This site last updated on  25-Oct-2003
First stop on the trip up to Cairns was at the Glass House Mountains, where I got this great view towards the coast. To reach this lookout on Mt. Beerburrum, I had to climb a very steep path. This picture was taken on the level, to give you and idea of the steepness. The mountains just seem to stick out of the ground, there are several of them to give you some idea.
I then traveled on to Hervey Bay to watch Humpback Whales. We were very lucky, and saw 3 pods. Two of the pods really performed for us. We saw the Fluke of the mother whale, who, apparently fed the calf by standing on her head! The escort lay on his/her back, flapping the pectoral fin, several times. As we left for a second pod, the escort whale waved goodbye! The second pod came really close to the boat, and got this wonderful view. I used a company called Whalesong, and I can highly recommend them. Click on the link for their web site. The owner of the company is also the skipper of the boat, so you get a very personal service. The whale season runs from May to mid October.
I left Hervey Bay to head for Mackay. On the way, I drove through miles and miles of bush, with lots of Eucalyptus groves and forests. Occasionally, would pass through sugar can fields, until I got near to Mackay, when it was all fields of Sugar cane. I stopped for lunch at this deserted beach, where you could see right out into the Coral Sea, which I last saw in Fiji.
I then headed for Airlie Beach, from where I went on a trip to Hamilton Island, and Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. Named by Captain Cook, since he discovered it on Whitsunday, 1730. Whitehaven beach is the most beautiful white sandy beach you could imagine, it truly was like a paradise island. they used a little 'people ferry' to transport us to and from the boat.

The journey to Cairns to me through the first area of green for over 2000 km's! The reason for coming this far north was to swim in the Great Barrier Reef. We sailed out in a glassy calm, and the first night had a gorgeous sunset. I was unable to dive, but there is great snorkeling. I saw many varieties of fish, including Parrot Fish, and this beautiful specimen. Sorry, I could not remember the names. Also, the corals were stunning. I saw Table Corals, Spiky Corals, Folded Corals. There were many colours, including purple, blue, yellow, and green, and all shades between. There were also Anemones, soft corals and Clams, including Giant Clams. The reefs were really beautiful, and you could see right across the flat top, and dive right down the reef cliff face. I sailed with the Santa Maria. The professional crew were superb, and I recommend the company to anyone wishing to dive the Great Barrier Reef with style. You can click here to access their web site. Everyone aboard had fun, and she is a great boat.

I was unable to book a wildlife tour, so went to a wildlife sanctuary instead, and saw and stroked a Koala called Sydney! I also saw a native stork, and this Mum and Dad stork were the first to produce a young bird in captivity. I also saw the endangered Cassowary, with an evil glint in her eye! Afterwards, I went to Port Douglas, where they have a lovely sandy beach, and I saw a Poinciana in full bloom. The journey back took me alongside Ellis Beach.
My final excursion for this trip was up into the Rain forest on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. You start at Freshwater, then travel up this steep winding track, over trestle bridges. Passed Glacier rock, and waterfalls, which are a little dry at the moment! You could get really good views over to Cairns. We stopped to look at the Baron Falls, which were again relatively dry. Kuranga is a pretty little town. After lunch, I headed back, over the top of the rain forest canopy, but was able to stop and walk through dense rain forest, where the trees are enormous! We finally went over the top of the mountain to be presented with the wonderful view of the plains, and the Ocean. The final part of the trip was to the Tjakupai Cultural centre, where the Tjakupai Aborigines, showed how to play a Didgeridoo, and gave us a talk on bush food. We were finally given a display of Tjakupai dance.