– Australia 2017

Queensland and Northern Territory.

Cairns Airport was our introduction to Queensland and we found sculptured cassowary and  some wonderful plants .

There was grass like we had not seen before. Much thicker and courser I assume because of the climate.

The transport arrived and our hotel was at Port Douglas an hour and half up the coast. We arrived quite late at Villa San Michele.

The room was lovely with a balcony overlooking the main street.

The Great Barrier Reef.

The next day was our Quicksilver cruise to The Great Barrier Reef which is 2.300 kms long & located in The Coral Sea. We were going to a large pontoon on the Agincourt Ribbon Reef.

It took an hour and half on the catamaran to reach our destination. While travelling we had a wonderful presentation from a marine biologist who explained about the fish and corals we were likely to see.

The crew had to unload the food for our lunch in large metal containers from the hull.

They had a post box on the pontoon so sat in the sun while Susan wrote some cards to send to England.

Having returned to the surface after seeing the turtle I knew I needed a new friend, who’s eyes are even bigger than mine.

Now I wanted to see the famous Four Mile Beach and was I in for a treat.

Golden sand, blue sky, trees, birds, rocks and flowers such a wonderful morning so I had to do it. Write in the sand and try my first Lamington.

 

We then returned to Cairns for our next adventure on the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

Cairns

We caught the first train at 8-30 from Cairns Station

This rail line’s first load of ballast was carried in 1890 after many years of labour by hand through tough rain forest landscape and high hills requiring deep cuttings and high embankments. It makes for wonderful scenery for today’s travellers.

As we travel out into the country we pass through Freshwater who have a eye catching decorated Guide HQ.

The train then started to climb through the trees, along the river Barron up to the Falls where the bend is so long we can see the engine and front carriages across the bridge.

We reach the village on the Atherton Tablelands where we spend the day looking at cultural markets, hearing Didgeridoos and walking beside the Barron River. This is where I found a new hat. It unfortunately did not come in my size.

We then caught the last train back to the coastal plains of Cairns. So after a lovely pizza and burger we went for a walk along the front. The swimming pool was amazing and right next to the sea.

 

 

 

 

The whole area was floodlit and the trees were spectacularly coloured, so pretty.

We had an early flight to Uluru tomorrow so time for bed.

ULURU

We were staying at The Sails in the Desert Hotel at Ayers Rock Resort. The complex had been beautifully built among the sand dunes so as to not spoil the natural beauty of the area.

The swimming pool was lovely and there were some really pretty flowers and bushes. The sand really was a vibrant red colour.

In the evening we went out to the desert for a meal under the stars. So many images to remember from the sun setting to hearing a didgeridoo being played. They even had a fire.

It was a wonderful evening, the sky was so clear we saw so many stars, even the Southern Cross clearly visible in the Southern hemisphere. It points to the South pole as the big dipper points to the North pole in the Northern hemisphere.

Now it was time to move on to another State Victoria

 Tales continue here

Tasmania

South Australia

New South Wales