This is our last blog entry from our ‘coming-of-age’ trip with our granddaughter, Cora. We have visited South Australia looking for penguins and koalas and more and now we have seen bits of the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s tropical rain forests.
This last entry summarizes a day that reprises a visit Leslie and I had to Cairns back in 1992. That day we took a long train ride to a little town that showcased Aboriginal art and culture and then we took the same long train ride back to Cairns.
Things have changed. Now, the first part of the trip is done by ‘ski-lift’. This cableway is only 7.5 km long yet somehow it gets to the same place that little train did in its hours of wiggling through a UNESCO World Heritage rain forest.
The cable car included a couple of stops with short rain forest walks (no cassowaries!) and views over waterfalls and under huge trees.
Sooner than before, we find ourselves in the little village, now tourist trap, of Kuranda. The Aboriginals and their cultural show have disappeared except for one young man collecting some coins as he played his didgeridoo, dingo-barking at us and thanking us through his instrument as we paid and passed.
But Kuranda was not a bust, as Cora directed us to a ‘hidden’ bird park that we eventually found after wending our way through a maze of cheap tourist shops. This was a great find — especially for Cora, our lovely bird-lover. Here in a 15 m diameter confined mesh-covered world we found our cassowary, and much more!
After one more ‘hunt for the wild cassowary’ walk in the rain forest, we got on the little train for the return trip back to Cairns. We passed waterfalls and overlooks and met a very nice Australian traveler from Adelaide.
This brings us to the end of our trip. The last couple of days were spent in Cairns where we met with a grad student with whom we had worked back at home and visited an exceptional exhibit of Aboriginal history at the Cairns Art Gallery.
This blog entry, our last from Australia, is delayed by a week or more, thanks to a bad bronchial infection contracted by our webmaster. Happy Summer (northern hemisphere) to all!