Posts Tagged ‘Museums and Galleries’

Jump on - Jump off Cairns tourist bus

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Sometimes, you see a new business and you think “It’s about time someone started that”. This is one of those times. Countless cities around the world have an established ‘jump on-jump off’ bus route which takes visitors to all the major tourist attractions; I know London does this beautifully, and Madrid does as well, just to name a couple. And now… so does Cairns!

Although Cairns can’t quite be compared to London or Madrid, and the city centre is really quite compact, some of the popular attractions are located outside of the CBD and well beyond what most people would consider ‘walking distance’. The Flecker Botanical Gardens, for example, are 4.5 kilometres from the city centre. The popular Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre is a little further. Sure there are local buses, but who can figure out the bus routes and timetables?

With Cairns Explorer, you know that the bus does a continual loop every hour, so if you disembark at the Esplanade at ten past eleven, you know it will be swinging by again at ten past twelve to take you to your next destination. The route takes in Cairns Central Shopping Centre, the Esplanade, the Cairns Wildlife Dome, the Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk, the RFDS Visitor Centre, the Flecker Botanical Gardens, and … wait for it… even Cairns’ newest and tastiest attraction, the Blue Sky Brewery which Maria mentioned in her previous blog post.

For $20, it’s a great way to orientate yourself and see the best of what Cairns has to offer without wearing yourself out. Like I said, it’s about time someone started offering this type of service!

Enjoying the summer at Yorkeys Knob, on Cairns Northern Beaches

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

This morning was another glorious summer morning here in our tropical paradise, in fact one of the hottest mornings yet, and I impressed onlookers with my ‘cat on a hot tin roof’ impression as I barefoot-skipped painfully across the scalding hot beach sand this morning. It was only 7:30am but already the sand was hot enough to peel layers of skin off delicate soles.

Maria ambled slowly and casually some distance behind me (barefoot as well) so as to prove her superior pain threshold and to disassociate herself from the performing clown that I had become.  But the joke was on her when we reached the netted swimming enclosure. Since we were really just on our way to the shop to buy milk, Maria wasn’t wearing swimmers, so could only carry my hat and wallet while I enjoyed a refreshing dip!! She was too shy to go skinnydipping. Which reminds me, it’s a sad fact that there are no ‘officially condoned’ nude beaches in Queensland. Our research has turned up a number of beaches where nudity has been unoficially tolerated for decades, but the Queensland government seems to be against letting folks achieve an allover tan. While we were researching the subject, we came across quite a few nude-friendly or clothing-optional accommodation options around the region. If you’re interested, please check out our new NUDIST AND NATURISTSpage.

Maria enjoying an early morning swim at Yorkey's Knob, on the Cairns Beaches Steve doing a poor James Bond impression at Yorkeys Knob, on the Cairns Northern Beaches

Thus, the photo of Maria above was actually taken yesterday morning, and clearly shows the netted swimming enclosure that provides safe swimming during the summer STINGER SEASON. In fact, if you look behind Maria, you will see the rugged hill that put the ‘knob’ in YORKEYS KNOB.

There was a story in the paper recently that I wanted to share with you. On the 30th of January last year, in Montivideo, Uraguay, miners uncovered what turned out to be the largest Amethyst Geode in the world. It was found in an amethyst tap that was 130 million years old. The geode itself, when stood upright, is 3.26 metres high, and weighs three tonnes!!

But what has that got to do with Tropical North Queensland, you ask? Well, guess where that monster geode ended up? Just 90 minutes drive from Cairns, in ATHERTON. That’s right. Our friend René (not RENEE, as I had been writing) snapped up the three tonne giant, and had it shipped to Queensland to become the latest (and greatest?) addition to his already impressive collection, known as Crystal Caves.

Well, I’ve got loads of work to do, and I can’t sit around all day waffling on about geodes and trying to make you jealous because we live in such a paradise, so I will leave you with this nice photo of our neighbourhood. Ah….

A peaceful backstreet on Yorkeys Knob beach, just north of Cairns