December 2003

13 December - Snorkling trip

[written in (truthful!) brochure advertisement form -ed]

SEAQUEST

A TOTALLY UNIQUE AND SPECIAL EXPERIENCE

Meet the 1.5 meter long Wally, the friendly Double Headed Maori Wrasse. Pet and play with him!

See the Giant Clam. It's colors are beautiful. It's truly giant. One meter across!

Swim with spectacular fish like the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, Morish Idols, Giant Parrot Fish, and Unicorn fish!

Many colored coral of every kind: staghorn coral, slipper coral, mushroom coral, brain coral, honeycomb coral, table and plate coral, vase coral ... !

Have you always wanted to get close to a turtle or pet one? Now is your chance!

We got superb ratings and a lot of great comments!

The Outer Reefs we visit are Norman and Saxon Reef, and many more!

Includes bar facilities, snorkeling and diving gear, tropical lunch, complementary coffee and tea!

Underwater cameras for hire!

A qualified photographer will tape you and everyone else on the boat. You will see this movie on the way back to Cairns. Pictures are available on CDrom also.

16 December - Snorkling trip

[written in recipe form -ed]

Kuranda Adventure Recipe

  • Fifteen minutes walk to station.
  • Ninety minutes on Kuranda Scenic Train.
  • Fifteen tunnels
  • Two waterfalls
  • Thirty minutes looking for lunch
  • One hour eating lunch
  • Forty five minutes at Butterfly Sanctuary
  • Forty five minutes on Skyrail
  • Twenty minutes walking around Skyrail stations
  • Fifteen minutes waiting for the bus
  • Thirty minutes on the bus to Cairns

Mix walking rapidly to the train station with boarding the Kuranda Scenic Train and going though hand-blasted and hand-dug tunnels and passing waterfalls that weren't that spectacular because Queensland hasn't had much rain these past couple of years. Get to Kuranda and walk past all the touristy shops. Then start looking for lunch and find a nice place to eat a delicious lunch of a hot chicken sandwich. Leave your dad behind to pay for what you eat and go to the beautiful Butterfly Sanctuary with you mom and brother. See the spectacular Ulysees Butterfly with wings of bright fluorescent blue. Also see the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly with green, yellow and red. This is a poisonous butterfly, like the Monarch Butterfly I've studied. It is the plant that the caterpillars eat that is poisonous. They store the poison in their fat. The butterflies colors from the abdomen and head warns the animals that want to eat is for lunch that they will be sorry if they do. Add to that spotting a gigantic Hercules moth. Mix it with information from the tour guide about the fact that all butterflies have their own host-plant, where they lay their eggs. As soon as the caterpillars hatch they are very tiny and hungry and can't move far without eating, so their food needs to be right there.

Run to make it on time to get on the Sky Rail. This is a gondola. Instead of going over snow, you are going over the Rainforest canopy. You have a good change of seeing snakes and Basket Palm and Alexandra Palms. Birdsnest and Staghorn Ferns are also everywhere. They cling onto the trees without killing the tree.

To finish your recipe, you wait for the bus, then hop on and go back to Cairns.

19 December - Papua New Guinea Report

27 December

Since I last wrote, we have done quite a lot. We went to two cold fresh water swimming holes. They were called Alara Boulders and Josephine Falls. Alara Boulders have more things to jump of but Josephine Falls has a natural rock water fall. So personally, I like Josephine falls better. They are both in the rainforest.

We stayed at the Radison Plaza hotel because it was raining a lot and we were tired of waking up in the middle of the night and closing all of the hatches. Then opening. Then closing. So we decided it was time to spend a night at a hotel. My mom and dad went out for dinner while Tristan and I had pizza and watched two movies. One was "Daddy Day Care" and the other was "The Lizzy McGuire Movie."

On boxing day we saw The Lord of The Rings The Return of The King. In fact boxing day was opening day. We go There so early that every thing was still closed. So we had to wait for an hour or so. Two people were dressed up, one was Legolas the other was Frodo. Most of the fighting scenes were really hard to follow. If I compare it with the book I have to say (however much I liked the movie) I like the book better. Here is my main reason: I think that movies leave to much out.

The day before we saw Lord of the Rings we had a sleep over. The boat we stayed at was called Wahoo. It had a girl, a boy and their dad. They had a Playstation on board. The first time we stayed at their boat on the tramps. In the morning we played on the Playstation and I beat Tristan by 1 place. At 8 my mom picked us up and we went to see “The Lord of the Rings.” When we came back from the movies the same friends came over and we invited them for a sleep over on our boat.

On the day after we got a car, we decided to go inland a bit which lead us to Atherton Table Lands. It was getting late so we decided to eat dinner in Youngabarra or Atherton. We ended up eating in a small grill restaurant.

Mount Bartle-Frere is the tallest mountain in Queensland and is a 15 km hike to the top. Which is almost 10 miles. We were not exactly forced to but it was a long hot hike. When we got to our destination there was a little pool of water which we swam in. When we were back we swam at a cold fresh water swimming hole.

31 December - Horse Back Riding

Two day farm stay at Springmount Station

Because I really wanted to go horseback riding again, my parents decided that for a Christmas present we would go to a farm for 2 days. We got picked up by a bus at seven thirty. We stopped at about five places. One was for steak and fish, one was to pick up food for the horses, and the other three were to pick up more people.

As soon as we got there, we had tea or coffee with a scone with jelly and whipped cream as a topping. After we ate a bit, we went to our horses. My horse was a mare called Abby. She was willing to follow my commands for the most part, but when she got tired she did not do what I wanted her to do any longer. My brother got another mare, her name was Fosters. She was a good listener no matter what. My mom got the stubborn gelding Stitch, while my dad got the even more stubborn gelding Ben. On our morning ride we trotted and, believe it or not, we also cantered. It was great. We went through creeks and climbed to the top of a hill. When we got back, we had lunch. Lunch was steak or fish with an assortment of salads. After lunch we had lots of different kinds of fruit.

During a little break after lunch, I bottled fed a baby kangaroo, a joey. Then we did the afternoon ride. When we came back, there was more tea and coffee and cookies. After that all the other people but us left back for Cairns in the bus. When the sun had just set, we went to feed baby goats with Grace, the owner's wife. The process was difficult because there were 3 goats and only 2 bottles. Once the biggest one had finished, he (or she) would try to know the other bottle from the other little goat's mouth. One the way back from feeding we saw what was called a termite mound. Termites are little white ant-like bugs. The farm also has 4 Brahma calves. Two of them were as thin as a rail. One of them they had found on the boundary of their property, almost dead. It is slowly doing better.

Before dinner that night we were sitting on the floor playing Yathze when my mom felt something crawling over her hand. My mom gave a little yelp. We all stopped playing to look for the source of the tikkle. Tristan and I both saw it under the couch. Papa said: “That's a poisonous centipede.” The son of the owner got scissors, picked it up and threw it outside. Then we had dinner. My favorite dinner too. It was pasta and parmesan cheese. There was also a red sauce, and I had to eat a little bit it.

The next morning we had brekkie and waited until the new group for the day would come. As soon as they arrived, they had their scones, and then we all left to get our horses. The four of us got the same horses we had yesterday. After the morning ride we had lunch again. This time we went to a pasture a little further, but the little bus, to throw boomerangs for fifteen minutes. If you think that throwing a boomerang is easy, you're wrong. It takes a lot of practice and strong arms. You also need to know how to throw it. You have to throw it into the wind at a 30 degree angle from vertical and snap your wrist.

The afternoon ride was quite eventful. One of the girls that day couldn't stop her horse when they were trotting, and it really scared her, so she wanted to go back to the ranch. Grace came to pick her up with the car. As soon as we got back, we had some tea and cookies, and then we got ready to leave Springmount Station. Leaving was hard for me because I really enjoyed it. Someday I might get a horse.