I got a little side-tracked since I began writing about my trip to Tropical North Queensland, but I have one last part of our amazing trip to describe.
After going on a snorkel trip to the Great Barrier Reef from Port-Douglas, we made our way back south towards Cairns. On our final night in TNQ we stayed in a town called Kuranda, in the Atherton Tablelands. We were blessed with beautiful weather, and on the drive there, we inevitably passed a lookout offering another gorgeous view.
According to our tourist pamphlets, there are numerous waterfalls scattered throughout the tablelands, so once we arrived in Kuranda, we decided to go see the local waterfalls, Barron Falls.
There was a beautiful walkway winding through the rainforest, ending up at a cliff overlooking the falls. There wasn’t much water flowing at the time, but the view was spectacular.
Next, we headed back into the town of Kuranda. The town is very quaint and hosts a large artisan market, with a bird sanctuary, a butterfly garden, an animal sanctuary, and a reptile centre.
Since arriving in Australia, I have been in love with the native Australian birds, they are so beautiful, colourful, and different from the native North-American birds that I am used to encountering. So our first stop was Bird World http://www.birdworldkuranda.com, where we ended up spending an hour meeting all the birds which fly freely within the rainforest habitat. We had so much fun!
After finally saying goodbye to our new bird friends, we headed over to see the butterfly garden. The butterflies there were beautiful, my favourite was the Ulysses Swallowtail, which has brilliant turquoise wings. They were quite difficult to capture on camera though, as they fluttered about.
My second favourite was the Cairns Birdwing butterfly.
Once we finished at the butterfly garden, it was about 2:30pm, and I was then ready to check out the shops. Much to my surprise, everything was either closed, or closing up!!! Apparently the business hours in Kuranda are just 10:30am to 2:30pm!! We noticed that there were many tour buses that had driven up from Cairns, and they had all left by 2:30pm, so I guess the locals use that to their advantage and have short work hours. Luckily, our flight the following day was in the afternoon, so we had time to come back to the markets the following morning, before driving back to Cairns.
That night, we stayed at the Kuranda Rainforest Retreat http://www.kurandarainforestretreat.com.au . We had our own cabin, complete with a jacuzzi, and the retreat had a beautiful rainforest lagoon-type pool, that we had all to ourselves (it was not yet the high tourism season). The retreat had a restaurant serving western and yummy indonesian food. We couldn’t have asked for a better accommodation for the end of our trip.