Ally’s Winter Holiday – Part 3

Today is my last full day in Cairns, tomorrow morning I head back to Brisbane on the 24 hour train trip.

Hi there I hope you having been following my short winter holiday and enjoying my adventures.

My Itinerary for today with Down Under Tours :

Hotel pick-up at 7am ….ouch that’s dam early for me

Professional driver/guide

Morning tea at Mossman George Centre

Driver guided walk in Mossman Gorge

Lunch at Noah Valley in a rainforest setting

Ice-cream at Daintree Ice Cream Company

Cape Tribulation Beach and Board Walk

Alexandra Lookout

Return to hotel. Its a 12 hour day out.

The bus arrived to pick me up, then three more passengers needed to be pickup at Port Douglas.

The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas takes about one hour – 70km. It really is a scenic drive, plenty to see with a stunning coast view.

The road was Cairns to Port Douglas.

After all passengers were on board we headed to Mossman.

A stunning view of Port Douglas. In 1999 and 2000 I was fortunate enough to enjoy a camping holiday at the Four Mile Beach Camping Ground.

After arriving at Mossman Gorge Centre we had morning tea which was damper with jam and cream, coffee or tea. Damper is a traditional Australian soda bread, historically prepared by early settlers, swagmen, drovers, stockmen and other travellers – Wikipedia . Real damper that I am used too is cooked in a camp oven over hot coals. The damper we had for morning were scones.

Enjoyable morning tea.

After morning tea we boarded a schuttle bus that took us on a short journey to the Mossman Gorge. Daniel our driver/guide then took us on a walk at the gorge. I have to say I struggled to keep up because I was suffering the consequences of my excessive binge walking from yesterday. My back was aching (normal for me) , sore feet and a nasty blister on my little toe…poor me. There was another lady that struggled along with her walking stick. We decided to persevere and not let it ruin our day.
I will run off a few photos that I managed to take. I will admit that the first photo is from Mr Google.
Anyone for a paddle.

I enjoyed my visit to the Mossman Gorge, a paddle in the river would have been a bonus .

We then made our way back to the schuttle bus and then onto the tour bus. The next place we visited was the Daintree. We needed to go across the Daintree river on a barge.

After arriving at the Daintree we travelled along narrow windy roads through the rainforest of the Alexandra Range. We were then were able to enjoy a spectacular lookout over the Daintree River Estuary, Snapper Island and beyond to the Coral Sea.
We boarded the bus again and headed to Noah Valley for lunch
Tropical Lunch with a choice of steak, fish or vegetarian meal with fresh salads and fruit platter, followed by Coffee or Daintree Tea. We also had special access to a private rainforest property.
Daniel explained about the dangerous vegetation in the rainforest which are often lethal, poisonous and could kill you.
One of the passengers picked up one those cassowary plums. Daniel said she would be ok as long as she washed her hands asap.
We enjoyed a walk on the world-renowned rainforest beach and were able to admire the coastline and fringing coral reef from the Kulki Lookout.
Daniel explained how these wormlike creations are made and who makes them. I didn’t have a notebook and now can’t recall what Daniel said.

Did I say that this is a 12 hour tour ?

Before going on a river cruise we went to a Daintree Ice cream shop. The ice creams are made from all naturally produced products and fruits such as coconut, mango, wattleseed, lemon, and many other delicious. We waited in the bus while Daniel collected our ice creams which we ate in the bus while travelling back to the river to meet the boat. I got the following photo from the ice cream company website…truly refreshing and delicious.

Daintree River Cruise . Reach an understanding of this wildlife environment for one hour, habitat of birds, tree snakes, unique plants and of course the estuarine crocodile.
Waiting with anticipation to see a crocodile
This is a female crocodile known as Dusty.
Because mangroves are rooted in spongy surfaces instead of hard, their roots have adapted to be able to support them and keep them upright. One such adaptation is their high arch. A mangroves roots are arched above the water , which provides additional support and stability.
The crocs must have been having an afternoon nap. I found this grand one on the net for you to view.
Sadly the end of the Daintree River Cruise . I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My computer is playing up, giving me grief. This lengthy post was done via my mobile. If photos don’t load on properly I will try again later….mustn’t stress about these technical issues that are sent to try us.

Post Cards-Great Barrier Reef

These are the post cards I bought over at Green Island in case my mobile phone photos didn’t work out.

I did visit the reef way back in 1986. I did go snorkeling. These post cards remind me of the beautiful under water sights I saw. Sadly the reef is nowhere near as colourful.

Ally’s Winter Holiday – Part Two

Wow ! what an amazing view to wake up to in Cairns far north Queensland.

From a room with a view

Today I have booked to go over to Green Island with Great Adventure Tours. Green island is part of the Great Barrier Reef ,Cairns Australia. The island has an unique reef and rainforest environment. They say it is a nature lovers paradise for a tropical reef and island experience. The choice is up to you , numerous activities attract people from all walks of life.

Before I set off I need to have a hearty breakfast.


It’s a beautiful day here in paradise, it’s time to walk along the esplanade to the pier.
Looks a long way. I believe it was actually 2.5 KM.

I did have several rest times on the way. I met up with Anthony and Peter who are pictured in the photos below. Hello to Anthony and Peter if you are reading this, thanks for the lovely chat and for giving me permission to photograph you and say a bit about you in my blog site. I didn’t write down details about our conversation so please forgive me if I get it wrong because I am relying on my somewhat failing memory.

Anthony is Peter’s carer. Anthony’s mother is Aboriginal and his father is from Spain. I think Anthony grew up in Cooktown.

Peter comes from Yarrabah which is in the far distant background in the photo. Peter’s parents are both Aboriginal. Yarrabah is a coastal town. Traditionally Yagaljida is the Yidin language spoken by the Indigenous Yidinji people. Yarrabah is an Aboriginal community about 53 kilometres by road from Cairns CBD on Cape Graton.

Anthony and Peter
Ally and Peter
At the pier waiting to board Great Adventures for a day at Green Island.
Lots of people waiting, several tours about to leave to for either the Green Island, Fitzroy Island plus many other places.

At one of my rest stops I met two lovely ladies from the Gold Coast Queensland. I didn’t get names but what I do remember is that they both work in a aged care facility and provide daily activities. The ladies were also going over to Green Island with another tour company.

Once I was boarded on the boat ready for my trip across the coral sea I had a complimentary coffee. There was no social distancing, the tour group were operating at full capacity. Sitting next to me with two young lads from regional Victoria. They were so excited about their impending activities for the day . I will say more about my travel buddies on the way back.

My package included; Return transfers on board Great Adventures. Up to 7 hours on Green Island. Self Guided Eco Island Walk. Snorkel equipment hire. Glass bottom boat tour. Great Adventures beach bag.

On my arrival at Green Island I spotted people snorkeling close to the wharf.

Snorkeling at Green Island , unfortunately not me.

Already I am having regrets because I didn’t pack any swimming gear. I knew that I couldn’t go snorkeling but I could have just had a dip in the water. My other regret was I didn’t pack clothes for the tropical climate. Before boarding the boat I did buy a bright pink tee shirt with Cairns written on it, it was tight and made me feel awful so you won’t be seeing a full photo of that sight. What it did tell me was that I desperately needed to get back onto a healthy diet and do more exercise. Today is day 4 of my total wellbeing diet, already lost 0.5kg.

The Glass Bottom that I will be boarding soon .
On board the glass bottom boat.
The skipper guide showing people where to sit .
Underwater life at Green Island, I am loving this.
Feeding the fish at the reef is prohibited unless you are a tour guide. The guide threw feed over the side of the boat , beautiful sight to see. I thoroughly enjoyed the glass bottom boat experience. I do have a small video of the feeding frenzy, I will try and find it.

More fish swimming by. I took all my photos with my mobile phone, consequently poor quality photos.
I like taking photos of signs along the way.

After my exciting adventure on the glass bottom boat I headed off to do my Self Guided Eco Island Walk.

That is a sign post pointing me towards a crocodile show. I didn’t go to the show because I have seen croc’s before.
That’s where the crocs are. I did look in the souvenir shop and bought some post cards just in case my photos didn’t work out.
Enjoying my ECO Walk
Another interesting sign post
I definitely won’t take the risk and go there.
I spotted this amazing view and thought it would be a good subject for me once I get back to my art work.
Time for a well deserved rest. This is the only photo you will see of me in the pink tee shirt.
I treated myself to a tropical dessert. Pastry with custard, kiwi fruit, watermelon and grapes ….yummy.

Still regretting not have my swimmers with me.

Its now 4pm time to start heading back to the wharf for the trip back over the coral sea to Cairns City. I then spot my travel buddies from the trip over , well one in particular. Oliver spotted me and asked if he could sit by me. Oliver is in year 6 at school, going to high school next year, I think that would make him about 12 years of age. I enjoyed listening to Oliver about his wonderful day, he showed me his amazing photos. Oliver is a delightful, well manner beautiful soul. I got permission from Oliver to take his photo with me and put it on this blog, he plans to put me on Instagram.

Ally and Oliver . Hello Oliver if you see this.

Back over on land at Cairns City, its time now to wander along and fill in the remainder of the day.

Yacht Basin Marina at Cairns.
I had a lovely meal along the Esplanade at THA FISH. I didn’t have fish, had a pumpkin pasta dish with spiced bread. Took a doggy bag back to the motel for a midnight snack.

Even though I was absolutely wrecked, sore back and feet plus a blister I decided to walk back to the motel. I am having a real binge of walking, I can assure you I am not power walking .

The sun is going down . Time for me to say goodnight. I hope you enjoyed viewing my day over to Green Island. I will be back tomorrow to write another big day out here in Cairns.
PS: my technical equipment is giving me grief.

Ally’s Winter Holiday- Part One.

January 2021 I decided to plan a winter holiday. I am a Queensland Pensioner so that entitles me to four concession vouchers a year that can only be used with Queensland Rail.I booked a return trip Brisbane to Cairns and only had to pay a booking fee ( used two vouchers).

June 14th I set off from home on a local bus to Roma Street Station where the Long Distance Trains departs from. I travelled by local bus to Roma Street Station where the Long Distance Trains depart from.

After arriving at Roma Street I headed straight to the booking office. Sorry the photo below is a tad blurry.

I had to book in by 2.45pm. I later found out that was only if I intended to book luggage through. The train is scheduled to depart at 3.45pm. While I am waiting for the train to arrive at the station I should say a bit about Cairns. Mr Google explains it well.

Numerous people especially the Grey Nomads from other Australian States where the winter months are very cold head north to enjoy the warm weather.Now for a bit about the train.

I managed to find a map . Follow the blue line from for 24 hours from bottom to top 🙂.

Guess what it’s 3.30pm. There has just been an announcement letting passengers know the train will be one hour late due to a technical issue.The Spirit of Queensland finally arrived

A few minutes later I was allowed to board the train.This is my premium seat and accommodation for the next 24 hours.

Seated now and ready for my journey

The rail service is running at full capacity, no social distancing. (That could all change tomorrow). I have had my first covid vaccine, am 70% covered. A young lady sits next to me, she is travelling through to Townsville with her two teenage daughters. We started up a conversation, seems friendly enough. Works in food service in an Aged Care facility, not yet vaccinated because she has been having cluster headaches, has been having blood tests and scans.Time to read necessary information to make my trip safe and more comfortable.

The trains finally departs from Brisbane one hour behind time.A couple of hours into the trip I make my way to the Gallery Cafe to buy some dinner and a cuppa. I needed to walk through two carriages to get there. I could sit in the Gallery but decided to take my meal back to my seat. Cashless payments only. Back in my seat I enjoyed a lovely feed of fish and chips with a skinny latte.

I love taking photos but it’s a bit hard to that in a fast moving train. I did manage to get a sunset.

Trying to sleep in a seat that barely reclines is not easy but you do your best. Rail beds look good but not budget friendly, plus you need to book months ahead. I have heard good and bad reports about them, my brother said they are not worth it. I found some photos thanks again to Mr Google.

I had a somewhat restless night. There were several brief stops for people leave the train and new passengers to board. The lady in the seat in front of had her above head night light on, she was doing craft and kept cutting out pictures. The man in the seat behind was intermittently munching on biscuits. Fortunately no screaming children and no snoring to be heard.

Daylight finally arrived. The environment had changed because we were heading into tropical territory.I tried to take photos of sugar cane plantations.

Afer we had made a stop at Townsville the train was able to make up time.The further north the train went I spotted plantations of bananas.

Finally arrived at Cairns only about 10 minutes late. I survived my 24 hour train trip. I hailed a cab and headed for my accommodation where I planned to stay for three nights.

Now booked into my room ,top floor left end of the building.

Feeling wrecked, time for dinner and a good sleep. There is a cafe attached to the Hotel / Motel.

I enjoyed a meal of Surf and Turf (steak and shrimps).

Time to sleep now. I will write more tomorrow about my adventures in Cairns.

Keeping in Touch

Hello friends I hope you are all well and happy.

I haven’t posted anything for a while, even though I am retired life does seem to get busy.

I have been working on the Family Tree. I have recently been on a 5 night holiday here in Queensland, I will write about that soon and post some photos.

I have had my first Covid-19 Vaccination, minor side effects, second one is due August 5th.

My 5 year routine Colonoscopy is due, I have had the telephone assessment, am now waiting for the call which apparently will happen within the next 8 weeks . I am definitely not looking forward to that, it is a necessary preventative screening procedure.

I haven’t done any art work for several weeks, it’s probably more like months.

Yesterday I started another 12 week healthy eating plan. Total Wellbeing Diet created by the CSIRO. I got $50 discount, I am following the plan to the T and tracking everything I eat and drink.

It’s 8.30am I need some motivation and energy. I had better diffuse some essential oils.

Have a fantastic day everyone 💕 xo

I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside.

I recently needed to visit a government department. I discovered there was an office at Redcliffe so I made a morning appointment. My plan was to treat myself to some fresh sea air and fish and chips.

I don’t drive anymore . I travelled by two buses to get there, left home at 8.45am, was in Redcliffe by 10am.

After I arrived at Redcliffe I had 30 minutes to fill in. I had a look at the water front and spotted a good place for lunch.

I managed to take a few photos with my mobile. I will admit the first photo was one I found on the internet. . The second photo I took while in the bus going over the Hornibrock Bridge just prior to arriving at Redcliffe.

After my appointment ( I was updating my WILL) I headed to the cafe for an early lunch.

Yabbey Road has got good reviews. You sit out on the walkway, breathe in the sea air, listen to Beatles Music , wait for the food and watch the world go by.

I have been craving a real good feed of fish and chips for long enough. The meal arrived in the good old fashioned way, what more could you want.

Yummy yummy yummy. Cripsy Battered Cod, crunchy chips, mini potato scallops and a free pot of Mashed Peas.

I wasn’t disappointed it truly was delicious and definitely satisfied my craving.

After lunch I had time to walk across the road to the pier.

Lovely blue sky on a pleasant Autumn Day, forgot to pack a Sun hat.

I enjoyed my day by the seaside. I really must treat myself again soon.

Naming Day at Ally’s Castle

A few years while attending a craft show I learnt how to decorate hollow Plaster Paris Animals. I think I used mod podge and tissue paper.

Last weekend my 6 year old grandson Zakoby discovered the delicate ornaments.

Zakoby wanted to know what were their names. I hadn’t named them.

Zakoby proudly named them.

Harry the Dog

Trunky the Elephant

Jim the Cat.

31 years ago Zakoby’s dad gave me the Cats by the Pool for mother’s day, he was 11.

Beautiful memories and treasures.