Waterfalls, waterfalls and waterfalls. 27th June Weather: cloudy Temp: 24C The next day in Cairns was indeed poor weather again. At this point, I had not seen the sun now for days. My money was dripping away but without a hot beach to sit on and not spend it, I decided to spend it and enjoy every moment I had in the “sunshine state”. I hired a car. I met a Polish girl the previous day on my Daintree trip and a Swiss girl in my room the night before. I took the plunge and, so with two new friends, the lonely planet and vague idea of where we were going: I put the Toyota Corolla into Drive and off we went. (I hate automatics)
With ONLY the Lonely Planet for reference (I don’t bother with GPS) we headed out of Cairns hoping we were going south. After a few wrong turns we got onto the Bruce Highway (does anyone else find that funny?) heading towards Gordonvale, took a sharp right and drove up into the hills towards the waterfall circuit. The view was spectacular and although I loathe automatic transmission, It made the hairpin bends, steep hills and frequent road work stops ( due to landslides!) much easier, if a little boring, to handle.
First stop was the Cathedral Fig tree; an ENOURMOUS, ancient tree strangler tree whose root grow down from the top. The first and probably most exciting fall was Malanda falls. We picnicked here, and then, as I hadn’t had a decent swim at the beach, I jumped in! I wasn’t the only one and the water was surprisinglynwarm, so the shock I had prepared myself for as I gingerly stepped in was totally unnecessary. I swam out to the slippery rocks behind the fall, trying not to think of whatever might also have been there, and also avoid thinking about how slippery the rocks were. I hasten to add, this wasn’t a dangerous whimsical swim: there were many others and no snake warnings, hence deeming it safe to swim. As I swam through the fall, I was surprised at how gently the cascading water fell. It really was akin to walking under the shower.
The following falls were each different in their own right. We took left and right turns and guessed our way to some 10 different falls. Some you could hear long before you saw them: some were mere trickles: others pounding, almost deafening demonstrations of water’s power. I enjoyed my day. I loved behind behind the wheel for the day, and was pleased to have seen something much more cheaply than a chartered tour would have allowed. As I handed back the keys, I found myself going back to that familiar dream of buying my own set of wheels and touring around Australia before I leave… Hopefully you can appreciate the difference of each waterfall as I have finally found a way to up load pics…