Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cairns August

Cairns Queensland 20th August

Hello Family and friends. Well we have done an incredible amount of driving in the last week or so. Last time we blogged we were in Darwin. We had a great time there. This included watching the Olympics opening ceremony. The Olympics have been great; we have been listening to ABC radio all the time on the road. Hope you have all been enjoying it too!

Well we spent a week in Darwin. The weather was a clear and glorious 32-35 degrees which was lovely. We did the usual site seeing around town, loved the Aviation museum, NT museum, Mindal Markets, Wild Life Park to mention a few. The notable feature of Darwin would have been the constant overhead noise from the aircraft. Between the domestic planes and the RAAF jet fighters and cargo planes. All day and all night really low overhead. Harry thought he was in Top gun!@#?! Seriously a great place to visit, at this time of year.

We had a fantastic time at Litchfield National Park too. The stunning water falls and walks were lovely when they were croc free. Crocodiles everywhere. The scenery was just spectacular to say the least with plenty of amazing swims below majestic waterfalls, which has become one of our favorite pastimes while away from the coast.

Speaking of crocs we then head off to Crocsville, Kakadu. We didn’t really know what to expect but were very pleasantly surprised. We arrived and went to Fogg Dam which was a stunning floodplain full of birdlife. Next off for an Adelaide River ‘jumping croc’ tour. Sounds touristy was touristy but fun. Plenty of bang for your buck as the grey nomads would put it. You head off on a large double storey barge looking for crocs, within 500m crocs are swimming for the boat. HUGE 3-5 m salties (saltwater crocodiles). Then in great NT style they dangle a huge chunk of buffalo meat over the edge and tease the crocs until they jump out of the water for us to gork at. Corny but a great way to see these fearsome creatures especially for the kids.

Off to Jabiru in the north east edge of Kakadu we head. The mining town built for the Jabiluka Uranium mine. It was OK. We tripped up to Umbirr and the aboriginal rock galleries in the north of the park. It was stunning, a completely new experience. The rock art was clear and large with lots open for the public to appreciate. The whole area is based around a large group of huge rocks. At the top of the rocks you climb to a point where you get 360 degree views across Kakadu and Arhnem Land. Spectacular site to say the least especially at sunset.

Cooinda was the next stop, yellow water billabong, beautiful and full of huge crocs. And more stunning aboriginal art galleries. From here Piper and Melis went on a bush tucker Safari for the afternoon with an aboriginal lady Patsy. It was a fantastic experience. Off we went and spent the afternoon searching for freshwater mussels, turtles. We feast on Water Lily stem and seeds, Heart of the mini palm, Green ants (yes we ate them and they were great like sour warhead lollies!!!) Also bush honey which was some of the most decadent flavours I have ever taste. To finish off we prepared and cooked Magpie geese and Barramundi aboriginal style with damper. Piper and I were in charge of plucking the feathers off the geese, we looked like feather dusters at the end. All eaten on the edge of a huge floodplain with a million plus birds. It was awesome, especially considering National Geographic were filming and Piper, only child on the tour, was the star of the show. Kakadu was great!!

Off we head south to Katherine Gorge and Matarankas Bitter springs. These springs were the best of many we have been to. Imagine a winding river about 5 metres wide curving gently through a majestic palm forest. The water is croc free, 34 degrees and crystal clear and the sun is shining. We spent hours just floating down the current and relaxing in this serene setting. It was difficult to leave.

Off we head for Queensland via the Daly Waters. We drove for 4 days about 3000 + km on some of the worse roads we have experienced. Finally we arrived in tropical, overcast Townsville. Not content to stop we continue to drive north to the Daintree. The contrast in landscapes over this time was incredible, dry dusty central queensland to tropical rainforests.

We drove as far as Cooktown, the furthest north we will travel in Queensland. The Daintree and Cape Tribulation. The rainforest really does meet the sea, and from the beach you cannot see any signs of buildings, it was stunning.

We are now in Cairns, enjoying the perks of a large city after the rural life. I think the small time scene is much more our style though. Weather is cooler than Darwin 25-28 degrees but we are not complaining as we have heard you are having the worse winter in years, sorry we missed it, NOT!!

It is a strange feeling now, heading south as before Darwin we were always traveling away from home, but now we are on our way home in a long way round. Don’t be mislead however we won’t be back until Christmas.

Thanks again for all your lovely emails, texts and phone calls, we miss you all very much and think of you often.

Until next time. Love to you all.

Melis, Harry, Piper and Marlon XXXX

PS. Check the waves Harry surfed on a secret outer reef from Arhnem Land, see if you can spot the crocs in the line up!

1 comment:

Scratch said...

HI guys,hey ya cant fool me!! i was on the same trip with h and greg.great shots,enjoying following yr trip.reidy and fiona just passed through,craig watto and clan arrived last week for 6 weeks and lachy will be back for a coupla weeks soon.hope to pour my footings on monday,depends on the waves,which have been ok for this time of year,looks good next week.a bientot scratch,co and lola