Cairns (minus the Tourist stuff)

Cairns mid-winter break. July14-21 – absolutely the best time for this. Temperature average 23-27C and (relatively low humidity); so a pleasant change from 11-13C. It is still nicer on the Atherton Tableland. I would recommend you get all the tourist brochures, colour all those places in on the map, then religiously avoid them. The old brown tourist attraction signs are a better guide, and there will be fewer folk there. Traffic Tully-Cape Tribulation is almost Melbourne suburban with average speed @ 50kph. If you need to pull over for a pit stop go into a vacant private driveway, because if you pull up on the side of the road anywhere else, 26 tourists will immediately pull up behind you. There ARE some nice places, but they aren’t Mission Beach, Cairns, Kuranda, Port Douglas, Daintree, Cape Tribulation or etc. Don’t waste your money on Paronella Park. The Tablelands are nice.

If I went again I would book overnight van accommodation eg at Atherton & explore up there further. The Crystal cave has to be seen to be believed. There remain some lovely rivers, lakes and forests up there. The Daintree-Cape Trib area might as well be transformed into an open-cut mine as it is all degraded farmland, logged out second-growth rubbish, overrun with weeds and tourist traps. There ARE beaches up there but they are dreary, devoid of waves and impossible to swim at. Compared to NSW and VIC beaches they are an enormous disappointment. We enjoyed the Boulders & Josephine Falls South of Cairns, and as I say lots of nice places on the Tablelands (and you CAN swim), eg Yungaburra Pit Stop, the Curtain & Cathedral Fig, Moho Creek Crater, Hastie’s Swamp, Mt Hypipamee Crater…

Magpie Geese Hastie's Swamp.
Magpie Geese Hastie’s Swamp.
Hastie's Swamp
Hastie’s Swamp
Mt Hypipamee Crater.
Mt Hypipamee Crater.
Two Gems: Crystal Cave.
Two Gems: Crystal Cave.
Moho Creek Crater: A lovely short walk.
Moho Creek Crater: A lovely short walk.
Cathedral Fig.
Cathedral Fig.
Study: Cathedral Fig Root.
Study: Cathedral Fig Root.
Green Is Buff-banded Rail.
Green Is Buff-banded Rail.
Cassowaries: Don't expect to see either, visit a zoo.
Cassowaries: Don’t expect to see either, visit a zoo.
Curlews Cairns Industrial Wasteland.
Curlews Cairns Industrial Wasteland.
Cairns industrial Wasteland Fig.
Cairns industrial Wasteland Fig.
Obligatory Daintree R Croc
Obligatory Daintree R Croc
Curtain Fig
Curtain Fig
Josephine Falls
Josephine Falls
ScrubTurkey: Boulders
ScrubTurkey: Boulders
Babinda Boulders
Babinda Boulders

 

 

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