If you’re in Cairns for a short amount of time I highly recommend one other thing besides snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and that is the Waterfall, and Tableland Tour by Cape Trib Connections. It’s actually really important which tour company you go with because they all provide such different experiences. Cape Trib Connections provided such a friendly and lively tour guide named Peter and he really made the difference between a normal tour and a great tour. First of all, for anyone expecting Australian people to act like Steve Irwin the moment you get off the plane, Peter will not disappoint you. He was charming and friendly and had a whopper of the “classic” Aussie accent. On top of the knowledgeable tour guides and breath-taking stops, the price cannot be beat- at $55 its the cheapest of these kinds of tours. Don’t be fooled by the Uncle Ben’s Tours or any of the others ones that offer the same trip for double the price (literally). Cape Trib Connections is definitely the tour to be on: http://www.capetribconnections.com/4_day_tours.htm
Peter had a seemingly endless knowledge of the Table Lands and regaled us with stories and endless commentary on the bus ride to the waterfalls. He is actually the person who supplied all my knowledge on the Gimpie Gimpie plant (and the entertaining story about the American soldiers) that was the subject of an earlier post.
For your reference here is the run down of our entire day in sequential order:
1. Babinda Boulders
There is an aboriginal story about the creation of these boulders which is very similar to Romeo and Juliette. There were two opposing tribes who were trying to come to a peace agreement. The princess from one tribe fell in love with the handsome warrior from the other tribe even though she was promised to another man from her own tribe. When her tribe caught wind of the two lovers they tried to escape to be together but the tribes followed after them. Eventually the tribes caught up and when they did they shot her beloved warrior. The princess is said to have rooted to the spot and cried until the great rapids of Babinda Boulders were formed; the spot where the princess is said to have cried over her dead warrior is now, coincidentally, a whirlpool called Devil’s Pool. It is said that her ghost still lurks around the boulders to lure young men to their death. Even now young men, especially aboriginal boys, are cautioned not to go near the boulders. The creepy part is that in total, as far as anyone has been able to count at least, there have been 17 deaths by drowning in rapids by the boulders- they have all been young men.
3. Milla Milla Falls
These waterfalls are renowned for being the backdrop of Herbal Essences commercials in Australia. Unfortunately upon our visit there were no bathing beauties with the luscious locks that Herbal Essences promises but it was still a pretty gorgeous waterfall.
5. Atherton Table Lands
And after a very long rainy day- I do recommend going on a sunny day- when we finally shed our shoes we were appalled at the sight attached to the ends of our legs…
Its been three weeks since our Cairns trip and my shoes still smell!