Cairns and Atherton Tablelands
08.27.2007 - 08.28.2007 0 °F
We arrived into Cairns expecting hot and tropical weather because that was what literally everyone told us to expect. NOT! It was probably in the 60's and a little wet. Anyhoo, not to waste time and to maximize the short time here, we decided to rent a car and hit the left side of the road running as soon as we got to Cairns. Yes, I not only drove on the right side of the car, on the left side of the road, but also with a stick shift on the left side. Phew! If it weren't for this big yellow sticker on the wheel that said "KEEP LEFT," who knows what could have happened?! Ha ha! No, it definitely did take a little getting used to, especially that I also was driving on very windy and hilly roads (last I checked Chicago was pretty flat and umm... I never really learned to drive hills). But alas, we survived! ;-) SO FYI, here is where Cairns is, basically the top point on the map (north-east):
We drove inland between Innisfail and Cairns to the lush Atherton Tableland, located in a place of the tribe named Ngadjon-Jii. The Tablelands are known for its beautiful scenery, with lakes and waterfalls, national parks and state forests, so of course we wanted to see it. And yes, it indeed was very impressive and had all of that and more, including REALLY cute tea houses, which I REALLY liked the idea of (I looove tea). I don't even know what was more beautiful, the pristine landscape with rolling rills, exotic trees, unique bird songs, or this REALLY REALLY REALLY amazing Curtain Fig tree, With a fig tree, basically a fig seed is planted in a host tree and a root develops and descends to the soil. Enriched by the soil, the fig develops aeriel roots which encircles the tree and within hundreds if not thousands of years, it eventually 'strangles' the tree (hmm... not such a nice tree) and the host tree eventually rotts away. So actually, fig trees are also known as "strangling trees." In the case of the massive Curtain Fig Tree, it not only strangled the 'host' tree, but it fell onto another tree and vertical roots formed to eventually look like a curtain (it really does). hence the name. It was REALLY interesting to see this MASSIVE tree, and I of course took lots of pictures. Unfortunately, and this website is LAME-O and doesn't all too many picts, so sorry I can't show any yet. When I get back to Sydney, I am going to put some picts on kodakgallery and include a link from here so you can see this cool tree amongst other neat things I'm seeing! Yea!
Today was very nature-oriented and I'm really realizing more and more how Australia is top notch in terms of nature stuff and active things to do.
Okay, I'm on a time limit here, so I gotta run before I lose this!!!