Posts Tagged ‘Kuranda’

Minke Whales and Cassowaries

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Would you believe it if you were diving on the Great Barrier Reef and suddenly you found yourself surrounded by Minke Whales? That’s what happened to some divers off the coast of Cairns yesterday. So the whale watching season in Cairns has started just on time.

And in Kuranda, west of Cairns, three adults cassowaries and a juvenile one have been spotted, giving us all hope for this endangered species.

Meanwhile, we are working hard from our office overlooking the Coral Sea, keeping up with our Cairns Unlimited site, both in Spanish and in English, our Cairns Digital site renting underwater cameras and finalising the last steps before we launch our next enterprise, very early next month.

And our baby Nicholas is getting bigger and bigger, already four months old yesterday.

As you can see, there is no time for boredom in our lives!!!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

The baby is not here yet, so we’re still visiting lots of places in the area. And the weather has given us a break, so this week has been pretty frantic at Cairns Unlimited.

Last Sunday I took my parents to the Cairns Botanic Gardens, where we saw lots of different species of plants from all over the world. Of course, only from those nations with a climate similar to the tropical weather you can find in Cairns, otherwise, it would be impossible for them to survive. My mum is very surprised to find in Australia plants and flowers she has seen in Spain. I guess she thought that when she was coming to Australia she was leaving Planet Earth and arriving to a completely different planet.

After the Botanic Gardens we went to visit the Centenary Lakes, one of my favourite places in Cairns. The Centenary Lakes is the name given to the park where one freshwater lake and one saltwater lake coexist. It’s a beautiful place, with lots of different plants, trees and where lots of people go for the typical Aussie barbecue.

Then on Monday we visited Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, , where we learned about the traditions of the Tjapukai peole. It was very interesting. First we started with the Creation Theatre, listening to the way the world was created. Then we moved on to the Dance Theatre, where we saw a demonstration of their dances and songs. Then, it was time to try our luck throwing the spears and boomerangs. My mum wasn’t too bad with the spear and my dad did pretty well throwing the boomeran. I was crap at both of them. Here you have a couple of pics of our day:

And yesterday it was time to visit Kuranda. We had a full day planned: first, from Cairns to Kuranda on Skyrail, , then a visit to the Koala Gardens, and Bird World, and back to Cairns onboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway, .

My mum is not very impressed with heights and we thought Skyrail could be a bit challenging for her. But as soon as we got it, she was absolutely amazed by the beauty of the scenery surrounding us. If you are lucky enough to go to Kuranda on a clear day, you will be able to see the Coral Sea, the cane sugar plantations by the coast and even a couple of the islands

Skyrail has been built taking into consideration the environment and they are very proud, so they should be, of not having destroyed any part of the rainforest while building it. All the posts were situated where there were clearings, so no trees were cut down at all. Of course, to be able to take the posts to where they were going to be located, workers would have to take them through a very dense rainforest. However, they used helicopters to transport the posts. And the workers had to work one hour each day to their work place and one hour back. A whole lot of work, isn’t it? But it’s definetely worth it.

When you go on Skyrail, make sure you stop in the two stations along the way. And if you are lucky enough to catch one of the rangers and do the guided tour with them, don’t miss it. They will tell you a lot about the plants in that section of the rainforest. You will then learn why a plant is called “Wait a while”, for example.

After being dropped off in Kuranda and taking the free bus that connects both the Skyrail Terminal and the Kuranda Scenic Railway station with the town centre, we made our way to Koala Gardens. You may not know that not all the states in Australia have the same laws, and while in New South Wales you cannot hold koalas, , that’s something very popular in Queensland. Don’t worry, koalas only “work” 30 minutes so they don’t get stressed. And by the way they spend their whole day sleeping, you can see their levels of stress are pretty low.

And then it was time to visit Bird World, almost next door. It’s a small enclosure where there are lots of different species of birds flying around you. If you visit it, you will have to be carefull with your jewellery, because some of the birds are attracted to all shinning things and you could loose your earings or a necklace very easily. So without our jewellery we entered the premises and were welcomed by lots of different birds. They were absolutely fantastic and so used to humans that they’re not scared to come close to you.

And then it was just time to hang around the markets, do a bit of shopping for friends and family back in Spain and enjoy a cold drink just before we got on the Kuranda Scenic Railway to come back to Cairns.

Again, as it happened with the Skyrail, both my parents were very impressed with the train. It took us about 90 minutes to descend from Kuranda to Cairns, all the time through amazing scenery, waterfalls, rainforest, etc. While you are on the train, you will be able to hear the story of the first pioneers of the area, those who built the rail line and their sufferings. I don’t think we ever give a second thought about things such as whoever built the first railway lines in very inhospitable and remote areas. Kuranda Scenic Railway hasn’t forgotten its origins and the whole presentation you can see while on the train is really worth while and eye opening. Of course, don’t forget to still keep an eye on the scenery.

Kuranda Markets

Monday, September 15th, 2008

We keep our search in the markets of the region to find the perfect present for family and friends back in Spain. Yesterday we made our way to Kuranda, where there are dozens of stalls and souvenir shops to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

First stop was Kuranda Homemade Tropical Ice Cream, where we had a delicious ice cream. I went for the Mint Choc Chip and Steve decided to try the Rocky Road, with marshmallows, nuts and many other ingredients. We had a chat to Cliff, the owner, who was already on his second ice cream of the day, and it was only 10am!!! I saw him later sitting outside of the van, and he said it was to keep himself away from the ice creams for a while.

After the ice cream we were then ready to start our search. We’ve got a very good idea of what we want, we’re only trying to find the place where we like them most. Kuranda has four different markets, alghough there’s not a big difference between them. Some of them have a few more eateries, some of them sell mostly hippy stuff, but basically in all of them you will find those Australiana items everyone wants to take home. But the big discovery of the day was a candy shop, where a couple of people were making candy in front of a big audience. Someone had ordered personalised candy, with a message, something like ‘Steve loves Maria’ type of thing. And we saw the whole process till the end. Absolutely amazing how much hard work it implies and the results. The black and white stripes that you can see in the photo are the letters, rearranged somehow to be readable when the candy was converted into a long thin tube.

We also went for a bit of a walk down to the Barron River. It’s a beautiful area, very quiet and peaceful, surrounded by rainforest and with the river in the background. Kuranda Riverboat Cruises operates a boat up and down the river, where you can see lots of different native birds, snakes, turtles and even the ocassional freshwater crocodile. But the walk only is really worth it, away from the many tourists that pack the streets of Kuranda every day.

My darling tried to impres me by solving one of those puzzles made of metals, where two pieces are tangled and without using any force you have to separate them. After trying for a few minutes he gave up, of course making it very clear, and loud, that I had given him the most difficult of all of them.

And the picture above is one of my favourite corners of one of Kuranda markets, it always gives me the impression that you’re entering a fantasy world.