Airlie Beach, QLD

It was so nice to see my cousin James, his wife Liz and their children again. We were able to conveniently park at the rear of their home, which made enjoying meals together a breeze. Boy were those meals delicious. Liz spoiled us with good home cooked food the whole time we were there, from scones to muffins (PS I still need to get that recipe off you), smoothies, a quiche bake-off, what a machine! Even treating us to her famous lasagne. It was delish! Disappointingly for everyone else, one night the enchiladas fell to the ground being brought out to the table, but it wasn’t the gluten free ones it was the glutenous ones, so I still got to enjoy dinner!! A rough week for them with kids home sick from school, they still managed to accommodate and spoil us. Introducing us to the “train game”, post cyclone home reno’s 101, where the hip hang out for some casual dining and the best places to fish.

Esther loved playing with new toys and her new friends. She even got to take some of the toys with her, including a Wiggles guitar! Which we’ve heard a few times now.

Thanks to James we were also treated to a flight with Air Whitsunday over the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, something I had only dreamed of doing. It was amazing and I would highly recommend it. To see the reef from that perspective, the colour, the patterns and how long it extended on the horizon was amazing. I saw some sharks and Dan saw some turtles. It was truly stunning. Here are some photos, although not sure if they do it justice.

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The De Havilland Beaver .
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“Heart Reef”

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Liz kindly watched Esther for the morning and looking at these photo’s I don’t think Esther even knew we were gone (Note the bracelet):

Airlie Beach Lagoon:

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Views from the restaurant we went to on our last night together.

If we hadn’t been spoiled enough already Esther got her first ride in a small boat, although at times it was questionable as to whether she was enjoying it. James spotted turtles and showed us some of the devastation from Cyclone Debbie with a few boats still stranded. On the way we picked up a bag of ice from a vending machine, to keep our catches cool, not sure if we have any of those in WA! Meanwhile, I think James luck was about to change with us on the boat! Nothing again!

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What else do you do with a camera case? Shoe?

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So sad to say goodbye, but all the better for the time spent together. Looking forward to our future adventures on Kangaroo Island, or when they come to visit us in Perth. Beautiful family, glad we’re related!

Cairns, QLD

2nd September 2017

Driving from Undarra to Cairns the scenery changed dramatically, it took us through the Atherton Tablelands and after 5 months in the outback we were mesmerized by the green, so much so I took this photo, which may not be much to you, but to us it was so lush to look at, fields of green.

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All I see is green, green, green..  the only red dirt is on our car.

We stopped off at a Strawberry Farm, with the most delicious fresh strawberries and strawberry gelato! Just ask Esther, this was heaven and the freshest strawberries we’d had in months.

 

Great Barrier Reef:

This was definitely a bucket list item, to snorkel the barrier reef, the weather was good, so we did it! The boat took us out to a pontoon where there was a semi-submersible boat which Esther loved as well as an underwater viewing platform and small child friendly swimming area. Dan and I tag teamed and it was so relaxing floating over the coral, seeing all the fish and just being in the water.

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Family photo.
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A moment!
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My bearded Dan.
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Esther watching the fish in the “underwater world”.

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So cool to see a turtle this big in the wild.

Kuranda, The village in the Rainforest:

A must do when in Cairns, take the gondola from Cairns up to Kuranda. As you’ll see below it takes you high above the trees with amazing views. The sound of birds and insects echos loudly, we looked hard to find snakes up in the trees but no luck.

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One of the most Ancient Pines: The Kauri Pine.
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This is one of my favourite photos.. of me! ha ha I did my hair and even wore makeup that day!
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Barron Falls

Catching up with family:

Haven’t seen each other in years. Was lovely to reunite and spend time together!