I love Cairns FNQ and (Far North Queensland)… the hot, wet tropics to me is more ‘Queensland’ than the regular tourist mecca of Surfers….. the last time I was there in 2012 I missed seeing/doing a few things so when my sister suggested we head there together I jumped at it.
Our flight left Melbourne at 6am so we were up at 3.30am and out the house at 4.15am which was a good thing as we kinda
got lost geographically embarrassed finding the long term parking entrance.. in the dark and the rain we totally missed it and ended up back on the freeway, get off at the next exit, back on and head back to the airport.. park the car, jump on the shuttle bus and still made the terminal by 5am.
Our flight left on time and we landed in Cairns at 9.20 … 25C but windy.. which even with the wind was a big improvement on the 12C that we left back in Melb. We collected our hire car (a zippy little blue Toyota Yaris) and headed into Cairns for a late breakfast before heading to the Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas for lunch.
The Wildlife Habitat has been there 25 yrs and apart from birds, also homes Kangaroos, snakes, Koala and Crocodile. The venue itself is lovley, reasonably priced and lots of free shows once you are in – but skip the buffet lunch and just order what you want from the cafe.. we werent too impressed with the lunch buffet.
After leaving the Wildlife Habitat we headed back to Thala Beach and booked in….upon arrival you just drive up to the entrance where you leave the car, hand the keys to the valet and head inside. While they take your luggage to your room and park your car, you are invited to relax and enjoy the view from the sitting area while sitting on your complimentary tropical punch…
We were only at Thala overnight with our next stop the Daintree River – so we called up for the golf buggy to take us to breakfast, and while we ate, they took our luggage back to the car and then had the car waiting for us at the foot of the steps ready to drive off (gotta love the Thala VIP treatment!)
Our first stop was Mossman Gorge… which has changed a lot since I was there last.. they now have a lovely new visitor centre and big fancy coaches that ferry you from the visitor centre to the gorge for $15… before you drove your own car down a goat track, over floodways spilling with water all year round and into a tiny car park …Mossman Gorge is the southern end of the world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, and is the oldest surviving rainforest in world.
Below is the Rex Creek Bridge…its a swing bridge and boy does it swing! trying to take a photo on it is a challenge.. people keep walking over it.. one step from the edge and you can feel it instantly in the middle.. its like trying to take a photo standing on jello! I waited for ages until traffic had left both sides.. and it stopped wobbling enough to get quickly this…
We stopped in at the visitor centre on the way out for coffee and a muffin before heading up the Captain Cook Hwy again towards the Daintree… stopping off at Daintree Cruise Centre, just before the village to do a 2 hr Croc Cruise with Adam on the Matilda II.. yes I had the theme song of Gilligans Island stuck in my head for hours.
According to Adam who is a veritable encyclopedia of ‘crocodilia’ – there about about sixty crocs on the Daintree River.. which he said is a ‘low’ population… Kakadu has more. But in his quote for the day “its only take one to ruin your day”
Apparently one of the farmers on the river lost a cow during the week… any bets on who had it for dinner?