08/20/99 The Rain Forest

Today we went to the town of Kuranda which is in the Rain Forest northwest of Cairns. We rode on a vintage train on the way there that traveled on a path that was built through the mountains by hand in the late 1800's. The train trip was about 1 1/2 hours and passed through 15 tunnels. We also saw a breathtaking waterfall and gorge.

The town of Kuranda has lots of shops selling souvenirs. There are many Jewelry stores selling opals that are mined here in Australia.

Walking through town there were two men covered with rust color that were acting like statues. Ryan went up and gave them a coin and the man shook his hand. Emily wasn't sure she wanted to give them a coin, but she finally did and then ran away quickly.

Darleen, Emily and Ryan went into a Butterfly sanctuary. They learnt (note this was the spelling on a sign) that in the wild only 1 or 2% of the eggs ever actually hatch, in the sanctuary they have a 50% rate because they collect eggs every hour and a half.

We rode on the Skyrail on the way back. It travels over the rain forest and has a couple of stops where there are scenic lookouts and an interpretive center. The money raised from the skyrail is used to preserve the rain forest and educate people about the rain forests.

The Skyrail ends at the Tjapukai village and Cairns is a short bus ride from there. Except getting onto the buses in the evening is quite a challenge. Emily ended up standing behind the bus driver and had a long conversations while the rest of us were crowded against each other. Then the bus driver stopped and picked up six more people, still talking to Emily about all the things she has done and about her dog.

Weather in Cairns

08/22/99