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Cairns Trip Part 2


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Part 2 Kuranda.


The second organised tour we did was a trip to Kuranda which is in the mountains behind Cairns. We were bussed to a small historic railway station to catch the Kuranda train for the winding journey up into the mountains crossing numerous precipitous bridges and negotiating numerous tunnels. The construction of this railway is an epic in itself, particularly it was created more than 100 years ago using manual labour and some explosives. A number of workers died in the process unfortunately.


I assumed that we were going on a train pulled by a steam locomotive but after the trip up I can see why it was 2 of these that were needed to get us to the top.




The carriages were in period fashion and had pressed metal ceilings, leather seats and woodwork throughout. Initially we were in a carriage with a mob of Asians and that was fine but once underway a conductor asked us to follow her a few carriages up and relocated us in a carriage with one other couple who were English and very nice. (1st Class? Cream rises to the top doesn't it?)


The views as we climbed were breathtaking and you could only wonder how the blokes that built this line managed with pick & shovel in the oppressive heat?


This fella was playing a rockin' Didge to welcome us as we got off the train at Kuranda.




At Kuranda there are many things to do but we started off with another lovely buffet lunch and then a visit to the Butterfly factory where we followed the complete lifestyle of many of the beautiful butterflies that roam this rainforest. It was very interesting!



Next we visited a small native animal zoo and yes there were a couple of Dingoes! Lousy photo but they were lovely young animals full of fun and no, they were't eating babies!IMG_4513_zpsv5hbevh4.jpg


They had a Tasmanian Devil, Wombats, Koalas, Roos and Wallabies, birds and of course Crocs. There was one big Saltie but he was in the shade and underwater so too hard to get a shot, but he was sulking! This big fella was monstering fishermen in boats around Darwin so he was caught and transferred to this zoo for a breeding program. Problem was that as soon as they put a female in with him he killed her! He went through 8 prospective partners like that and now he's a confirmed bachelor! I could hear him muttering "Wrong, I should have had sex before I killed them, sex before.....") There were quite a few "Freshies there though and these are the more tourist friendly version!!




Many of these animals we see often living out in the Aussie bush but for visitors it was a nice experience.


Then it was the rainforest tour which was via a WW11 Duck (DUKW) which negotiated the steep tracks with a guide pointing out wildlife and plants in this dense rainforest. Now I was particularly interested in the forest conditions as Dad was sent there for jungle training after 3 years in the Middle East. They were training there for the Pacific Theatre, mostly to fight against Japan in New Guinea.



The last segment for the day was hosted by members of the local Aboriginal tribe and what fun they were!

Here's me hangin' with the tribe!




(Sorry can't post more pics as again I've reached my maximum for one post.I may post more in follow ups later)


Next they had us throwing boomerangs and to my embarrassment my first attempt dug into my ground at my feet! The bloke just looked at me as if to say "What was that?" so I said "there was a snake!" "Didn't you see the snake.....?" (


My second throw however was stellar and I restrained myself from leaping into the air to catch it flat palmed as I didn't want to embarrass the others who didn't do as well~


After that it was spear throwing! We watched them throw with and without Woomera and the difference was amazing and boy were they accurate! A Woomera is a stick that notches into the end of the spear effectively making your throwing arm longer and giving more leverage. They we dead accurate at 50 metres or so!


Last of all was a performance by 5 blokes of traditional song and dance...they were so good! Accompaniment was Didge and percussion was a couple of stones banged together but it was terrific! These guys were the best, great blokes and lots of fun.


Now as a finale we jumped on the Sky Train" of an aerial cable car set up and "flew" amongst the tops of the tall trees in the rainforest in somewhat spectacular fashion all the way back to the coast. Again I will put up more pics if any are interested.


What a full day we had and a total different experience from the reef, both things well worth the expense and time.


We arrived at our home station at 11 pm Tuesday night to wait for a taxi to take us the last bit and were struck with the 20 or more degrees difference we had experienced from that morning in Cairns . 28 C down to 5 C? It was freezing. We travelled from the top of Oz to the bottom in 3 hours and the last 300 kilometres took 5 hours.


So that was our adventure and we are pleased we did it as Cairns is a great city.

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