Dave's Treks

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Here is a group shot, while we were driving back to Cairns, to catch our flight to Sydney! Posted by Hello

This is a shot from a ferry I took, while zooming during a long exposure - its of North Sydney, and the Cannon building sign is in the middle if you look closely - neat since its a Canon SLR that I took it with! Posted by Hello

Here is the Opera House at night... Posted by Hello

This is the Harbor Bridge, which we walked across - very pretty bridge... Posted by Hello

This is a shot of the famous Sydney Opera House - we say a comedy play here one night, in fact! Posted by Hello

Here is Lisa, learning to throw a boomerang... Posted by Hello

Cairns, Cape Tribulation, The Daintree, The Great Barrier Reef and Sydney- February 10 - 20

What can I say about this part of the trip? Words can't describe how beautiful this part of the world is. Both the Daintree Rainforest and The Great Barrier Reef are world class sites, and truly unique. We luckily decided at the last minute to stay in the Cape Tribulation area, about 2 hours north of Cairns. We stayed at a great place, the Heritage Lodge, with an incredible proprietor named Darren at the Lodge. Here is a link to their website if you ever plan to be in the area.


All of the properties in Cape Tribulation are off the grid, so the hotel has to do its own power, water, sewage, etc. Its a testament to the Lodge that it seemed like a normal place, no different than any other. Also, Darren helped us plan many details of our tours. It truly made our trip memorable.

We drove to Cape Trib on Friday, and had to take a car ferry at one point to get across the Daintree river, which has salt water crocodiles in the area. We didn't see one, I guess luckily, right!

On Sunday we went out to the reef - I decided to try scuba, my first time! It was great, but scary at first until you learn how to breathe, but I had a great teacher and it was like a private lesson since I had only one other person in the group along for my dive.

I also did some great snorkeling in the afternoon, and you can see some shots below that I took with my digital camera in a wet bag, sealed from the elements, which accounts for the flare in many of my shots, till I got the hang of the bag! We also went to an exotic fruit farm, which had some really tasty fruits for us to sample. Here is their website, if you want more information. They raise over 150 different fruits, in fact, and pick different ones daily for the tour.


On monday we did a 4 wheel drive tour of the Daintree Rainforest, the world's oldest rainforest. We saw many exotic plants and the like, and we visited a stunning mangrove beach. Truly stunning.

Then, to top it all, we had an amazing nocturnal tour of part of the rainforest, with a fellow named Neil, who runs tours on his property at night - he really knew his stuff and could spot little animals and insects 20ft away in the dark! We also saw birds sleeping on branches, just feet away...

All in all, a special place - if you ever decide to visit this area, just go up to the Cape Tribulation area so you can be close to the Rainforest and the Reef.

Also, in Cairns, we went to a placed called Tjapukai, which is an aboriginal culture center where they explain things about the aboriginal life - among other things we learned how to throw a boomerang! Then, on Tuesday, February 15, we took flights number 7 and 8 on Virgin Blue, ending up in Sydney. We had a lovely time here, getting a real sense of the city by walking around alot downtown. We stayed in the Bondi Beach area, and had lovely folks host us for meals for shabbat - thanks again to Shani and Lisa for help with this as well! What would we do without you guys! (have no shabbat meals, thats what!)

Its on to New Zealand for our next phase of the trip.

group shot - we luckily had only 5 people plus our guide on this event - too many scares the animals away... Posted by Hello

a lizard Posted by Hello

this is an 'upsidown ciccada'  Posted by Hello

another insect, this one is a grasshopper Posted by Hello

We went on a nocturnal tour of the rainforest, one of the highlights of the trip - you will see some insects, so beware those with sensitive stomachs... Posted by Hello

This is a cassowari, one of the rarest birds around - there are onlu 300 in australia, and only 50some in the area of cape tribulation..very hard to spot, we just got lucky - they are the second largest bird in the world, about 4 to 5 ft high! Posted by Hello

a vine, about as thick as an adult fist...the rainforest is really hard to convey in pictures...but very lush, very humid, very full of life... Posted by Hello

the lush rainforest Posted by Hello

this is a spider taken at the place we stayed, which was right in the rain forest... Posted by Hello

bloomfield falls, about 20 miles from the nearest paved road, near an aboriginal village called wujal wujal - i stopped the water via about an 1/8 second setting... Posted by Hello

This was an amazing mangrove beach we saw while on a half day 4 wheel drive tour of the daintree rainforest Posted by Hello

another shot of coral - the colors were amazing underwater... Posted by Hello

This is a shot I took of coral, underwater, with my camera in a wet bag... Posted by Hello

Me, in my scuba gear - boy was it scary but fun! Posted by Hello

This is Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the reef - A TRULY UNIQUE PLACE... Posted by Hello

This is the car ferry we took to cape tribulation (see text above) Posted by Hello

Kangaroo Island - Feb 8 to 10

Well, we spent Tuesday night through Thursday night, Feb 8 - 10, on Kangaroo Island. This was also one of the highlights of the trip.

You can see many of the shots below, with descriptions. Overall, its an incredible place, with an amazing amount of wildlife and natural beauty. My favorate part was probably the sea lions, where we were able to walk right up to them, within 10 ft!, in their own natural habitat. We spent about 45 minutes there, with a guide at our side. Just amazing...

We then left, on Flights number 5 and 6 of the trip, on Virgin Blue, a discount airline here in OZ. We really enjoyed this airline - they are cheap, with fairly roomy seats, and they get you on and off very quickly- the bags always seemed to be on the belt before we got to the baggage area!

We then made our way to Cairns, where the great barrier reef and the daintree rainforest are. See the next post for details....

This is a rainbow we saw, on the way to Naracoorte, on Day 3 of the Great Ocean Road. Posted by Hello

This is a koala, which we saw in nature preserve, about 20 ft up in a eucalyptus tree.. Posted by Hello

Here is part of the group of fur seals Posted by Hello