Queensland capers (part 1)

Last week Mum flew back to Australia with me, and after a 24-hour layover in Sydney we jumped on another plane and flew up to Cairns in Queensland.  We had six nights in a two-bedroom apartment, and enjoyed some peaceful rest and relaxation … and even managed to do some sightseeing, regardless of the fact that it was raining and overcast most days.

On our first day we stocked up with wine at the local bottle shop and food from the local super-expensive (!) supermarket and had dinner in the apartment.  The next day we wandered along the waterfront for a while then spent the rest of the day stitching.

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On our 2nd full day in Cairns we wandered along the waterfront in the pouring rain and picked up a rental car before going shopping where I managed to add some new ‘fatty’ clothes to my suitcase, and was absolutely thrilled with my purchases, including some lovely 3/4 cotton pants that came in handy during the holiday.  We also called into a proper supermarket and stocked up on the remaining items we needed for the week (at half the price of what we had been paying previously!). I was also really thrilled to see “real” Halloween pumpkins for sale over here for the first time ever (at least that I’ve seen).

Pumpkins at Coles

After gaining our wheels, our first day of proper sightseeing saw us heading south to Babinda, where we went for a shortish wander through the bush to the Devils Pool Walk and then further on to the Babinda Boulders.  It was lovely to stretch our legs in a natural setting, and the views were lovely.

Babinda Boulders

We then headed further south and drove through Innisfail to Paronella Park.  We started our visit off with a scrumptious devonshire tea (I’m sure those who know me well from previous posts will not be surprised by this!) – then joined a guided tour around the property.  We were surprised to learn we had spent an entire 2 hours on the grounds by the time we left – and I have to say I think this day was the highlight of our trip for me.  Unfortunately I lugged 3kg of SLR camera gear around Queensland to no avail, as it turns out that the memory card was corrupted, and I lost all my SLR photos (of which there were tons!) … thankfully, though, I managed to take a few photos on my Lumix point and shoot, so at least we have some photographic record of the week’s events 🙂

Paronella Park is alas just ruins these days after being destroyed by a couple of cyclones, but the history is wonderfully retold by the tourguides and your imagination fills in the details that are now missing in tangible form.

Paronella Park 2

Paronella Park 1

After Paronella Park it was time to return back to Cairns and another night of stitching in front of the goggle box.

Photo Hunts – Fast & Undesirable

Unfortunately, during my ‘black fog’ blogging hiatus recently, I hadn’t realised that my “post-dated” posts had all run out, so I had a week without the Photo Hunt and other photo memes.  So today I’ve uploaded both last week’s and this week’s into one post.

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This week’s theme is ”Fast” and the jetboats on the Shotover River in Queenstown go pretty fast … I especially love being on them when they do the 360 degree spinning – great fun!!

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Last week’s theme was ”Undesirable” and I think this is definitely Undesirable to my tastebuds! The birdlife at the Cairns bird park really love it, though … grubs, tiny fish and little titbits are a delicacy for our feathered friends – dinner’s ready, guys, come and get it!!  YUK!!!

Gross bird food

Photo Hunt – Thankful

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This week’s theme is “Thankful” and I have to say I have many things to be thankful for in my lifetime – friends and family that have helped be grow and become the person I am today … opportunities to experience many different adventures along life’s pathway … and the opportunity to travel and broaden my horizons and life experiences. I am thankful for all these things – thankful for the richness of life itself!  Here are some snippets from my life of which I have been thankful to experience…

Indian wedding group QF

hanggliding2

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swimming with dolphins

tukino group in the falling snow

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Photo Hunt – Road

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This week’s theme is “Road” and I couldn’t make a decision which photo to use, so I’ve got a whole bunch of them!  The photography quality isn’t fantastic, especially the Paris ones, as they’re scans of some prints I took years ago with a point and shoot (which Mum very kindly bought with her from home when she last visited) … but I still love ’em 🙂

First up is from one of the views we had driving from Sydney to Coffs Harbour a couple of months ago – we took a detour and drove through the native forest for a while.

Road 2

Next up are some photos I took years and years ago when I visited Paris for my 2nd time – Paris still remains my all-time favourite city in the world to date.  These are views from the Arc de Triomphe.

Road 3

Road 4

Road 5

Finally, this is a photo I’ve used before, and is the winding road up to the Remarkables skifield in Queenstown, New Zealand – it’s a bit hairy when you meet traffic coming the opposite way … the photo doesn’t quite do justice to displaying the steep drops off the side of the roads!  It is a very picturesque part of the world, that’s for sure, especially in winter when the alpine peaks are covered in snow 🙂

remarkables drive