We took 2 hours 10 minutes flight to Cairns from Brisbane on December 20.. the same day my parents returned to Malaysia..
We checked in at NJoy! Cairns Backpackers Hostel..
We booked a room for 3 at AUD69 per night (that's AUD23 per person per night).. all of their rooms come with air conditioning, a fridge and a sink. Their staffs were really friendly and helpful! They also have free courtesy bus pick-ups from coach terminal and airport (7am–9.30pm), and complementary shuttle to marina each morning and city centre during the day!
We hired a car for one day as we need to drive to many parks quite a distance away..
We saw Pyramid Mountain on our way towards Inisfail..
First, we reached The Boulders.. The Boulders are located 7 kilometres from Babinda and 58km south of Cairns.. Babinda Boulders is a great swimming hole in the middle of the rainforest with a rich cultural history. It is a classic example of the fast flowing tropical creeks in the area that are perfect for afternoon dips in the cool water to combat the tropical heat. (We didn't bring our swim suit!)
The place was obviously picturesque!
Whereas for the Devil's Pool.. According to legend a beautiful girl named Oolana, from the Yidinji people, married a respected elder from her tribe named Waroonoo. Shortly after their union another tribe moved into the area and a handsome young man came into her life. His name was Dyga and the pair soon fell in love. Realising the adulterous crime they were committing, the young lovers escaped their tribes and fled into the valleys. The elders captured them, but Oolana broke free from her captors and threw herself into the still waters of what is now known as Babinda Boulders, calling for Dyga to follow her. As Dyga hit the waters, her anguished cries for her lost lover turned the still waters into a rushing torrent and the land shook with sorrow. Huge boulders were scattered around the creek and the crying Oolana disappeared among them.
Aboriginal legend says her spirit still guards the boulders and that her calls for her lost lover can still be heard. So while walking around the forest.. my sister kept calling out to Oolana -_-"
The Josephine waterfalls are ranked among the most beautiful in the Tropical North Queensland, and have been used in many television commercials.
From the car park, there is a 700-metre walk to the falls and swimming area.
Mamu Canopy Walkway.. where we could stand 37 metres above the ground surrounded by one of the largest webs of tangled rainforest on the planet.
Nothing much actually.. we grew up surrounded by rainforest in Malaysia.. DUH! -_-"
We then drove over to Paronella Park.. It is nestled on 13 acres of exotic gardens and lush tropical forest that features freshwater streams, cascading waterfalls and of course the remnants of Jose Paronella's dream Spanish Castillo.
The Darkness Falls Tour begins as dusk starts to fall over the canopy of the forest and Spanish Castle ruins. Each visitor is given a torch to light their way through the myriad of meandering paths that are soon bathed in dancing shadows and soft moonlight.
Unfortunately, the park was destroyed by flood, fire and cyclone.. the flood level was even higher than where my sister was standing..
Mark and Judy Evans, the current owner/operators, purchased the Park in 1993 and formulated a plan to put the Park back on the map. They see the Park as a work of art, and work on maintaining and preserving, rather than rebuilding. Small restoration projects have been undertaken, pathways uncovered and improved, and the Museum, an ongoing project, is continuously being enhanced.
We were led to see micro bats and eels :)
At night, the place was even more breath-taking..