A Tropical reconnaissance trip

Cairns and surrounds – A rest for the Lawnmower

And a hop skip and a jump, we flew to Cairns from the Gold Coast and went to pick up our little rental go-go mobile to help us get around our week in paradise.

The little shopping basket – a far cry from the Lawnmower

We picked up what we dubbed ‘the little shopping basket’ and after checking out the night life at the Esplanade, we spent the first night at our CouchSurfing place, pouring through local maps and making a list of ‘to do’.  This involved many, waterfalls, crates, lakes, lakes IN craters, twisty roads through the rainforest, bushwalking and more waterfalls. Not bad 😉

Strolling through the Cairns Esplanade by night
Barron Falls – with hardly any water running

Next day we took off up the Kuranda range to go do some bushwalks on the plateau and see the great Barron Falls.  Even in Cairns areas it was obvious that they were also feeling the effects of drought, although not as obvious as down south.

A colourful local
Crystal cascades

The walks here are just a dream.  With plenty of little and big things to see – nature’s wonderland!

Lookout on the way to Lake Morris – perfect motorcycling road

When we came back down from the range, we went to the back of Cairns up towards Copperlode dam (aka Lake Morris).  No points for guessing how amazing this road would be for motorcyclists! Twisties galore, with lovely lookouts.

Lookout from the top of Lake Morris
The centinel trees of the rainforest certainly make you feel so small!

There is just so much to look at and marvel at, in Cairns, especially if you area complete bushwalking nut, love the heat (and humidity) and love nature.  You just can’t get away from it.

There are lots of critters here so it pays to slow down a little and take in the surroundings of the UNESCO Wet Tropics….

We didn’t go far but there were so many stops within so close to each other that it made the day go fast! One of my favourite areas is the Crater Lakes National Park, which is a series of crater lakes (like Lake Barrine) Fresh water lakes within craters is not just cool – it’s super cool! This is because it means – no crocodiles! 😀  So you can swim worry free.

Flooding anyone?
Luminous!! ❤

Although there is drought going on here, this place receives a lot of water. Like. A LOT.  Flooding is fairly common here are the monsoon or wet season, so people don’t really bat an eyelid when talking about torrential rain.   Pretty much can rain for 3 months straight!

After spending a few days at the coast, Wet Tropics and rainforest, we took about a 4-5 hour drive inland where it became much dryer, and the landscapes started flattening out.  We were off to Undara Lava Tubes – to tick this off my travel list.  We booked a package deal for ‘glamping’, staying at the hard, fibreglass tents with 2 single beds so we could throw our sleeping bags on and keep our gear away from critters while we took a walking tour through the lava tubes.

The walking tours were well worth it, and so was getting the package deal to include breakfast and dinner with your accommodation. Helped us in lighten the amount of stuff we needed to take with us on this trip. And it was enough space as so I wasn’t missing my Lawnmower as much (shhhh, don’t tell him that!).

The caves or ‘tubes’ were just impressive and my mind was blown as to the sheer timeframes geological scales make these structures occur. Again, nature at its finest.  The other thing that we got as part of the package is to have a night cave tour, where you can go see and feel microbats come out of their came at sunset to go feed in the landscape.   Best blog I’ve seen of this place is here – where there’s heaps of photos that are way better than mine!

After spending 3 days at the Lava tubes our trip was coming to an end.  Sadly.  But once again we put the little shopping basket to good use and drove back the 400kms back into Cairns for our last night.   Also making sure we made plenty of stops on the way back into town, to appreciate this most amazing place!

Admiring the view.

To say that I had fun on this trip, was a complete understatement.  In fact I didn’t know how much I needed this girl’s break, to soothe the soul, recharge batteries, share some good times with another amazing and caring human.  A far cry from living off my motorbike, stressed out to the max, being constantly frozen.

Tourist postcard view of Cairns Esplanade lagoon

Worlds apart. I’ll be back…

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