Family Friendly Activities in Cairns

To: IROE <>, 'Peter Ewin' <>, "" <>
Subject: Family Friendly Activities in Cairns
From: Alan Gillanders <>
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 2015 22:50:10 +0000
Peter and Ian,
Thanks for the plug Ian.

Last night on our extended nocturnal tour we had a three year old and a six
year old who distracted from no one's pleasure nor did they miss out on any
but the highest animals as they are too young to use binoculars unless they
were already using them regularly. We saw seven species of possum and at
lest eighteen individuals:-
Gliders: Feather-tail, Sugar and Yellow Bellied
Ringtails: Green, Herbert River and Lemuroid
Brushtail: Coppery and Common subspecies of the Common
Peter it depend on the kids as to whether they would enjoy a nocturnal tour
with me but I doubt that I have any availability during your time frame.
There are no shorter walks available during October. I have extended
nocturnals (with vacancies) going on the 20th of September and the 14th of
October but nothing in between and no availability of any kind from
September 20 to November 3rd other than that mentioned above.


Alan's Wildlife Tours
2 Mather Road
Yungaburra 4884

Phone 07 4095 3784
Mobile 0408 953 786

-----Original Message-----
From: IROE
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2015 7:42 AM
To: 'Peter Ewin' ; 
Subject: Family Friendly Activities in Cairns

Hi Peter

A few suggestions and some advice.  The playground on the Esplanade is
called Muddies and is great.  We often took our kids there when they were
around the age of your kids.  So hopefully your accommodation is within in a
short walk to Muddies playground.  It will make your trip more enjoyable.
That is probably the best bit of advice I can give you!   Feeding the kids
and yourselves - try Meldrums on Grafton Street.  They make great pies and
sausage rolls and cakes (coffee is so so).  It was a family favourite and
our son still loves it.  Our teenage daughter is now a vegan so not big on
her list.  Coffee is another essential - try Cruze Coffee just near
Meldrums.  Coffee is great and staff are friendly and will make a fuss over
the kids.

Do go to Michelmas Cay, and take bucket and spade if you can.  The
snorkelling is great, and they have a glass bottomed boat which is great for
kids.  It is cramped so maybe the younger one may be a little scared.
However once you get going they will be entranced.  The kids can play on the
beach and paddle in the water which I'm sure they will enjoy.  The birds are
amazing and I'm sure they will enjoy that too - so close and so many.

Kuranda - well I don't want to start an argument however the attraction of
that place always puzzles me.  But Skyrail is good.

Around Atherton - try going with Alan Gillanders wildlife tour in Yungaburra
- the younger ones may be a bit too young though.   There is also a great
walking track in Yungaburra along Peterson Creek.  Really worthwhile, and
there is a swing bridge that the kids will love.

Do go to Lake Eacham (but don't go on the weekend during the day as it gets
noisy and crowded- after 4 pm the crowds disappear though).  There are some
walks, the kids can look at turtles and fish and you can go birding around
the car park area.  The car park area is the easiest place to see the birds
due to the more open area.  The walk around Lake Eacham is 3 km and easy,
however may be to long for the youngest?   There are also musky rat
kangaroos on this walking track.
Head up to My Hypipamee NP outside Atherton.  Easy family walk and good
birding.  Try Bromfield Swamp in the afternoon  to watch the cranes coming
in.  A great spectacle.

I can't comment on Daintree River Cruises - I've done it a while ago and it
was enjoyable.   I'll leave that to others to contribute.

Feel free to ask more questions and enjoy your trip!


Ian Sinclair

-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Peter Ewin
Sent: Thursday, 30 July 2015 10:11 PM
Subject: Family Friendly Activities in Cairns

Before I head north to Cape York (see previous email) the family (Cate + 3
kids - 4, 7 and 9) are spending a week in Cairns. We have a couple places
booked to the north of Cairns, and a couple of nights at Atherton (because
it is nioce there). I am looking at doing some family friendly activities
(that might drag a few birds in as well).
The three things I would like comment are:
Reef trip - I would like to get to Michaelmas, but is that realistic with a
family? If so any recommendations for good operators? If not is the
birding/reef on Green Island worth the day (we went to Low Isles many years
ago and is that a better option now)?I am thinking about Daintree River
Cruise - but don't really want to do the 4AM start to do the birdwatching
one. Any recommendations for a trip that gives good wildlife sightings
(including crocs and good birds) and is family friendly (in both time and
price)?Is the Kuranda Skyrail (and then return by train which I have never
done) worth a day trip? We will probably end up in Kuranda at some stage,
and the day being a true tourist is tempting. Any reviews either way?Does
anyone else have some family friendly suggestions - we will visit some of
the parks around Atherton, and might head up to Mossman Gorge as well, but
any suggestions appreciated.

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