Cairns and FNQ

I love Cairns FNQ and (Far North Queensland). The hot, wet tropics to me is more ‘Queensland’ than the regular tourist mecca of Surfers. However, the last time I was there in 2012, I missed seeing/doing a few things, so I jumped at it when my sister suggested we head there together.

Our flight left Melbourne at 6 am so we were up at 3.30 am, and out of the house at 4.15, am which was a good thing as we kind of got lost geographically embarrassed finding the long term parking entrance, in the dark and the rain we totally missed it and ended up back on the freeway, get off at the next exit, back on and head back to the airport park the car, jump on the shuttle bus and still made the terminal by 5 am.

melb to cairns
melb to cairns

Our flight left on time, and we landed in Cairns at 9.20 am. It was 25C but windy. This was a big improvement on the 12C that we left back in Mel. We collected our hire car (a zippy little blue Toyota Yaris) and headed into Cairns for a late breakfast before lunching at the Wildlife Habitat at Port Douglas.

Black and Gold speckled cockatoo
Black and Gold speckled cockatoo

The Wildlife Habitat has been there 25 yrs, and apart from birds, it also homes Kangaroos, snakes, Koala and crocodiles.   The venue is lovely, reasonably priced, and lots of free shows once you are in – but skip the buffet lunch and order what you want from the cafe. We weren’t too impressed with the lunch buffet.

3 Tawny Frog Mouths
3 Tawny Frog Mouths

After leaving the Wildlife Habitat, we headed back to Thala Beach and booked in. upon arrival, you drive up to the entrance, where you hand the keys to the valet and head inside. While they take your luggage to your room and park your car, you are invited to relax and enjoy the view from the sitting area. All while sipping on your complimentary tropical punch.

Thala Beach Resort
Thala Beach Resort

We were only at Thala overnight with our next stop, the Daintree River – so we called up for the golf buggy to take us to breakfast, and while we ate, they took our luggage back to the car and then had the car waiting for us at the foot of the steps ready to drive off (gotta love the Thala VIP treatment!)

Thala Beach Resort
Thala Beach Resort

Our first stop was Mossman Gorg. It had changed a lot since I was there last they now have a lovely new visitor centre and big fancy coaches that ferry you from the visitor centre to the gorge for $15. before you drove your car down a goat track, over floodways spilling with water all year round and into a tiny car park, Mossman Gorge is the southern end of the world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest. It is the oldest surviving rainforest in the world.

Mosman Gorge
Mosman Gorge

Below is the Rex Creek Bridge. It’s a swing bridge, and boy does it swing. Trying to take a photo on it is a challenge. People keep walking over it. One step from the edge, and you can feel it instantly in the middle. It’s like trying to take a photo standing on jello. I waited for ages until traffic had left both sides, and it stopped wobbling enough to get the shot quickly.

Rex Creek Bridge, Mosman Gorge
Rex Creek Bridge, Mosman Gorge
Daintree River, Mosman Gorge
Daintree River, Mosman Gorge

We stopped in at the visitor centre on the way out for coffee and a muffin. Next, we drove up the Captain Cook Hwy again towards the Daintree stopping off at Daintree Cruise Centre, just before the village. We booked a 2 hr Croc Cruise with Adam on the Matilda II. Yes, I had the theme song of Gilligans Island stuck in my head for hours.

Crocodile on Daintree River
Crocodile on Daintree River

The Daintree river, according to Adam, a veritable encyclopedia of ‘crocodilia’, has about sixty crocs on it. Which he said is a ‘low’ population Kakadu has more. But in his quote for the day, “it’s only takes one to ruin your day.”

Crocodile on Daintree
Crocodile on Daintree
Crocodile on Daintree River
Crocodile on Daintree River

One of the farmers on the river lost a cow during the week. Any bets on who had it for dinner?

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