Meeting the Tjapukai & Kuranda – 18/12/16

A slightly better start time for a Sunday morning with the first stop the Tjapukai Aboriginal Park. The Tjapukai is the local tribe, from the rainforest around Cairns.

The kids started off with their faces being painted, before various films and presentations on the Tjapukai’s version of the Dreamtime myth, aboriginal weapons and a didgeridoo demo.  Although these things are by their nature a bit contrived, it was all very well done.

After the cultural demonstrations, everyone got the chance to throw a boomerang (Ollie getting three quarters of the way to a return) and then a spear using the throwing stick. Hopeless on all fronts!

After a quick bite to eat (chicken, rice, kangaroo – quite tough, but tasty), we walked over to the Kuranda Skyrail and took a gondola up to Kuranda village.  We stopped not he way up and took a ten minute boardwalk at Barron’s Falls.  On the way round, a guide asked if we were still looking with ‘City folks’ eyes’, which I thought was just a joke until he pointed out a five foot red-bellied black snake sunning itself on a log about six feet away. Even looking there, we hadn’t seen it.

1812 Kuranda Skyrail 17.jpg

Poor photo of a red-bellied black snake

Apparently it would take a coupe of days for the venom to kill you, with anti-venom only an hour away, so the chances were good!! But a reminder that the rainforest is real, especially when we head out into the Daintree to stay tomorrow.

At the top, Kuranda village is now pretty much all aimed at tourists. It was settled in the gold rush and then was used as a logging base. The highlight for the little Scotts was the koala park where they both got to cuddle a koala, before hand feeding the wallabies and kangaroos. Much cuteness all round, then a talk about the new baby common wombat.

The trip back down was an hour and a half on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, which was on the route laid in the 19th century, with a hundred or so killed in the building. Hand-hewn tunnels and viaducts, but from the Gold Class carriage with a beer and some macadamia nuts, all seemed well with he world.

Just having a cold beer on the balcony before we head down for dinner. We move on from Cairns tomorrow up into the Daintree forest, staying in a treetop lodge.  Hopefully not too rustic……..

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