After the Great barrier reef experience the first thing we wanted to do was get out of Cairns. It is not the fact we did'nt like Cairns, it is very beautiful and all that, but we just don't seem to enjoy cities speed of life anymore, maybe it's because we have been to so many over the last 9 months.
Anyway a visit to Queensland is not really complete unless you go and see where our Yorkshire Hero Captain James Cook came to shore in 1770, so we headed upto Cape Tribulation. Now if the weather had been better I am sure this is quite an amazing place. To be honest the weather let us down alot more than we expected, not just tropical Queensland but all the way down to bloody Sydney to be honest. We stayed in the National Park at Cape Tribulation and what a performance staying in National parks is in this part of the country. We had a pretty unevental night, we had tea, I spilled some rice outside no big deal. The next morning everything good, got everything packed away and we set off towards Daintree discovery centre, when Gemma screams and plants her feet straight on the dash. I slam on wondering what the hell's wrong and she's shouting that a mouse just ran across the floor and up by my feet. We got out and tried to find it but no sign of it. So off we went to Daintree. Little did we know at that stage that this mouse would be with us in the camper for a whole week and guess what, it even had it's mate round in Lake Tineroo too, so we had 2 of the w***s. We got them in the end, visitor left the building via Gemma's sleeping bag one night when we found it in the grill. I would of much preferred turning the grill on bearing in mind I had been up all night listening to it's bloody scratching. The main resident got spear gunned in the morning by Neil. Great I could now have a good night's sleep at last. Since this incident a strange rattle has developed in the glove box and Gemma still has'nt replaced her hairbrush which was chewed to pieces. That's camping I suppose! After the rainforest at Daintree we went to Port Douglas, nice classy place with electric hook up, but no camping allowed near the marina, pretty uneventful until the following day when we bumped into Neil and Tanya. We met them in Laos and had planned to meet up, but to be honest thought Aus is a big place, you just don't know. It was really good, we spent over 3 weeks with them as we made our way down to Brisbane.
First stop was the Tablelands, which is very similar scenery to the Yorkshire Dales. We went back to lake Trinaroo and stated in the National Park by the lake, it would have been very picturesque had the weather been nice, but no it was really windy and raining, so after we had cooked on our open fire we spent the evening in out camper playing or should i say trying to blow the didgeridoo and drinking our very expensive but lovely mango wine that we had bought from a wine tasting session on the way from Port Douglas. This was where Matthew decided to finally get rid of the hair and the beard. Neil had some clippers, but only with grade 1 so off it all came. I'v got to say although the hair was a bit short, it was a big improvement on the 'castaway' man!
We then drove around the Tablelands taking in the scenery, but with the weather not been that great, not many photo's were taken. We stopped at Lake Barrine for tea and scones and they were bloody gorgeous. 3 scones with jam and cream and a fresh brew, lovely. From there we headed to Russle River National Park, which was lovely, it was so secluded we had the beach to ourselves. It was back to bush camping though with no toilets or showers. We stayed here a couple of days before we felt the need to get a wash.
It was here that i decided i wanted to start fishing as Neil is an Angler and told me that he had been catching decent fish for tea on his travels in Australia. Now I have always thought fishing is a pointless sport. You spend money on equipment catch a fish and then have to throw it back, rubbish. But catching a fish and then being able to eat it really appeals. I had a go with Neil's hand line, could not get use to it, so I got a travel rod and box of tricks for 30 pounds. I am proud of what I have caught and ate sinc. We have had Whiting, Flathead, Grunter, Yellowfin Bream, Mackeral and Flounder. If it says in my book good eating it's in tin foil and on the bbq in a blink of an eye. Caught over 20 fish for tea so far, Five in one session good value when you consider Whiting is 39 dollars a kilo, Bream is 23 dollars a kilo. Rod paid for itself, thanks Neil for helping me get started.
Since Matthew has been really into catching fish for the last part of our trip in Australia, a lot of the places we have been have centred around fishing. I havn't really minded this as the places we have been have been so secluded and quite and very beautiful places. Although again, not many photo's as the weather hasn't been great.
Working our way slowly down the coast we went to Townsville which had a lovely promenade with free BBQ'a and free places to stay, we indented on going over to Magnetic Island to do some snorkelling but as we couldn't rely on the weather we headed further south to Bowen. It was here that Neil and i did attempt to snorkell. The reef was very similar to the Great Barrier reef, but it was very cold and the visibility wasn't that great, we only lasted 10 minutes before it was too hard to breath due to shivering!
From Bowen we had to pick up our pace a bit to get to Sydney in 1 week (about 2000 k's). We intended on doind a sailing trip around the Whitsunday's but again the weather let us down, so we decided that once we reached Harvey bay we would see if we could go Whale watching to make up for the things we have had to miss out on.