We had intended to go to Cairns sometime just before Christmas, but Karen had to present a paper in Cairns on Tuesday so we decided to take our leave a bit early. We headed up to Port Douglas last Friday night straight after work and stayed there for three nights before returning to Cairns for another two nights.

While we were at Port Douglas we took a boat ride out to Low Isles. Absolutely beautiful. Saw heaps of green turtles while we were there. The tour operators, Quicksilver, were first class, and genuinely friendly. They had to deal with a whole bunch of people throwing up on the way out and on the way back. The seas were very choppy and we were in a largish sailing boat. The crew suggested that anyone who tends to get sea sick should take some preventative tablets (which they made freely available). I guess it didn’t work for some people. I don’t imagine that sea-sickness turned many people off their lunch, which was included, because it was mouthwateringly brilliant: prawns, chicken and a variety of salads.

On Sunday we saw the Daintree, Daintree River and Cape Tribulation with Billy Tea Bush Safaris. Again, it was wonderful. We spent a good part of the day cruising around in a big Landcruiser with ten others plus the driver. We saw some smallish saltwater crocodiles on our Daintree River cruise. The smallest was about 20cm long! Our boat driver, Bill Smith, was a real funny bloke, and he had eyes like a hawk. Unfortunately we didn’t spot any cassowaries in the Daintree Rainforest. I went for a swim in Emmagen Creek with some of the other people on our tour. Cape Tribulation was a very idyllic looking place, with its secluded beach and gentle waves.

Monday was spent walking around the town of Port Douglas. We walked up to the lookout for a nice view of the beach. Wouldn’t mind buying one of the houses up there on that hill! On Monday afternoon we caught the bus back to Cairns.

On Tuesday I walked Karen to the Cairns City Council building where she had to give a presentation to various government types. Then I headed off to Kuranda on the Skyrail cableway. The Skyrail was impressive in that it was a fairly long ride with two changeovers in the middle. At each changeover, you can do a five minute bushwalk through the Barron River Gorge rainforest. I had a cable car all to myself for the entire journey. Kuranda itself was pleasant, but extremely touristy. I checked out the markets and went for a couple of bushwalks through the rainforest. The train ride back to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Rail afforded some nice views of Barron River Gorge. Karen and I had dinner on the Esplanade.

We spent Wednesday wandering around Cairns. We checked out the main shopping centre. We got back home at around 8pm on Wednesday night. A nice holiday, and Karen’s presentation was very successful.