Rab & Lesley's Big Trip

Days 53 to 62 - Queensland, Australia

Day 53 - 22nd January 2016
Trinity Beach

HELLO Australia as we fly into Brisbane

Brisbane for now was a 2 hour stopover to catch a connecting flight to Cairns where we arrived after midnight
I can hear the surf from our balcony but can't see it yet. Off to bed now (its 3 in the morning)

The Australian trek gets off to a very slow start with 32 degrees and a great beach just yards from our balcony

looking north

looking south

looking worried

This is the lounge/diner in our apartment
I only include this to show how amazing the auto HDR is in my phone camera
Bright tropical sun outside, no lights inside and white tiled floor!!

Day 54 - 23rd January 2016
Agincourt Ribbon Reef

Day trip to the Agincourt Ribbon Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef. Didn't take the DSLR as we intended to go snorkeling
View as we left harbour at Port Douglas

The boat took us to a large pontoon moored close to the reef - others were already in the water

Sadly my efforts at underwater photography were a major failure
This was taken from the pontoon and these fish were 4 foot long and came right up to us in the water

The Pontoon as we left

As well as snorkel we also did a 'Helmet dive'. You can see Mrs D is enjoying herself and I am cursing my little Lumix that refused to take pictures underwater The 'bag' kept it dry but the pressure seemed to keep the menu button fixed down so nothing worked!

Day 55 - 24th January 2016

Full day trip to  the Rainforest area around Kuranda
We took the Scenic Railway to Kuranda

with some good views as we rose into the forest

Via Barron Falls

At Kuranda we visited a Butterfly sanctuary and Birdworld (I'll add links later)
We returned via the Sky Rail Gondolas that carry you down over the rainforest canopy

A stop along the way gave a good view

And finally the coast as we reach the end of our descent

Day 56 - 25th January 2016
Mission Beach

Back in a camper van and camped at Mission Beach about 100 miles south of Cairns
Mission beach where we are camped

right by the beach...

Day 57 - 26th January 2016

This morning at Mission Beach was amazing. A tropical storm woke us at 6am. No wind but heavy rain with the most frequent lightning strikes I've ever seen along with the loudest thunder ever. The forecast was for rain all day but they got it wrong again.
First stop at Cardwell. We are looking in  the right places but not seen any crocs yet...

Second stop on the Bruce Highway looking out to Hinchinbrook Island

At Townsville we visited the HQ Reef Aquarium - more on this later'

On the camp site this chap and his friends were making a racket in the tree next to the van as I was cooking dinner on the Barbi

you taking my picture?

Day 58 - 27th January 2016
Billabong Sanctuary

On the way from Townsville to Airlie Beach we stopped off at the Billabong Sanctuary in Nome
Its a rescue and educational centre for Australian Wildlife
Still might see them in the wild but this will have to do for now

One bemused Koala

Skippy on the lookout (for crisps - there were a number of them roaming around the park begging for food)

A Wombat

There were dozens of these around the park

Bigger crocs


And on one of the croc ponds, a nice dragonfly

Day 59 - 28th January 2016
Airlie Beach

We went snorkeling again this time on a sandbar in the Whitsunday Islands and got there by tall ship
Only 3 crew so the paying passengers had to help raise sail (0nly 12 passengers but it can take 40)

My last attempt at underwater photography was not a success so this time I set the Lumix for video. I have 3 15 minute videos which are very green, show a lot of coral with a hint of colours other than green, a few fish and a lot of sky, flippers and bubbles as I tried to clear my mask. So failed again!
But I did see lots of fish and coral even if I didn't get it on film

Worse still, I saw an Osprey dive, catch and then sit in a tree happily munching his catch - camera in underwater pouch and no capacity left on a 32Mb card

Day 60 - 29th January 2016
On the road

Before leaving the Camp site at Airlie Beach we fed the parrots
Rainbow Lorikeets - there were a lot of them
Two scouts about to be joined by a third

Grubs up

We then set out on the next leg of the drive to Yeppoon near Rockhampton
300 miles of not very much at all (we had been warned)

Stopped for lunch at Clairview - made our own, no cafe (or much else)

Then more miles of not much

Now dark - early night - not yet decided where or what we do tomorrow

Day 61 - 30th January 2016
On the road - again

We had intended to drive to Bundaberg where they make Rum from sugar cane (fields of which was just about all we saw on the drive) and where they also make the famous Bundaberg Ginger Beer.  Got there, decided there was not much for us so we drove on to Hervey Bay and got there shortly before dark

Break stop - There was a Kookabura type bird there but by the time I got the 300mm on it had gone

Hervey Bay where we finally ended up- just as the Thunderstorm started to move up the coast towards us

Rain on the left and lightening flashes on the right (not captured)

Not a lot for oldies here - My daughter advised against a day trip to Fraser Island which she said was full of drunken back packers so we are off to Rainbow Beach in the morning - Thunderstorms permitting

Day 62 - 31st January 2016
Rainbow Beach

Started off with a very WET drive.. Passenger view

We arrive at Rainbow Beach ... not looking hopeful

But it brightened up enough for a walk - They like their old cars here too - this one belonged to the girl in the background

I liked this - tiny spider, web and raindrop

Rainbow Beach

it gets its name from the multi coloured sand cliffs in the distance

Zoom view - would have walked round but the storm clouds were looming again

Cocky little devil looking for his supper

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