A year on, Joe’s family from the UK visited again, which meant round two in Cairns – this time in pretty Palm Cove. Named after the many palm trees that line the beach, there are plenty of stunning walks and views, alongside a quiet village on the esplanade.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as kind this year, but with a tropical climate, some wind and rain are to be expected. I was only in Palm Cove for a couple of days while still working remotely, but we still managed to squeeze a few adventures in!
This trip was also the first time I tried Airbnb and it all went very smoothly, so I’m definitely a fan now. We stayed in a two bedroom townhouse tucked away on a quiet street, about a 10 minutes walk from the beach. Although hotels are enjoyable and they’re perfectly located on the Esplanade, Joe was staying longer so this option was more affordable with plenty of space to cook and relax.
Palm Cove Beach is especially beautiful with its aquamarine water and mountain view backdrop and it’s the perfect place for a long walk in the same direction – that beach just keeps on going! Because of the unlucky weather though, it was mostly very windy (I sadly lost my hat ), but I can imagine it’s perfect on a still day.
Joe got very into fishing on the jetty, which gave me the opportunity to potter around the local shops and take pictures of cute coffee boards. I especially liked how peaceful it was – no tourist hype here.
The main trip was to Hartleys Crocodile Adventures, which is a crocodile and wildlife park with you guessed it, plenty of crocodiles. The highlight was the lagoon cruise where a boat takes you around the water while 19 crocodiles swim around you.
They either come up close to grab the chicken of the host’s stick, laze on the bank or protect their nests, so it’s a great way to view them in a more natural habitat. However, I think bonus points have to go the boat’s host as his sense of humour was funny yet not exactly P.C, much to the dismay of the hippies sat in front of us.
One aspect of the park that didn’t sit well with me though was the commercial crocodile farm, where crocodiles are bred on the premises, and raised until about 18 to 24 months old, at which point they are killed for their skins and meat. We had the opportunity to hear how it works, but I just found it totally bizarre looking at all these baby crocodiles and thinking, you’ll be a handbag soon.
We also ventured to The Coffee Works in Mareeba – home of Coffee World – which includes a quirky museum, courtyard cafe, and plenty of coffee and liquor tastings.
The museum has an amazing collection of roasters, coffee extraction machines, coffee equipment, display boards and interactive presentations, which sounds slightly boring, but it was presented in such a comical way. For example, to showcase their coffee pots from around the world, the room had interactive audio and lights and put on a pageant show. I think it’s one those, “had to be there” experiences. The unlimited sampling includes around 20 coffees, 4 tea’s, 6 liquors, and over 10 flavours of chocolate, so there is lots to get through!
Until next time, Cairns. 🌴