Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day 6 Australia - Cairns

Friday 27th February, 2015 - (CKB) Kuranda Classic Tour with Train Skyrail and Rainforestation

Transfer Type: Seat in Coach
Duration: 10.17 hour(s)
Pick up: 7:20am Pacific International Hotel Cairns
Drop off: 5:30pm Pacific International Hotel Cairns

We strolled to Pie Face for breakfast. Pie Face is an Australian franchise open 7/24 specializing in pastries and pies.

This was probably the best tour in Australia so far. Well organized and plenty of alone time away from the madding crowd.

The Classic Kuranda Experience includes the main attractions of Kuranda, but gives you more
free time to explore Kuranda. You will travel to Kuranda by scenic railway and then spend some
free time in the village. Wander through the many shops and local markets, which offer a full
range of local handicrafts, souvenirs, and gifts.

It is hot as we wait for the train. We are assigned to car 10 but most people don't speak English so John and I head there to wait.

The cars are brightly painted with paintings by Aboriginal artist George Riley.depicting Buda-dji, the carpet snake from the Aboriginal Dreamtime song. 

We score a seat for two at the front of the car.

It was 1882 and the miners of Herberton were on the brink of total starvation, unable to get supplies due to flooding. A route to civilisation was desperately needed and adventure bushman Christie Palmerston was charged with finding a starting point for a railway.

The Premier Sir Samuel Griffiths turned the first sod for the line which was to be built in three stages. Dense jungle and cliffs with sheer drops of up to 327 metres and a slope as steep as 45 degrees were literal death traps for workers. Somehow, without modern equipment but simply fortitude, dynamite and bare hands the team eventually finished the job.

After removing 2.3 million metres of earthworks, creating 15 tunnels, 93 curves, dozens of bridges and 75 kilometres of track, a banquet high up on the bridge with General Sir Henry Wiley Norman, Governor of Queensland marked the completion of Stoney Creek Bridge. Shortly after in June of 1891 the line was open for everyone to enjoy.
This is truly an amazing feat by men who were desperate for work and even had to supply their own tools.

We make a stop at the Falls.

We detrain in Kuranda and spend an hour strolling around where I bought a boomerang. It is a lovely touristy town with lots of arts and crafts.

You will then be transferred to Rainforestation Nature Park, where you will enjoy a delicious
Australian BBQ lunch,

Lunch was good, our tour group had tables on the balcony, far nicer than the ones inside that looked like a bad cafeteria.

After lunch we wandered to our next activity checking out the fruit trees.

Guided tour of the rainforest on board an amphibious Army Duck.

 We board an amphibious World War II Army Duck (officially spelt DUKW). Rainforestation has 12 of these historical vehicles, which hold up to 30 passengers and have 6 wheel drive, propeller and rudder.

The Stinging Tree is definitely one plant to be avoided in the rainforest.
Whilst it has attractive heart-shaped leaves and juicy-looking purple fruits, the Stinging Tree is covered in hollow silica-tipped hairs which if brushed against, can cause extreme pain lasting several months.There is no cure, the most a doctor will suggest is waxing!

This could slice your finger off.

Water dragon.

The Pamagirri Aboriginal Dance performance, followed by the Dreamtime Walk.

Only males do this dance and they selected volunteers.

You will learn how to throw a boomerang, see a spear-throwing demonstrations, and learn about aboriginal culture.

A guided tour of the Koala and Wildlife Park will commence at the Cultural Centre.

This is a much nicer park than Featherdale in Sydney. We have a guide who explains about the animals and again we are the only people who understand English.

Finally a dingo!

Your coach will then transfer you to Kuranda Skyrail Terminal for the 7.5 kilometre Skyrail journey down the mountain.

Your coach will then return you to your accommodation.

Back at our hotel around 6 PM we pack for our 9 AM pick up in the morning then head out for dinner. We are getting good at living out of a suitcase!!

We decide on Italian and it is packed, Friday night and lots of girls out for a night on the town.

Lamb chops.

1 comment:

  1. The waterfalls are amazing- and what a treat to be in the company of a kangaroo!


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