Lucy and Kirsty’s 2nd Adventure- Tropical North Queensland

This adventure, like Tongariro, was more of an idea that I have just rolled with it and brought Kirsty along for the ride. We had talked about maybe going to Tasmania but I thought that this was my only chance whilst in Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef, so we booked flights and signed up to a website called HelpX where you can work in exchange for accommodation and food, but more on that in the next exciting installment (once I’ve actually done some work)

Plan 1 week-ish driving from Townsville up North on the inland road to Cooktown then down south along the coast, aproximately 2300km.

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Our wheels for the week- Heidi the Go-kart. On this road we had to be careful because …

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Cows will eat your car…. not sure our insurance covers this.

This is in Outback North Queensland we stopped for lunch by the side of the road and guessed how many cards would pass- Kirsty said 7, I said 5 we were both wrong 1 in 30 minutes, little bit different from the UK roads.

I decided I wanted to do Tongariro, the mountain climb in New Zealand because of the photo in the guidebook, the same logic was used on this trip “lets go to Atherton Tablelands” which is what we did.

Unfortunately this meant we didn’t have a hostel to go to so we tried a Hotel Motel, no idea how this differs from a Motel but it was pretty nasty. Dead bugs on the bed and in the bathroom, a poo like thing hanging off the curtain and rather interesting stains and dirt on the carpet. “I gave it a really good hoover yesterday” the receptionist said, my arse, I thought.It wasn’t a poo hanging from the curtain, thank god, but a hornet’s nest, brilliant. “Oh he’s probably flown away” she said, end of discussion. Well that’s not very satisfactory customer service.

Anyway we got up very early to creep away from the Hotel Motel and we drove to Millstream Falls, the photo in the guidebook, think there might have been a little bit of Photoshop done on their picture, but still it was pretty.

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We had a great day driving around spotting some of the wildlife which crossed our path

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I like how he has harpooned himself a hat

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I had to swerved to miss this guy as he stretched across the whole lane of the road, we revered to get this close up.

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Little parrot just minding his own business not realising how striking he looks.

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Two blue dragonflies, no idea what they are doing

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Just sunbathing on the road, didn’t even slightly move as we did a U turn next to him.

We also followed a really good scenic waterfall drive recommended by the Tourist Information in Ravenshoe.

At the end of the day our plan was to drive to Cape Tribulation on the inland road out to coast so we drove and drove and drove until we saw a sign and turned off but this lead us to a dirt track and not something we wanted to drive down in a hire car, that wasn’t a 4×4. We carried on the main road and ended up in Cooktown at dark. Pretty much stuck almost 4 hours away from the nearest town. We asked in 2 petrol stations for directions, no-one knew the only man who helped us was drunk. He waved in the direction of Pam’s Hostel and thankfully there was space for us.

Again another early start and a disagreement with the manager of the hostel, or he was extremely rude, not having much luck. So basically we had to turn round and drive 4 hours back to Cape Tribulation on the coast road.

We did manage a stop at the Cooktown Lookout- Grassy Hill to see where Captain Cook tried to navigate through the Coral Sea

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apparently at low tide in the afternoon you can actually see the reef!

Cape Tribulation was really beautiful- it’s where the rain forest meets the ocean.

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but

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Crocodiles swim in the ocean and rivers so it’s not advised to swim, paddle or get remotely wet.

Another delight offered on the Cape is ice cream made from the wild and wonderful berries that grown in Tropical North Queensland, unfortunatley, they didn’t take credit card payments, gutted… scraping around me manged to club together $2.50 to which the lady laughed and offered us a scoop. I scrabbled around further after the first mouthful because it was so delicious and found $5.95 it was $6 for 4 flavours, cheapest ice cream in Australia, even cheaper than a McFlurry (not quite but they are $4.45!! Shocked and appalled) she let us off with 5 cent and we enjoyed the exotic flavours very much.

Next stop Port Douglas where we stayed in a lovely hostel- Port O’Call. we stayed 3 nights and enjoyed each one!

My aunt and uncle, Pru and Chris, mentioned that they had taken a cruise along the Daintree River where they saw crocodile, we thought we’d give this a go too. We met Lizzie a big bruiser of a croc, who looked very smug with her fully tummy.

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She is not smiling because she thinks we look tastey just 2m away on our little flimsy boat.

After this river adventure we thought it would be a good idea to go snorkeling and see some more aquatic life, this time in the Coral Sea at The Great Barrier Reef. One last adventure on this road trip of Tropical North Queensland.

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My hat of it’s own accord developed a nautical streak.

All stinger suited up to protect us from killer Jellyfish- Australia is full of these wonderful things

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(I’m in green flippers and Kirsty is in blue) we jumped into the ocean and we were amazed by the beautiful garden of colours, fish, creatures and shapes that lay before us.

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Thank goodness we wore the stinger suits!

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Ok so this photo doesn’t exactly follow the description of beautiful, wonderful things under the ocean.

So here is some beautiful coral and maybe a few fish that sneak into the photos

Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef 199 Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef 178 Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef 090 Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef 342 Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef 236 Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef 047

I just think it’s amazing that all this beauty lurks in the ocean mixed with all the deadly creatures and down right scary ones.

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