Flynn Reef

It was our last day in North Queensland today, so we decided to have one last trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Yesterday’s rain had stopped, but it remained overcast right up until the boat left to return to Cairns. Flynn reef is about 60 km off shore, so the land was pretty much invisible by the time we saw a line of breaking waves indicating that we had arrived.
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Mareeba

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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The Low Isles

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.
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Eli’s naming day celebration

This is the last day of our trip to Australia to meet my first grandson: Eli Saxon Potter.

His grandmother Waveney was the main celebrant, but I was asked to read a poem by Susan Polis Schultz. I glanced at it briefly beforehand just to make sure it didn’t suck too badly, but when I began reading I quickly realised that it expressed my values better than I ever could have done in my own words.
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Cudgerie Loop and Mt Cooroora

Today’s adventure started with a drive to the top of Black Mountain, which was pretty much a waste of time unless you are extremely interested in telecommunication towers. We then made a detour to the end of Black Mountain Rd before realising that we should have been on Black Mountain Ridge Rd, which heads in the opposite direction.
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Noosa National Park

It was after 10 by the time we got ourselves organised and in to the park, by which time every carpark was taken, so we drove over to Sunshine Beach and found one of the southern entrances. This part is very dry, with sandy tracks and lots of Australian Grass trees. When we were here last time there had been a big fire and everything was black, but the forest has now recovered and turned green again.

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Meeting grandson Eli

Yesterday we packed up and headed north to the Sunshine Coast, stopping at Brisbane airport on the way to pick up no.1 son James. We had a much longer wait than we expected, because he should have applied for a visa in NZ before he came, which he neglected to do. The immigration official came and talked to us and they finally agreed to give a rare border visa on compassionate grounds, after we explained that he had come to attend a big family reunion in the weekend.

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Daves Creek Circuit Lamington National Park

At the crack of dawn this morning a kookaburra outside our window let us know it was time to get up. We had planned to camp up at Binna Burra, but hundreds of other people had the same idea, and enough of them had remembered to make advance bookings, so every site was full. When  we saw all the tents packed together like sardines, we stopped behind disappointed.

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