Food Trail Tours - food and wine tour
The Cairns hinterland is known by a couple of names - Atherton Tablelands and the Cairns Highlands.
This tour was a terrific way to see parts of the Atherton Tablelands, others do not visit. You have probably all heard about the wet tropics rainforest, BUT there are also very dry regions near Cairns.
We saw both the wet and dry tropics, interacted with locals on informative plantation tours, and tasted excellent produce form across the region. We were eating all day long.
This tour visited two tropical fruit wineries for tastings (yes, they make wines from exotic tropical fruits). We also visited both coffee and macadamia plantations for tours and tastings. At a dairy farm we heard how cheese is made, and tasted their lactose free cheeses. It turns out they do not take out the lactose, but rather break it down into its component sugars.
Amazingly, everything was included, plantation tours, tastings, park fees, an amazing lunch at a quaint country “pub” (hotel), and they picked us up at the start of the day, and dropped us off afterwards.
We also visited rare Mabi rainforest and saw an amazing tree. The "Curtain" Fig Tree is over 500 years old, and from one side looks like a curtain. It also turns out that the name "Mabi" is the aboriginal word for a tree-climbing kangaroo. They are rare, and unfortunately we did not see one. The guide, who has been going there for years, told us he has only seen them occasionally, but assured us they are there.
All in all this was one of the best things we did from Cairns.
Another of Cairns' buildings to be attractively lit., this time, an historic one.
Nearby, there is another illuminated building which at first glows green, then changes to blue, yellow and other single colours. Really pretty to watch, as the hue of the building changes!
You'll fell happy when you eat at Blue
Great looking restaurant overlooking the beach at Palm Cove. Very pleasant waiting staff for whom any request or question was not a bother. Entrees of Oysters done three ways and Japanese scallops were very tasty and enjoyable. Main courses of roasted duck breast and pan fried pork belly were to die for and left no room for desserts. Pan fried pork belly had great flavour, juicy with crispy skin.
Great Barrier Reef
You must must must make time in your trip to take the boat out to the Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of trips to choose from, one for everyones budget and they run everyday.
Even if you don't swim, you can go on the semi submergable boat and the glass bottomed boat and see nearly all of what the snorkellers see without getting wet.
Eco-Safari the Rainforest
Instead of getting on a bus and going to the Daintree, which is several hours away, you might want to consider a trip up into the local rainforest. Its also a world heritage sight, but the vast majority is closed to the public. One particular guy has access to the area, and takes people up in a 4x4 safari type vehicle, see the travelogue for a picture or seven. He takes you not only to the public access areas, similar to other visitor friendly parks, but along utility roads, park ranger routes, dry creek beds, and all these other nooks and crannies. You see the wildlife, views like the one shown here and get a few lectures on local flora and fauna. Did you know ginger grows here naturally?