Port Douglas has a lot of birds
We were hoping to get on the road at a decent hour this morning, but didn’t get out until about 10am. The drive north to Port Douglas was about 50 minutes, and we went through a surprising number of roundabouts on the way. Highway 44 that connects Cairns and Port Douglas hugged the coastline and provided amazing views of the ocean nearly the whole way, and we managed to get there without too much confusion from the opposite driving system here in Australia.
We pulled into the Rainforest Habitat and paid a surprisingly high admission fee even with our student concession. The park was smaller than we thought, and we weren’t too impressed until we got to the final section. There were three sections: the wetlands, the rainforest, and the grasslands. The whole thing seemed to be a bird sanctuary, and we aren’t really the type of people to get excited by seeing exotic birds.
Luckily the grasslands, which we saw last, was really fun with all kinds of kangaroos, wallabies, and crocodiles. The kangaroos were really friendly, and for just $2 you could get a bag of food to feed the kangaroos. We missed that on our way in the park, but we had fun watching the other people feed them, especially the mother kangaroos with joeys in their pouches. It was funny seeing a kangaroo with legs sticking straight out of its belly! The crocodiles were pretty tame as expected, but it was still pretty creepy seeing how stealthily they could maneuver in the water.
Unfortunately we were through with all the exhibits at about 12:45pm, and the next koala exhibition wasn’t until 3pm. We went over to take a look at them sleeping, but we were sad to miss out on the cuddle opportunities and photo session. Hopefully we can make up for that at the Royal Melbourne Zoo.
We got back in our car and headed to the center of Port Douglas for lunch at Mango Jam as recommended by the girl at Backpackers World. They had a wonderful lunch special of a small wood-fired pizza and garden salad for $12.95. We walked around the Sunday market a bit and bought a boomerang, and then it was off to Mossman about 15 km away to a national park.
The park featured a nice walking trail with a swimming hole in the Mossman gorge and a swinging bridge over the top of it. The gorge wasn’t nearly the size of the gorges we saw earlier on our trip in China, but the water looked nice and the scenery was beautiful.
At about 3:45pm we started our drive back to Cairns, and stopped at a few scenic lookouts on the way. We were planning on attending a 6pm evening worship service at the local Anglican church we found around the corner from the rental car place, but when we got there the only guy inside told us he was closing up for the day. Apparently the 6pm service isn’t very popular and they don’t hold it every Sunday.
To hopefully brighten our moods, we went to an internet café to listen to the Michigan vs. Northwestern game. We listened to the whole first half and were blown away at how exciting the game was: turnovers, lots of offensive action, and Michigan winning the whole way. We then skipped to the final minutes of the 4th quarter and had fun reading about the second half domination on ESPN.com as well.
We decided to go back to the free meal place again for dinner, but tried something else this time. Dinner was deliciously cheap again, and we went straight home after that to get some rest for our dive trip the next day.