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Bowen to Cairns

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Yes, slowly our second vacation of a lifetime drew to an inevitable end. Therefore we at last decided to take it ab bit more slowly and to revisit some of our favourite spots. We started by visiting our friends on Magnetic Island. Since in Townsville the sun shines on an average of 330 days a year, we spent the majority of the next days decorativly layed out around the pool. The sun bathing was occasionally broken by excursions to a number of bays. From here we once more visited the Great Barrier Reef do do some snorkelling. After a one and a half hour trip we reached Kelso Reef, which is roughly located 80 Kilometers north of Townsville. Here we found stunning colours and a very divers underwater world. So far the absolut best reef trip we ever did. It was very sad to have to say goodbye to our dear friends again as we travelled on towards Cairns.

A number of waterfalls are situated along the Bruce Highway. We visited a number of these waterfalls that usually are nestled into the slopes of the Great Dividing Range only a few kilometers west of the highway. As another Highlight we visited once more Paronella Park. The park is located some kilometers to the southwest of Innisfail. Jose Paronella, a spanish immigrant, realised the dream of his life. He erected his dreamcastle on a block of land just below a waterfall on the banks of Mena Creek.. He extended his castle with a picnic place and a Tea Room next to which he had built as well a fountain and a tennis court. Even before 1940 he had already built a little hydro powerplant . The rest of North Queensland was electrified only more then 10 years later. Now with electric power available, he built a film projector in the main hall of the castle and screened movies. Through the surrounding rainforest he built a number of secluded pathways, tunnels and even small waterfalls. This park really has a very special charme. But its beautiful location on Mena Creek had as well a number of drawbacks. Practically every year in the wet season the park was flooded more or less badly and had to be cleaned and rebuilt. Sadly Jose died not even 50 years of age. His family kept running the castle for a number of years after his death. After a fire devastated the main hall and the new Bruce Highway was built further to the east, the visitor numbers dwindeld and the park was closed. At the end of the nineties, the park was restored to a basic state and opened for visitors again. In its first year already 8'000 visitors visited the park. In the year 2001 they again had 180'000 visitors.

After a short visit to Mission Beach we then reached Cairns. Here we visited some more friends and as well slowly started to clean our famed cruiser out and sorted through the load of stuff we had in the car. At long last we decided to spend some days in Port Douglas. The first morning we went for the "Breakfast with the Birds" to the Rainforest Habitat. One gets a very comprehensive champagne breakfast while one is surrounded by the most iridescent tropical birds that are trying to get their fair share from your plates. For a farewell trip to the Great Barrier Reef, it was recommended that we should book a trip with Wavelength. They conduct personalized tours with no more than 28 people only for snorkelling. We were well advised. There is only very little industry and limited agricultural enterprises around Port Douglas. Therefore the water around Port Douglas is less poluted which makes for a better visibility. The colours and the diversity of fish surpased the already gorgeous cruise to Kelso Reef again. An absolutely unforgettable expirience at the end of our hollidays. Sadly it was then time to return our beloved Cruiser in Cairns and to start our seemingly almost endless Way into the cold. The memories of this beautiful trip will have to hrlp us through the every day life for a long time to come.


On the ferry to Magnetic Island: We would probably need to clean up a bit Magnetic Island: Rocky Bay Magnetic Island: Rocky Bay Magnetic Island: Rocky Bay Magnetic Island: The Mall in PicNic Bay
Magnetic Island: The Boat Jetty at PicNic Bay Magnetic Island: Stinger enclosures for protection against poisenous jellyfish Magnetic Island: Horseshoe Bay Kelso Reef: The pontoon of Pure Pleasure Cruises Kelso Reef: Underwater life as seen from the underwater viewing platform
Kelso Reef: Parrotfish nibbling on the corals Kelso Reef: Several yellow reef fish Kelso Reef: Giant clam Kelso Reef: A swiss in a a fascinating environment Kelso Reef: Humpback parrotfish. This one around 1m long
Kelso Reef: Sea cucumber Magnetic Island: The new ferry on the way to bring us back to the mainland Jourama Falls: Tree Ferns Jourama Falls: These rockpools promise a refreshing bath on the way back Jourama Fall: The Water drops in several steps for more the 200 meters
Jourama Falls: One really patient fly Lumholtz NP: Wallaman Falls, Australias longest single drop waterfall with 305m in height Lumholtz NP: The daily rainbow Paronella Park: The castle Paronella Park: The way up into the castle tower
Paronella Park: Mena Creek Falls from the PicNic Area Paronella Park: The lower refreshment rooms and the fountain Paronella Park: The lower refreshment rooms and the fountain Paronella Park: Lovers Lane with the entry to the tunnel of love Paronella Park: Teresa Falls
Paronella Park: The walking paths after 10 minutes of a tropical rain shower Mena Creek: Typical North Queensland farmhouse Mena Creek: Banana plantation Mission Beach: The famous beach Mission Beach: Occasionally these rare birds can be seen here at dawn or dusk
Josephine Falls Rainforest scenery at the Boulders Cairns: Amorphophallus Titanunm. Blossoms every three years and can reach a height of 2.5m Port Douglas: A Pied Heron in the Rainforest Habitat Port Douglas: Well camouflaged Tawny Frogmouth
Port Douglas: Male Black Necked Storck (Jabiru) Port Douglas: Kookaburra Port Douglas: Female Jabiru. Recognizable through the yellow eyes Port Douglas: White Bellied Wood Swallow Wangetti Beach as seen from Rex Lookout
Port Douglas: View towards the sea Port Douglas: On the way to the reef with Wavelength Cruises Wavelegth Cruise: Third Sister on Tongue Reef Wavelength Cruises: Killer, our welcoming commitee Wavelength Cruises: Killer, a Napoleon killer Wrasse, from underwater. He is about 1m long and can grow over 2 meters
Wavelength Cruises: Eyes in the back and upfront Wavelength Cruises: brain corals Wavelength Cruises: Vroni viewing his fascinating underwater world Wavelength Cruises: Corals in all colours Wavelength Cruises: Red parrotfish
Wavelength Cruises: Blue parrotfish Wavelength Cruises: Corals in all colours Wavelength Cruises: Even fish like stripes Wavelength Cruises: Our boat, a converted crayfish fishing vessel
Cairns: The new city plaza, which was remodeled since the begin of our trip On the way home over Brisbane Below the indian ocean on the way to Singapore
On the ferry to Magnetic Island: We would probably need to clean up a bit
Magnetic Island: Rocky Bay
Magnetic Island: Rocky Bay
Magnetic Island: Rocky Bay
Magnetic Island: The Mall in PicNic Bay
Magnetic Island: The Boat Jetty at PicNic Bay
Magnetic Island: Stinger enclosures for protection against poisenous jellyfish
Magnetic Island: Horseshoe Bay
Kelso Reef: The pontoon of Pure Pleasure Cruises
Kelso Reef: Underwater life as seen from the underwater viewing platform
Kelso Reef: Parrotfish nibbling on the corals
Kelso Reef: Several yellow reef fish
Kelso Reef: Giant clam
Kelso Reef: A swiss in a a fascinating environment
Kelso Reef: Humpback parrotfish. This one around 1m long
Kelso Reef: Sea cucumber
Magnetic Island: The new ferry on the way to bring us back to the mainland
Jourama Falls: Tree Ferns
Jourama Falls: These rockpools promise a refreshing bath on the way back
Jourama Fall: The Water drops in several steps for more the 200 meters
Jourama Falls: One really patient fly
Lumholtz NP: Wallaman Falls, Australias longest single drop waterfall with 305m in height
Lumholtz NP: The daily rainbow
Paronella Park: The castle
Paronella Park: The way up into the castle tower
Paronella Park: Mena Creek Falls from the PicNic Area
Paronella Park: The lower refreshment rooms and the fountain
Paronella Park: The lower refreshment rooms and the fountain
Paronella Park: Lovers Lane with the entry to the tunnel of love
Paronella Park: Teresa Falls
Paronella Park: The walking paths after 10 minutes of a tropical rain shower
Mena Creek: Typical North Queensland farmhouse
Mena Creek: Banana plantation
Mission Beach: The famous beach
Mission Beach: Occasionally these rare birds can be seen here at dawn or dusk
Josephine Falls
Rainforest scenery at the Boulders
Cairns: Amorphophallus Titanunm. Blossoms every three years and can reach a height of 2.5m
Port Douglas: A Pied Heron in the Rainforest Habitat
Port Douglas: Well camouflaged Tawny Frogmouth
Port Douglas: Male Black Necked Storck (Jabiru)
Port Douglas: Kookaburra
Port Douglas: Female Jabiru. Recognizable through the yellow eyes
Port Douglas: White Bellied Wood Swallow
Wangetti Beach as seen from Rex Lookout
Port Douglas: View towards the sea
Port Douglas: On the way to the reef with Wavelength Cruises
Wavelegth Cruise: Third Sister on Tongue Reef
Wavelength Cruises: Killer, our welcoming commitee
Wavelength Cruises: Killer, a Napoleon killer Wrasse, from underwater. He is about 1m long and can grow over 2 meters
Wavelength Cruises: Eyes in the back and upfront
Wavelength Cruises: brain corals
Wavelength Cruises: Vroni viewing his fascinating underwater world
Wavelength Cruises: Corals in all colours
Wavelength Cruises: Red parrotfish
Wavelength Cruises: Mushroom Coral
Wavelength Cruises: Blue parrotfish
Wavelength Cruises: Corals in all colours
Wavelength Cruises: Even fish like stripes
Wavelength Cruises: Our boat, a converted crayfish fishing vessel
Cairns: The new city plaza, which was remodeled since the begin of our trip
On the way home over Brisbane
Below the indian ocean on the way to Singapore
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Copyright © V. & Ph Schlaeppi
Last Updated : 9th of February 2002


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