Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cairns, Queensland Australia Vicinity - Thursday, June 5, 2014

The time is flying! Tomorrow we will have been in Australia for a month.  We have been at a fast pace, especially while in Sydney, so this morning we slept in and started slow.  Our hostess has given us wonderful tip of what to do in the area.  Cairns is actually a larger city than what we had expected. This morning we drove up the mountain on a very winding road to the town of Kuranda, but we actually did not stop in Kuranda today.  We continued on the Atherton Tableland area.  This is a very flat area, thus called tableland that is 3000 ft above sea level. It has cool temperatures, heavy rainfall, and rich volcanic soil, making it one of the richest farming areas of the State of Queensland.  We saw all sort of farming.  Banana plantations – bought some of the best bananas we have ever eaten; avocados – they were not ‘ready to eat’ ripe and since we will not be here very long we decided not to buy any; mangoes groves, December is Mango season- I was disappointed as I love mangos; peanuts – we stopped and bought some salted peanuts – we saw them harvesting peanuts and baling the dried plants; coffee plantations – we did not visit any of them as we had visited a coffee plantation in Costa Rica; and tea plantations – we have never seen a tea plantation so this was a “must stop” for us. This plantation was 450 acres with processing on the grounds. There were no guided tours today, but we would watch the process from a viewing area.  Amazing! And of course we had a cup of tea.
Banana Plantation




Mango Orchard

Tablelands Countryside

A one laned bridge


Tea Plantation




New Growth ready to be Cut


So after the day of being up on the tablelands, we had to drive down to sea level. Part of the drive down is 12 miles of nothing but curves!!  By the time we had gone 9 miles, Cal who was driving, was almost feeling motion sickness. Wow was it good to be out of the mountains!  Along the coast line we saw miles and miles of sugar cane fields. 
Sugar Cane by the Mile


Sugar Cane Truck going to the Plant to process

This evening our hostess prepared a wonderful home cooked meal and we had another enjoyable visit over dinner.  She likes cooking when others are around, instead of cooking for just herself. She is an excellent cook.       

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