Far North Queensland & New South Wales

April 1996

(c) 1996 National Geographic Society In April 1996 we returned to Australia, this time to venture up to Far North Queensland.  From Sydney we flew up to Cairns, then drove north to Kuranda to stay at the Cassowary House (an increasingly well-known birding destination) - where we did indeed see a cassowary.  :-)  We enjoyed a day trip out to Michaelmas Cay before heading up to Cape Tribulation in a fun Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD (complete with "roo guard" on the front), crossing the Daintree River by ferry.  (Only a couple of months earlier, serious flooding had closed the 4WD road completely and the Daintree was 4km across and 30 ft higher!) 

We spent several days at the beautiful Coconut Beach Rainforest Resort at Cape Tribulation, attempting to 4WD drive further north on the road to Cooktown one day (no go), birding, eating...ever had a hamburger with egg and beets on it?  We did.  Liza also had the enjoyable :-) experience of having a spectacled flying fox crawl onto her head (think really big bat) and lick the perspiration off her forehead.  (And she couldn't even get Robert's attention to take a photo, either...)

From Cape Tribulation we went on to Mossman, and the next day had the pleasure of birding with Chris Dahlberg on the Daintree River.  (Notable bird was the Great Heron, whose call sounded frankly like a very large person throwing up.)  We also enjoyed a day trip into the interior at the Chillagoe Caves, limestone caverns with bats, not to mention many bugs hitting the windshield on the drive "home".

From Mossman it was back to Cairns - where a spectacle of flying foxes in the early evening made us think of Batman as the silhouettes crossed in front of the full moon - then on to Sydney for a few more days.  It was in Sydney that we broke down and bought ourselves a Drizabone short coat that has since seen much use from the both of us.  We enjoyed day trips out to the Hunter Valley for wine, and Royal National Park, before flying home to Los Angeles.

Below are a few photographs from the trip...again older camera, not the greatest...and click here for Liza's trip journal.

Click photos to enlarge

Leaving the Cairns airport

Looking for Cassowary House, our
B&B in Kuranda

Liza outside Cassowary House

A road sign you will never see
in the US

Australian Brush-turkey

The Curtain Fig tree

Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier
Reef - is a bird sanctuary with a small
portion of beach open to day visitors

Black Noddy

Robert birding and getting a very
bad top-of-foot sunburn (we both

Looking down on Cairns

Crossing the Daintree River by ferry

Across the river and on the Cape
York Peninsula - helpful sign
illustrating the 4WD road ahead

Entering Cape Tribulation National Park;
the cape was named by Capt James Cook
when his ship Endeavour was damaged on
the reef off the cape

Robert outside our cabin at
Coconut Beach Rainforest Resort

Coconut Beach - with box jellyfish in the water
October through April, and estaurine crocodiles
at the fringes, for the most part people stay
out of the water

Crossing Emmagen Creek on the
Bloomfield Track heading towards

The Copper River

Liza on our 4WD with roo guard

One of the pools at the Coconut
Beach Rainforest Resort

Coconut Beach, one more time - still
mostly deserted

A lace monitor ~3 ft in length

Another forest reptile

Approaching the Chillagoe Caves,
ancient limestone caverns in the drier

Another view of Chillagoe

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos at
Lane Cove Park, Sydney

Crossing the famous Harbour
Bridge into Sydney - talk about an
e-ticket ride...

View of the Harbour Bridge from
Circular Quay, Sydney

Liza at Circular Quay with the
Opera House in the background

Robert at Circular Quay

Last shot of the Harbor Bridge