A North, South, East & West Cairns itinerary

Curtain Fig Tree - CairnsLast month we, Ralph and Lillian, enjoyed a fabulous holiday staying at WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham Trinity Links Resort, Cairns from Sunday, 20 until Friday 25 May, 2012.

We live at Sydney and were accompanied by two very good long-time friends, Len and Narelle, who now live at the Gold Coast. We occupied a delightfully furnished three bedroom apartment at the Resort overlooking the beautifully landscaped pool.

Fifty years ago we lived at Townsville for four years and during that time we visited Cairns and its wonderful region a few times. After WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham Cairns was announced, we decided we must go back to Cairns again. We planned our itinerary and accordingly booked our five night stay.

We spent the Sunday afternoon after our flight had arrived by collecting our rental car, exploring “down-town” Cairns and in particular the waterfront areas and the esplanade with its wonderful large beach-style swimming pool. Then we did some food shopping and went and booked into the Resort, which proved to be a real pleasure.

The itinerary we planned for the next four days was basically to travel North, South, East and West from Cairns. We encountered a few rainy days but this did not matter. We  simply changed the sequence of our planned destinations.

The Boulders

The Boulders

On the Monday we drove South to firstly Babinda to visit the Boulders. Sadly the Babinda Sugar Mill ceased operating some years ago but the town’s people have adjusted very positively, and it was interesting talking with two of the locals in a very attractive craft shop about the very high rain-fall and life generally there. The Boulders about 15 kms away with spectacular raging water and well worth visiting, as shown by the photo.

We then drove further South to Innisfail, a very attractive old and interesting sugar and tropical fruit town at the junction of the North and South Johnstone Rivers. After lunch there we drove out to Paronella Park with its “magic Spanish Castles”, the dream built over a hundred years ago by Spanish immigrant Jose Paronella, also with then unique hydro-electric power generation, utilising the Park’s waterfall. The photo below shows Ralph and the waterfall which was flooding slightly at the time.

Paronella Park

Paronella Park

On the Tuesday we drove West up to the Atherton Tableland stopping firstly at Kuranda with its wonderful village markets and craft shops and very picturesque railway station. Then after viewing the spectacular Barren Falls we drove to Mareeba for lunch at the Coffee Plantation. We then called in at the high quality Wood Works at Tolga and after visiting Atherton drove to the Tinaroo Falls Dam with its very interesting irrigation scheme. After that we visited the remarkable Curtain Fig Tree and stopped at Yungaburra for afternoon tea and then called into Lake Barrine before driving back to Cairns via Gordonvale.

Curtain Fig Tree - looking up

Looking up at the Curtain Fig Tree

In 1956 the first Olympic Games held in Australia were conducted at Melbourne and the Olympic Torch Relay commenced at Cairns and proceeded down the Pacific Highway to Melbourne. Ralph was a Torchbearer then, running the 13th mile south from Gladstone. He was also a Torchbearer in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Torch relay. There is now a monument on the Esplanade to commemorate the start of the Olympic Relay in Cairns in 1956, and on this Tuesday evening, Ralph and Lillian were very pleased to meet Jim Vallely at this monument.  Jim was the No. 1 Torchbearer in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Torch Relay from Cairns and is now the President of the “56er’s Torchbearers Club Inc” based in Cairns.

Cairns - Olympic Torch Relay monument

Jim Vallely, Ralph & Lillian at the Olympic Torch Relay monument

On the Wednesday we went East by fast catamaran to Green Island, a real tropical paradise.  As well as exploring the excellent facilities on the island we walked around it and went viewing the coral and fish from a glass-bottom boat. The weather was rainy which did not really bother us but we did not go swimming or snorkeling, although many of the younger folk did and obviously they enjoyed themselves immensely. After returning to the mainland we visited the Cairns Art Gallery which is very professional with excellent displays, and then we returned to the Resort after a very full day.

On the Thursday we drove North along the very scenic highway to Port Douglas approx an hour from Cairns. This was a wonderful tropical place to visit and we enjoyed a delightful seafood lunch at one of the trendy pubs. After lunch we went to Four Mile Beach and also explored the Marina and other places of interest.

Port Douglas headland lookout

Lillian, Narelle & Len at the Port Douglas headland, with Four Mile Beach behind them

Then we drove a little further North and explored Mossman and Daintree before returning to Cairns with stops along the way at Ellis Beach and Palm Cove. We were surprised by how up-market Palm Cove is now and by the many stylish restaurants, resorts and apartment blocks that are there. A very interesting and impressive place to visit.

Then on Friday our last morning, we leisurely checked out of our delightful WorldMark South Pacific Club by Wyndham Cairns Resort apartment and returned our rental car at the airport and flew home after a very happy holiday.

We are certainly very pleased to recommend to all WorldMark Owners a 5 nights or more stay at the Wyndham Cairns Resort and our North, South, East and West days itinerary.

Ralph & Lillian 

One thought on “A North, South, East & West Cairns itinerary

  1. My family would be proud If I will be going to tour them to places like this! My eldest always convince me to hang around to places like this! However I was always busy, busy in work and my own small marketing, I realized I shuold grab moment for my family, I miss those moments when I was fishing with my son, Keep on promising but nothing is happening, Well now I will spend lot of time and efforts for this kids!

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