they are suppose to be in Cairns as well.

This blog is to be continued........ it is 11 am Cairns time... 9 pm Friday night Fredneck time...

Posted by cyntiast 17:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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