One of my favourite places on earth is Tropical North Queensland.
Actually, correction, its my most favourite place. Its warm, usually sunny, the people are beyond anyones yardstick for friendly, and the lifestyle is so laid back you don’t need yoga or massages. I visited here in 2012, came back in 2014 and returned in 2016. This trip was impromptu – I normally don’t travel in the high season, but I wasnt turning up the chance to go again.
We flew Jetstar and apart from the struggle with cabin baggage restrictions, it was problem free. For the normal holiday traveller I would guess 7kg as carry on is fine.. for someone who travels with a dslr and several lenses, it is a challenge. Fortunately this time, hubby was travelling with me, so I was able to span my gear across both our cabin bags and the clothing was checked in.
A Pillow To Lie My Head On
We stayed in Trinity Beach this time rather than Cairns central and that turned out to be the best decision we could have made. Unlike Cairns, there were no parking problems, or wall to wall people. Cairns is fabulous… but parking is a problematic and its becoming very crowded. Hopefully it takes a while for people to catch on that Trinity Beach is only 25 mins from Cairns and awesome 🙂 (shhhh you didnt hear it from me ). Our rooms at the Trinity Beach Club Apartments were fabulous. Comfy, well appointed reasonably priced and only 5 mins walk from the beach. We made good use of the salt water pool and spa too 🙂
You can use the ‘Sunbus’ I saw a lot of them around and it seems an easy way of getting around. Each time I have been to Cairns we have hired a car. Mainly because of the gear I lug around. And I hate waiting for public transport. As usual we opted for an economy class car which before has served well. This time there was no cruise control and the car, a Hyundai Accent struggled on hills with very poor pickup. Something I will be aware of next time when I book.
What To Do
Hubby is happy to just veg on holiday, while I am looking for photographic locations when we are away. One given, when in Cairns, is we have to go to Hartley’s.
Hartleys Crocodile Adventures
I have been there every trip up North and never tire of it. It’s the best place to get croc pics and see them up close. They also have excellent wildlife areas that cover lots of other australian animals and reptiles. Last time I sat in on the Croc attack show.. this time we were there in the morning so we took in the Croc Feeding. OMG awesome doesn’t cover it. And Ryan really needs a pay rise. No way would I hand feed the beasts!
Apart from Hartley’s, we finally made the drive to Cape Tribulation. I had wanted to go here for ages, but never got there till this visit. The drive up from Cairns is about 2.5 hours.. and includes crossing the Daintree on the car ferry. There is no bridge, so it’s the ferry or swim. And with about 60 crocs in the river that’s not advisable. The ferry is a reasonable $26 return, and takes about 10 mins. Peak hour can see quite a lot of cars queued up, but if you avoid 10am-12pm or 3pm-6pm its good. Once off the ferry we drove to Cape Tribulation beach. Its pristine, clean, quiet… even though there were about 10 other people there it felt like you were the only ones on earth. The rainforest reaches right down to the sand, Idyllic doesn’t begin to cover it.
The sand is dotted with intricate patterns made by Bubbler Crabs, and the little spiral mounts are where the Ghost Crabs hide from the heat of the day. Never seen it before and a beach of little spiral mounds was a sight to see.
On the Saturday we took the skyrail up and back to Kuranda to visit the markets. Another of my favourite things to do is the Kuranda Markets. The heritage markets aren’t large, but worth the visit. Loads of other shops, the regular markets, cafe’s, Birdworld, Butterfly World, Venom World are all within an easy walk. Being smart,
and too lazy to walk uphill, we took the courtesy bus up to the markets and then strolled back downhill when we were ready to return to the skyrail.
Hubby also went out on a morning fishing charter with Paradise Sports Fishing and had a ball. While he was doing that I chilled at the Esplanade Lagoon with my book.
We just about camped at the Trinity Beach Bar and Grill. Sprawling across the corner opposite the beach it seemed to be a favourite of both locals and tourists. Food was great, portions large and reasonably priced. One night we tried the Trinity Beach Tavern and the seafood was superb. Likewise the Blue Moon Bar and Grill was superb. Both provided excellent food and good service. Our biggest disappointment was Chiantti’s Pizzeria. Pizza was ok, pasta less so.
One of the things I always try for, and rarely get while on holidays is a decent sunrise. Out of the five days we were there, we went out twice… the best one of the lot was the middle day. with a huge rising red sun and a deep red sky. Of course, that day, I was driving into Cairns to take the man to his fishing charter and missed it 😐 On the days I did go out, I shot bracketed shots and combined into HDR, and came home happy with the two I did manage to get.
We have already promised a return in 2018. If you are looking for heaven on a stick, in my book, Tropical North Queensland is the only contender.