Monday, March 28, 2011

Yorkeys Knob - Sunday March 20

Yorkeys Knob - March 20
The sky was blue and the sun was shining, so we headed to the beach for the afternoon.  Brody had just gotten home from a birthday sleepover at Josh's.
Scott went for his long walk, Hailey collected 372 shells, Darby swam and played in the water, Brody played catch with other guys, then explored the rocks near by, and everyone tried their body boards. Brody found another coconut, but this time it only took him 5 minutes to open it.  I enjoyed watching the kite surfers, it looks like a blast.  We stopped for an ice cream and shakes before coming home.

Darby on her body board

Hailey riding the waves

Kite surfing

Brody playing catch

Our beach walker, sounds like 'beach stalker'!

Darby watching the action

she counted all 372!  only 7 came home!

Where's Brody? kinda like 'Where's Waldo?'

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park - March 19

By 9:00 Saturday morning we are getting our arms painted with an aboriginal design.  Then we were off to learn about the didgeridoo journey.  We learnt how to play the didgeridoo and how it was made from a hollowed out white gum tree.  Termites hollow out the tree and then beeswax is used to seal the mouth piece once it is cut.  It was amazing to listen to the beautiful sounds it made as we watched a slide show of pictures of the rain forest.

 Then we watched a theatre show with holographic images about the spiritual and traditional beliefs of the Tjapukai people.  Tjapukai means rain forest.  Hailey got to dance with the Tjapukai Dance Troupe doing traditional corroborees and songs.  We also witnessed them starting a fire by rubbing 2 sticks together.  Our last presentation was on the hunting and tools the men of the Tjapukai used and the bush food and medicine the women used.  We learnt about the spears, spear throwers, boomerangs and knives.  Unfortunately due to the damages caused by the cyclone we were unable to go outside and try to throw a boomerang and a spear.  We will go back in a few weeks to give it a try considering Brody bought a boomerang!
A very informative day that we all enjoyed.  Darby will get an opportunity to return with her class on an excursion next month.

entrance into Tjapukai

aboriginal playing the didgeridoo

aboriginal art

T Dance Troupe

starting a fire

Hailey performing with the dance group
 Later that afternoon we went to Crystal Cascades.  We actually hiked all the way to the top before going for a swim.

our aboriginal tattoos

Crystal cascades

walking to the top

so much water right now

sideways view!

all enjoying the water

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

our home

our back window our Toyota Kluger
Our Home
We have a lovely home with 3 bedrooms, an office, a family lounge with a t.v. and a children's lounge with another t.v.  We have an attached 2 car garage out front and a fenced in backyard with palm trees.  There are fans in every room and air conditioners throughout as well.  The windows all have screens on them which allows a nice breeze to flow through.  This also allows us to listen to the amazing sounds of a variety of tropical birds.  Everything is so green outside, the rainy season definately keeps things lush.  We have 2 clothes lines, one of which is under the patio so you can still hang dry clothes when it's raining.  The kitchen meets all our needs, but I don't feel like using the oven much in this heat though.  The neck coolers we brought are coming in handy on the extra muggy days.
The house is on a fairly quiet road in the town of Redlynch, just outside of Cairns.  It takes me about 15 minutes to get to work and about 15 min. into downtown Cairns.  So everything is close by.

13 Toona Terrace

Kids lounge area

The backyard

Trying Vegemite
Everyone wants to know about the here we go.  Not too bad!  Have seen a few kane toads outside, very huge!  We see lots of small geckos around, sometimes on the walls, but they are looking for bugs.  I have seen one spider about the size of a walnut on the gate, some cockroaches, some green ants and one beetle.  So not bad at all.  They do have mossies, mosquitos, that you need to put on bug repellent for, just like in Canada.

green ants - they BITE!!

spider at Crystal Cascade
We got the spa filled and are finding it very refreshing!  Since it is the rainy season here, it has been raining, and when I say raining I mean pouring buckets.  The temperature still stays around 30 degrees all day.

cooling off

Brody's room

Monday, March 7, 2011



Up early and headed west into the Tablelands to Atherton and then further into the Savannah.  Our first stop was the PEANUT PLACE where after a few samples we decided on cashews, smoked and wasabi flavoured peanuts.  We swung past Lake Eacham, but decided because it was raining, we'd stop on our way home instead.  We stopped at MILLA MILLA FALLS, it was so beautiful you'd think it was phony or out of a Disney movie.  They even had a sign that if you went for a swim it would qualify as a polar bear swim!  We Canadians know that's not a real polar bear swim.  We went through Ravenshoe and stopped at the information centre before going to MILLSTREAM FALLS, Queensland's widest waterfalls.  We walked to the lookout and then had lunch where the kookaburras joined us.  We checked out the Innot Hot Springs for a possible stop on the way home.  We saw the wind farm, lots of termite mounds and coffee farms along the way.

We got to UNDARA NATIONAL PARK about 3:30, on the bitumen road the whole way.  We got our restored railway carriage room for the night and then went for a swim in the pool.  There were lots of kangaroos, wallabies and even wallaroos around.
Our first tour was the Sunset Tour at 6pm.  We took a small bus to a lookout to watch the sunset while drinking sparkling wine, and eating cheese and fruit.  We could see about a dozen dormant volcanoes from our vantage point.  We continued on and at dusk we went to the lava tubes to watch the hundreds of thousands of micro bats emerge from the dark lava tubes.  It was amazing having them fly right at you, but never touch you!  We entered Barker Cave and saw the night tiger pythons and brown tree snakes hanging from the trees to catch a bat for dinner.
We got back for a late supper of kangaroo, crocodile and volcanoes for dessert.

Sunday morning I woke up to the sunlight streaming in and the kookaburras laughing, so I got up.  I sat on our deck outside our railway carriage watching the wildlife all around me until everyone else got up.  We had breakfast buffet before our next tour at 8am.  This tour took us out to a few lava tubes and the Archway Explorer.  We learnt about the granite (red) and bathas (black) rocks in the park.  The undara volcano flowed everyday for 50 years over 190,000 years ago.  We drove past the 100 Mile Swamp and saw lots of different trees, including the Cardwell Ironwood which has a poisonous sap!  The last tube we went into was full of rain water, the board walk and railing were all under water....sooooo, we went for a swim!  The temperature was 24 degrees, what a unique experience, unbelievable!!!!!
We headed back, packed up and stopped at the gift store before leaving.  We drove to Kalkani Crater and took a self guided tour to it's rim.  We tried to throw the kids in at the top as a sacrifice!!  No luck!
On our drive back we stopped at LITTLE MILLSTREAMS FALLS and the WINDY HILL information sign on the wind farm.  Finally made it to LAKE EACHAM for our picnic and swim.  This is another crater but filled with beautiful clear warm water.  Stopped at the platypus view platform on our way back, but didn't have any luck, THIS time!

Milla Milla Falls

Disney land perfect

Wind Farm

Millstream Falls - widest waterfall in Qld
Kookaburra having lunch with us

Family of kangaroos, even a joey, outside our room

restored carriage room

our room for the night
Look who's watching us swim!

Sunset Tour

Night Tiger Phython eating a bat

Micro Bats coming at us

one of the lava tubes

Looking back out the lava tube

Cool wall designs and colouring


Darby following the railing

Gales swimming in the lava tubes!!

Our attempt at a sacrafice into the volcano

Little Millstream Falls
Lake Eacham - a crater lake