Lions & Tigers & Bears Oh My!!

Trip Start Aug 22, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Checked out of our hotel and headed for the Crystal Cascades just north of Cairns. The cascades are another popular spot for swimming, with lots of pools forming down the stream.  We walked to the top to see the main waterfall.  It was quite nice but hard to get the right angle for a good photo of it.  Lots of very scenic concrete around it too as it's part of the water scheme.  Saw a few groups of people cooling off in the pools – complete with drinks and picnic provisions.  A very relaxing way to spend a humid day.

Also saw evidence of two of the local fauna & flora.  The nice fauna – a bright yellow sunbird flitting around the entrance to the cascades.  The not so nice flora – a sign warning about the stinging plant which is a very bitey beasty indeed.  It actually produces glass splinters from silica in the soil and there is no real antidote.  Very painful and long lasting – as in weeks.  We made sure not to touch anything!

After the coolness of the cascades we decided to head for somewhere hotter so drove up past Kuranda to the Cairns Safari Park.  They had a fair few animals but it was a depressing place.  We had pictured somewhere tropical and lush for the animals but instead it was extremely dry and hot with barren looking enclosures.

Highlight was the spider monkeys which were showing off for us by continually walking backwards around their enclosure.  Our other favourite was the ring tailed lemurs.  They were shy – demure lemurs – but very, very cute with big soulful eyes.  Awwww

We have a feeling the park was better when it first opened but has maybe not been the success they hoped for so has been let go a tad.  The "restaurant" backed this theory up.  Could be so nice but all they had were dried up pies in the warmer and a few sad looking sandwiches.

After this we started on the drive to our next accommodation at Thala Beach Resort just outside of Port Douglas.  Had a quick squiz at Kewarra Beach and Palm Cove just north of Cairns on the way.  Both really nice looking areas with stacks of accommodation right on the beach with heaps of different places to eat too.  Definitely a place to keep in mind for future trips.

Arrived at Thala Beach and after a refreshing mocktail were shown to our chalet.  Did a quick unpack, shower and change then scurried back up the track to the main building for our dinner.  Unfortunately we missed the sunset but instead had the pleasure of seeing lots of cute little geckos hanging out in the restaurant.  Went back to our room and flopped for the night.  Hmmm, starting to see a pattern here!
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