So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

28 September, 2012

Palm Cove, Cairns

Sunday 16th  we packed up at the Rocky creek war memorial rest area,  said goodbye to our new friends and drove to Palm Cove, not far north of Cairns.  As we drove past Kuranda (and started winding down the hill towards Cairns) we could see all the buildings and hustle and bustle of cars.  We had made it to the busy east coast (Cooktown wasn’t busy, so that doesn’t count!).
The view over toward Cairns as we came down the mountain from Kuranda
We checked into the Palm Cove Caravan park and camping ground which is right opposite the beach and the jetty at Palm Cove.  The campsite is a council run campsite and therefore it is nice and cheap.  We opted for an unpowered site which cost us the family rate of $20 per night - so we booked in for a week.  We had a lovely shady site which was great except that our solar panel is fixed to the caravan roof,  but we have become very good at conserving electricity so it wasn’t a problem. After setting up we headed off down to the beach and Jetty to have a look, what a beautiful place.
Walking along the jetty at Palm Cove, North of Cairns

The Beach and coastline at Palm Cove, North of Cairns

That night we discovered the amenities block which is brand new and has the best shower heads that we have had at any campground the whole way around Australia (could this place be any better?).

On Monday 17th it was time to try and get school completed for the term, so we spent a good part of the morning getting school work done.  Then at lunch time Noah and Emma appeared at our caravan as they had just arrived to stay for a few days so the kids settled into playing.  Then we noticed Dan and Amy and their girls Emily and Ella who we met at Cape Tribulation had also arrived and were setting up.  Later that afternoon we headed into Cairns to find where we needed to go the next morning as we had booked ourselves to go out to the Great Barrier Reef.  We also had post to collect from the post office.  Liz and the kids headed to the foreshore playground and Mike headed to the post office.  The playground was huge with lots of sections to explore and even a waterplay area,  which the kids loved and got soaked.  Unfortunately our post hadn’t arrived so we would have to check it again later in the week.

Sam, Josh and Natalie playing at the foreshore park in Cairns

We didn't have swimmers, but that didn't stop the kids from getting soaked :)
Tuesday 18th Sept - We set off early to Cairns and checked in at the Reef Magic Terminal and boarded our boat to go to the reef.
Checking in for our Great Barrier Reef trip

The boat ride took an hour and a half,  thankfully we had a very calm sea so no one got sick.  When we arrived at the reef we got ourselves geared up and headed into the water to snorkel - we had a great time spotting fish and looking at the beautiful coral.
Ready for a snorkel on the reef

The kids in front of the snorkeling area

Mike booked in to do a Scuba dive so when he headed off to do that Liz and the kids boarded the semi submersible which took you to a different part of the reef to where you snorkel.  They saw a sea turtle and many more fish and coral.  Mike hadn’t dived for about 6 years, but easily remembered everything for the dive.  He thoroughly enjoyed his scuba dive - he even got to pat Wally, the massive Maori wrasse, he was a big blue fish.  Josh and Natalie had tried to touch Wally when snorkeling, they would dive down, and they came so close but missed each time.
Wally, a local resident at the Reef Magic snorkeling area

A large Clam that Natalie saw from the Glass Bottom Boat

Next it was time for a buffet lunch before some more snorkeling fun.  Natalie and Liz also headed out on the glass bottom boat while the boys continued to snorkel.  Sam learnt to snorkel this afternoon, he needs some practice but now has the idea.
The kids on the platform where you enter the water

Natalie absolutely loves snorkeling and looking at the amazing life below the waves

Liz and Natalie enjoying the reef

The boat ride back was smooth sailing again we had all had a fantastic day,  on the way back we saw a whale breaching in the distance.

We were all pretty tired on the boat ride back to shore after a great day on the reef

Wednesday 19th Sept we spent the morning around the campground and after lunch we headed down to the beach for a swim,  Noah and Emma and their parents joined us at the beach. Josh, Sam and Noah spent most of the afternoon riding bikes and building Bionicles while Natalie decided to go fishing with Mike at the jetty with the pippies she had collected at the beach, they had fun but didn’t catch anything.

Thursday 20th Sept  we said goodbye to our friends Noah and Emma as they we heading off.  And then we jumped in the car to head north for the day.  Our first stop was the supermarket at Mossman to get some food for lunch.  We then had a look at the Mossman gorge visitors centre  before continuing on.  We stopped to have a look for Crocodiles on the Daintree River,  Mike decided to join some local people fishing off the wharf,  he didn’t catch anything but we did see a rather large crocodile swimming along in the river.
At the Daintree River where croc spotting tours depart

Mike Fishing in the Daintree River
A large estuarine crocodile swimming in the Daintree River

Next we went down to the ferry and watched it load and unload (we didn’t go on it) and then we continued back to the main road and up to Daintree Township to have a look around.
This statue of a Cassowary is the closest thing we've seen to a real Cassowary on our trip!

The kids had spied the skate park in Mossman earlier, so we decided to head back there for a late lunch and the kids had a great time riding their scooters at the skate park.
Josh enjoying the skate park in Mossman

Lunchtime at the skate park

From here we went to Port Douglas,  we had a play and a walk at Anzac park which is right on the water,  we had a look from the lookout and ate our afternoon tea at the beach.  Port Douglas was very busy and even the beach felt crowded.  We were so glad we were camped at Palm cove and not Port Douglas.  We then headed back to Palm cove and enjoyed a swim at the (not crowded) beach.

Port Douglas from the lookout

A very crowded Port Douglas Beach

And a nice and quiet Palm Cove Beach!
 Friday 21st Sept we rang the post office in Cairns and our parcel had arrived, so we headed for Cairns collected the post and then went swimming at the beautiful foreshore lagoon pool, which was very busy but nice to cool off.  After we had had enough swimming we headed back to our nice and peaceful campsite at Palm Cove (how are we going to cope with the crowds of Sydney).

The free lagoon on the Cairns Foreshore

The next day (Saturday 22nd September) was our full day at Palm Cove and we only ventured 3kms down the road to Coles for the much needed food supplies.  We spent the rest of the day around the van and on the beach enjoying a beautiful spot.  We were so glad that we stopped at Palm Cove for a full week. It felt like a little 'summer holiday' from the constant travelling that we've been doing and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Timothy Hill said...

Love Palm Cove ! :)