There Be Crocodiles..

 

 

Palm Cove, North Queensland

 
 

It’s a long way to anywhere in Australia. Departing the homestead in the Flinders Range we drove five and a half hours back to Adelaide. Then two hours on a plane to Brisbane. A two hour wait at the airport there and yet another two hours on the flight to Cairns. Wine may have been consumed. Our cases were the last three off the baggage carousel. At 10 o’clock at night with the airport closing down around us two weary travellers once again crossed an airport concourse, this time to find a car hire desk. We approached a man in a palm tree patterned shirt.

 Hertz representative: “Mr Wood I presume..”

Mike: “Never heard of him.”

“In that case you won’t be needing this…” The man from Hertz clutched an envelope tightly to his chest.

Given the late arrival, long after the property rental agent had gone home to bed, we’d arranged for our apartment keys to be left with Hertz. Two weeks in and I still hadn’t got to grips with how different life is in Australia. How relaxed everyone is with time for a joke and a seemingly inexhaustible willingness to help. Even at 10 o’clock at night. The instructions for getting to our rental fell some way short of crystal clear but the Hertz man produced a map and marked out the route.

The humidity hits you like a sledgehammer when you land in Cairns (pronounced Cans, as in cans of Coke). And so does the rain. As we approached Palm Cove it bucketed down. In the dark and the biblical torrent of water we drove around trying to find the apartment block. It helped that I’d been there before. Even if only on Google Earth. Mike nudged the car up to a wide roller shutter door. In the envelope there were two keys, sans instructions. One, conventional. The other a keypad with four buttons. Mike pressed the first button and by some miracle the door rose. The gaping maw of an underground car park revealed within.

 
 

 

The stunning view from the apartment’s balcony

 
 

 

NuNu, Beachfront Palm Cove

There’s only one way to recover from a whole day spent travelling. Especially when your cupboards, given the timing of your arrival, are totally bare. Breakfast at NuNu. What else?

 
 

 

Renealmia cernua, from Costa Rica

Cairns Botanic Garden, the first on my list of places to go. Packed full of all the tropical deliciousness you could ever want.

 
 

 

Etlingera elatior (Pink Torch Ginger)

 
 

 

Heliconia orthotricha, South America

 
 

 

Zingiber spectabile x Z. macrodenium

 
 

 

Heliconia acuminata

 
 

 

The boardwalk through the fragment of rainforest in the middle of Cairns

 
 

 

Freshwater Lake

 
 

 

Chinese Pavilion at Freshwater Lake

 
 

 

Radjah shelduck

 
 

 

Magpie Goose

 
 

 

Royal spoonbill

It’s no good pretending you’re asleep.. I can see your eyes

 
 

 

A bamboo you might need a bit of space for

 

There were crocodiles in the Saltwater Lake. Apex predators let loose in a public garden? It wouldn’t be allowed at Wisley surely. But North Queensland is a different sort of place. It has the feel of being on a frontier. And the wildlife often have the upper hand.

 
 

 

Palm Cove, North Queensland

 

It had been a long held dream to come here. Being a lover of heat and all things tropical I couldn’t face the prospect of visiting Australia without going north, even though it wasn’t the best time of year. Summer is rainy season for one thing. But it doesn’t rain every single day and between the showers, well, look at that beach.

It just pays to have your wits about you, that’s all. On that first day I was mostly listening out for rustling. Or the padding of feet in the sand. The sound of something approaching stealthily behind my back. Everywhere you approach the water here there are warning signs, repeated at intervals just to make sure you never forget. An adult male saltwater crocodile can reach up to 7 metres in length. That’s 23 feet. Just imagine that. At only 1.5 metres in my longest dimension presumably I would be regarded as a mere hors d’oeuvre. The saltie’s preferred means of attack is to ambush the hapless victim, drag them back to water, drown them and rip them apart or swallow them whole. Gulp.

They are the most dangerous crocodiles on earth. In reality, however, you’d be unfortunate to find yourself with a crocodile sneaking up to your sun lounger. The authorities are right to be cautious but sightings on beaches don’t happen very often. Fatal attacks are even rarer. From 1971 to 2013, the total number of fatalities reported in Australia due to saltwater crocodile attack was 106 (Source: wikipedia here). What worries me just a little bit though is that track up the beach, straight to the camera position in the photo above. I’d not noticed it before. But compare it with the photo of the saltie track on the wikipedia page..

 
 

 

Wangetti Beach, North Queensland

 

So is it just the crocodiles we need to be worried about then? Nope. Then there are the stingers. In summer it could be a particularly bad move to go swimming in the sea. Irukandji jellyfish are only tiny, 2cm across, but you will know about it if you find one. Approximately 30 minutes after the sting the victim develops severe back and abdominal pain, limb or joint pain, nausea and vomiting, sweating and agitation. Enough to ruin your day perhaps. But it could be worse. Much, much worse..

The Box jellyfish is said to be the most venomous marine animal known to man and its sting is often fatal. They are transparent and pale blue in colour which makes them virtually impossible to spot in the water. The ‘box’ body measures about 20cm along each side but the tentacles can grow to an astonishing 3 metres in length. The gelatinous composition of a jellyfish makes it vulnerable and therefore its venom needs to be potent. It must kill its prey in an instant. A struggle, even with a creature as small as a shrimp, could be enough to turn the jellyfish to mush.

We are not their target, fish are. Humans just tend to get in the way. But for us significant contact with the tentacles of a box jellyfish could still bring on a cardiac arrest within minutes. The pain from a sting is so excruciating and overwhelming that a victim can immediately go into shock, fatal if that person is swimming alone. And then there are the neurotoxins. Those unfortunate enough to still remain conscious are said to feel a sense of complete and utter doom, unmanageable panic, and often see suicide as the only way of escape. Now that’s not my idea of a good day.

Most of the popular North Queensland beaches, including Palm Cove, have netted enclosures during stinger season where it’s possible to swim safely. Failing that there’s the all encompassing stinger suit. Or you could just do what I did.. take in all the beauty of the sea from the safety of dry land!

 
 

 

The train to Kuranda, in the process of negotiating a particularly sharp bend.

At this point, being approximately in the centre portion of the train, we could see both the front and back ends. Mike had insisted on upgrading us to Gold class. This delivered a guaranteed and reserved individual armchair window seat with finger food and other perks..

 
 

 

10.10 a.m. A bit early, even for me. But if included within the price isn’t it rude not to?

 
 

 

The Barron Falls

On the way up, a stop to take photos and a stretch of the legs. The falls are even more dramatic once the rainy season really takes hold.

 
 

Kuranda is very much a tourist town. Like most such places across the world it has a few nice shops amongst a sea of imported trinkets and t-shirts. Finding somewhere nice to eat proved something of a challenge. The spectacular trip through the rainforest was the principal lure here. Allowing a couple of hours or so to see the town, maybe a little too much. But with time on our hands we still managed to amuse ourselves well enough..

 
 

 
 

 

Yes, I found some more!!!

 
 

 

Quokkas

They are the cutest of little marsupials, the ‘happiest animal in the world’ on account of its normally cheeky grin. Well not today apparently. These two appear to have had a bit of a falling out. The bulge to the side of the left one is a baby.

 

At least no crocodiles up here in the hills, surely..

 
 

 

..oh yes there are

 
 

 

Peaceful Dove

 
 

 

Eclectus parrot

Who’s a pretty boy then.

 

The route back to Cairns could have been on the train but.. been there, done that, got the t-shirt. So we went the other way..

 
 

 

On the Skyrail Cableway

 
 

 

Oh. Wow. The gondolas literally skim over the canopy of the rainforest. And some water, as you saw above.

In blissful ignorance of the water, this time it had been me insisting on an upgrade because Diamond class, as well as enabling the ticket holder to bypass most of the queues, gives a unique view..

 
 

 

Through the glass bottom of the Diamond View gondola.. eeep!

 
 

 

Gliding over the top of a road..

 
 

 

But who would miss it for this. On the last leg of the trip (there are scenic photo stops on the Skyrail too) we topped the crest of a hill to be suddenly presented with the most incredible view. The entire coastal plain north of Cairns.

 

Australia continued to amaze.

 
 
 
 

2017-02-21T15:12:14+00:00 February 21st, 2017|Tags: |88 Comments

88 Comments

  1. justjilluk February 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    All I can say is wow. ! x

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      It’s a very beautiful part of the world.

  2. jannaschreier February 21, 2017 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    The important thing is that you found geese. And ducks. Don’t worry about all those other creatures, quite harmless, honest!

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Not quite so harmless! I was looking out for snakes and those red backed spiders too. But you know you’ve arrived somewhere nice when there are geese. Quite prehistoric looking though aren’t they.

  3. John Kittredge February 21, 2017 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures. I’m not sure I will ever get to visit the north of Australia as you have, but now it certainly on my hopeful list.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      If you ever get a chance it is well worth it. I think we were extremely lucky with the weather. A week after we left the monsoons arrived. Probably best to avoid the rainy season.

  4. Caroline February 21, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Wow, wow, wow

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      It was a word I used a lot in Australia.

  5. derrickjknight February 21, 2017 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Your usual excellent photographs with fascinating text. I understand the need to consume what is included in the price – after all, staying at a B & B is the only time most people eat a full English.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Exactly. Also a good idea when going to a new country to have the full experience and sample all the produits régionaux.

  6. Backlane Notebook February 21, 2017 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    What a great experiene but so glad you missed the crocs and jelly fish.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      It seems we inadvertently visited the two regions with the highest croc density in Australia. And still escaped alive.

  7. CherryPie February 21, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    It looks fabulous 🙂

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      It absolutely was.

  8. Cathy February 21, 2017 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    The botanical garden – wow! But all your photographs have the wow factor Jessica and I am so glad you were able to make the most of your time there

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      At the beginning it seemed six weeks was such a long time to be away. But it flew past. Every day was precious. I can’t remember a single day when we weren’t up and about visiting somewhere. Perhaps the very first day, waiting for the jet lag to hit. But even then I was practicing with a new camera, so not really time wasted.

  9. restlessjo February 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Incredible place, and photos. 🙂 Do you think I’m safe to go in the bath? I’m a bit worried about loitering crocodiles and jellyfish 🙁

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      The trouble with jellyfish is they can squeeze themselves into some really tight places. Pipes would be no problem I’m sure. But rest assured, they prefer the tropics. Far too cold for them here.

  10. Virginia February 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm - Reply

    OH MY !! OH MY!!

    When I saw the first photo – of the Etlingera elatior (Pink Torch Ginger) – I thought “Japanese plastic!” then I saw the next photo, and then the next – What a fantastic time you’ve had, and what a wonderful photographer you are – thank you for taking us along. I’m totally with you on the nasties that inhabit both sea and land over there, seriously scary!

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      Tropical plants always seem like that to me too. I have to touch them to make sure they’re for real. Thanks Virginia. It’s a mixture of mine and Mike’s photos in all of the Australia posts. I can’t claim all the credit. Plus he taught me everything I know..

  11. wherefivevalleysmeet February 21, 2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Dear Jessica – what a wonderful, adventurous holiday you and Mike enjoyed – your photos are a delight, and great to see – love that pink torch ginger with its complex flower structure, and the parrot sports the most wonderful shade of emerald green.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      He was a gorgeous green that parrot. When we went into the aviary it was suggested I take my earrings off.. the birds have been known to land on ladies’ shoulders and winkle them out!

  12. Sue Garrett February 21, 2017 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    You have a wealth of beautiful photos. I hope you bought plenty of extra storage. I’d love the wildlife – maybe not so much the crocodiles – but I am no good in heat. I recognise some of the birds from the Wetland reserves at Slimbridge ahd Martin Mere.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:38 pm - Reply

      The bird life over there is just fabulous, different species in all the places we visited. It was one of the highlights of the whole trip for me.

  13. smallsunnygarden February 22, 2017 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Getting to look through those botanical beauties must have been fabulous! As the rest of the trip, of course 😉
    23 ft crocodiles and 2 cm jellyfish – that seems to pretty well have things covered in terms of dangerous beasts! Love the bird shots…

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      It just makes me want a tropical garden even more. Yes the blooms are very brash, but there is plenty of dramatic foliage on offer to cool them down.

  14. agnesstramp February 22, 2017 at 1:11 am - Reply

    This place looks lovely, it seems so relaxing you must have spent great time in there, Jessica!

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Agness and welcome! A great time throughout Australia. It’s just so vast it’s impossible to get to everywhere you want to go, even in six weeks. The only solution, of course, is to go back.

  15. Kris P February 22, 2017 at 1:53 am - Reply

    This is certainly the trip of a lifetime and you made the most of it, although I’d have stayed out of the water there too – if I’m going to dip my toes into the sea, I’ll do it here on my own turf or in Hawaii where there’s only the occasional shark to worry about. Otherwise, the wildlife continues to delight. I swear, the mere photo of a koala lowers my blood pressure, which has been running high for awhile now. I wonder if I could foster a koala for 4 years?

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:04 pm - Reply

      The crocs and stingers are only in the north. Plenty of other places in Australia where it’s perfectly safe to dip your toes. And I did.
      Koalas do seem to have it made. They have the same effect on me. 4 years less one month. Positive thinking Kris..

  16. Brenda February 22, 2017 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Thank you for taking us along to Cairns Jessica–and capturing it in all its magnificent color. I have always wanted to go to Cairns (and Green Island) since first reading A Town Like Alice many years ago. The coast looks much like Hawaii, but seems to have more nasty creatures waiting to kill unsuspecting tourists. I’m not sure what would be worse, death by crocodile or box jellyfish. The odd morning glass of wine might lessen the worries, though. Cheers.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      It’s funny how quickly you become complacent. There were places we went (next post) where crocs are far more likely to be around than on the beaches and never saw one. I didn’t see anyone swimming in the sea outside of the netted enclosures though..

  17. Dorothy Borders February 22, 2017 at 4:16 am - Reply

    Wow! Just wow! Fantastic pictures. Fantastic country.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks Dorothy. You’d have loved the birds. I found nesting masked boobies (coming up) and almost filled an SD card with them.

  18. Pauline February 22, 2017 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Amazing! Super photos as usual, thank you for sharing as I know I will never get there to see these delights for myself! The botanic garden looks wonderful but I can do without all the nasties!

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      As with so many things, the nasties don’t want to come into contact with us anymore than us with them. Crocodiles excepted maybe, the only one of the nasties which does actively predate humans. But even they need to be particularly hungry. The advice is just to leave them alone and they’ll probably extend the same courtesy to you. Probably.

  19. kate@barnhouse February 22, 2017 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Fabulous photos, Jessica, your (new?) camera has been put to sterling service. The botanic gardens range of exotic flora is superb,

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      I took so many pics in the botanic garden and had to do some serious editing. It’s all so lush. But then it should be with all the rain. A bit like Devon or S Wales really. Or not!

  20. Christina February 22, 2017 at 7:15 am - Reply

    You had me sold on a trip to Australia , but then you went and spoiled it all by showing the scary nasties!!! It would be torture to see a beach and sea like that and be too scared to swim or snorkel. I’m always terrified of jelly fish and I only encounter relatively harmless ones.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      The upside is that the beaches are pretty much deserted, even though this was just before Christmas and well into the summer school holidays. I am guessing winter is high season in N Queensland, when it is still gorgeously warm but there are no stingers!

  21. Vera February 22, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

    Jessica, I am in total awe of the travelling that you did in Australia, although you must have found it worthwhile because of how many places you managed to visit. Thank you for the koala photo. I think they are my favourite little creature.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      I can’t get enough koala pictures. As Kris says, above, just looking at one makes you relax. I must find a pic for my computer desktop.
      Touring Australia does mean covering a lot of miles, either by air or driving. And we only saw a fraction of it!

  22. Linda P. February 22, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Doing catch up again! What a wonderful time you must have had travelling around Australia! Love all the scenic shots, the plants and the wild life pics. You’ll have many good memories to treasure as you look back on your experience.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Linda, I hope you are well. Many, many good memories. It was all over way too soon.

  23. hb February 22, 2017 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Wow! I repeat: Wow!

    The Australian Tourist Board paying you for this? They should.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      No and absolutely yes. Better still, they could fund another trip for me so I could write about more places.

  24. Sigrun February 22, 2017 at 10:21 am - Reply

    So exellent pictures, like always, Yessica. I have never heard from all these plants, wonderful, to see them and now I know the names.

    Sigrun

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sigrun. I only wish I could grow some of them! I saw so many plants, even much further south, growing in the ground that I can only have as houseplants.

  25. Jo February 22, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Such fabulous views from the gondola but glass bottomed – eeek! i’m no good with heights. I think I’d have done the same as you and stayed on dry land, not worth the risk after reading what you’ve got to look forward to if you got stung, give me the fluffies any day. Those koalas, awwww.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      And very fluffy they are too. The gondola wasn’t as scary as it sounds. The worst bit is that they keep stopping. But at one of the changeover points we spoke to one of the staff who explained that it was done deliberately if they had a frail passenger who needed more time to get on or off. After that stopping was fine!

  26. Sam February 22, 2017 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Wowser, what scenery and those flowers – so different! It looks as though you had the trip of a lifetime. Thanks for telling us about it.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 9:11 pm - Reply

      The flowers look almost artificial don’t they. I had to touch them to make sure!

  27. ginaferrari February 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Every time I read one of your Australia posts I think they cannot get any more awe inspiring but they do! such stunning scenery and wild life captured in your fabulous photos. Like you I think I would have stayed out of the water.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      It’s quite hard to walk on one of those stunning beaches and not paddle in the sea. The water must have been so warm. But I didn’t take much convincing, even so. Thanks Gina.

  28. bitaboutbritain February 22, 2017 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Beautiful. And stunning shots. I didn’t realise I was holding my breath sometimes!

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      I was certainly holding my breath in that cable car. The views were just incredible.

  29. hoehoegrow February 22, 2017 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    What a trip! So exciting and full of wonderful things … mostly ! Apart from crocs and stingers that is! Fabulous plants, scenery and everything …!

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jane. In the end I was quite disappointed that the only croc I saw was in a zoo!

  30. Brian Skeys February 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    And you went there out of choice! Beautiful flower photography. I prefer the croc on my blog.

    • Jessica February 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I’d go again too.

  31. Linda B. February 22, 2017 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Australia continues to amaze and so do you. You are more of a risk taker than me by a long shot. The landscape and the flowers are so beautiful it’s hard to believe they are real, given what most of us are used to where we live. Another great post.

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:14 am - Reply

      Risk is relative. I learned from the next leg of the trip that there are far more adventurous people than me!

  32. germac4 February 23, 2017 at 12:08 am - Reply

    So glad you got to Palm Cove, we go there every year when the winter in Canberra is too much (August) We always love being hit by the sunshine and warmth. (although the humidity in Queensland summer would be too much for me.) …..and the people are very laid-back and friendly so it is nice to hear the comment from an overseas visitor. Great photos!

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

      I was expecting the humidity and the rain to be far worse than it was. I think we got lucky. The week after we left there were floods in that part of Queensland.

  33. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening February 23, 2017 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this magnificent paradise. The tropical plants, wildlife and views are all so amazing and Australia is a place I have only dreamed of visiting. I just keep looking at your wonderful photography over and over again and cannot seem to get enough! It looks like the trip of a lifetime!

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

      It was a trip of a lifetime, one we’ve been planning and saving up for over many years. It didn’t disappoint. Now to find a way of getting back!

  34. Beth @ PlantPostings February 23, 2017 at 3:28 am - Reply

    Wow, stunning! I want to be there now. This post is a beautiful combination of images from different angles and distances. Lovely.

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Thanks Beth. Coming back to the middle of winter wasn’t easy for sure.

  35. Denise February 23, 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

    It’s properly enormous in Australia, isn’t it? I mean, everything! Those bamboos!! Certainly puts our little corners of the world into perspective. I loved the photos you took gliding across the trees in the Skyrail. It made them look like curly kale. Enormous curly kale!

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

      Australia is huge. Everything is done on such a large scale. Fields that you can’t see the end of. Beaches that you can’t see the end of. Trees you can’t see the top of. Makes us feel very small indeed.

  36. frayedattheedge February 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    ooooh – this has brought back happy memories of our holiday, way back when Malcolm was still working. We stayed in Trinity Beach, but I think the photo in the frame on Malcolm’s bedside table was taken in Palm Cove. We too did the train up, cable car down (I had my eyes closed for most of the cable car trip!).

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

      I can’t see you in a cable car somehow! It has certainly given us many happy memories to treasure, well the whole holiday has really.

  37. frayedattheedge February 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    This comment is from Malcolm – is the Pie Shop still there in Kurunda, and did you have a pie?!

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:32 am - Reply

      I’ve just looked on the street plan and can’t find it. Can you remember if it had another name?

      • frayedattheedge February 24, 2017 at 11:57 am - Reply

        Hi Jessica, we’ve just done a google search and can’t find it, so I guess it has closed. Pity, because they made very good pies!
        A&M

        • Jessica February 26, 2017 at 4:26 pm - Reply

          Kuranda could do with a few more good eateries, they certainly don’t lack the tourist trade.

  38. Chloris February 24, 2017 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Amazing photos. What a fabulous trip; views, wildlife and plants all stunning. Salt water crocs would give me the creeps though. 106 attacks sounds like a lot to me. Are you relying on them not being hungry or being able to outrun them?

    • Jessica February 24, 2017 at 11:36 am - Reply

      Ah but, 106 over a good many years. Apparently they can outrun you for nine metres before they run out of energy. Pays to have a head start..

  39. Torrington Tina February 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    I’m catching up fast, broadband back on yesterday, hurrah! This was a wonderful read and the photos amazing, so pleased that you both made it back safely to crocodile-free Devon – it is, isn’t it? The koala’s are so cute I’m surprised there is not one missing down under. And, just so as you know I have been catching up properly I can confirm your TOTAL self-control in not buying a VERY expensive snowdrop!!

    • Jessica February 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      It would have to be a pair of koalas, one would be lonely. Difficult to hide but as they sleep most of the time they wouldn’t have made a lot of noise on the plane. I’d better start planting eucalyptus, ready for next time.
      A very expensive snowdrop and very silly for here.. the mice would be rubbing their paws together in glee.

  40. Julieanne March 1, 2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    I doubt I’ll ever go to Qld – too hot, too humid, too many things that can kill you. However, it was great to see it through your eyes – what amazing scenery. That cable car trip looked fantastic. Almost worth me considering going to Qld one day. Hummmm

    • Jessica March 1, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Well maybe all of those things, but QLD was just one of those places I always wanted to go. And I will go back. Perhaps at a different time of year. Outside of summer the temperatures and humidity are far more tolerable.

  41. Peter/Outlaw March 3, 2017 at 4:49 am - Reply

    Adding my voice to the choir of wow’s! What an incredible adventure!

    • Jessica March 3, 2017 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Peter. It was certainly that. And we escaped alive!

  42. Natalie March 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Spectacular pics!!! I love them a beautiful train like that. We took a train through Sri Lanka once and it was such a great way to see things.
    The koalas are so cute. The Saltie tracks, not so much…

    • Jessica March 3, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      The views from the train as it winds its way up the valley really are great. Possibly only beaten by the cable car on the way down. And of course both ways are effortless. All you need to do is sit there and take it all in.

  43. pollymacleod March 3, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Crocodiles are uba scary. It’s 24 years since I visited Cairns, your photos brought back happy memories. I don’t think the skyrail was there then, it looks awesome. Your photos are truly amazing, they look as if you could touch and feel the subject.

    • Jessica March 4, 2017 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      The skyrail is brilliant. Lovely that there are stops where you can get out and walk a little way into the forest.

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