Sunday, December 25, 2011

Crazy Australian Signs

pretty obvious sign!

We Canadians know what a REAL polar bear swim is!

livestock, like at home

soft edges = soft shoulders

That's a new one! Cows eating cars!

Nothing new here - cattle and sheep

Important sign!

must have lots of visitors from North America

another important sign! Beware of stingers! (box jelly fish)

just in case you didn't read the sign before this one

Bombs in the area

Cindy's favourite sign!

Don't see this too often - dog AND cat
They had good reasons for this one, the path led to stairs!
Too funny!

self explanatory - watch for flash floods

Right to the point

don't have to tell me twice
Eyes are on the look out!

a little of everything I guess

Really?  glad they told me!

would be too slippery for Canada!
Darby on horseback

over a million wild camels in the area

"Next 190 km"  too funny!!

Speed limit in the Northern Territory

Bedrock men's toilet

Bedrock women's toilet

Aussie toilet

she's got it right
In case they have visitors from outer space?


Cavemen have to go to
the other must be SHE GOES
Now that's one big sign!
must be because we are DOWN UNDER
They have blondes in Oz too!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cooktown Dec. 11-13

Cooktown Dec. 11-13

Left early Sunday morning to Port Douglas for their big weekly market.  The drive along the coast is breathtaking, so picturesque.  Only an hour away and we were shopping in the sweltering 35 degree heat.  Hailey got another hair plaid (braid), her first one lasted 4 months!  The kids tried to cool down with snow cones, but they melted very quickly.   After a couple of hours we couldn't take the heat any more and headed out of town to Mossman Gorge. 
view driving along the coast

Brody looking for shade

braid or plaid
No more gems, the suitcase is heavy already!
We walked to the look out at Mossman Gorge and then went for a well deserved cool swim in the river.  Glorious cool water, lots of people and beautiful surroundings of the Daintree National Park!  We had a small picnic lunch and then swam some more.  We continued on our trip to Cooktown, another 3 & half hours North.
family self portrait

enjoying the day

swim #1

Darby coming in
We took the inland road as the coast road required a 4X4, how we would have loved to have done that!  Stopped at Palmer Roadhouse for an ice cream treat after passing a few bush fires.  Arrived around 6:30 to our hotel, the Sovereign Resort in Cooktown & headed down for yet another swim in the pool.  Scott picked up some pool refreshments before we went for supper at the hotel pub.
Hailey floating

refreshing inside and out!

CC in a can?!!

our accommodation
There was a 'tinny' with 'tinnies' in it and a Christmas tree on the bow of the boat to be won at the pub.  Aussies use such funny words for some things.
Tinny in a tinny!

Monday we had breakfast in our suite before heading out to explore Cooktown.  We drove up to Grassy Hill and the light house where James Cook climbed to view the surrounding reefs enabling him to navigate a safe passage out after repairing his ship.  The light house was so small, but the panoramic view was so vast over the Endeavor River.  It was another hot day so we choose to drive to Finch Bay to a beautiful secluded sandy beach rather than hike it.
View from Grassy Hill

Endeavour River


Finch Bay
We toured around town to see the Captain Cook statue and the stairs they made for when Queen Elizabeth II came to open the James Cook museum in 1970.  We saw a few more statues along the shore line as well.
Hailey, Captain Cook & Darby

Really, I'm NOT cold!

such a brilliant red
Back to our hotel for a quick dip in the pool before checking out.  Had lunch at the local bakery and then off to the museum.  The James Cook Museum was in the old convent school built in 1889.  We saw Captain Cook's journal entries, the Endeavors anchor and the tree where the Endeavor was tied to while they repaired the boat when it was hung up on the reef.
Scott's swim #2

The Endeavors anchor

not to scale

Give Darby a big hand
Stopped at the Council office to trade a Crossfield Lions pin for a Cooktown Lions banner for my dad.  This was the nicest banner yet as it had a picture of the Endeavor ship on it.
We left Cooktown and drove to Archer point about 20 km off the road.  Scott enjoyed the drive as we were 4X4ing through puddles & up steep rocky tracks.  
view from Archer point

We drove past the Black Mountain, which is a mountain made up of lots of black boulders.  It reminded us of the Frank Slide.  Our next stop was the famous Lions Den.  There was lots of writing on the wall and weird things hanging every where.  There was a lion statue at the front door with a Santa hat on to greet us.  They even had many Lions banners hanging throughout the bar.
Black Mountain

Back on the road and arrived in Port Douglas Lazy Lizard Best Western by 6:30.  Went to Hogs Breath on the marina for supper and then stopped at Coles along main street to buy some items for breakfast in our suite.

Port Douglas marina
Mango Margarita!  YUM

"Down, down, prices are down."
After a breakfast of cereal, fruit, yogurt & eclairs in our room, we went swimming in the pool till 10:00. 
Scott swimming #3
Next we went to 4 Mile Beach for a swim in the ocean.  The stinger nets went back up the middle of November to keep out the box jelly fish.  It was 35 degrees out and the water temperature was 29 degrees & skin will burn in 6 minutes!  Scott went for his usual walk and as I finished my novel this morning, I went swimming with the kids. 
Scott swimming again, it must be hot!

You will fry in 6 minutes!
By noon we had enough sun so went across the street for a cool treat.  Drove back along the Captain Cook highway to Ellis Beach.  There was some construction along the way but it allowed us to enjoy the breath taking view some more.  This is definitely one thing that I am going to miss seeing on a daily basis!  This is the first time stopping at Ellis Beach, very secluded and the sand was so hot it burnt our feet.
Not Ellis Beach

still not Ellis Beach

Ellis Beach

trying to stay cool

Merry Christmas!
Home by 4:00 and Darby's friend Meagan came over for a sleepover.  Kids are trying to squeeze in as much friend time as possible.
Darby & Meagan