Day 23 – Cairns and Sydney

Last day in Cairns and our flight back to Sydney is this afternoon at 17:50. Last day in the tropics….

It has gone by rather quickly, too quickly I would say.

Then one more night in Sydney and flying back to Heathrow on Sunday afternoon via Singapore.

We will miss Australia but have vowed to come back (if James gets us flights….) as there is still so much to see.

Signing off and see you all back in the UK (or Holland).

Prue and Ron

Day 22 – Mossman Gorge and Cairns

Our last day in Port Douglas and we decided to have a non beach day. Visited the Mossman Gorge and did a walk into the rainforest. A natural walk with no special board walks or Toilets. Scenery was spectacular and the gorge pools were very refreshing.

Amazing tree roots.

In the late afternoon we went to Cairns where we stayed in the Shangri-La hotel on the beach front. Lovely hotel with very nice swimming pool.
Got a complimentary room upgrade. Our room is on the right hand tower overlooking the ocean and marina.

Day 21 – Diving the outer reef and low isles

Today is the big day for diving on the outer reef (for me) and snorkelling the Low Isles for Prue.
Arrived at the marina at 8am for a trip to Agincourt reef aboard the Poseidon.

And after a 40 min boat ride we arrived at the reef. Quickly kitted up and in the sea for our first dive.
A spectacular wonderland or coral and fish awaited us.

Too many fish to count or mention but saw: unicorn fish, white tipped reef shark, coral trout….

A total of 3 dives for the day and each one better than the previous one. Especially the last dive swimming through  coral canyons for 40 minutes was brilliant. A wonderful day’s diving to remember forever.
Prue went snorkelling in the afternoon to the low Isles.

This is the boat we took to a small Island 30 minutes out from the mainland. It was lovely just to snorkel from the beach and see tropical fish and coral so close to shore. Our skipper first took us on a 20min trip in the glass bottom boat. Some people didn’t want to snorkel so was quite nice for them, but nothing like the real thing. I took some photos but of course all the fish swam away from the boat so all you can see is coral.

Later on in the afternoon  I took a photo of this wonderful tree. Spring here and some of  the trees are very colourful.

Day 20 – Daintree and Cape Tribulation

Another early start to beat the mid-day heat and today we are off to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation world heritage site. Past Mossman we get on the Daintree river ferry.

View from the river ferry

We then stopped at the next view point for the view over the coral sea and where we saw a large lizard.

We then went further into the rain forest and stopped at the butterfly and bugs museum wher we sam butterflies, stick insects and beetles.

We did several boardwalks and then had lunch at a remote beach.

Lunch beach

And onwards we went further north towards cape tribulation.

Cape Tribulation
Until finally the road stopped (at least for us as the road continued for 4WD vehicles.
A magical day rewarded with big icecreams on the return journey.

Day 19 – Farewell Magnetic Island

The week has flown by and now it’s time to say goodbye to Ali and Alan. Although we may have one last night all together in Cairns. Also farewell to Magnetic Island. We did the short trip on the Sealink ferry.  A nice lady took a photo of us.

After our goodbyes in the car park Ron and I travelled up north again to the Port Douglas.
We stopped at Tully which is reputed to be the wettest place in Australia. This is our 2nd visit there in glorious sunshine. The town’s symbol is a huge wellington boot with water level markers to indicate how much rain has fallen.
We also stopped Mission Beach and took a photo of the huge Cassowary. This bird is the symbol of the area around here. It’s quite  a rare bird and hard to spot ( a bit like Koalas, Platypus and Wombats). So until we see one, this gigantic model will have to make do!
We then drove on past Cairns and took the Cook Highway. Amazing views of the ocean on the right and the rain forest on the left.making this a truly spectacular piece of road.
We got to Port Douglas and had a welcome swim in the stinger enclosure.