Cairns Botanic Gardens

Almost certainly the best thing to do in Cairns itself, the Flecker Botanic Gardens are a very pleasant place to wander around for free. The clear highlight was the freshwater lake and Chinese friendship garden at sunset. Worth a few mosquito bites for some lovely photographs. I also went for the first of many walks…

Cairns

Gateway to stunning northern Queensland, Cairns itself is a pretty uninspiring grid of hotels and hostels in which you’re more likely to be served by someone from Ireland than Australia. It’s one of those places that exist primarily for tourists, but it does have some things of interest if you have a few hours in…

Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek

After Bell Gorge we finished the day at Windjana Gorge, a pleasant walk, followed by watching giant fruit bats fly down the gorge and drink at the freshwater crocodile infested pool, where a few tried, unsuccessfully it appeared, to eat the bats. Quick stop at the remains of the Lillimooloora Police Station before onto Tunnel…

Bell Gorge

Bell Gorge, another beautiful and different spot where I happily, if sweatily, clambered around the banks of the gorge taking photos, while others undertook some amateur canyoning.

Gibb River Road & Manning Gorge Track

Long morning covering a good chunk of the unpaved 665km Gibb River Road, an extremely bumpy and monotonous dirt road through the heart of The Kimberly, enlivened only by an unexpected stop for scones, and an emergency stop to take a good look at a frilled-neck lizard, involving a bit of tree climbing. From the…

El Questro

After a morning on the bus, the highlight of which was an ice cream at 9am (had left camp by 6.30am), was good to stretch the legs (and arms) in the afternoon with a walk / scramble / climb / swim in the El Questro Gorge. Made it to Mac Micking Pool at the end…

Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle)

A world heritage site, Purnululu National Park is 240,000 hectares of nature at it’s best, which I explored by land and air. From the bizarrely named Piccaninny I walked out to the lookout, the Window, Whip Snake Gorge and Cathedral Gorge, saving easily the best for last. Huge, echoey and colourful, though it lacked the…