Monday, April 30, 2012

Travels with DJ Pettitt - Day 4 - Kuranda

With our standard early start a bit slower we left our room around 7am and headed for Kuranda - our plan was to do the Butterfly Sanctuary and Bird World.  The main street of Kuranda is lined with magnificent Fig Trees... awesome trees... they are like botanical hotels... their branches support many other plants growing on them
Kuranda  main street

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is the largest butterfly enclosure in Australia with an all weather flight avairy thats home to around 2000 butterflies

We spent a very enjoyable (but hot lol) hour in the enclosure... saw lots of the lovely bright blue Ulysses butterflies but they were paparazzi shy and wouldn't land for more than a blink of an eye.

After the butterflies we sat for a little while to lower our core temperature from liquified to just hot, then headed over to Birdworld.  LOVED this place.  Another huge indoor avairy type enclosure where you walked around inside with the birds, but setup to look like a rainforest with multi levels... and VERY friendly birds!

This little guy took a shine to us and just would'nt leave us alone lol.. (and note the flat hair, Sunsilk you need to invent a humidity defying wax!)

And handsome but 'naughty' Eric who ate the toggles on my backpack while he sat on my shoulder lol

Travels with DJ Pettitt - Day 3 - Daintree Back To Cairns

During the night the heavens opened with solid tropical rain and it teemed down for a good few hours.  By morning as we headed to the jetty it was light drizzling rain... and a balmy 25C at dawn!

6.30am on the Daintree

We didnt see a lot of birds, the odd Cattle Egret, a Sacred Kingfisher and Welcome Sparrow were about it... but even though it was drizzling rain on and off for the 2 hours of our cruise it was still magic.  Would love to go back again and do it in summer... would love to see a real sunset or sunrise on the river lol
7.30am on Daintree

Unfortunately the rain/drizzle was predicted to settle in for the day so we cut our plans short and headed back to Cairns.... by the time we got a bit further south and closer to cairns the sun was out and it was a beautiful day

Sunset and the bats arrive
We booked into our room at the Sebel a day early (great hotel, highly recommend the staff) and went for a wander around town and dinner - walking past the casino with the sun about to set, I looked up and the sky was full of bats!  great big fruit bats with a 2.5ft wingspan were flying and swooping overhead.  apparently they come into cairns each night at sunset for the fruit trees

View of Cairns from the balcony of our room on the 9th floor

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Travels With DJ Pettitt Day 2 - Thala Beach Resort to Daintree

In what was to be the 'norm' for our entire trip we were both up by 5.30 am and out the door by 6am to catch the sunrise.  Thala Beach Resort has a private beach that was just beautiful... deserted sands, rolling waves, palm trees with coconuts and a glorious sunrise

Sunrise at Oak Beach, Thala Resort

We booked out of our room by 7.30 and headed off to Breakfast With The Birds in Port Douglas.
Rainbow Lorikeet

We entered a super huge avairy where we had a sumptuous breakfast surrounded by loads of Australian Birds, and before we left for our next stop, we wandered through the grasslands habitat, wetlands habitat...  great place... its a 'must do' if you are in the area

Pair of Tawny Frog Mouths
Lesser Sooty Owl (with lunch)
We left Port Douglas in glorious warm sunshine and headed for the Daintree River.  Sun followed us most of the way there, but while it was warm... it became quite overcast as we got closer and closer to Daintree...

Our little green doodlebug

We were staying at Riverview Lodges right on the Daintree River... nice accom but not as flash as our first night..another early again that night as we were booked for a 6.30am cruise on the river
View from the veranda of Riverview Lodges

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Travels with DJPettitt Day 1: Cairns, Mossman Gorge, Port Douglas

Well the retreat and classes are DJ and I flew out of Melbourne and headed to Cairns.

We landed in Cairns on schedule at 9.30 am. (red eye departure of 6am!) the humidity hit us as soon as we left the airport.... was very overcast but 30C.

After a super yummy breakfast of waffles, icecream and strawberries on Cairns Esplanade we headed over the road for a paddle in the Esplanade was a taste of things to come, as the rest of the day unfolded into perfection in paradise.

By lunchtime we were at Mossman Gorge.... I had heard it was good and not to miss, but the advance publicity did not do it justice.....picture an ancient rainforest, fast flowing river rapids, wildlife, mossy rocks, swing bridges and silence apart from the sounds of the forest....

We left mossman mid aftenoon and headed for our first night accom.....Thala Beach Resort....amazing doesn`t come close. On arrival they valet parked our car and took our bags to our room while we had a complimentry welcome drink in the stunning indoor/outdoor bar, then ferried us to our room when it was ready in the golf buggy service.....I think I may never leave!

We are now back in our room, after a sumptous dinner, sated and totally content. The rest of our trip has a lot to live up to!