It’s just as well that we planned a rest day or two between our sightseeing trips or we would have trouble keeping up – especially in these tropical temperatures. We had a great day out at Kuranda, a lovely little village situated high in the rain forest. To get there, we joined the huge crowds at the terminal and boarded the Skyrail, which whisked us away over the tops of the trees. Gliding ever so quietly, although we did get a bit of a fright when the Skyrail stopped dead a couple of times. Luckily it soon started up again to take us on our way and took advantage of a couple of stops to get out and admire the scenery. Then we boarded the Skyrail the final time, and glided the short distance into the pretty little town of Kuranda
We took advantage of the free shuttle bus taking passengers up the steep hill, and went to see what Birdworld had to offer. Birdworld is in a large open air aviary and has both exotic species, and native birds. Birds were everywhere and the parrots in particular were getting up close and personal with the visitors, and it wasn’t too long before they decided to jump on our shoulders too. Nibble, nibble, they went, and we had been warned that they love anything shiny, such as earrings, necklaces, and they even had a go at the shiny cord around my neck holding my sunglasses. Their specialty, we were told, was chewing the buttons off men’s caps - Robin quickly removed his cap and put it out of their reach.
Many different parrots at Birdworld
I was thrilled to finally see one of the large native birds, a cassowary up close. These magnificent birds are covered in a thick “mane” of silky black hair, which doesn’t really look like feathers at all. With their striking “horn” on top, swinging wattles, strong beak and those dangerous clawed feet, they are certainly an imposing bird.
A magnificent cassowary
Lunch was next, and we enjoyed a BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato in a bread roll), plus a nice cool milkshake and iced coffee at the Frog Café. Then I heard the man at the next table order crocodile curry – why didn’t I think to give that a try? A little shopping in the large market, and then we walked down to the railway station for a ride back to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic railway.
Snapped from the carriage while going around a curve
A fleet of refurbished original red-wooden heritage carriages were coupled behind a 1720 class diesel locomotive, painted in blue and yellow. This design portrays the legend of the Buda-dgi carpet snake, said to have carved out the Barron Gorge. Our two hour journey commenced, and we travelled slowly through the rain forest, with points of interest being pointed out. The historic railway line was opened in 1891 after 1500 men armed only with hand picks, shovels, and dynamite laboured long and hard to carve a track through the mountains. They slowly created 15 tunnels, 93 curves, dozens of bridges and 75 km of track.
Aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway
Another first for us was to see a group of pelicans in the wild - these were down at the foreshore on a little spit of land. As the tide kept getting higher, and their little piece of land was slowly getting covered over, they just keep moving closer and closer to the sea wall. The pelicans were having a great time, bathing in the water, vigorously flapping their wings, and laying their large beaks sideways in the water to wash them. Others were busy preening their feathers, turning their large beaks this way and that to reach the areas that needed attention.
We sat and watched the pelicans for ages
My “ever so handy raggy denim bag” with a long shoulder strap has been invaluable. It can carry all sorts of things, from shopping, to a couple of water bottles which we really need to carry in these rather warm temperatures. It is so much warmer here in Cairns that at home, where we have much colder winters. I made this sturdy bag some years ago when we had a trip to UK, adding some tags with rings attached so that I can clip my wallet and camera case inside with “dog clips” to keep them safe. This bag has been on several overseas holidays with me, and means I don’t need to bother with a handbag as my wallet is safely attached inside the shopping bag.
Stuffed full of purchases from the markets
Some of my purchases from Kuranda in the bag. Souvenir tea towel, Aussie dried pineapple and mango – just the thing to nibble on, and a packet of coffee, grown and roasted in Australia. No doubt the dried fruit will soon get gobbled up, but we will leave the coffee sealed to take back home. Must admit I didn’t realise Australia had a coffee growing industry. Robin bought much more than me, a new tee shirt and two new caps!
A little shopping at the markets
A wonderful day out, and another thing crossed off our bucket list. Remember – you are very welcome to log on to our travel blog at www.romanyrambler.com for a fuller version of our holiday travels.