Friday, September 30, 2011

Third wave of Canadians

The Third Wave of Canadians - Aug 5 - 15
Janet & Bob arrived Friday afternoon after touring around before finally coming to Cairns.  They started in the Cook Islands, then Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and finally to us.  We spent the evening visiting and looking at brochures, deciding what adventures they would like to do while they are with us. 
Yaaa ANUT Janet is here!!
Saturday was a very full day starting with us going to the Esplanade, the market, walking along the docks to check out all the nice boats.  We had lunch at 'Salt House' overlooking the yachts.  Brody had the biggest burger ever!!  Even after that, we had room for a stop at Vanilla's for a gelatto.  Stopped at Rusty's for fruits & veggies and then the Tanks to check out the art display and walk through the Botanic Gardens.  This was Scott's first visit to the Tanks.  We had homemade pizza for supper while Scott, Janet, and Bob went to the Night Zoo.
crazy spinning art - wind chimes

Captain Scott's rum boat finally came in!

Break along the Esplanade

Jumbo & mini burgers

Purple Tank art
Sunny day at the Botanic Garden

Cane field

Night Zoo

Finally get to hold a koala
Sunday allowed us to watch one of Brody's field hockey games.  It was a great game and due to winning they had now made the playoffs.  It was a rainy day, but that didn't stop us from heading to Kewara Beach.  The sun came out and we had a beautiful afternoon walking & playing on the beach.  Darby even invited her friend Meagan to meet us there. 
Home in time to go to 5:30 mass, Janet joined us at the small quaint church, St. Andrew's.

Exploring the beach

Brody doing what he loves to do

Darby & Meagan
Monday Scott dropped us off at school and then took Janet & Bob to Tjapukai Cultural Center for the day.  They really enjoyed themselves at the center.  They all came back to the school to pick us up and we gave them a little tour.  We headed to the YMCA to watch Darby play netball and then home for roo & corn on the cob with lamington for dessert.  We enjoyed the evening at home with Janet & Bob, reading, playing cards and preparing for school the next day.

Tuesday, Scott, Janet & Bob headed north to the Daintree Village in a rental car.  They went on a river boat crocodile tour and saw many HUGE crocodiles & a little baby one.  After lunch they went on a second tour down stream from the ferry.  They saw 'Scarface' who was much larger than the first crocs they saw. They had supper at Hogg's Breath in Port Douglas & stayed over night.  Wednesday they walked Four Mile beach and up to the lookout.  Our Canadian guests found themselves going for a swim in the Coral Sea.  The gang returned from their adventure by 6 and we walked to the Red Beret for supper.
Daintree river cruise

sleeping in the sun

now that's a big guy!

swim time

sister & brother
Thursday Janet & Bob took the Kuranda train up the range and then the Sky rail back down after spending the day touring around Kuranda.  They picked us up after school and we were off to Trinity Beach for a barbie of chicken kabobs, snags, chips, Tim Tams and drinks.  Janet & I went for a long walk and Brody & Hailey ended up playing in the water again!

prepping the barbie

Ozzie Gales

Family chat time

Full moon

Kewara Beach

Friday Scott took Janet & Bob down to the terminal early for their Great Barrier Reef trip.  When they got back we had a big feast of fish, prawns, & seafood medley.  After supper we went to the Tanks for a Reapers concert.  Sian Evans opened for them and we enjoyed listening to the jazz music on a beautiful night.
Now those are prawns!

Heading into the jazz concert

Great effect with night lights
Saturday & Sunday we went to the Tablelands & Granite Gorge.  I will blog this one separate as it was so much fun & something new for us.
Granite boulders

Where's Brody? yet again!
Monday was yet another sad good bye as their flight left this morning.  It was another great visit showing family around Cairns and exploring new places together.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kuranda Train & Skyrail

Sun July 24 - Kuranda Train & Sky rail
Even though the Sky rail and train station are both very close to where we live, we hadn't gotten around to exploring this attraction.  We knew we eventually would and what a great opportunity to do it with Kim, Darrell and Chris!
Our ride
Dropped everyone at the train station shortly after 8am.  Parked the car at the sky rail, jumped on the motorbike with Scott and headed back to the train station for our 8:50 departure.  You should have heard us discussing this one the night before!  We did this so we had a car at the sky rail when we returned at the end of the day.
We sat in car #13 near the back of the train.  We travelled through 15 tunnels carved by hand past Stony Creek Falls, Robb's Monument, Glacier Rock & Red Bluff and eventually stopped at Barron Falls.  Barron Falls was completely different from when we saw it during the wet season.  We listened and watched video clips of the history of the railway as we traveled up to Kuranda. 
Darby & Mum

Stony Creek Falls
Looking back over Redlynch

relaxing journey

Robb's Monument

Barron Falls in the dry season
We arrived shortly after 10 am.  Kim, Darrell, Tina and Brody went shopping while we went to the Butterfly Sanctuary.
Kuranda station

Hailey really enjoys the living statues

Going in

Butterflies everywhere

Ulysses butterfly (left side)

We met up with the gang and had lunch at an outside cafe.  Then we all went to the Bird World.  As soon as we walked in the Eclectus Parrot flew on Scott's shoulder, then he proceeded to do the same to Darrell.  He was very inquisitive as he tried to land on Hailey's shoulder too.  A little scary for her as he was quite a large bird with extremely sharp talons!
"Welcome to my home!"
OW that's sharp!
The Alexandrine Parrot is more my size.
Nice Canadian landing pad!
We got on the sky rail for our 7.5 km cableway journey down the range.  We split ourselves up into 2 different cars.  It was a breathtaking view as we travelled above the canopy of the rainforest.  As there were 3 different legs of the trolley system, we had to get out at the first station.  The Barron Falls Station had 2 lookouts and an interpretative centre.  We could see the Barron Falls from the other side which was a different perspective.
leaving Kuranda

our ride down

That's a long way down!

Cindy, Kim and Chris
Our second leg of the journey we swapped our seating again into 2 gondolas to our next stop at Red Peak Station.  As we were all getting tired we chose not to explore the flora and fauna at this stop.  We boarded 3 gondolas for the last section of the trip.  The view this time opened up to expose the coast line and the communities along it.  It was fun to spot places we knew and look out across the Coral Sea.  It was a clear day and we could see Green Island.
The Coral Sea

Brody & Mum

Cable park from above


Road to the Tablelands
Once we got down I took a group of people home then came back to get Scott and Hailey.  Then I took them to the train station to pick up the motorbike, before heading home.
Scott & Hailey

Leaning into a round about
Another great adventure.