Northern Queensland

Trip Start Sep 22, 2005
Trip End Dec 17, 2005

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Monday, October 3, 2005

Greetings from very sunny Australia - what a place to shake off the jetlag!! We are currently in Port Douglas - a lovely resort north of Cairns, full of restaurants & boutiquey shops within easy reach of the reef & rainforest.

We've spent a couple of lazy days in and around the town, enjoying our fabulous apartment which has its own BBQ area, sun deck, spa and swimming pool (you can imagine us, disgusted to discover we had to share the pool with other people!). We have also been a bit more active and done a number of the "must see" trips. We took a 4WD trip to Cape Tribulation - en route we cruised the Daintree river spotting crocs, explored the rainforests and beautiful beaches of the area and swam in freshwater creeks (also keeping an eye out for crocs!). It's a truly stunning area - one beach in particular, Stingray Bay, stands out - beautiful white sands, mangrove trees, blue seas and virtually deserted (one other tour party had made the trip - and kept getting in our photos, the b******s!)

The next day we visited the Aboriginal park called Tjapukai, and enjoyed some didgeridoo playing and boomerang throwing (Jeremy developed an interesting technique whereby his boomerang did not come back - but got caught in some safety netting instead!). We then took the Skyrail to Kurunda - this is a cable car ride over miles of rainforest with fabulous views of the forest and the Barron Gorge). Had lunch at Kurunda, resisted the many opportunities available to part with the tourist dollar, then took the scenic railway back from Kurunda, unfortunately the body clocks broke down again and we slept most of the way back! Don't suppose the views were as good as on the skyrail, so not really too upset. Saw some wallabies by the road on the way back to Port Douglas - haven't seen much wildlife yet so were quite excited.

The Great Barrier Reef - a definite "must see" and the reason for our third excursion. As neither of us are great divers, we took a sailing boat to the Low Isles (a coral island in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon) and enjoyed a day of snorkeling, glass bottom boats and lazing on the lovely white sandy beaches. We even found Nemo! Saw some turtles which was very special.

Met with Hez's cousin, Lorraine, and her husband, Steve, a couple of times. They even 'threw a shrimp on the barbie' for us!

Next stop Dunk Island - don't suppose much will happen there, so we may go quiet for a while!!
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