104 Photos - May 31, 2015
Photo: Our digs in Port Douglas for 11 nights or so--Artists' Treehouse. Quirky, roomy, stuffed w/ furniture and art all over the walls. Nice street 2 blocks from beach.Photo: Full kitchen which we used often.Photo: Veranda complete with geckos on ceiling--watch the poop in your drink, though!Photo: Lovely pool came with the house but water too cold for us!Photo: Fourmile beach, Port Douglas. Coastal mountains in background. Amazing scenics wherever you turn.Photo: Robin chills, Fourmile beach, Port Douglas, QLD.Photo: Jellyfish a real problem. Swim only in netted areas. The nets were removed for season end while we were in Port Douglas. Lifeguards strap on large bottles of ammonia so they have it at any time needed!Photo: Crazed Red-footed Scrub Fowl. Made most horrific squawks every night--very vocal. Makes big ground nests as big as a 'gators! These birds are all over the rain forests and coastal areas and frequent neighborhoods.Photo: View of Fourmile beach, Port Douglas, from Lookout Hill.Photo: Town scene, lovely, clean, friendly Port Douglas, QLD, Australia.Photo: Scenic, small town, population 3,200. On the ocean, lovely beach, beautiful marina, great eats, super friendly locals.Photo: Pants crossing...? One of several signs in our "weird signs of Australia" collection.Photo: Cafe Ziba, the very best coffee in Port Douglas and a daily early morning ritual for us!Photo: "Combined Clubs" restaurant on the water, Port Douglas. best views to Daintree Rain Forest and coastal mountain range, the "Great Dividing Range". Ocean and rainforest on one side, dry grasslands on the other.Photo: We learned to ask for "tomato sauce" vs ketchup with our fries ("chips").Photo: Our first trip out to the Great Barrier Reef aboard Wavelength. Amazing experience.Photo: Robin aboard Wavelength as we head out for the 90 min run to Opal reef for awesome snorkeling!Photo: This beautiful Green Turtle was waiting for us on our very first dive! As big as a love seat and placidly lying on top of the reef.Photo: See the big Green Turtle beneath me?Photo: Humphead Parrotfish. I think. Big guys, about 3 feet long each.Photo: Lynn and Robin, Opal Reef, Great Barrier Reef off Port Douglas, Tropical Northern Queensland, Australia.Photo: Robin, Opal Reef, Great Barrier Reef off Port Douglas, Tropical Northern Queensland, Australia.Photo: Giant clams on every dive--they averaged 2-3 feet across and their mantles were blue, purple, deep green--all featuring neon dots of electric coloration. Spectacular.Photo: Marina, Port Douglas. Great Dividing Range mountains in distance beckoned us, and soon we were driving through and across these steep pitches to the grasslands and savannas beyond.Photo: Inlet, Port Douglas.Photo: Leaving Port Douglas Marina to head out to the reef.Photo: Leaving Port Douglas Marina to head out to the reef.Photo: Port Douglas rainbow.Photo: Koala and Robin, Wildlife Habitat, Port Douglas. A terrific place, lotsa critters very well cared for.Photo: Koala and Lynn, Wildlife Habitat, Port Douglas. We went at least 2X to hang out in the cool, misty mornings with critters.Photo: Robin fearlessly (but gently) fondles a young salt water croc.Photo: So, where are you from?Photo: Just one of thousands of rain forest parrots, lorikeets and other feathered denizens of this still relatively untouched, achingly beautiful environment where the Coral Sea meets the oldest rain forest on the planet.Photo: G'day, Mate!Photo: Momma with her joey in the pouch.Photo: A Tree Kangaroo!Photo: They are soooo cute!Photo: Roo moochers!Photo: Always did wanna pat one of these...Photo: And the star of our visit-- Mr. Koala. So cute, sweet, cuddly and smells like eucalyptus.Photo: He was very gentle and settled right into my arms. And the Koala was nice, too. ha.Photo: Sugar cane is major crop in the flat lands between the mountains and the sea.Photo: Sugarcane fields on a misty morning.Photo: Cape Tribulation, Tropical Northern Queensland. No development. No people. Just a (mostly) very rough track along the coast, threading the rain forest and the edge of the Great Barrier Reef system, which gets closest to the land mass in this remote region.Photo: Mossman Gorge, just north of Port Douglas. Tribal lands. Waterfalls, clear, fast water, safe to swim (no salt water crocs here!)Photo: Mossman Gorge scenic.Photo: Mossman Gorge denizen.Photo: Mossman Gorge scenic.Photo: Daintree River ferry. This marks the beginning of some truly challenging and treacherous coastal mountain range driving up the north coast, through heavily canopied, narrow switchback roads.Photo: Scenic Daintree River. But. No swimming, it is RIFE with huge, aggressive salt water crocs.Photo: Lynn, Cow Bay beach, north of the Daintree river.Photo: Lynn and representative giant Wombat, ancient mega-fauna. At the Daintree Discovery Center, which is a terrific place to walk among trees of the rain forest canopy.Photo: Cassowary crossing signs, very common in the rain forest.Photo: Our cabin for 1 night in the rain forest at Cape Tribulation. No electricity, mosquito netted bed (cool night, thankfully), Cassowary visited us.Photo: "Reception" at Rainforest Hideaway, where we spent 1 night to get up early for a full day trek via rough track thru rain forest and up the coastal Bloomfield Track to Cooktown.Photo: Our outdoor shower!Photo: Rainforest Hideaway scenic. Well-tended property situated right in the rainforest- Tight squeeze to get the car in through all the close trees!Photo: Robin with model Cassowary. The two we saw on separate occasions were about half this size.Photo: Our early morning visitor, young male Cassowary. At Rainforest Hideaway. Light was just too dim and I failed to set a higher ISO, dang it!Photo: Wet foot crossing on our full day trek with Mike D'arcy of Daintree, from Cape Tribulation north to Cooktown via rain forest track and coastal road.Photo: Fan palms common along the coast.Photo: Cooktown, where our group of 6 had a fish n' chips lunch. Our guide Mike , us, 2 gals from Germany and a pain in the butt woman from AK, USA.Photo: Cooktown scenic. Amazing place if you are a fan of history and have studied the travels and discoveries of Captain James Cook.Photo: Tribal artists in small Wujal Wujal community center where we stopped for refreshments-- the very best and authentic Aussie Aborigine art I saw, in all our travels.Photo: Low tide at Cape Tribulation. See my video pan, it captures the serenity and all the bird calls!Photo: Morning low tide at Cape Tribulation.Photo: Bubble Crabs create untouched patterns in the wet sand. Cape Trib.Photo: Cape Trib lone mangrove in silver early morning light. No filters, no retouching, just the magic of natural light.Photo: Cape Trib lone mangrove in silver early morning light.Photo: Paper Bark trees, coastal estuary, Tropical Northern Queensland, Cape Tribulation area.Photo: We hiked back into the rain forest to get to Bloomfield Falls. Beautiful creek too- but it has a croc in it. Of course.Photo: Rex Lookout, Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns, on our way to Port Douglas.Photo: The Daintree Rain forest meets the coast. Near Cape Tribulation.Photo: Scenic tidal creek, full of crocs. This flowed right over the beach sand out to sea.Photo: Daintree Discovery Center, raised walkway through the rain forest canopy.Photo: Grasslands, on our way to Atherton Tablelands which offers the most amazing variety of environments, all at about 2,300 feet in elevation.Photo: One of thousands of termite mounds decorating the grasslands, ranging from bowling ball size to bigger than this one!Photo: One of several crater lakes in the tablelands, this is Lake Eacham. No development, no homes, in an area of low population. Clear, clean water, no crocs but a bit chilly for us to swim.Photo: Lake Eacham. A walk all around the lake takes about 1.5 hrs- canopied walkway, rain forest greenery and birds galore. So quiet and restful.Photo: A misty drive through the mountains to get from the coast to Atherton Tablelands on this rainy day. Scenic as all get-out!Photo: Robin supports rain forest strangler fig.Photo: Some rain forest trees flower on the trunk of the tree vs limbs!Photo: What the hell? Some sort of tribute to large animal vets, we deduced. We were lost in this little town in the tablelands and I took us down this street to make a U-turn and, there it was! Worth a pic.Photo: Rain forest turkeys were common and tended to hang around parking lots...Photo: One of several "curtain" strangler figs featured on tourist maps of Tablelands. It was worth taking the side road and we also saw lovely small cattle farms in the rolling countryside--looks a lot like TN but much steeper hills!Photo: Millaa Millaa falls, prolly the most photographed on the "waterfall circuit" on the Tablelands.Photo: A platypus! Really! Best shot I could get-- it poured rain 2 mins later and we bolted for the car.Photo: On the city train in Brisbane, killing 5 hrs layover in da city before we head back to Honolulu for sleep-- after 23 hrs of travel non-stop. Ug.Photo: Brisbane cityscape.Photo: One of our "Funny signs of Australia" collection.Photo: One of our "Funny signs of Australia" collection.Photo: One of our "Funny signs of Australia" collection.Photo: "Funny signs of Australia" collection.Photo: One of our "Funny signs of Australia" collection.Photo: Waikiki beach from our hotel balcony on the way out to Oz. Very noisy city, couldn't wait to leave.Photo: Waikiki beach from our hotel balcony on the way out to Oz.Photo: Honolulu skyline. We spent the night coming and going from Brisbane.Photo: Lovely Ala Moana park, Waikiki, we'll be on our way to Brisbane later this morning!Photo: View of north coast Waikiki. Headed to Brisbane later this morning!Photo: Honolulu competitors getting ready for big event.Photo: Pearl Harbor National Monument, Hawaii. Bowfin sub, credited with over 40 vessels sunk.Photo: Robin inside Bowfin control room.Photo: USS Battleship Missouri, I was so glad to visit and see where the Japanese surrender docs were signed and walk where Gen. MacArthur walked.Photo: USS Battleship Missouri. Quite a treat for this history buff!