Thursday, July 12, 2018

Back to Cairns

Question.  How do I get rid of that white bit with the name of the place from my map?   Not much point posting a map if one third of it is covered.  I know so many clever people I'm sure one of you will have the answer.

We reluctantly left Cooktown and started our journey back down along the coast, with our accommodation for that night at Speewah, just outside Kuranda.  Kuranda is, to quote their own propaganda,  a  picturesque mountain retreat, 1,000 feet above and 25km northwest of Cairns. And crowded with tourists.  When we reached there we joined the throngs in the market place and found somewhere for a late lunch.  Probably the least impressive meal I ate in all the miles travelled.  In case I don't remember to mention it again, I was more than a little impressed with the quality of meals everywhere we ate all along the coast. 

We'd stopped briefly in Mareeba along the way and had a pleasant stroll around the museum to stretch our legs.

I found the statue of the bull outside the museum much more impressive than anything I'd seen inside.

The weather that day was a little changeable.  Between low cloud and actual rain we couldn't see a thing from one lookout but at another the cloud lifted enough for us to get this view looking down towards Cairns.

The view from Wright's lookout at Kuranda was also a little murky.

But we stayed dry when we went for a walk to the Barron Falls Lookout.

The Barron Falls are probably the most famous waterfalls  in North Queensland, are visited by thousands of people each year but weren't all that impressive when we were there.  I guess you can't enjoy good weather and have waterfalls in full flow at the same time, can you?

We visited a supermarket to gather a few supplies so we wouldn't have to eat out that night and stock up on wine so we could watch the royal wedding in fine style.  We did stay awake long enough to see the nuptuals but were tucked up in bed long before the royal couple left the church.  So many hours on the road were starting to take its toll.

 Tricia, wine glass in hand, taking a stroll around Honeybee House grounds

 Honeybee House

But we did enjoy our little home for the night - the delightful Honeybee House, tucked under mighty rainforest trees, surrounded by lovely grounds.  

The next morning, a week after we'd first landed there, we continued on to Cairns, traffic and (for me) driving challenges.  We contacted our niece, Catherine and, after driving in circles a while, managed to meet up with her and, at my request, she took us to Yorkeys Knob. She chose the lunch venue, the Yacht Club.  Yes, Lee, I went to your old stomping ground, and very glad I am that I did.  Those who know her know that Lee is a foodie and I know she will forgive me for not noticing my surroundings all that much once I saw the "Bucket of Prawns" I had ordered.  Golly gosh, Lee.  They were the best prawns I've had in ... as far back as my memory goes. 

Yorkeys Knob Yacht Club

I'm a pretty hopeless tourist when it comes to cities.  I'm happiest away from crowds.  Although it was windy and overcast I enjoyed the stroll along the waterfront.  It was far too cold for the locals to be in the water, the temperature was probably in the low 20C, which, for them, is quite low when compared to the heat they get in summer.  The Esplanade Lagoon must be a very popular spot in warmer weather.  There's a 4,800 sq meter saltwater swimming lagoon, complete with sandy edges, lots of shady trees and landscaped gardens.

Across the road, towards the city, the cranes are competing with the palm trees for sky space.  There looks to be a lot of development going on.

I was delighted to see a Jabiru, Australia's largest wading bird and their only stork.  I don't think this one was fully grown and, to be honest, it did not look all that healthy.  Maybe it's just used to lots of people being nearby.   An adult stands 1.3m - 1.5 m with a 2.3m wingspan. 

The highlight of our Cairns stay for me was our trip over the Gillies Range to the Atherton Tableland.  It's described as "a chain of summits" and that sums it up nicely. There are 263 corners and 800m elevation change in only 19 km.

Most of my photos are a bit like this one below.  If I got a peek of a view I'd try to find somewhere to safely pull off the road and invariably, couldn't creep close enough to the edge of the mountain to get a decent shot.

My grandson will be arriving on Saturday to have some "Granny" time so I probably won't be back with more from our journey south for a week or so.


  1. A wonderful pictorial record of a wonderful trip to wonderful areas. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Click on view larger map then collapse the panel there should be some little arrows to click on the top RH side.

  3. Hi Pauline. Haven't visited in awhile. Glad i did today. Looks like you are having a beautiful trip. Love your header image.

  4. You have no idea how much i’m enjoying your sharing the trip with us. Have a great time with your grandson!

  5. Well I enjoyed that and a few rather different photos from the ones I've seen of the area before. I knew the name Yorkeys Knob was familiar but I would not have remembered why if you hadn't mentioned Lee. I hope you're enjoying your Granny time.

  6. Those views are stunning Pauline. I tend to veer away from the cities and am a country girl at heart. Super photos and now you are about to enjoy your grandson's company. How wonderful!


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