On the way into Cairns, we took a detour to Kuranda and enjoyed a little time there wandering around, having an ice-cream and buying some ‘relaxed’ clothing for me. Yes, I relented and purchased some ‘happy pants’ which are rather ‘way out’ for me. But, oh they are comfortable.
Situated only 25km NW of Cairns, Kuranda is accessible by car, sky rail or the Scenic Railway. We’ve been up on the train a few years ago and this time was by car. I’d love to do the sky rail next time. Personally, I really enjoyed the Scenic Railway last time we went up there. Constructed between 1882 and 1891, this lovely train departs twice a morning from Cairns Station then Freshwater Station and winds her way through rain forests, waterfalls, 15 hand-made tunnels and across 37 bridges. Allow 1hr 45min for the train to complete her journey.
Of course, Kuranda is well known for the markets which are there every day, but there’s other things to do in Kuranda as well. We were limited as we had Pepe with us, but we’d seen it before. Bear this in mind if you’re travelling with a fur kid – perhaps book him/her into a ‘sitter’ for the day before you head up there. Dogs are obviously allowed to be on the streets as long as they are on a leash, but you can’t take them into say, the butterfly sanctuary.
As well as the markets, you can go on a riverboat cruise, visit Birdworld and the Butterfly Sanctuary, go to the Koala Gardens or Batreach, watch candy being made or visit the Venom Zoo. There’s certainly plenty to do as well as the shopping, lunch or going through the rainforest.
I didn’t take any photographs of Kuranda this time (sorry) but would love to go back to the Butterfly Sanctuary with my Macro Lens and spend some time in there.
But, onwards to Cairns.
We had decided to spend 3 nights in Cairns mainly because one of our sons lives there and thought it a good opportunity to visit with him and give us all a break from driving continuously. We found it difficult to find a caravan park in Cairns that was pet friendly, but we had become members of Top Tourist Parks in Charleville and the manager there had helped us find Lake Placid Tourist Park in Cairns, which we promptly booked. You can see our review of this fine Tourist Park here.
Cairns for us was really just a time for R&R. We didn’t plan any trips. One of the permanent residents of Lake Placid advertises at reception that she dog sits. At only $3/hr or $25/day, we took advantage of this service and dropped Pepe off at her caravan for a few hours while we went shopping at Cairns Central. (We were originally going to tag team as we both needed things from the shopping centre).
The humidity and heat were really getting to me so when we were around the park, I spent a fair amount of time getting in and out of the pool just trying to keep cool. The first night we were there, a sudden storm caught us unawares at about midnight which kept us a little busy rearranging things and closing tent windows etc, but at least it cooled it down for a little while.
We went for a drive to the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station just above the caravan park.
I absolutely adore misty, foggy, wet weather. The clouds that gathered above the mountains around Cairns never fail to impress me. I love that Mother Nature is so beautiful no matter what the weather.
After our 3 nights and 2 days in Cairns, we were ready to pack up again and make the journey to Airlie Beach where we have relatives to visit.
Cheers til the next post.
Vanessa and Damian