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Entries about queensland

Daintree Rainforest National Park

overcast 23 °C

After a couple of days of being blessed with sunny weather in Port Douglas, on Saturday we woke up to grey skies and signs of rain from the previous night. The weather forecast had predicted rain, so we had discussed what to do on a rainy day. We were tossing up between checking out Kuranda or Daintree Rainforest National Park. We decided to go to Daintree as we thought we could check out some of the sights in Kuranda on the way back to Cairns. We plugged Daintree into the GPS on my phone and it said it was a 1.5 hour drive.

The drive to Daintree from Port Douglas is pretty straightforward, and in my opinion, not particularly scenic. It’s mostly through sugar cane fields, but it is nice to look out and see the mountains. The is a novelty part where you have to take a ferry to cross a river, which broke up the drive. After crossing the ferry, the terrain changes and pretty quickly you feel like you’re in a rainforest. The roads are quite windy, and unfortunately Ann got pretty carsick. We stopped Alexandra Range (Walu Wurrigga) lookout to get some fresh air. Although it was pretty cloudy, it was really scenic and peaceful.

View from Alexandra Range Lookout

We drove a bit more, and again the carsickness hit Ann and we stopped shortly after at the Discovery Centre. We asked one of the guys there about how windy the roads ahead would be, and he reassured us that we were through the worst of it and it would be less windy from that point. He made a lot of recommendations on where to stop, and we decided to check out the Jindalba boardwalks. It was an easy 20 minute walk, and it’s what you expect rainforests to be – walking through luscious green ferns and under the canopy of green leaves, with birds chirping and a stream running in the background.

Lost in the rainforest - Jindalba walk

After the quick walk, we continued driving. I’d been quite eager to see a Cassowary, as my friend had warned us of it being ‘dangerous’, and I was skeptical. We passed one on the side of the road, and being my first time seeing one, it was quite exciting! It looks like a cross between a turkey and an emu, and looks out of place with a bright blue head and red gobbly bit.

We stopped for lunch at Lync-Haven Rainforest Retreat. It was a quirky little spot, with a wide range of birds in cages (cockatoos parakeets, cockatiels), reptiles in glass cases, and wallabies fenced in the back. We had sandwiches, which were good but much too big of a portion size.

Cockatoo at Lync-Haven

After lunch we checked out Thornton Beach. It was a really gorgeous beach, despite the dreary weather; and one of the first thing we noticed were the tiny little balls dotting the entire beach.

Thornton Beach

They seemed to be dug up by little tiny crabs, which would peep in and out of small holes so quickly that you would think it was your imagination.

Can you spot the crab?

We had a look at our map and decided we’d only do one more stop at Marrdja boardwalk. The walk at Marrdja was another easy 20 minute walk, but the environment was quite different to Jindalba. It was pretty at the start – green trees and the rainforest-y feel, and big leaves as a canopy.

Paluma leaves

But then it got a bit creepy once we started crossing the creek. There were mangrove trees, some of which that have snorkel roots that surface to breathe. And because the creek wasn’t so much of a creek but more mud, the roots popping up looked like pointy bones. I felt like it was the perfect scene for a horror movie. We quickly scurried through and although it was a cool and different experience, I was quite happy to get back in the car and drive back. Perhaps that walk is nicer at a different time of year.


There is so much to see at Daintree Rainforest National Park, but after a 1.5 drive each way and multiple stops, we didn’t have enough time to check everything out. If I ever return, I’d love to start earlier and drive all the way to Cape Tribulation to check that out.

Posted by always_explore 17:00 Archived in Australia Tagged rainforest queensland national_park daintree_rainforest Comments (0)

Port Douglas

The perfect place to relax and rejuvenate

sunny 24 °C

4 mile beach

I have never needed a holiday as badly as I did when I left for Port Douglas. I had impulsively booked the trip in late March, after feeling the need to escape after a break up. But, as if one heart break wasn't enough and as if the universe was testing me, my Grandma - the love of my life, my anchor, my Person, the woman who raised me - passed away mid-April. It's hard to describe the feeling of loss, pain, grief, regret, aimlessness, solitude, of being lost. The Melbourne winter weather seemed to display how I was feeling, being bitterly cold, glooming-ly grey, pouring rain like tears.

The sunshine I could see the moment I landed at Cairns Airport was such a contrast to dreary Melbourne winter, with the warm air defrosting my bones as it was hugging me. The airport itself is tiny, with a backdrop of clear blue sky and tree-filled mountains. The lady at the coffee shop and the man at the Hertz car rental desk shared the same relaxed, positive disposition. With this setting, it's hard not to slip into beach-holiday mode. It was like Cairns was compelling my spirit to smile back at the sun and my soul to warm up from just being there.

I get into the little white Toyota Corolla hatchback with my coffee and felt cliche as I winded down the windows to soak up as much warmth as possible. The drive to Port Douglas was 1 hour, according the GPS on my phone. I feel excited for the drive, as my friend Ann who I was meeting in Port Douglas warned me that the roads were windy. After countless roundabouts, I saw the sign "Historic Scenic Drive" and I prepared myself for amazing views. It was really beautiful, but I realised my expectations were too high as I had pictured the scenic Great Ocean Road drive which I'd recently visited. Having said that, the views seemed to be better heading south, so something to look forward for when we head back to Cairns. There are beautiful beach views with gorgeous tree-lined sections of road, it's so calming that before I knew it, the Google lady was telling me to turn into Port Douglas.

The main road from Captain Cook Highway leading into Port Douglas is lined with resorts. Resorts are not the most appealing types of places to me, so I was relieved when I arrived at the Beach Terraces Holiday Apartments on a small quiet street. I found Ann enjoying the sun by the pool and we both squealed at how amazing it was to be in sunshine and warm weather. I immediately got changed and we walked to check out the beach nearby – 4 mile beach. It was gorgeous, but super windy, so we decided to go back to pool.

After a couple of hours soaking up the sun, we walked to the main street, Macrossan St, to grab some lunch. I realized what a great location our accommodation in, being very close to both the beach and the main street. Macrossan St is a cute little street, similar to what you'd find in most beach holiday towns - restaurants (all fully open air with outdoor seating - sign of good weather!), stores selling beach gear, clothing stores, little souvenir shops, massage spas, and tour companies. We were travelling during the shoulder season, so it was nice to be walking down a quiet, almost deserted street, feeling like we had it all to ourselves. Though I could imagine it bustling with tourists during peak season. We stopped at a cafe called Fresq, and I had a summery prawn and mango salad. The mango was so sweet and the prawns succulent. After we settled the bill, the waiter beamed "Have an AMAZING day!". I was definitely in a holiday town!

Warm water at 4 mile beach

We spent the rest of the afternoon sunbaking by the pool, reading, chatting and dipping in the pool. By dinner time, I felt completely relaxed and it felt like I'd been on holiday for days, rather than just a few hours. We returned to the Macrossan St for dinner, feeling indecisive about which restaurant to pick, even though they were all pretty much of a muchness. We stumbled upon Salsa's, which was busy so we drank at the bar while we waited for a table. There were signed plates covering the roof, and we were told that one is left by each famous person who dines at Salsa's, the most famous being Bill Clinton. Easily impressed, I felt we had stumbled across a good restaurant! The wait ended up only being 10 mins, and the food came pretty quickly. I had barramundi and Ann had kangaroo, both very yummy. We were home by 9, and I was very content to get into my pyjamas and watch TV.

After a ten hour sleep, I felt re-energized enough to go for a run. It was a sunny morning, not too hot, but still pretty humid. The sand on 4 mile beach was really compact, so it felt like running on gravel rather than on sand. It was another windy day, but still with clear blue skies, with the mountains in view. So beautiful.

Ann had done the reef before I'd arrived, and I'd visited it on another trip to Cairns, so we had the luxury to do more of the same from the first day - sunbaking by the pool, reading, chatting and dipping in the pool. After 3 or so hours of being in holiday mode, I felt restless so went out to get ice cream and for a walk along the beach again. Although it was windy, it was still very warm and pleasant enough to sit and read. There was a man making sandcastles, stepping back now and then to admire his work – I loved watching how much fun he was having and how much he was enjoying the simple pleasures in life – one of those little moments that makes me appreciate the world we live in.

4 mile beach

Posted by always_explore 21:46 Archived in Australia Tagged beach queensland port_douglas Comments (0)

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