The Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula

It all started on Thursday, 15th January when we started travelling to Port Douglas (our major destination) from Melbourne. The trip took about 3 days while we were driving 10 hours each day. The first night we stayed in Coonabarabran in New South Wales, where we weren’t planning on doing anything there but found out they had star gazing at the Warrumbungle Observatory. It was an awesome experience was able to take my first photo for the trip of the Orion Nebula. The next day we continued our trip inland and reached Emerald, a mining town in Queensland. It was pretty humid there and later that night it stormed as anything that we thought it was going to flood.

Saturday came and it was the day we finally arrived in Port Douglas. During the trip between Clermont and Charters Towers, we noticed a sign that stated there was no petrol for 220km and we just passed a petrol station. So we had to do a u-turn as we might have not had enough to get to the next petrol station. When we arrived there, a woman came running out saying its cash only but since it was the only petrol station for a while we had no choice. When dad was filling the car up, the petrol started spilling out everywhere. Turns out it was one of those old pumps that don’t slow down and click. Prior to this mum needed to go to the toilet and had to pay $2 for it, though people kept coming in after she opened it. Dad then went in the service station and paid for the petrol but had no idea it was $2 per litre! After dad went in mum complained to the women behind the counter and got her $2 back.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

It was 7:30pm and we finally made it to Port Douglas in northern Queensland. We decided to just chill out the next day and the following day we did a day tour of the Daintree rainforest. First we went to the Mossman Gorge where the water was crystal clear and from there we went into the Daintree Rainforest. Next it was Cape Tribulation where we had a morning tea of lamingtons and tea. Afterwards we went to the Cassowary Falls where I was able to swim around a waterfall filled with turtles and fish. When we came back to the resort I decided to have a dip in the pool and made a couple of friends by asking if I could join their game. Sadly it was a ball game and I threw it too hard that I lost their ball somewhere in the garden bed never to be found again.

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

The next day we went to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures where I got to experience feeding a fresh water crocodile. There was also a cruise in the manmade lagoon filled with crocodiles along with a couple of shows with the crocodiles and snakes. Our last day in Port Douglas was a nice day trip to Cairns where we took the train from Freshwater station to a little unique town called Kuranda. The town had heaps of interesting stuff to look at and had a butterfly sanctuary filled of 5 different native species to Australia. At the end of the day we ended up taking the skyrail back to cairns with breathtaking views of the rainforest and the city.

Thursday came and we were off to the Gold Coast. The only problem was this was the worst bit of the trip, because when it rains in Queensland, it rains. The rain was so heavy driving to the Gold Coast that at times we couldn’t see anything but the dense rain. It even flooded in some places! We were relieved once we made it to our accommodation but that wasn’t it of the rain. It was so wet that water was coming through the apartment block going into people’s rooms except ours.

An excavator in floodwaters off the A1, QLD

An excavator in floodwaters off the A1, QLD

The next two days we spent time at the theme parks and enjoyed the new rides at Sea World and Movie World. At Sea World we were able to see the penguins, seals, dolphins, polar bears and all other animals. There were a couple new rides at Sea World and Movie World since the last time I’ve been there that I enjoyed like the STORM Coaster, Jet Rescue and Green Lantern. The Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 show was awesome too with cars and motorbikes skidding all over the place. At the end of the day at Movie World we stayed for the daily parade.

Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 (Movie World)

Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 (Movie World)

Our last bit of the trip was the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. Unfortunately the fog was so thick that you couldn’t see a thing! So we ended up just watching a movie instead. At least the next day was perfect weather for the Jenolan Caves which was amazing. What was really interesting is that they found Tasmanian Devil bones in there and there were a lot of shinny crystals. When we got to our accommodation, there was a mob of kangaroos waiting for us looking for some food. Sadly we couldn’t give them anything so they continued to eat the grass.