Australia’s Northern Territory: Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta

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Although we are spending the vast majority of our two months in Australia within about 50 miles of the coast (primarily northeast and southeast), we made one venture into the nation’s vast hinterland. In our case, into Australia’s Northern Territory, an area that covers almost one-third of the continent (more than half a million square [Read more …]

The Feeding of Lizard Island Guests

At Lizard Island, in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, the coral, fish, clams, and turtles all find a way of feeding themselves. Guests count on Lizard Island’s world-class chef, Mark Jenson, to feed us (all food and many wines are included in the daily rate). We were not disappointed. While menus changed on a [Read more …]

Lizard Island Australia

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Our day snorkeling trip to the outer part of the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas was great, but we came to the area primarily to revisit one of the most memorial places and magical places we have ever visited: Lizard Island.To get there, we had to take a small plane from Cairns. Flying to [Read more …]

Great Barrier Reef’s Outer Reef

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Our last full day in Port Douglas Australia was on a snorkeling trip to the Outer Reef of the Great Barrier Reef. On previous Australian trips, we dove and snorkeled a few section of the Great Barrier Reef. Each of these have been off of islands (Lizard, Heron and Wilson) to which we had to [Read more …]

Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest

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Continuing our adventures around the Great Barrier Reef region, we used Port Douglas as a jumping off point to explore one of the Australia world heritage rainforest areas. We drove north along the occasionally lovely Captain Cook Highway through Mossman, Daintree and Cape Tribulation (Cape Trib). The drive takes you up and down scenic mountain [Read more …]

Port Douglas and the Australian Tropics

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Continuing our journey in the Great Barrier Reef region, from Cairns, we next went to Port Douglas Australia. We took the easy, 50-mile drive up the magnificent Cook Highway, along which you are surrounded by palm-lined, white sand beaches on one side and an impenetrable, mountainous tropical rainforest on the other. The town was founded [Read more …]

Above and Through the Barron Gorge National Park Rainforest Australia

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Although tropical rainforests account for only six percent of the planet’s surface area, they are home to more than half of all the world’s plant and animal species (including more than 2,800 plant species in this forest alone). While in Australia, we took a 20-minute ride from Cairns to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway where we [Read more …]

Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands

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While Cairns may not be the most ideal place to spend much time, it is a well-located place for visiting some interesting areas. We spent one day exploring the tablelands–a cool, lush plateau ostensibly centered in the town of Kuranda. This hyper-touristy town, with its multiple craft markets, restaurants, shops and locally-themed tourist activities (butterfly [Read more …]

Oakland California Autumn Lights Festival

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One hears a lot in the news about Oakland California, which is right outside of San Francisco. Murders, protests, etc. But Oakland sometimes get too much of a bad rap. It also has some delightful areas to visit, including around Lake Merritt. And it also has a great museum. When we found out about it [Read more …]

Cairns and North Queensland Australia

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We have been to Australian several times in the past. Although we have visited the largest cities, toured several wine regions and scuba/snorkeled the great barrier reef on previous trips, this time we set aside two-months to visit–including about three weeks and New Year’s Eve in Sydney. And on this trip, we plan to get [Read more …]