Cairns is basically a tourist town. The main attractions are the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests. On a previous trip to Cairns, we took one of the Reef tours but I remember being a little disappointed and didn't want to spend the money again. I guess they don't take you to the truly beautiful parts of the reef otherwise they'd be ruined with all of the visitors. And, lack of research (i.e. laziness) left us too little time on a day trip north to fully explore the Daintree Rainforest. So we didn't do either of the main touristy things.
This doesn't mean we didn't have any fun. My mother offered to look after Aaron for the only weekend that Richard was in Cairns so that we could do the semi-touristy stuff with my brother and sister-in-law.
On the Saturday, we went to Crystal Cascades. It is one of the local swimming holes that my brother's workmate told us about. Nestled in the middle of the rainforest, it took us about 15 mins to walk to the actual "cascades". We didn't want to be swimming downstream of whoever was upstream, ifykwm.
Here's the highest spot we could reach. There were several people there when we got there but they left soon after we arrived and we had the area all to ourselves.
On Sunday, we drove to Port Douglas. Several years ago, I watched a travel program on Port Douglas and have since added it to my wish list of places I want to live. This is the place that I will move to once my little family can survive without either Richard or I having an actual job. Yes, when we're filthy rich!
It did not disappoint. It is also a touristy place but the views there were awesome. The ocean was such a magical blue and beaches pristine.
Here's where I'll be blogging from someday...
A huge disappointment about these northern beaches were all the warnings they came with. On this particular day we couldn't even go swimming within the flags because of the stingers.
So, we headed to the Mossmon Gorge to cool off instead. This was a little like Crystal Cascades but on a larger scale with cooler and clearer waters.
I enjoyed the time with my brother and sister-in-law immensely. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it but I was glad Aaron wasn't around that weekend. When he's around, I can never carry on a full conversation with anybody. So, two whole days of being the non-mother me was very refreshing.