Cairns Trip - Exploring Kuranda and Barron Gorge National Park

After Phil wore himself and us out doing the Cairns triathlon, we set off on a week long adventure exploring Far North Queensland with his parents.  The first stop was Kuranda, just near Cairns.  We took the sky rail up into Barron Gorge National Park and got to see the rainforrest from above.  It was hard to tell just how tall the trees were until we stopped and took a walk around the rainforrest floor.  Some of these trees were nearly 500 years old!
Cairns in the distance from the Sky Rail
500 year old rain forrest tree
We also stopped for a walk to view Barron Falls, a pretty waterfall moving down a mass of impressive rock.
Barron Falls
The sky rail was a great way to see the area above and allow Phil a rest after all his hard work the previous day.
Barron Gorge
The sky rail took us to Kuranda, which is a cute little town nestled in the rain forrest.  There are a few tourist attractions there, and we decided to check out the Koala Gardens, Bird World, and the Butterfly Sanctuary.  The Koala Gardens had other animals as well, and we strolled around checking out the very Australian critters.
Cool lizard dude
Friendly Crocodiles
Next up was the Bird Park, which ended up being a huge hit.  It's an open aviary with lots of Aussie birds and a few imports that have free reign of the place.  They warn you going in that the birds love to pull the buttons off hats and peck at sparkly jewellery.  it didn't take long before we had birds hanging on us.  This first one went straight for the button on Phil's hat, but I removed it just in time.
New bird friends
No more hat for the bird
We walked around and saw some amazing Cassowaries- these things had bodies the size of Emus with bright blue heads.  Meanwhile, our parrots friends followed Phil's dad around the park.  
Cassowary
These two hung out together the entire time we were there

I was slightly terrified when this one landed on me 
When we were all birded out we walked over to the Butterfly Farm.  These butterflies are all hand-reared, and like the birds have free reign of their enclosure.  It was really peaceful watching them flutter about, but they moved so quickly it was hard to take pictures of them.
Butterfly Love
This butterfly landed on her phone while she was taking a picture
Butterflies need their morning jo too
After the animals we had lunch and explored the Kuranda markets.  Then it was time to board the Kuranda Scenic Railway back down the hill.  After a day of fun in the mountains, it was nice to sit down and relax on the ride back.  
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The train stopped along the way so we could see Barron Falls from the other side of the canyon.
Phil's parents at Kuranda Falls
The pretty gorge
It was a great day exploring, though judging from Phil's nap on the train on the way back it wasn't quite the rest day that the ironman was hoping for :)

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