Life cycle of corals.
At least learn a little of how corals reproduce. Right? After all, it is collectively the largest living organism in the world, so, please show some due respect for their survival :-)
Coral polyps reproduce sexually by producing sperm & eggs which unite to form tiny rounded larvae called planulae. Each polyp is both male & female. It releases a bundle of eggs & sperm into the sea water on only 1 or 2 nights each year in late spring or early summer. The planulae will then float in the surface waters for a short time & swims down to find a suitable spot on the hard reef surface where it will change into a polyp & begin the process of forming a colony.
Coral colonies can also reproduce asexually, ie, parts of the colony break off & survive to form a separate colony.
Aborigine- made Boomerangs
If you're looking for boomerangs that truly work and were painted by Aborigines, don't bother looking downtown. I looked for a couple hours and couldn't find any (most were the decorational, made-in-China type). I decided to stop at Tjapukai, the cultural center about 10 minutes out of town, and was a lot more pleased with the quality and variety of goods. The boomerangs I found were flyable, and they had a huge selection of didgeridoos, emu callers, and the like. There is also a booth at Kuranda's market that sells boomerangs from Tjapukai, if you make it up there. Boomerangs run about $20
Best Wood Fired Oven Pizza
The restaurant is not really what you would call a restaurant. You go up to the counter, order your delicious wood fired oven pizza and sit down at one of the many tables and chairs set up for you. Then when your pizza is ready, you collect it and sit and eat there or take it away. It is on the corner of the Night Markets directly across from the beach. There is a lot of stuff to look at if you choose to sit and eat.
The pizza has got to be the best I have ever tasted anywhere, and that's a good compliment coming from an italian decendent. The prices are very good for the size of the pizza. Pizza
When I was in Cairns, I drove north to Port Douglas, south to Innisfail, and up the Palmerston Hiway to the Tablelands, thru Atherton and Mareeba, back thru Kuranda and back to Cairns. If you suffer from motion sickness do not go up or down the Gilles Hiway unless you make lots of stops. The views are fabulous.
White Water Rafting
From my research, there are basically two rivers to choose from and two companies that take you rafting. The Baron River rates out at 1-2 on the rapids, which means they are simple, easy going (yawn); the Tully River rates out at 3-4, which makes them moderate, have to hold on more, sometimes losing people over the side...
The companies are Raging Thunder and RnR. We went with Raging Thunder; a couple of our guides had also worked for RnR, and didn't have a very high opinion of them, so I think we went the right way.
The bus picks you up at your hotel and takes you to the head of the river, which is about an hour drive. During that time, they give you a familiarization to what you're getting into, and also start grouping you together for the different rafts, trying to match personalities. We got a great guide, and he did things with us that the others didn't necessarily do. I believe they will tailor some of the activities depending on each groups abilities, mentalities, funlovingness, etc. We happen to be a very fun-loving group, so we had some "wars" going with other rafts, pulling each other out in calming waters, our guide tipping us in others. I was old enough to be everyone's mother, but still kept up with them just fine!
Good information to know: they do lock up your valuables under the bus when you set off at the head of the river, so all is safe. You are required to wear lace up shoes or river sandals; they do rent sandals for $4. They will NOT allow you back on the bus at the other end with a wet tush, so make sure you have a change of clothes.
Third of the way down, we all pulled over for a barbeque lunch that was well deserved and very good. Further down, pulled over again to do a little diving off rocks, for anyone who so desired. For anyone concerned about falling out, the male in our raft was the only one that fell out of ours -- and he managed it 3 times. Even though we were all briefed on being good saving partners, I was very impressed at how extraordiarily fast our guide could make it across the raft, grab hold of the guy, and whip him back in.
The scenery down the river was absolutely beautiful, and for the times we had peaceful water, our guide (who was quite a card) was full of interesting information about the area. All in all, a wonderful trip, would do it again.Cost per person US was $128, that was including the $30 insurance added in.