Saturday, October 2, 2010

G’Day from Australia – Days 1 - 5

Day 1, 2 and 3: The flight and first day in Cairns
Our trip to Cairns went without a hitch. We were up for well over 40 hours straight, about 20 of those hours were in the air, with almost an equal amount of time in airports with some very long layovers.
When we finally arrived in Cairns, we were thrilled with our view of the ocean from our room at the Rydges Tradewinds. Even with our lack of sleep, we managed to stay awake until normal bed time by taking a walk to the downtown area and having a bite to eat back at our hotel. We were so exhausted we slept like rocks the first night, getting us on the Aussi schedule right away. There is a 17 hour time difference between Pacific daylight time and the time at our location in Australia, plus we crossed the international dateline making us lose a day in transit.
Day 4: Hartley’s Crocodile and Wildlife Park, Port Douglas, Wetherby Station Cattle Ranch
We started out with a visit to Hartley’s. Besides crocodiles, we got up close and personal with Koalas and Kangaroos.
From there we headed to lovely Port Douglas for lunch. The vegetation all around this entire area is so lush with a great variety of beautiful palms. Many species of birds are plentiful as well.
Next we were off to Wetherby Station cattle ranch. What gorgeous surroundings! We listened to the owner tell about the origins of the ranch and breed of cattle they raise there, a cross between a Brahman and some other cattle, that can handle tropical climates. We were treated to a delicious dinner, fine Australian wine and beer, and toe tapping music. I was surprised to learn that when I ordered light beer in Australia, it had less alcohol, not less calories. We finally wound our way back down to Cairns after our 1 ½ hour bus ride.
Day 5 Catamaran to the Great Barrier Reef
The storm that had been forecast for the last few days finally arrived. After about 35 miles of rough water we arrived at a large pontoon on the outer reef about 35 miles from Cairns. Although I had planned to snorkel, the rough water did not entice me to jump in. I did ride in a semi submersible so I did get some pretty good views of the reef and fish. The weather had the water pretty churned up, so the visibility was not great. Although I had a great time visiting with other travelers, Bonnie may have made a wisher decision to take the day off and stay in town.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you are having a great time... Bonnie didn't steel a baby kangaroo or a baby koala did she??? LOL...Loving the pics and descriptions. Much love, Brenda - Boo