Cairns

Tuesday 29th May.

We have had time now to accustom ourselves with the area, getting to find the shopping centres, OP shops for Linda and doctors etc, as it looks as though we will be in the area for some time. We are already making plans to suit an extended stay, which means no need to rush to do the things we intend to do while we are here.

Wednesday 30th May.

We got our chance today to go up to Kuranda again, up in the mountains, we went up there by car last time we were here 5 years ago, but this time we went up by the scenic train and down by sky rail. We realised after we left here after our last trip that we should have taken the train and Sky rail trip and have not been able to wait until our return so we could have the experience. We have now had the experience and it is definitely one to recommend to anybody that visits the area, it cost in the order of $120.00 but was well worth it.

The train ride was about an hour and a half and the track climbs 1 metre in 15 to the top. It winds its way around the hills and up the edge of Barron Gorge, which gives excellent views, through several tunnels, over several bridges and past waterfalls. I discovered that if one was to be on the ready with his camera one could have gotten some spectacular snaps, not that I didn’t get some good shots anyway but there was an opportunity for some other great ones that one missed because of the moving train.

The Sky rail ride came back down the other side of the gorge giving some equally excellent views. There were two stopovers on the way down where the cars slowed down for passengers to enlighten and have a look around some walks and lookouts provided. The entire trip was over the top of a rain forest and gave scenes of a rain forest one would never otherwise experience.

Again the trip is a must for anyone in the area. The township of Kuranda is typically one with tourism attitudes offering all sorts of markets with so-called specials to collect the tourist dollar. The situation would appeal to many tourists as this would probably be their first introduction to Australian culture and lap up the opportunity to purchase some local trade, but to us it was just a situation of ‘here are the tourists they’ll have money’, but it is a very nice place to have a stroll around and admire the scenery.

The end of the Sky rail trip meant a connecting bus ride back to the rail station where we left the car and then home again. One of the better things associated with this trip, and most in this area, is that one can make a booking at the place of residence and have all tickets needed for the entire day and then just travel at one’s leisure for the entire day.