A special weekend away
June 9, 2009, 12:05 pm
Filed under: Travel, Uncategorized, Writing life | Tags: , ,

We’ve just had the Queen’s Birthday weekend here, and the dh and I made the most of it by escaping to gorgeous Kewarra Beach in Far North Queensland. It’s called FNQ for a reason – it’s a long way north, even by Queensland standards:-)) Here’s a map to give you some idea…

FNQ map

If you click on the thumbnail, you’ll see where FNQ fits into the map of Australia. Where we live is right down in the middle of South Australia, right in the middle of all those coastal fiddly bits close to the southerly Antarctic blasts, so it’s not only a good six hour plane journey away, but also a season away. Where we’re shivering away in the depths of winter with 11C days of rain, sleet and the odd dusting of snow, tropical FNQ hovers this time of year around the 27C mark.

Just yesterday I was swimming in the sea – here’s the view from my lounger…

the view from my lounger at 12noon QBMondayAnd here’s the view above our heads (who needs an umbrella with shade like this?

beach umbrella - FNQ style

And here’s a view of the coastline looking south from a nearby lookout at Port Douglas on one of our jaunts.

Port Douglas look out view

 

 

 

You can imagine it wasn’t hard to take, especially when it was barely making it to double digit temps at home. Wouldn’t it be lovely to escape the winter chills like this every year? We could learn a lot from migratory birds:-)

But the attractions of FNQ aren’t simply limited to the beaches. Inland the terrain rises sharply to the Atherton Tableland, which makes for more pretty spectacular scenery, including some amazing waterfalls. We visited a few, but this one, at Millaa Millaa, was recommended to us and we could see why nine out of ten shampoo commercials lust after this site…

Millaa Millaa falls millaa millaa falls 3It’s gorgeous, isn’t it! The perfect torrent of water cascading into a palm fringed lagoon. Couldn’t resist taking an enormous number of shots – lucky for you guys I’m limiting what’s going up here to only two (though I was tempted to hit you with them all:-))

 

 Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, and FNQ isn’t just about waterfalls and pretty seascapes. There’s a dark side – and no, I’m not talking vampires…

On Sunday  morning the dh and I ventured north, up towards the world heritage listed Daintree region. Here the seemingly endless sugar cane farms stop abruptly at the wide tidal river, with beef cattle grazing land taking over on the northern shores before being swallowed up by mountainous rainforest terrain again. But the Daintree River itself is ruled by the most alpha of males, the salt water crocodile. We took a Daintree River cruise to check out the local inhabitants. Now I’ve been on these tours before, the flying dolphin cruise, the whale spotting cruise, and not once have we seen a thing, so I was all set to see nothing. Not that it mattered. It was a glorious day, the sun was shining, the waters were calm and did I really want a close encounter with a salt water croc anyway? The first couple of likely spots yielded nothing but mangroves. No loss. The scenery was spectacular anyway, and like I said, I wasn’t expecting anything.

strip of bush lining DaintreeDaintree River view to northAt the left is the view on the southern side of the river. Where a narrow strip of mangroves, palms and trees meets the cane fields. Can you believe, people build their houses just beyond those trees? (and it’s not like they don’t know there might the odd croc or two around. Of course, you just need to stay out of the water.). To the right is the view north, to Mt Thornton. Beyond that lies Cape Tribulation and that’s when the roads go seriously 4X4. We (and our cute little hired convertible) were so not going there.

And then, just as I was relaxing into the cruise, we did spot some wildlife…

heronTo the left is a heron, difficult to see but designed that way to prevent the baby crocs seeing them (because baby crocs are great tucker). There was a wee tree snake close by too, all yellow belly and green topped entwined around the overhanging foliage, and some teensy weensy baby crocs sunbathing on branches – but all too small and too well camouflauged to photograph properly with my baby cybershot. And still I was happy. And then we found these guys…

small croc on bankbig fella on shore A youthful croc on the left, about 2 metres, just biding its time in the shade. Probably  wanting to keep its distance from this character a bit further on and who could blame him?- 4 metres of alpha-crocdem. Top of the heap, this guy, and no wonder he looks so relaxed.

I have more pics, of beach sunsets and moon risings, but this post is long enough as it is. Thanks for listening so long. More later.

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3 Comments so far
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Okay, so we have a slight technical hitch and the thumbnails aren’t behaving like good little thumbnails… I shall see if I can fix (no promises mind!)

Comment by Trish Morey

They seem to behaving now Trish. Gorgeous photos.

Comment by Eleni Konstantine

*sigh* we went to glorious Palm Cove last year and I loved looking at your pics as they brought back happy memories of our family holiday.

FNQ is just stunning, so I decided to have my H&h (in my current mss) spend their honeymoon there 😀

So glad you had a lovely break 🙂 I’d love to escape the cold, wintery weather for some warmth 😀

Comment by Joanne




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