Saturday, July 11, 2009

Got Crabs?

We don't anymore, but we did in Port Douglas! The kids enjoyed catching hermit crabs at Four Mile Beach and named each one. Hermy, Shelly, Mishell, Sebastian and Big Poppa all made the list.

We caught crabs again at Cape Tribulation Beach, but these ones were Sand Crabs. They were in the tide pools and would burrow under the sand. Brooklyn found this one and made sure that John caught it.

Crocodile Farm

On our way to the airport, for our flight back to Melbourne, we stopped at Hartley's Creek Crocodile Farm. There we were able to go on a boat ride in the lagoon and spotted a 95 year old crocodile named Ted who is the dominant male even though he no longer has any teeth. As we went around the lagoon the tour guide fed chicken heads to several of the crocodiles. It was amazing to see the crocodiles up close. It seems to have had a particularly strong impact on Jared. Since that time, Jared has given thanks for crocodiles and chicken heads in his prayer each night before he goes to bed.

It was little strange to go to the crocodile farm after seeing them in the wild. Especially when you walk through the gift shop and they are selling crocodile handbags, wallets and boots.

Crocodiles were swimming all over the place and came right up next to the boat.
Feeding time - yummy chicken heads.
The kids posing next to another large animal monument. Gotta love Australia.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Only in Australia

We expected to see this sign in Queensland where there are loads of jellyfish, including a microscopic one (Irukandji) whose sting is lethal. We only wish they would update the sign with a man wearing board shorts instead of a budgie (Speedo). Anything that can be done to discourage the public use of budgies is encouraged.
We were also not surprised to see this sign. What was surprising is that you only see these signs where there are Salt Water Crocodiles. Areas that only have "freshies" don't warrant these signs as "they are not very aggressive unless they are really hungry."
We were thrilled to see this large Barramundi edifice, because you can never see too many giant animals perched on top of buildings. Barramundi, also known as Australian Sea Bass, has become one of our favourite fish to eat.

But by far, our favorite sign of the entire trip is this speed bump sign which we spotted in Cape Tribulation. Cassowaries are an endangered species that are only found in far north Queensland and in New Guinea.

Although we didn't see any cassowaries in the wild, we saw this one at Hartley's Creek Crocodile Farm. Like most of the animals in Queensland (crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish, etc.), the cassowary can also be lethal to humans. It doesn't happen often, but this bird has been known to attack and kill people with its beak and sharp talons.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Kuranda is a rain forest village located close to Cairns, Queensland. To get there we went on a 7.5 km gondola ride which provided breathtaking views of the rain forest below. We also spotted several Sulfur Crested Cockatoos as we glided over the tree tops. The entire trip was 90 minutes which included two stops with boardwalk trails through the rain forest canopy .

View of Green Island
Gondolas on the initial ascent over the rain forest.
The six person cars were ideal for our family.
View of Barron Falls from the gondola side of the trip.
View of Kuranda Railway from the gondola.
We spent time walking and shopping in Kuranda. We caught the train down the mountain which took 90 minutes and enjoyed a better view of Barron Falls and riding right by a waterfall.
Barron Falls

Passing by the waterfall.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cape Tribulation

The only way to get to Cape Tribulation is to cross the Daintree River by way of a cable ferry. The ferry runs continuously back and forth across the river. On the bank of the river John and the kids saw mudskippers which are only found here and in parts of Southeast Asia. They are amphibious fish that use their fins to walk on land.
Photo courtesy of
We drove quickly along the route to make it up to the beach which was spectacular. The foliage was green and dense, the beach was beautiful and nearly deserted.
This huge spider drew a lot of attention. It was enormous.
Sunset from the ferry. What a glorious day full of beauty and amazing things.

Crikey! Crocodiles!

We went on the Daintree River cruise to find crocodiles in the wild. We enjoyed the hour long cruise and spotted 7 crocs along the river bank. We also saw a green tree snake.

The highlight was the 6 month old croc hiding among the mangrove trees.

After the river cruise some of us enjoyed a tasty meat pie, a classic Australian meal. Those who haven't acquired a taste for this Australian delicacy searched for a vegetarian alternative. Brooklyn found this giant leaf, not good for eating, but you could make quite an outfit out of it