Day 91

Babinda – South of Ingham

I took a few photos of our free camp site this morning… let me show you.

The kids had so much fun in the sand and on the swings last night.  Unfortunately that also included burying thing – and a cup went missing.  Still couldn’t find it in the light of morning.babinda1babinda2And just a little walk away was some lovely flowing water.babinda3Just before we left the kids, or was it Brett, noticed these green ants building a new nest site in the tree near the van.babinda4Our next stop was Josephine falls.  Another place that is just so pretty.josephine1Here’s a very curious thing.  Flowers growing out of the trunk of trees.  We couldn’t figure out if they were part of the tree of if it was another plant growing on the tree.josephine2josephine3josephine4Here’s the boys sitting in front of the falls.josephine6And one of the kids took an anniversary photo of Brett and I.  Happy 13th!josephine7I love it when everything is covered with moss.  So green and pretty.josephine8We saw something new on the road today: Possum crossings.  possum_crossing

We travelled to a rest stop just south of Ingham, on the other side of the highway was a cane field.  There were lots of little bugs in the toilet block, and then kids had quite a bit of fun collecting as many of them as they could.

Day 90

Cairns – Babinda

I know I’ve been raving a bit about the caravan park we’ve been staying in, but I haven’t really told you all that much about it.  So let me give you a bit of a run down. I even forgot to mention what happens when a guest arrives.  Our standard practice is Brett drives to the reception parking area, I jump out and see if we can get a spot, and then jump back in the car and we go to our spot and park.  Not at Coconut Resort.  Here I booked in, and then we all had to get out and take a tour, because there is so much to see.  And the tour bus?coconut_carsWe went in Nemo.

There were carts and this special bike for hire.  We didn’t hire anything, but it sure looked interesting.coconut_multi_bikeFor those not game to walk in the real deal, there is a mini (and I mean mini) rain forest walk.coconut_rainforest_walkThis is the main pool – the Sun Lagoon.coconut_sun_lagoon_entrycoconut_sun_lagoonThe water park.coconut_water_parkcoconut_giant_pillowAnd the regular size jumping pillow.coconut_jumping_pillowVolleyball/badmintoncoconut_volley_badmintonTennis.coconut_tennisA bike trail.coconut_bike1coconut_bike2coconut_bike3A playground.coconut_playgroundThe garden pool;complete with hamock.coconut_garden_poolcoconut_garden_hamockMini golf.coconut_mini_golf

And then there was the Neos, a gym, indoor videos during the day for the kids (outdoor movies at night too), table tennis, basketball, tetherball, hookey, giant chess and a climbing frame.  To say the kids enjoyed it would be an understatement.  And we’re glad that we got the tour to show us where everything was.

As much as we loved it here it was time to move on today, so we packed ourselves up and hit the road.

We stopped in Tully, and tried to find out about their sugar mill tours, but Jos and Cayley were not old enough to go.  We stopped in at the tourist info centre here, and ended up getting quite a few free books for Elisha to read.

So instead of Tully we continued on to The Boulders in Babinda.  Gorgeous. Here’s some of what we saw.boulders1boulders2boulders3Take a close look at this one!  boulders4boulders5boulders6boulders7boulders8boulders9boulders9boulders11After our gorgeous walk, we headed back out to the edge of town to a free camping spot.  Picked up a hitch hiker on the way, and gave him a very short lift into town.  The site we’re at tonight is gorgeous!  We’ve met some great people here tonight.

Day 89

Cairns

This morning we partook of the pancake morning.  What a sight to behold.  This is not a small caravan park by any means, and the pancake breakfast is held once a week – Thursdays – every week.  It is a finely tuned production.  The staff even have special t-shirts they wear just for the morning.  Full tummies, and met lots of other travellers, but no photos.

Elisha is quite obviously missing school, and perhaps I haven’t been doing enough school work with them.  He’s made a few friends in here, actually all the kids have, it’s a very family friendly park.  Three of his friends are named Jacob.  One of them is home schooled full time, and Elisha has been joining him for school most mornings.  This morning Jos and I joined in too. coconut_schoolLater in the day Cayley, the gorgeous girl, decided that Gunter needed a bit of a clean, so she got down to business.  Didn’t want her picture taken though. coconut_cayley_cleanerAnd finally we went out of the park for a while today and into Cairns city.  We went to a cafe my parents recommended.  They frequent Cairns, and love it, and they especially love the food, and the gorgeous staff at Macarons.  I said hello from them to the staff – and we were rewarded with a free macaron each. Yum!

On the way home from our outing we stopped into a shopping centre and bought a new camera.  After a bit of research over the last few days and a lot of deliberation we went with a tougher model that is also suitable for underwater photography.  A little late for taking photos of the Great Barrier Reef, but we’re looking forward to more opportunities for using it.  A shot with the new camera for posterity. new_camera

Day 87

Cairns

Just hung out at the caravan park today.  Here’s a bit of what the kids did.

Played Neos 360.  A great idea for an electronic, yet active game.coconut_neosBasketballcoconut_basketballHookeycoconut_hookeyAnd then later in the morning we played bingo.  It was a lot of fun, although our children displayed that they are not the world’s best sports when they don’t win, but that is something for us to work on with them.coconut_bingoThe rest of the day was more of the same, lots of playing, lots of other kids to play with.  Oh, and in the evenings there is an outdoor cinema with great family movies.

Day 86

Mossman – Cairns

We drove to Cairns today.  We are staying at our most expensive park to date – but wow.  I didn’t take any photos today, but I will before we leave. Let’s just say there is a lot for the kids to do here.

This afternoon, not too long after we arrived at the caravan park there were fire engine rides for the kids.  They loved it!

fire_engine1fire_engine2For some reason Jos wound up wearing Brett’s hat for the ride.  His must have been missing at the time.  Just a little too big perhaps?jos_big_hatYes, just a little too big!
jos_big_hat2

Day 85

Mossman

A very exciting day today.  Between the three of them, the kids had two things that they wanted to do on this trip. See snow, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Today we went out to the reef, and it was amazing.

We headed out this morning to the water to get on the boat.  We went with Quicksilver, and it was fantastic.gbr1Once on the boat we all downed our travel sickness medicine (and boy am I glad we did, but you don’t need all those details, suffice to say no one in our family was unwell).  Some got the tablet down easier than others. gbr2Once we arrived at the pontoon we were spending the afternoon at we went down to the underwater viewing area first to take a look around.  There was plenty of coral and lots of fish just to see from there.gbr3Then back up on deck.  We started making an attempt at getting our gear together for snorkelling, but before we got much done it was lunch time.  Lunch was a buffet, but everyone was so excited at the prospect of getting into the water that it was a rather hurried affair.gbr4After lunch to give our food time to settle we decided to go on the semi-submersible  to have a look at the fish and coral while staying dry. While waiting for the boat we finished getting our gear together.gbr5Apparently we picked a perfect day to go out – the temperature was lovely, the water calm and visibility high.  Also, the top of the reef was exposed which rarely happens. Look how clear the water was.gbr6gbr7Here’s a few shots from down in the semi-submersible (that’s it in the photo above by the way).gbr8gbr9gbr10 gbr11Finally it was time to gear up and get in the water.gbr12gbr13We all went in the water.  Jos club on to Brett’s back, he didn’t really snorkel.  But Cayley came with me, holding my hand, and Elisha was fairly self sufficient – but stayed mostly  by the ropes.  It was amazing.  I wish that I had a underwater camera so that I could show you some of what we saw.  It was similar to what we saw out of the semi-sub but with no barrier between.  Can you pick us Elisha, Cayley and I in the water?gbr14Here Cayley and I are getting our photo taken by one of the ‘roaming’ photographers.gbr15And finally here are Cayley and I, last ones from our family to get out of the water.gbr16We’re not sure if it was the caffeine in the medication (to counter the drowsy effect) but something made Jos hyper.  He couldn’t stay still or quiet for the entire two and a half hour trip back.  I would have thought after the swimming he’d be a bit worm out.

What a great day.  We love seeing God’s amazing creation – and underwater is not something we’ve looked at much on the trip.

Day 84

Mossman

How is this for close to the amenities?mossman_amenitiesIt also appears I may have gotten a little mixed up about my days… and the morning I said I had yesterday, was in fact today.  No idea what we did yesterday  morning.  Oh well.  Better work on getting a bit more caught up.

This afternoon we went to Mossman Gorge.  It was stunning.  In so many places it was just picture perfect – so much so that it looked manufactured – just so stereotypical.  I don’t know if that makes sense. I can try to expand on my thinking more if you’d like…

But better than words – a few pictures.mossman_gorge1mossman_gorge2mossman_gorge3mossman_gorge4mossman_gorge5mossman_gorge6Cayley happily played at the water’s edge trying to catch tadpoles.  They were tricksy little beasts, but she caught one and managed to keep hold of it longer for me to get a half decent shot.mossman_tadpoleAnd the kids spent the rest of the afternoon building a cubby.  I tell you it takes some skill in this small space!mossman_cubby

Day 83

Mossman

I forgot to mention yesterday that the kids had a bit of swim in the pool during the afternoon, which they enjoyed immensely.  The caravan park is attached to a rec centre with a pool, which we get use of as guests of the van park.

This morning I decided to let Brett have a long sleep in, and so took the kids out for the morning.  We went to Woolworths to pick up some items we were desperate for, to the chemist to pick up some travel sickness medication, and then we popped into a few of the local op shops as they opened.  Cayley has been very  busy growing out of all her clothes.

We also wandered through the weekend market.

Later in the day Brett took Elisha and Jos out to do some research about the Great Barrier Reef, and Cayley and I stayed home for a rest.  Our poor girl is so tired a lot of the time, and often needs her rest for her (and our) sanity.  We love her, and are trying some different things to see if they help.

Later again, in the afternoon, we went to Port Douglas for a bit of a swim at the beach.port_douglas1port_douglas2A truly gorgeous beach – an no stingers is always a bonus!

Day 82


Atherton – Mossman

We left Atherton today.  This morning while we were getting the caravan packed up, I got Cayley to wander around with the camera to get some pictures of the gardens, as they really are gorgeous.  She went more for flowers than actual gardens, but here’s some of her pictures.atherton1atherton2atherton3atherton4atherton5atherton6Our final destination today was Mossman, but we took a short detour to Granite Gorge.  I’m glad we did too, as this was very different from the other gorges we’ve been into.

Before getting down into the gorge we met Willie the parrot.granite_gorge1When we first headed down into the gorge we came down to the area where the wallabies laze all day.  The kids had a bag of food each and they were in their element.granite_gorge2granite_gorge3We played ‘Spot the Wallaby’. Can you see them?granite_gorge4 granite_gorge5This cute little fella made us laugh!granite_gorge6Any guesses as to why this location is called Granite Gorge?granite_gorge7For me, this was the scariest climbing we’ve done.  I’ve been pretty proud of my climbing through the gorges and up hill efforts so far, but today I resorted many times to crawling, taking of my shoes (*ahem* thongs) and going down hill slowly on my behind.  The kids did a lot better than me.  But I made it!granite_gorge8This little guy thought I was down so low because I wanted to feed him, but no I was just trying to get down the slope of rock! Great photo opportunity though.granite_gorge9And then we continued on to Mossman.  Some beautiful landscapes up here.  This is the furthest we are going to be from home.  Wow.to_mossman1to_mossman2We tried to get into a caravan park a little north of Mossman at Newell Beach, but they were full, so we ended up at the Riverside in Mossman.  Which was fantastic, as my scrap buddy Helen was able to pop over and say hello.  It was great to be able to catch up with her. She gave us some great ideas about what to do while we’re here, and explained the strange smell we’d noticed (the sugar mills).  Thanks for popping over Helen!