above) is located a little above parallel 17ºS,
on a flat plain between the sea and the mountains.
Despite the ocean water being very clean, the
bottom is muddy. Anyway, going North or South you
will find the most beautiful beaches surrounded by
palm trees, white sand and thick tropical forests.
Cairns has an excellent tourist infra-structure
with wonderful hotels, and they are crowded with
people from all over the world. In Cairns you can
choose to stay quiet and calm, or pump your
adrenaline in many different tourist attractions.
The Great Barrier Reef in front of Cairns,
is the area where the reef is closer to the shore;
therefore easier to visit. Also, the mountains
surrounding Cairns have many impressive beautiful
places, and tours to entertain all ages.
of these great tours
is by cable car that crosses from Cairns up to Kuranda
in the mountains. (See picture on left). The
car goes flying high above the huge and dense
tropical forest, crossing rivers and valleys where
you can observe magnificent waterfalls. It is not
cheap, but worth every cent. On the way there are
3 stations where you can stop off for a walk in
the park, and than pick it up again at the next
station. There is no extra cost to do so. Another
option: instead of doing the round trip, go by
cable car and come back by bus. We do consider
this trip as a must do while in Cairns.
in the same area, is the train that zigzags
through the valleys and canyons of the region. It
passes in front of many beautiful waterfalls and
makes a few stops for you to take photos. The
train leaves Kuranda just beside the cable car
station and does a round trip circuit also with
the option to return to Cairns by bus. One great
idea is to go by cable car, take the train, and
come back by bus. (the road is also beautiful).
Kuranda is an Aborigine Village now totally
devoted to tourism. There are many souvenirs and
local arts and crafts shops, great cafes,
restaurants and beautiful surroundings. For
adrenalin junkies, there is a radical Bungy Jump,
and for those who prefer something more heart
calming, there is a Butterfly Enclosure where you
will meet butterflies from all over the world. It
is inside a netted dome where you can walk
traveling about 40 km north by is Port Douglas.
(photo). The City is small but very inviting. It
attracts tourists from all over the world not only
for the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, but also
because it is the exit point to the Daintree
National Park and Cape Tribulation.
Daintree National Park is a unique example of
forest diversity and beauty. It is dense and
receives a large amount of rain all year round.
The rivers and canals that cross the Park, have
amazing wildlife, fish and also salt water
crocodiles. There are tours to visit the crocks in
their natural habitat. Also; the Park hosts a
large number of different species of birds such as
parrots and rosellas. If you are visiting the Park
by yourself, is advisable to use 4x4 vehicles
because the road can become impassable for normal
vehicles during heavy rain. If you wish, there are
tours to Daintree National Park from Cairns and
Port Douglas and you can overnight in the tourist
lodges near the Park.
the road starts to diminish in wideness, getting
narrower and narrower until it becomes only a
gravel road especially after Cooktown.
Cooktown will be one of the last places to get
fuel, and groceries, on your way to Cape York
(The most northern point of Australia). Cooktown
is an historic town with many preserved memorials
and monuments. A Captain Cook statue is located in
the towns' main square. This region and further
north is known to be Aboriginal land, received
back from the government after being reclaimed by
Aboriginals. One important thing to Know is
that the betumen road goes up to Cooktown. From
there North only gravel 4x4 road impassible
after heavy rain.
all you are going to get is a big Challenge taking
the road to Cape Tribulation and Cape
York. Many creeks and rivers must be crossed
and we never know if it can be done or not. Only
4x4 vehicles are able to make it and you must be
self sufficient enough to know how to fix your
car, and get it out of crazy situations. There are
no signs to indicate if you have to turn right or
left, except for an occasional mark on a tree or
rock. If you get lost, it will be difficult to
find your direction without a compass, because of
dense forest around you. It is not advisable to
leave the vehicle and tell someone when you leave
your schedule to come back. Staying in your
vehicle, gives you a better chance of being found
by helicopter. It's also not advisable to travel
there during the rainy season. (When I wrote this
text, the region was completely flooded by a
tropical cyclone). If you like adventures, this is
a challenge for you!
York - extreme North of Australia