Rainforest near Cairns

This was a great one-day activity, recommended by our driver who brought us from the Cairns Airport to the Shangri-La.  The cable car gives you a spectacular view of the height of the rainforest, which is 190 million years old. There are two transfer points along the way. At the first stop, a park ranger gave us a guided nature walk. He told us about the basket ferns that grow high in the trees and sometimes weigh 500 lbs, making the tree fall over. He told us the age of a giant fig tree, let us feel the velvety back of a species of ginger leaf and showed a benign looking poisonous plant.  We saw another parasitic tree that starts in a high branch of another tree, then throws down roots, wraps itself around the host and even neighboring trees and may eventually smother the host. It was one big competition for light in the forest, where only 2% of the light reaches the ground. The second transfer point offered a view of a waterfall. Then, we arrived at Kuranda, a fun little village with many boutiques and cafes and also a butterfly farm.  We saw some bright neon blue butterflies and some neon green birds in the forest. Some trees looked like giant white poinsettias (they weren’t, and I’ll have to research what they are.).

We did a little shopping and had a yummy lunch, and then came back down the cable cars for a 3:30 pickup and ride to the cruise ship terminal for 4pm boarding.

Stranger Fig grabs onto neighboring tree

Five-star Shangri-la Hotel behind marina. Hotel was great!

Author: cathykellyphotography

Independent photographer based in Pittsburgh PA and Naples FL. Nature, landscape and portrait photography. Portfolio includes international work in USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Email cathykellyphotography@gmail.com to review work in your area of interest. Nature portfolio includes flowers and wildlife. Prints and digital files for sale. See website: www.cathykellyphotography.com.

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