For my second day trip from Cairns, I visited Kuranda, a small village located 25km from Cairns in the rolling hills of ancient, heritage listed rainforest. While there are a couple of ways to get to Kuranda, the only way that I even considered traveling to Kuranda was by Skyrail. During your explorations of Far North Queensland, I highly recommend that you take a journey with Skyrail Cairns to see the rainforest from above so that you too can discover something new and leave with a greater appreciation for this landscape that desperately needs conserving world wide. I can assure you that this journey is the most beautiful rainforest experience that I have ever seen.
With my second round summer of 2017 here, it is finally time to get the second round of super time adventures going! I began with a waterfall road trip through the Atherton Tablelands with my mate from the Netherlands, Renzo. We visited seven waterfalls over the course of the day and saw amazing views everywhere we went! Follow this itinerary to do it yourself if you're keen, or use it as inspiration for your own journey.
After packing up our soaking wet and muddy tents and taking one last walk around Paronella Park to see what it looked like after the night of torrential rain, we squished back into our tiny but mighty rental car and headed to the Mamu Tropical Skywalk. Just a short 20-minute drive from Paronella Park, this made for the perfect second day activity for our two-day mini road trip.
"Lets go on a road trip," I said as I sat down to dinner with my friends. "I have it all planned out. Three days, two nights. Day one: Paronella Park, the number one "Must-See" in Queensland. Day Two: Ma:Mu Skywalk. Day Three: Mission Beach to find a Cassowary." I looked at my friends who were a bit surprised by the spontaneous trip I was proposing. But, what they did not know is that I had actually been wanting to go to Paronella Park since I first arrived in Australia, and it was time to make it happen.
I knew today was going to be great, but I did not know that it was going to end up being so much greater-than-great. Over eight hours, we hiked 18km of tracks today created by Wilfred, a master bush walker. We saw so much more than I expected, above and below ground. This bushwalk is definitely one of my favorites ever.
Today my friend, Julie, and I hiked Hermit Creek with the Townsville Bush Walking Club. With classes over, and a three-week exam period ahead, I was so glad to squeeze in a day of adventuring. This was the club's first time hiking Hermit Creek, and it was so beautiful, I highly doubt it will be the last.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The 2017 Rugby World Cup Series has begun! This week I got to attend an "all American style" pep-rally to welcome the Hawks, the USA's official rugby team to Australia. I also got to cheer them on at their first match in the World Cup Series. I had an awesome time sporting red-white-and-blue and my cowgirl boots while attending my first rugby game and making it into the Townsville Bulletin a couple of times during the week of festivities.
It was hard to not get emotional as the certificates were presented to each student. "Rachel Suzanne Lertora" was followed by clapping as I received my certificate and tried to not cry as I paused for a photo capturing a moment in time that represents the achievement of my biggest life-long dream. The little girl inside of me who always dreamed of a land half way around the world was pretty amazed that this moment had finally come.
Since it was rainy all week, but I was still itching for a weekend adventure, I decided to head in doors to explore the Reef HQ Aquarium down town today. Julie, my friend from Denmark, came along with me. Reef HQ is famous for having the largest coral reef exhibit that totals 2.5 million liters (nearly 630,500 gallons) that is home to 130 species of corals, 120 species of fish, and hundreds of other marine critters.