Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Family holidays are arguably one of the most stressful events of the year. This year our family holiday was a week in Carins, Queensland. We usually go away for a week or two every year. Last year was a cruise around New Zealand's South Island -I missed out as I was in San Francisco,but it turns out that we are not a cruising family we are a explore the area family. That is why Cairns was chosen. 

We are all good travellers but we all have VERY different travel styles. My dad is super organised, he likes to have everything planned in advance. My mum is much more relaxed and has a general idea of all the things she would like to do. I am very much in the relaxed side of travel planning, I know what I want to do but I'll decide when to do it the night before. This approach has lead to almost missing out on seeing major attractions but I might reminisce about that at a later date.


Cairns is a two hour flight from Brisbane. We arrived mid morning and picked up our hire car for the week (it was some sort of 4x4 mitsubishi with overly reclined back seats). 
After we settled in we had lunch at the Union Jack pub. This pub would feature heavily during our dining experiences in Cairns because the food was filling, delicious and cheap. After lunch my sister and I got into the pool while mum and my brother went grocery shopping and my dad visited is mum. When my brother got back he joined us in the pool. Then it went down hill. He complained that he had something in his eye. So we got out and went to have showers but he was in so much pain he couldn't open his eyes and a rash was spreading all over his body. We called mum and she raced home with dad and they took him to the hospital. My sister and I waited in the apartment for the next 6 hours. What a way to start the holiday!

The second day was much less medical emergency, which was nice. We did a little trip up to Palm Cove and the neighbouring areas. Palm cove is one of those area that you just go to sit, look and relax. Its very picturesque with lovely restaurants along the esplanade. We had Yum Cha at the Ming Dynasty Chinese restaurant. It was superb and very filling. On our way home we stopped at Yorkies Knob- because we are all children and thought the name was funny. Again we just walked along the beach because it is stinger and crocodile season. 

The second day we went up to Kuranda. Kuranda is a small village at the top of a mountain surrounded by rainforest. There are three ways to reach it; drive up the winding mountain, catch the Kuranda Scenic Railway or catch the SkyRail. We caught the railway up and the SkyRail home. The scenic railway takes about 105 minutes to reach the summit from Cairns. The train has beautiful old carriages with bench seating. You can see for miles as you slowly climb the mountain while listening to the historic story about the construction of the railway.

Upon arrival we went to the Butterfly Sanctuary, which was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I've been to the butterfly house in Melbourne Zoo but that had nothing on this. To state to obvious- there were just so many butterflies. A lot of them landed on you, which I had mixed emotions about; on one hand I really wanted the beautiful butterflies to land on me, on the other, they fly so sporadically that my natural bug-near-face reactions kicked in. I did manage to get this photo though....

Following the butterfly house Vivienne and I went to the Koala Gardens, while Mum, Dad and Thomas visited the Birdworld. I'm not a huge fan of birds- especially when they are enclosed and forced to fly near me. 
Koala Gardens was an exhibit of Australian animals. My sister and I had a wonderful time watching the wombat walk back and forward (they are normally in their burrow) spotting the carpet pythons in the trees and watch the crocodiles lie in the sun. The main thing we did was to try to lure out the kangaroos and wallabies from their designated rest area. They weren't having a piece of it. However we did find a bush wallaby in the bushes as well as a baby bush wallaby, they allowed us to feed them both then pat them. It was so special.

Vivienne in front of the Koala

Me in front of the koala

The mummy wallaby we found in the bush
The baby wallaby

Part two to follow...


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