Friday, October 4, 2013


Today we pretty much had a quiet day back at the Caravan Park.  Initially we had thought we might do a day trip to Green Island, which I am sure would have been really lovely, but we were feeling pretty exhausted,  we really hadn't stopped since we left Rocky 9 days earlier.  As much as we would have loved to go to Green Island, and if we go back to Cairns again, we will do it next time, we have snorkeled on the the Great Barrier Reef before, and we have been to numerous islands off the coast of Queensland, so if we had to miss out on seeing something, than this was probably going to be it.

We actually had a good sleep in this morning, and I spent the morning catching up on the washing, and tidying the van.  Also edited quite a few photos.  Steve had bought school work away with him, so he spent the morning marking.  We had planned to head off after lunch to check out the Crystal Cascades, as we had passed the turn off to these each time we had driven into town. 

Just as we were getting ready to go see them, we got a knock on the door to the van.  My friend Faye who I work with back in Rocky, just happened to be staying in the same van park as us ( all coincidental I might add) and as her husband had wanted to come home and have a nanna nap, she decided to pop down and have a cuppa with us.  It was lovely to see her, and we enjoyed catching up time.  Fay has taken leave for the rest of this year and all of next year to go traveling,  so I am glad we got to spend this time together.  Fortunately our men folk get on well too. 

By the time she left it was after 4pm, so we packed up them and headed out to investigate these crystal cascades.  it was probably a 15-20 minute drive from us. 
On entering the park we discovered that it was quite a long uphill walk...

Crystal Cascades
And by now it was getting onto 5.30pm, so we really didn't have many daylight hours left...
 Mostly the path was a nice bitumen track
The track to Crystal Cascades
 It is hard to believe that this little oasis is tucked neatly into Cairns
The creek at Crystal Cascades
 It is kind of like a gorge with solid cliff faces of rock on one side. 
Solid rock walls
Babbling creek
 Crystal Cascades is a series of little waterfalls
One of the Cascades
 Enjoying the views from the top
Great view from the top of the stairs
 There are lots of big boulders everywhere in North Queensland.  Lots of tropical rainforests, right in town. 

 Another set of the cascades

More cascades
Up on the top bank
 I stayed up on the top bank,  wasn't too sure about rock jumping,  Steve enjoyed getting down into the creek.  Mind you he probably got better shots down there. 

Crystal Cascades

Crystal Cascades
 Along the walk, there were lots of little waterfalls flowing out of the rock walls.  So pretty.  There is something quite soothing in the sound of running water. 
Next to one of the many little waterfalls. 

Water cascading down through all the rocks
Steve checking out some of the big boulders
 When we were up at the Butterfly Sanctuary at Kuranda,  the guide showed us a couple of special trees.  One of them had a very iridescent yellow colour sap, which the butterflies really like.  He also pointed out to us that it was a very good antiseptic.  As we were walking along, Steve was checking all of these leaves ( that looked similar to the one we saw) to see if he could find the tree. 
Looking for the leaves with the yellow sap
 There were some pretty impressive boulders there, 
Just goes to show you how tall they really are. 
 We had also been hearing about the Stinging tree in lots of places we visited in North Queensland,  this is the first place we had come across where they had a sign warning us about it.  We figured that there must be some of these trees at the Cascades.  Steve was looking for them, but unfortunately he didn't find them,  (well maybe that it was fortunate that he didn't)
 One of the other things, that we noticed, where the huge ferns up in North Queensland,  This fern plant was enormous.  this picture does not do it justice.  It would have been double the height of Steve just to give you some idea of the grand size that things grow to in the tropics. 

Extra Large ferns. 
 I was also joking with Steve that the seasons are all reversed in Queensland, with leaves changing colour in Spring here and not in Autumn.    This tree had mostly green leaves, but on several branches it threw these bight red leaves as well. 
Autumn in Spring in Far North Queensland.
 We didn't quite make it to the end of the falls, as it was starting to get dark, and we really didn't want to walk back in the dark especially since we didn't know our way.  Also Fay and Chris were coming back to have a few drinks with us after dinner, so we knew we needed to get home petty quickly if we wanted to have dinner cooked, eaten and cleared away before they came. 
Even on our walk back, Steve kept checking all the leaves to see if they could find that special plant.  We had hoped to get back there if time permitted to finish the walk to the start of the Cascades. It wasn't to be this trip.  Maybe next time. 
Steve checking out all the leaves
is it this one???? Don't think so. 
We dropped into the supermarket on the way home to get some bread.  Curried Prawns were on the menu for tonight.  Also we had to pick up a nice chilled bottle of wine to enjoy when Fay and Chris joined us a little bit later.  We had a lovely relaxing evening just sitting around chatting.  That is the thing I love about camping,  it is just the chilled out relaxed atmosphere that this sort of living brings..


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