Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunning it up in Far North Queensland!

Wahooo trip up north just FAB! Tickets - check, kids - check, passports - check, Valium - check and we were off! From 19 degrees to 28 degrees! Oh boy I love the sunshine! Cairns - great place; esplanade well set out, fab water play parks, lots of cafes and a huge lagoon for the kids to swim in! Locals - friendly enough, a few were sniffing meths and drinking VB (bitter) but you can't have everything!

The main thing that struck us about the area is how unspoilt and how undeveloped it all is. Cairns as a city is no bigger than Clakkers (Clacton in UK)! Its surrounded by huge rainforest mountains, just breathtaking! Palm fringed beaches and the Cook Highway that runs alongside the beach. Port Douglas - similar to Noosa but ever so more slightly upmarket! Good shopping and great climbs (yes the kids loved us for that one)!

Mossman Gorge was an eye opener; we travelled through cane fields into an Aboriginal settlement - now I'd heard but never seen one. Felt like a prison camp, huge wire fencing, breeze block low set homes, litter everywhere, alcohol +++ and ever so unfriendly locals with knives! So we carried on driving, and looking over our shoulders! The gorge itself - perfect, beautiful waters with huge boulders. Aaron being Aaron decided to jump across and promptly fell in head first (nil damage - well it is Aaron). He got up and shouted "that was funny as" (its an Aussie expression where you never quite finish the sentence). We bathed in the freshwater, basked in the sunshine then did some more climbing. The suspension bridge over the gorge was fun - more so when the max number of people were on it (20) and our boys decided to swing it! Average age of peeps on bridge (around 70 yrs) but thankfully nil heart attacks just lots of dirty looks!

We also took a trip on the Skyrail to Kuranda (hippy village similar to Eumundi in mountains)! Skyrail over rainforest canopy tad scary (at times) Cameron conquered fear of heights. Mark more concerned that a couple of Muslims with backpacks had boarded on the cablecar behind us! He's so cynical! I'm sure he wanted them frisked! Kuranda fab place - quaint, loads Aborginal history - and again some locals sniffing meths and drinking VB (you can see a pattern forming?)

Next day our mates flew in from the UK! Was so good to see them! Jedcia and Erin have grown up so much - both gorgeous as ever! We spent evenings together and had a tearful farewell, but it was so worth the flight up to Cairns to see them and hug them! Thanks again for all the boys gifts and Em, get James to move over here! 12,000 miles is just too far!

After all that excitement we headed out to the reef and to Fitzroy island. Water - choppy, sea sickness, nil, wobbly legs - lots! Temp 28 degrees, I got sunburnt (tut tut) and again we made the boys walk! Nudey Beach was - well full of clothed people. This surprised us as clothing was optional! There were a few old men dipping in and out of the bushes - but I suspect the sound of our boys put them off bearing any flesh!

Another highlight has to be the discovery of the British Lollie Shop! Double deckers,twix's,after eight mints, bon bons, refreshers, monster munch and much much more! Mark was in heaven!

All in all great place! We stayed at the Discovery resort - good accommodation for large families, 2 pools and walking distance to everything. In case your religious - theres a church opposite, or in case of injury - the base hospital is next door!

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