That was a long journey and we were so tired. We had arrived in Cairns and it was so beautiful. We had taken off at 8 pm from London Heathrow and arrived at our apartment on Clifton Beach outside of Cairns at 10.30 am two days later!
We were so very tired and our bodies were telling us we should of been asleep but we did our best to stay up as long as possible. We went for a walk to the local shop to stock up the fridge and walked down the beach to Palm Cove and went to a pub for lunch.
Our Apartment looks out towards the beach and we have a lovely balcony to sit out on. Even our bedroom has a balcony a mini one, which looks out on to the rear garden where kangaroo’s and wallaby’s regularly visits.
We made it to 6.30pm before completely conking out.
After a long night of sleep we were ready for our first full day. We had pre-booked a few of the bigger activities for our holiday and today we were heading out on one of our pre-booked activity days.
We would be getting on a boat and going to Normandy Island where we could snorkel and see parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
We were picked up by coach at 7 am outside our hotel by the Franklands Island Tour Company. It was amazing! It was a lovely clear day, the weather was just perfect. We got on the boat and was taken out to the island where we were pretty much allowed to do what we wanted. They give you a safety briefing and they had organised a lunch for everyone.
There were some added extra’s you could pay extra to go on a guided tour of the island or to be taught how to dive with the full kit,as well as a few other choices.
We decided to stay basic and found a nice quite area on the beach. We would go in and out snorkeling as we fancied and got some great sunbathing time.
We saw beautiful blue corals and colourful fish. We even saw a string ray.
Another pre-booked day out today. Once again we are being picked up by coach right outside our hotel (so convenient). We are off to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. This takes us up over the Rainforest by cable car to Kuranda.
We went up on the cable car and had a quick stop off at the midway point, Red Peak Terminal, here you can go on a free guided tour telling you all about some of the amazing plants and how they have adapted to live in the Rainforest. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and the tour was really interesting, I would highly recommend it.
Once in Kuranda we had a look around the village markets and stopped for a coffee (the jet lag is defiantly present). We went to 3 animal parks located in Kuranda, a Bird Sanctuary, Butterfly World and the Koala Gardens. The Bird Sanctuary was amazing, you walk in to a massive dome aviary and the birds have completely free reign. You have to stick to the designated paths and the birds can chose to come to you. You can buy bird food before you go in but they have a limited supply to sell per day to make sure the birds are not over fed.
Butterfly world was nice to walk round but no different to any other butterfly park I’ve visited.
The Koala Gardens I struggled with, as an animal lover and working with animals most of my life I found it a bit small for the amount of animals there. The main attraction (the Koala’s) was very well done, they offered koala cuddles for an extra fee and we found out that the koala’s only “worked” for 20 minutes once a week. You were under very strict instructions from the keeper, you were not to move you must act like a tree, if you did not follow instructions you would not hold the koala. We actually witnessed someone being thrown out because they had decided to rock the koala like a baby. That koala became very upset and was taken away and cuddles were ended. This was really good to see they cared about the koala’s welfare, they also had their own section of the park away from the public.
The rest of the area had other animals, which like the Bird Sanctuary could come up to you if they chose to and you must stick the the route, but this area just felt quite small.
We had lunch at Frog’s Restaurant and sat out on their Water-Dragon Deck, which as you may have guessed is where the local Water-Dragon’s hang out and watched you eat.
We ended the day by taking the scenic railway down through the Rainforest, stopping at Barron Falls, before ending at the pick up point ready to go back to our apartment.
It was a long day and we still didn’t get to see everything Kuranda had to offer.
Time to relax today, we picked up our hirer car and decided to go and explore a little. We had been quite busy since arriving so it was nice to go at a slower pace. We drove into the Atherton Tablelands, our first stop was at a town called Yungaburra and it just happened to be market day. It was a lovely big market selling everything from local produce (my husband fell in love with the banana’s called “Lady Fingers”) to Jewellery, hair braiding, henna art, local arts and crafts. After having lunch in the village we moved on to Lake Tinaroo, Which was beautiful but unfortunately when we visited it was extremely windy. Still we enjoyed a lovely walk around the lake taking in the view.
Our next Stop was a winery outside of Mareeba called De Brueys. We had a lovely wine tasting and bought a bottle of the Lychee wine. Not a flavour I am normally fond of but as a wine tasted lovely. They also had a lovely dog who would only let you in, in exchange for belly rubs.
On our way back we stopped off for another view of Barron falls at a veiwing platform which gave us amazing views.
We enjoyed a scenic drive back to our apartment and had planned to stop at a local supermarket but turns out they don’t have many 24 hr supermarkets in cairns and instead had to settle for crisps from Liquor land as our dinner.
Another slower paced day today, we drove up to Port Douglas and took a walk around the market and the town. We found a wonderful local chocolaterie called Coffee Works and it is defiantly worth a visit, the staff were lovely, they gave us loads of samples to try and everything tasted amazing. We bought a kind of pick and mix bag with a selection of 5 different chocolates. After eating a lot of chocolate and stopping for a bite to eat (of the none chocolate variety), we jumped back in the car and drove up to Cape Tribulation. It was quite a drive away (about 2 hours) and required going on a river crossing boat to get there, but it was a lovely beach. There is pretty much nothing around but it is where the rainforest meets the sea and the weather was very typical of the rainforest. It was hot and humid, but also drizzling rain, we had a lovely walk around and then took a leisurely drive back.
Today was our last full day in Queensland, we would be getting a taxi at 3am for our flight onwards. We moved to a hotel closer to the airport to make life easier and after dropping off our cases, we drove in to cairns and spent the day exploring the town. Here I found out that Macdonalds in Australia serve all day breakfast!!! I don’t normal visit fast food restaurant chains that we also have in the UK, but hubby wanted to grab a drink (they did a frozen cola drink that he wanted to try and subsequently became addicted to) and when I found out I could have a breakfast bagel for lunch I could not resist.
Cairns town was full of great shops and cafes, we took a walk down by the harbour and dripped our feet in the public paddling pool.
For dinner we went to a Vietnamese & Chinese Restaurant which was recommend by some locals. We have had a lot of Chinese food in our lives but OMG this beats them all. The portions were huge and it tasted amazing. I have included a link below, defiantly worth a visit if you are in the area.
We dropped off the hire car and took our first ever Uber back to the B&B. So easy and convenient to use.
Early night ready for our earlier morning pick up. We really loved our time here, we did so much but their is also so much that we just didn’t have the time to fit in. Would highly recommend visiting.
I have included links below of some of the areas and places that we visited if you would like any futher information.
I hope you will come back next month to find out where we went next on our little adventure.
See you all next time,
Always Hungry Mum
Links For Further Information
Frankland Islands Tour Company – https://www.franklandislands.com.au
Skyrail Rainforest CableCar – https://www.skyrail.com.au
De Brueys Winery – https://www.debrueys.com.au/
Coffee Works – https://coffeeworks.com.au/
Bobs Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant – https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g255069-d2405455-Reviews-Bobby_s_B1_Restaurant-Cairns_Cairns_Region_Queensland.html
Visit Cairns – https://www.visitcairns.com.au/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwz8bsBRC6ARIsAEyNnvom18nYWozzn7uPRLF6w8gHgEkboS1UIuESQuFZO6rwqxCa-u_xWOEaAgkVEALw_wcB
Visit Queensland – https://www.queensland.com/en-gb
Cape Tribulation – https://www.destinationdaintree.com/locations/cape-tribulation
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated by any of the companies mentioned in this blog. All opinions are my own.