Wednesday, 31st October – Kuranda

Last full day in Cairns. Boo! I really do like this place.

Collected by coach pretty promptly for our trip to Kuranda, of which more later. It\’s up in the rainforested hills to the west of Cairns, and our package took us up there via a superb long cable car route, with a couple of stops on the way:

Kuranda itself is a small settlement which has an indigenous history, but became something of a hippy commune in the early 1970s. Nowadays, it is totally given over to tourism. I honestly don\’t think I have seen so much tat per square foot anywhere else. High-class tat, but tat nevertheless. I\’m afraid I found all this rather depressing.

However, a major objective for coming up here was to give Jean the chance to cuddle a koala. We had to enter a small zoo (paying for the privilege), then paying yet more for the \”official\” picture, although I was allowed to take pictures myself. We also had the dreaded joint picture taken with my camera.

Thence we wandered around this not uninteresting very small zoo.

Next up was Birdworld, an aviary very much expected. But no – the birds were able to fly freely around, and were obviously very tame. I had several very close encounters with blue and yellow macaws, and a green parrot:

Jean also had a share of the action:

This was actually quite a lot better than I was expecting – some other bird shots here:

Time to go, and this time it was back down the mountain by train. The history of this line is fascinating, but no time to go into it here. Suffice to say it was slow, with carriages from the 1930s, and very scenic:

Back to the hotel on the coach and, once again, a sally forth on a lovely warm evening to find another good waterside meal.

A final shot of Cairns at night:

We fly from Cairns to Brisbane tomorrow, picking up a hire car and staying for one night in Brisbane before a long and leisurely drive down the east coast to Sydney.

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