Cairns Journals

Reef to Rainforest

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A February 2005 trip to Cairns by nmagann

Cape Tribulation Photo, Cairns, Australia More Photos
Quote: Cuddling a koala and petting a kangaroo IS Australia. The reef's marine life and rain forest were the primary reasons I visited. Here I saw completely different flora and fauna than what I take for granted in the U.S. Houseplants grow wild, and instead of squirrels and deer, they have emus and wallabies.

Reef to Rainforest

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Overview

Beach near Wharf Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Kuranda offered me the opportunity to cuddle a koala and pet a kangaroo, which was a "must" for me even if I spent most of my time diving. I found diving the Barrier Reef a life-long dream to also meet/exceed my expectations. The cod were huge and yet so docile. Different fish and coral than I had seen created excitement for me as well, particularly the woebegone shark which, after I tried to create a bit of a wave so that it would move into photograph position for me, I read could be dangerous if provoked. My uncertainty about not diving with a guide and just the buddies I was matched up with turned out to be awesome. Was all this just a lucky way to spend my birthday?...Read More

Nimrod Diving

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Attraction

Nimrod Diving Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
This live-aboard costs the same as the others, but it was only an 18-passenger vessel offering five dives per day. What I received was so much more and the reason I would book with them again. Meals: Chef Jen was great, with personality plus. She prepared our three main meals, as well as our two "snacks". We had international dinners that ranged from Thai rice and vegetables to traditional English meat pies, Mexican, and Italian. A vegetarian, she catered to me far more than I would have dreamed possible. On the counter above, she prepared a meat pie with my name formed with the bread crust that had wonderful mushrooms and vegetable lasagna too. None was wasted; the other guests dug in afte...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

Nimrod Diving
Great Barrier Reef
Cairns, Australia

Nimrod Part II

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Attraction

Nimrod Part II Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
Peter was the all-around sweetheart. He helped in the kitchen, cleaning up, taking care of the rooms, etc. He too had a great sense of humor. He wore a shirt you could purchase that said "I dived Cod Hole". He literally crossed out the word dived and wrote above it, "snorkeled". If you had questions or needed anything, he was the man. Gear and Prep: All gear was provided, including dive computers if you didn’t have yours, wanted to try something else, or just didn’t bring yours. A brief lesson how the dive computers worked and the no-deco numbers to watch carefully. Wetsuits were full-length, which in spite of the warmth of the water, was needed. If you didn’t have a dive buddy, you wer...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

Nimrod Part II
Great Barrier Reef
Cairns, Australia

Cape Tribulation

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Attraction

Cape Tribulation Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
An hour and a half north of Cairns along the coast is Cape Tribulation, a beautiful rain forest area that meets the sea. En route, a brief tour is given of Port Douglas, a quaint historic town, and magnificent Mossman George in the Daintree National Park. These stops, along with some lookout points along the coast, provide a welcome stretch, as well as increase the anticipation of the destination. We make an extended stop of an hour to ride on a riverboat on the Daintree River, where a wildlife guide points out crocodiles while explaining fascinating details about them, such as that the temperature must be 31 degrees for a male to be born; otherwise they are female. Hence, there are more fem...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 15, 2005

Cape Tribulation
Cape Trib
Cairns, Australia

Kuranda Scenic Railway

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Attraction | "Kurand via Train"

Kuranda Scenic Railway Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
A Round-trip via train or sky, or one of each, is offered. Once you get to Kuranda, add-ons from the Koala Garden to boat cruises are offered. I chose to go up by train and return by the Skyrail. I strongly recommend doing the two for entirely different perspectives on the area. The train moves slowly through beautiful, lush mountains, complete with bridges, waterfalls, and 15 tunnels, for approximately 45 minutes. Bench seats are very comfortable, and windows open for clear picture-taking. Restrooms and drinking water are provided onboard. A map with points of interest and history are provided to read. Some of the points of interest are: Horseshoe Bend, a 180-degree curve where...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 18, 2005

Kuranda Scenic Railway
Kuranda
Cairns, Australia

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

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Attraction | "Pg 2 More Kuranda & Skyrail"

Kuranda Scenic Railway Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
There is also a walk-through with reptiles (these are in cages, of a sort) including an adorable green tree frog which looked like putty, amethyst python, lizards, and a few others. Tours available within the Butterfly Sanctuary provide good information about the life cycle, mating habits, eggs (which they can recognize well enough to know what variety it is), and how they collect them each day. I was advised by someone to wear a red or pink shirt to attract the butterflies. Don’t know if they were any more attracted to me than others, but the idea made sense. Birdworld offers the opportunity to be surrounded in an aviary by free-flying birds. A variety of native birds, from the cas...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 18, 2005

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Cairns, Queensland