Unlike Brisbane, where the ship docked at the bulk terminal, or Airlie Beach where we had a lengthy tender ride, in Cairns the cruise terminal is right next to the CBD. As one of us had already done the touristy stuff in Cairns on a previous trip (sky rail, Kuranda train), we decided to hire a car for the day. Our first destination was Babinda Boulders, where a friend had tragically lost his life a few years ago. The tree planted in his memory was doing very well.
From there we headed to Bramston Beach for a swim at the stinger net protected beach. While not the greatest beach in the world, we had the beach to ourselves and spent a little while there before going to Millaa Millaa waterfall. Apparently this is where a scene from a Qantas “still call Australia home” ad was filmed, but I don’t remember that bit. There are also unconfirmed reports that a scene from the video for Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre was filmed here, along with an ad for Garnier Herbal Essences. This may just be told to fool gullible British backpackers into doing a tour there. Regardless of any of that, it’s a very nice looking waterfall.
From there we drove to Trinity Beach on the Cairns Northern Beaches via the Atherton Tableland and Kuranda. On arrival at Trinity Beach Keelie caused some alarm by yelling “crocodiles!”. Once it became clear she hadn’t actually seen crocodiles and was just registering her surprise at the presence of the crocodile warning sign, order was restored. Kind of interesting fact, according to the interpretive panels at the beach, Trinity was used for amphibious assault training by Australian and American troops in WWII.
We then dropped the car back at the Avis office in the city, and had a quick paddle in Cairns’ excellent lagoon on the esplanade. Lucky we had unlimited kms because we probably clocked up 800km for the day. It was then back to the ship for the next leg of our trip.