Friday, June 19, 2009

Cairns Rainforest

Today was our rainforest tour day. My only previous experience with a rainforest is the Dallas World Aquarium, so I had a lot to learn J A bus picked us up at our hotel and took us to the SkyRail terminal. SkyRail is a cableway of “gondolas” (enclosed pods) going up into and over the rainforest. The views were amazing and like nothing I’d ever seen. It was also kind of scary how high up we were on what seemed to be tiny cables. The first station to stop at, called “Red Peak” had a boardwalk through the rainforest floor for us to learn about the plants & animals. Tons of ferns, a ginormous tree, so many vines, something called “wait-a-whiles” that stick to clothing, basket ferns, etc. Also learned more about the “Cassowary” which lives here, such a cool big bird. We did the short guided tour and continued on… the next section of the skyrail continued over the forst and over the “Barron Gorge” – right after leaving the station we saw two sulfur-crested cockatoos at the top of the canopy. They were singing so loud! We got out briefly at the next station, but continued on – we would return later.

The last stop was at the village “Kuranda” – I think it used to be a real town, but now it is pretty much just a big tourist trap. That’s ok. Had a quick lunch and hopped on a bus to “Rainforest Station” – a nature center/zoo/aboriginal culture center. First we had a walk through the wilderness center to see all the animals, but it didn’t come close to comparing to the Australia Zoo. Next was an Army Duck tour! We drove around the forest floor and drove into a small lake for a look around. I was only slightly afraid that a crocodile might eat me. Next was the aboriginal part. We began by seeing 7 of their traditional dances (really fun – sometimes they would act like kangaroos), learned to throw a boomerang, saw some spear throwing, then learned to play a didgeridoo. It is not easy. That was the end of our stay at Rainforest Station. Took a bus back to skyrail to go back down. This time on Skyrail we stopped at the station near Barron Gorge for the guided tour and some waterfall lookouts. It was a really pretty scene, but the waterfalls were not much more than a trickle. I’m sure it’s impressive in the wet season. We made our way back down to sealevel, caught our bus, and went back to the hotel.

It was just about dinner time, so after the bats came out, we went out, too. We found some takeaway pizza place and took it to the esplanade to eat by the water. Got our nightly gelato fix and walked along the boardwalk. There was some group of young girls juggling with fire to some techno music w/ lasers… that was pretty much it for the day. Tomorrow is the Great Barrier Reef!!!!!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment