The area around Mission Beach is known as the Cassowary Coast, because it has one of the highest concentrations of this big bird in the country. You can’t drive more than a few hundred metres without seeing warning signs about them crossing highways. We were determined to see one.
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This morning we were so well organised that we arrived at the water taxi office almost 20 mins before departure time. We had booked a trip across to Dunk Island, about 10 mins off the coast. Today was the first blue sky, hot sun day we have experienced on this trip to Australia.
Continue reading Dunk Island
The backpackers we are staying at is actually at Wongaling Beach, which is in between Mission Beach and South Mission Beach. Even though we were up bright and early this morning, it ended up being a bit of a rush to get to the Clump Point boat ramp, where a ridged-hull inflatable boat operated by Reefexpress was waiting to take us on another snorkelling expedition.
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From the deck of our backpacker’s hostel we could see the ocean through the trees, so the first thing we did this morning was to drive down to Bingil Bay and walk up and down the beach. There were signs warning about crocodiles, but I overheard a local saying that all the north Queensland beaches now have these signs so they are not particularly meaningful.
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Dunkly’s Place must be one of the most unimaginatively designed and badly situated motels we have ever stayed in – not surprisingly it is up for sale. It did provide everything we needed for the night, and there are lots of interesting things to do in the neighbourhood, so I shouldn’t complain.
Continue reading Lake Eacham
We left Port Douglas this morning and drove up to the Atherton Tablelands. After a bit over an hour’s driving we saw a sign pointing to the Mareeba Wetlands, and decided to take a look. While it is only about 30km inland from Cairns this area is over 400 metres higher, so the surroundings are much more like the rest of Australia than the steamy rain-forest on the coast.
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We had such a good time snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef yesterday that we decided to do it again today, and booked ourselves on one of the Sailaway catamarans. Their trip is to the inner edge of the reef, about 15km off shore. The wind had dropped almost completely overnight, so we didn’t get to actually sail, but the water was almost flat, and perfect for snorkelling.
Continue reading The Low Isles