Great Barrier Reef Coast - 30 September - 17 October
We stayed at Ellis Beach just north of Palm Cove and from there did day trips to Port Douglas and Palm Cove. Unfortunately it was very windy while we were there and we had to batten down the hatches. Due to the wind we didn't do a reef cruise until we had moved on to Cairns. We spent two days at Kuranda which is alternate, eclectic and kitsch all at the same time.
After waiting for over a week we decided the wind had dropped sufficiently for us to venture to the outer reef. We chose a boat ominously named 'Poseidon' which operated from Port Douglas and visits the Agincourt Reef. The trip out was a little rough and about a third of the passengers were green around the gills including Jada and Harry. Once in the water it was of course all worthwhile. Ali did two scuba dives and is keen to do more in the future (worst luck!). By the way, the below photograph of Ali is not 'photoshopped'!
Having had a sufficient 'city fix' in Cairns we headed south stopping at the Boulders and Josephine Falls on the way to camp at Etty Bay near Innisfail.
The campsite at Etty Bay was very picturesque but the highlight of our stay here was finally seeing cassowaries in the wild; well uncaged anyway! We also saw the biggest monitor lizard of our trip here.
Paronella Park just south of Innisfail is again a tourist attraction after some restoration. It was built in the 1930s by a Spanish immigrant who apparently had little knowledge of the corrosive effects of salt. It is in an astonishing state of disrepair but is nevertheless worth a visit for its history and curiosity value.
Wallaman Falls in the Girringun National Park is 51km west of Ingham and is the longest single drop waterfall in Australia at 268m. After the leaving Wallaman Falls we camped at a very nice free camp at Balgal Beach, which is about 60km north of Townsville.