Truly a tropical paradise
29.10.2007 - 02.11.2007 35 °C
After 11 days of overnight stops (except for 2 in Mt Isa) it was time to stop for a while, and Cairns was it. This is one happening place. On our first night we went to the Night Markets which are open 7 days a week from 4.30 to 10 pm. This was located on the foreshore precinct which was buzzing with activity, with shops and various eateries open. We settled in an Irish pub for a few relaxing drinks to finish off the day.
As we wanted to see a few sights while we were here, we spent one day at the Kuranda Wildlife Park which is only 30 Kilometres west of Cairns over the mountains. We were treated to a stunning drive there, as we wound though numerous hairpin bends through the rain forest. We were lucky as there were not many visitors and virtually had the park to ourselves. There was all types of animals including, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Rhinoceros, Deer, Ostriches, Hippos, Monkeys, Goats, Peacocks and a Dingo Pup. It was a great day and recommend you visit if you’re in the area.
The next day we went on the Skyrail to Kuranda which is a 7 Kilometre Cablecar ride over the rain forest canopy in the mountains overlooking Cairns. There are 2 intermediate stations en route where you get off and explore the rain forest where there is an Interpretive Centre and guided tour by one of the Rangers. To say it was stunning is an understatement. As we left the second stop the rain clouds came over the mountains and we were in the midst of the rain as it was falling on the canopy below.
At the end of the Skyrail was the town of Kuranda where we had lunch at the local pub and spent the rest of our time there checking out the numerous markets. There was also a bird and butterfly sanctuary to visit, but we did not get to see them due to a lack of time. It was time to hop onto to the Kuranda Scenic Railway which wound it’s way down the Barron River Gorge for one of the most picturesque railways in Australia.
All in all, Cairns has been one our best stops since leaving Perth and we were sad to leave.