21.07.2014 - 31.07.2014
After a few very similar days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday last week, which largely consisted of strolling round the harbour and grabbing a few afternoon drinks in the amazing weather, Thursday came as a breath of fresh air and did go to prove that getting out of Cairns is what you need to do. It has to be said that this was not only my best day since coming to Cairns, but I would go as far as to say of the whole trip so far as I ventured out on a tour called Uncle Brian's Fun, Falls and Forest. What an experience this was! The whole day, even the travelling was just so enjoyable, not to mention the beautiful places we visited along the way. Once again it was one of those where the pictures taken probably won't do it justice.
The day was made by the two guides we had, Cousin Brad, who was a very zaney character for want of a better expression, but even more so the day was made what it was by the person who drove the bus I was on, Cousin Sid! From the very start of the day to the very end this giant of a man was super laid back, telling us stories and regailing us with facts about the area he was taking us around. He was so insightful and knowledgable, it really was impressive the depth of knowledge he had. He made the trip so enjoyable on the bus by having us play stupid games and also by the soundtrack he provided throughout the day. I've got to say driving around in the bus getting to see the sights roll past, with the perfect blend of music playing was every bit a part of it as the lakes we jumped in and the waterfalls we swam under along the way. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone!
The day started with a drive out to Babinda Boulders, with a quick stop off to see some wallabies in Whiterock. Once we got to Babinda and after a brief walk through the rainforest and looking out over the rocks it was time for the first dip of the day and man was it cold when you jumped in! It was however very refreshing and kicked any remenence of a hangover I may or may not have had firmly into touch. The weather definitely showed us that there is a reason why it is called RAINforest, as there was a slight downpour during our swim. But it was all good and probably should not have come as a surprise given the fact that Cousin Sid imparted on us when we were back on the bus. This was that Babinda is the current holder of the Golden Gumboot (Wellington), which can be seen pride of place in the township's post office and is recieved for the wettest place in Australia.
After Babinda we winded our way past the two tallest mountains in Queensland, both of whose names escape me right now (not that I could spell them anyway, ha ha) and onto Josephine Falls, which was absolutely brilliant. After another short walk through the rainforest and some slightly scary stories about the stinging tree (look it up) we went for another little swim, in a really picturesque little spot. However this came with the added bonus of a rock waterslide that was soooooooo much fun! A brief climb further up to get some pictures of the fall and it was time to jump back on the bus, and upto the Atherton Tablelands, which provided some even more beautiful views out over the lush green countryside.
Once we had stopped to fill our guts it was onto the waterfall of Millaa Millaa, which apparantly is a very famous waterfall. I'll give you a clue one of Britain's most famous music imports from Oz filmed there....No not Rolf! Yes that's right it was the setting for the Mysterious Girl video, not only this but the setting for an advert by a certain shampoo brand. This lead to the great fun of us having photos taken doing the hair flick a la Herbal Essences. Looking at it mine was not so great shall we say, ha ha. All part of it! We also swam under the waterfall, for a slight massage and then sat on the rocks looking out, which made the fact that this was the coldest swim of the day a little more enjoyable. Plus we had the warmest swim of the day to come. So following a brief spot of platypus spotting, where I actually briefly caught a glimpse of one, it was onto a lake that was created by volcanic movements meaning the water temperature was slightly higher (emphasis on the slightly) where we took to the trees and threw ourselves in to join the fish and turtles that lived in the water. Again this was just so much fun! This rounded the day off really well and it was a shame the day had to come to an end, but as Sid said "Don't be sad it's over, just be glad it happened" which really is so true.
Another good part of the trip is that because you are doing it in a group, as you could do this in a car by yourself, it was good to meet so many new people and interact with them in this way and then get to talk through it all back at the hostel over a few beers as we did.
On Friday I got to see Cairns in a different light (literally), as although I had spent quite a lot of time at the esplanade and harbour I had never been there in the evening, so after a decidedly lazy day I headed out quite late for a stroll and this proved to be a very good choice, as the harbour and surrounds provides some pretty special sights, with the sun setting over the mountains and reflecting on the water as the tide rolled in. Not only this but the trees that line the park down by the front are all lit up in a multitude of colours and the park is still so alive even at this time with people barbecuing and having a good time, it was really nice to see! Saturday it was also refreshing to see how the parks become a real hive of activity and people really do make the most of the sun and there Saturdays off to use the lagoon and barbecues to full affect. I was also treated to a festival to celebrate the indigenous people of Australia, which was a really good show with various different Aboriginal dance acts and a few different bands. It really was good to just sit in the sun and take this event in.
It's time to be on the move again tomorrow, onto Innisfail to a working hostel to wait for work to come in. This will come as a welcome change following a few less active days thanks mainly to the rubbish weather over the last couple of days. Next stop farm work! Can't wait!