Thursday, February 5, 2015

Australia: Cairns

Happy Hump Day everybody!  I'm back with more Australia today … woot woot :)  In my Australia recap launch Monday I forgot to forewarn everyone of the MASSIVE photo overload and the fact that these posts will be extraordinarily long. Sorry bout that friends … but I like pictures and have a lot to share, there just ain't no two ways about it. And, that brings us to Cairns. 

Originally, I posted here about the layout of the trip and familiarized you with maps, etc. Only to get to Australia and realize I was wrong about the order of the cities we were visiting … whoopsie!  Our first adventure was North Queensland, Australia. We stayed in Cairns and rented a car, so we were able to travel easily to and fro to the surrounding beaches/islands, etc. 

Friday, December 19
We arrived around 4 pm. on December 19th, checked into our hotel and headed straight to dinner so we wouldn't crash!  Immediately after dinner we headed back to the hotel, showered up and snoozed off the rest of the eve, in hopes of waking up refreshed!

Saturday, December 20
The next morning we had an early wake up call to head to Port Douglas for a full day of a chartered catamaran snorkeling/diving the Great Barrier Reef. (We actually have SO many more pictures than just this one below, and they are SOO GOOD …  but my mother is currently hoarding the images on her camera after I have asked her countless times to get them to me …  so I'll show you this one until she decides to share with everyone else … I wrote this because I know you're reading mom ...).  It was GORGEOUS. We saw whales (from the boat!), caught some rays (from the sun!), and I made my baby bro hold my hand the entire time I was in the ocean (because I'm a scardey cat!).  We finished off the evening with some Chinese food for dinner at the hotel (where my child actually ordered a Coke from the waitress … God love him) and called it a night early. It was a great start to the trip!

Sunday, December 21
Day Two in Cairns was another early morning (jet lag…).  We snagged some breakfast from a Restaurant in the hotel, Taramind, where Bennett decided to make it his mission to see how many cocoa pebbles he could spill. And mom and I finished off an entire pot of french press coffee.  After that, we piled into the rental van (which could fit a small army) and headed to Innisfail, South Queensland.

First stop: Paronella Park! (again, we have way better and more cool pics - that include everyone and are really fun … but Penny hasn't shared yet :( …  last time I'll mention it, but you get the idea) It was ridiculously HOT and even more gorgeous.
Side comment: Shane and I are big sushi lovers, so you can imagine our excitement when we saw this:
Ya'll that is GINGER! Before blooming (above) and after (below).
Am I the only one who didn't know it was that gorgeous!?
Okay, back to the picturesque park. This is the swinging bridge that stretches over an enormous waterfall. We had to walk down the historic 47 steps to get into the gardens and then back up them to walk across the swinging bridge. 
Mrs. Penny :) (I'm certain she was screaming .. she's afraid of heights) But mad props to her .. she went SKY DIVING in New Zealand! Sheesh!
Hubs and Moi!
Paronella Park was seriously gorgeous. Beautiful trees, pretty waterfalls, historic buildings, magical gardens … you name it … it was here. I'm unsure why this park hasn't been the setting for a movie, because it was a beautiful set!

After Paronella we piled back into the car and headed to Millaa Millaa, Australia's Tropical Dairyland. We had some burgers for lunch in the tiniest little town, and let mister B take a break from the car to play on the playground in the middle of the city (or street rather).  After that it was waterfall time!

First falls: Millaa Milla Falls
Second falls: Zillions Falls
Third falls: Ellinjaa Falls (and the 68 steps up and down that it took to get there)

Insert adorable entire family photo and sibling pic here (oh wait … Penny didn't send me the photos)
After we were water-falled out, we were headed back to Cairns. On the drive home dad made an impromptu turn to see something called the "Cathedral Fig Tree" … Yawwwwn. We were all half laughing and making fun of him … "really dad?! … a tree? … can we just head back?"
Holy insert foot in mouth moment. We climbed out of the car and were walking along this little trail when all of a sudden Max says, "OH MY AWESOME!"  We all look up … hum, woah. WOW! Amazzzzinnnngggg. 

I've never felt smaller while standing in nature than that moment in the Danbulla Forest under the beautiful Cathedral Fig Tree. 
Honestly, pictures don't even come CLOSE to giving it justice. 
Max, Shane and I climbed up in that bad boy (ahem, picture on mom's camera) only to learn after we got down that the tree is home to 10 FOOT PYTHONS! BAHHHH!!!

Our drive home took place down the Gillies Range - the windiest road in all of Australia. Thank goodness that is done and over with! Although, it did make for some hysterical laughter and gorgeous views.
 After we got home that evening, we meandered through the city and the openaire markets and finished off the day with some good ole' Italian food.
Oh, and some Kangaroo Jerky. GROSS!
 On the walk home, we made funny faces ...
 Tried to feel Christmassy in the heat.
 Held the world's teensy tiniest Ugg boot ...
 And took a picture with a Kangaroo. Goodnight!

Monday, December 22
The next morning we woke up to another beautiful day and had the most delicious breakfast at (what ended up being Shane's favorite restaurant) Perrottas, on the corner of Shield St.  and Abbott St.

After breakfast, we took baby Bennett to play around in the lagoon pool on the Esplanade


After the swimming-scapades we went to meet Marco, the Koala bear :)

 And little man took a little tiger snooze.
 Jet lag was starting to set in and we spent the rest of the day hangin' at the pool and relaxing. And playing with our fatheads. Hehe.

The night was winding down, and we were all hanging by the pool as the sun was going down .. when ya'll I swear 02934092384209348029348 bats flew over our heads for what seemed like an hour. Craziest thing, EVER.

 Later, we headed to dinner at Barnacle Bills.
 And Max ordered Kangaroo, GASP!
 So. Weird.
 But, he ate it.
 And we washed it down with cute Koala chocolates, so it made it all okay.

Tuesday, December 23
Our last morning in Cairns we headed straight to Perrotta's again, per Shane's request.
 And ordered the chocolate filled deliciousness because, Australia.
And before heading to the airport to board our 12:30pm flight to Melbourne, we posed for a pic with our Koala friend, Pavlova.
Cheers to Cairns,  a great kick-off to the trip, and quite possibly the longest post I've ever written … until I recap Melbourne and Sydney, HA!
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1 comment:

  1. It’s fascinating to see that Australia is very diverse when it comes to its geography. Australia is commonly known to have deserts, but through your post, it could be seen that Australia also have tropical forests in the northern part of the country. I could really tell that you and your family really enjoyed the trip in Cairns. That place really brings a sense of variety in Australia because of its unique tropical forests, so I think a complete trip to Australia would never be redundant.

    Andrea Wilkins @ Getaway Outdoors

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