On our second day in Cairns we went for a trip up to Kuranda, up in the tropical rainforest. Conveniently enough there's a round trip you can do: up on the SkyRail and back down on the scenic railway which winds down the mountains.
Here's a view from the cable cars back over towards the ocean.
And a couple looking out over the interior from the first stopping point.
There were two stopping points on the way up to Kuranda village. Both were very contained to boardwalks, but they did allow us to run about chasing each other, and to see something of the forest flora. We did note just how very tall the trees were, but I didn't photograph any, so you'll have to believe me. Rainforests have tall trees.
This was the first cable car we went on - more followed in Sydney - and it did take Marisca a while to feel comfortable in it. Slight bumps over the towers felt like enormous tremors to her. Tom just loved it from the start. It really was a great way to get up into the forest. Quite quick, airy, and with really stunning views, especially swooping up the first hillside through the canopy and emerging to see forest stretching for miles and miles.
Kuranda village is now a tourist place. Actually, although it started with the gold prospecting and lumber industries, it's been a tourism spot for at least 50 years, with an alternative hippy thing. It was nice to wander around the markets although without buying anything more than a few postcards and some very tasty coconut ice cream. We did see rock being made and came away with a bag of vibrantly coloured sugary treats.
Following a walk along the river back to the station, we took the scenic railway back down, pulled by a locomotive painted with a snake that is the spirit of the forest, or some such. Either way, it was pretty.
It was a nice run down, but we were all very tired and on a hot day we'd have rather been outside! We did see some good rockage and waterfallage though. Definitely a good day trip.
We had a morning left before flying back to Brisbane, and so went down to the esplanade, again. Australian coast town life does seem to focus on the beachfronts, although at Cairns there was nobody on the beach (Beware: Crocodiles signs may have been something to do with it). It's a nice place to run, and we saw plenty of powerwalking too. Exercise stations with equipment, volleyball courts, water fountains every couple of hundred yards and a few public BBQs scattered around too. The water fountains were a great discovey - not really for the water, but for the impetus they gave Marisca to move and keep moving, as she loved them.
Another water park! This is part of Muddy's Playground which had half a dozen good areas with play equipment, as well as a couple of water areas and (of course) a cafe. Over the course of the holiday Tom certainly fell in love with slides and Marisca seems to be getting more and more confident with different types of climbing frame. Sitting with a cup of tea and watching them play really is the stuff of holidays.
And here's my only photo of Cairns beach. The sun came out and made for a lovely last morning.