Paul and Elizabeth's Adventures in Oz

Day 14, Monday, September 9, 2002—
This morning we drove south down the James Cook Highway to Port Douglas, where we'll stay for the next four days. Port Douglas is just off the highway at the end of a palm-lined peninsula. Founded in 1877, it boomed on the back of the gold rush during the 1880s and became a major shipping port for milled sugar. It retreated back into a small fishing village in the 1900s before tourism sparked its revival. It still retains its village atmosphere — the wide, tree-lined main street has no traffic lights or parking meters.

The Mango Tree Holiday Apartments
graciously allowed us an early check-in (around 10 a.m.) which was very fortunate as our rainforest/wildlife tour with Wait-A-While Environmental Tours was set to begin at 12:30 p.m. and would not have us back to the lodging until after midnight!

The tour took us into the Atherton Tablelands above Cairns for day & night spotting of rare native Austrailian wildlife. The tour was led by a professional naturalist guide, Rick, and included only four tourers — us 2 and Laura & Caryn from Chicago. We learned a lot about rainforest habitat and the plants and animals that live there. In the evening, we went on a night walk through the rainforest with Rick using a spotlight to find nocturnal animals for us to view. The digital camera was useless on the spotlighting walk but we did get some pretty decent video.

Bush Turkey Atherton Antechinus
Bush Turkey (no relation to American Turkey)
Atherton Antechinus, the smallest marsupial (head hidden)
Cathedral Fig Paul inside the tree!
Cathedral Fig tree seen from a distance
Paul "inside" the Cathedral Fig
"Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree..."
(ok, so it's a fence post...)
Boyd's Forest Dragon
Spines on the climber of a Wait-A-While palm
(If you get hooked, you "wait a while" to get loose!)