Saturday, July 05, 2014

Port Douglas :: Day 8 (last day)

We had a little sleep-in today, but had to have everything packed and the house cleared by 10am.  We didn't have to be at the airport until 5 o'clock so we had a whole day to spend just looking around at the shops in Port Douglas before making our way back to Cairns.

With fairly significant encouragement from Lizzy, Mum decided to follow-through on something she has been wanting to do for quite a while now.  She got a tattoo.  Yes, my 78 year old Anglican Minister mother went to a tattoo salon and asked them to put a permanent mark on her skin!!!  Of course, Lizzy and I went with her to make sure it was done hygienically and that all was above board.

She chose her favourite picture - a Ulysses butterfly - and before long the man was working away on her shoulder ...

... she said it didn't hurt at all, just felt like someone was scratching at her ...

... and within half an hour it was done!
I don't think I could ever do that, but I'm so proud of Mum for being so brave and for getting exactly what she wanted.  She is absolutely delighted with the outcome and we are so happy for her.
After that excitement, we drove half way back to Cairns, stopping in at Palm Cove for a picnic lunch on the beach (getting through some of the food we cleared out from the house).

Picnic at Palm Cove ... beautiful!!

Mum grabbing her last chance
to enjoy the warm sand!

A wind surfer enjoyed the warm breeze.

Then we headed off to Cairns, arriving at about 3 o'clock.  So, we went to the big Cairns Central shopping centre for some retail therapy until it was time to head to the airport.
Dropped the car back to the rental place and checked in by 5:30pm.  On the plane at 6:30 and landed in Melbourne at 10 o'clock.  Picked up my car from the long term parking and were home by 11:30 that night.
Well, what a wonderful holiday!!  So many fun things and so many great memories!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Port Douglas :: Day 7

We were all up early today and off to the marina by 9 o'clock for our exciting boat trip out to the reef.  We were there in time to have a coffee before boarding.

The Quicksilver boat is a huge wave piercing catamaran and they have it all organised very well with food and drink on board, as well as information videos showing on TV screens all over the place.

It takes about 1-1/2 hours to get to the pontoon anchored at Agincourt Reef.

Then when everyone has exited the boat and boarded the pontoon, there are all sorts of activities, from going into a submerged room to view the coral and swimmers, a mini submarine, to snorkelling, to scuba diving (with all equipment provided).  Even changing into the gear gave us a lot of laughs!

Mum went into the submerged room, while the rest of us went snorkelling.  It was really great fun!

Wayne & Lizzy (viewed from submerged room)


Wayne, Richie (and some other guy) in the submarine

After we were finished, a fantastic lunch was provided on the pontoon and then we just lazed about and sunbathed until it was time to return to the boat for the trip home.

In the evening we returned to the marina for a fish'n'chip dinner at a restaurant which had a live band playing old rock & roll from the sixties.

Barramundi & chips, wrapped in "newspaper"
(hygienic culinary paper, actually)
Richie went for a rib eye and chips

Mum loved it and asked if they could play "These Boots Were Made For Walking", which they did.  A funny guy from the table next to us (who saw Mum request the song) asked her up to dance.  It was so funny because Mum can jive really well but the guy couldn't dance at all and just stomped.

We were all pretty tired after our big day out, so were back at home by about 8:30.  Aahh ... our last full day in paradise!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Port Douglas :: Day 6

This morning, Mum and I woke early at about 7:30, so made a cuppa and sat in the little sun room at the front of the house.

A little while later, Wayne and Richie got up and went on a quad bike trek through the Daintree.

The weather was great - sunny and warm.  So, Lizzy, Mum and I went for a walk to the beach ...

... where the water is so warm that we enjoyed a splash in the sea.

After lunch, we girls went for a guided horse riding trek along the beach, into the rainforest and through a special indigenous women's place.  This was great fun and a wonderful experience, ending up with billy tea, damper and jam.


What a busy, exciting day of trekking for us all!

When we got home, I soaked in the spa for a long time and came out refreshed and ready for a relaxed evening.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Port Douglas :: Day 5

Today we were up early and drove back down to Cairns to travel on the Sky Rail to Kuranda.

There were some absolutely wonderful views of the rainforest and waterfalls on the way!

Kuranda is a cute little village at the top of a mountain, although the shops have become very touristy since we were last time (6 years ago).

We visited the Butterfly Sanctuary, which was a real treat and Mum was delighted as her favourite thing in the whole world is butterflies!

There was a tour guide who took us through the breeding lab and told us all about how they breed and care for the caterpillars and butterflies.

Monarch Moth Caterpillar
After we had seen all the butterflies, we treated ourselves to ice creams ...

... and then travelled back down the mountain on the Kuranda Railway steam train, which was another nice way to see the forest and falls (although I slept most of the way!).

Home by 6 o'clock for dinner and relaxed evening.  Another lovely day in Paradise!