Cairns Stories and Tips

Cairns, Australia - 3

Steaks for Lunch at the Iron Bar Restaurant  Photo, Cairns, Australia

Tuesday we got up to clouds and rain. Actually, that was ok with us, since neither of us really wanted any more sun. We had decided that that day would be our driving tour. Port Douglas is another town close by that was recommended to visit, so we decided to check it out. One of our Aussie friends had told me to tell the kangaroos hello for her, so I kept my eyes peeled to see one. I thought that Aussies had kangaroos like Texans had cows. Nope. More like deer. I understand you never see them out in the light of day, but in the late evenings or early mornings. Sure blew my idea of seeing a kangaroo. I also found out that they don’t have so many in the rainforest and reef areas. Actually, that was a little surprising since everywhere around the area there were sugar cane fields … and they were in the middle of harvesting. Anyway, the drive to Port Douglas took about 1.5 hours (it’s only about 36 miles), but the road is a twisting, winding road along the ocean. It’s a lovely drive, and you should take it if you ever get the chance.

Once in Port Douglas, we ate lunch at a place called Iron Bar (Steve liked it because they had t-bone steaks as the lunch special), and wandered around the town a little bit. The town itself gave me the same feel that Telluride, Colorado does. Laid-back, with lot of souvenir stores along with the artsy-fartsy shops. You could spend as much or as little as you liked here. I bought a couple of t-shirts (they were on sale), so I could cover up my sunburn. I got so tired of people staring at me like I was a freak, or coming up and telling me that I was sunburned. I mean, get real people … like I hadn’t already figured that out.

After P-Douglas, we decided to drive on north and check out the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge. What we saw there, just whetted our appetite for more! After taking their short hiking trail (and making a potty break), we decided to drive on up north to Cape Tribulation, where the paved roads end in northeast Australia. This involved crossing the Daintree River by ferry … LOTS of signs warning about the crocodiles in the area!!! No swimming, no standing by the water, no walking along certain areas. OK, they convinced me! We also saw signs along the road to watch out for the cassawaries … the big Australian birds. Although we watched and watched, we NEVER saw any cassawaries. Steve decided it was just a ploy by the highway department to make people slow down.

We did reach Cape Tribulation around 5:30 PM, and I have to admit that they should have named it Camp Tribulation instead. There just wasn’t much there. We did see a tea farm, which was cool, and there was a sign for an ice-creamery (which we didn’t see). By the time we got there, the roadside potty buildings were closed, and the crocodile signs had me worried about going behind a bush (and with good reason). We stopped at a roadside fast food joint and each had a bag of chips, and decided that maybe we should start back down the mountain and try to have dinner at P-Douglas. It’s a good thing, because by the time we reached the Daintree ferry, it had gotten dark. Needless to say, I never actually saw a crocodile, but I sure saw some likely places for them to be. Tuesday night, we ate dinner back at P-Douglas at a Thai food restaurant that I had seen earlier (Star of Siam). This was the poorest excuse for a Thai food restaurant that I had ever seen. The service sucked, and the Tom Yam Gung soup was sweet! I love that soup, and if it doesn’t give you a good burn, there’s something wrong! I’m sure they had adjusted their recipes to suit the tourist tastes, but I’ve been to Thailand and I can tell you that it didn’t taste right. The man waiting on us smiled when he heard that we were from Cairns, and were heading back. He proudly told us that they also had a Star of Siam in Cairns. Sure glad he saved us the trouble of going there.

Been to this destination?

Share Your Story or Tip