Australia in October 2015

This visit to Australia was planned to avoid the searing summer heat, so we went slightly earlier than on previous occasions.  It turned out to be a good decision, and if anything the weather was a little cool at times.  Once we had decided to go, Carl and Abi decided it would be a good time to get married, and so we had a wedding to attend as well.  This trip we decided we would go to Cairns, in Queensland, and visit an old friend of Liz's family who runs a horse ranch near Atherton, west of Cairns.

One of the main reasons for going was of course to see the grandchildren and Alice had grown amazingly since we last saw her.  There was a park near the house and she enjoyed the swings, liking to "fly like a bird" alice_swinging.jpg (420989 bytes) She also enjoyed investigating how the swings worked Alice_at_swing.jpg (411531 bytes)
and thought they would work better with pieces of wood stuffed into the legs.  Maybe they would........ Alice_poking.jpg (285326 bytes) We also took her to one of the many lovely beaches near the house and it was not the easiest of tasks to extricate her afterwards.  We discovered she enjoys digging holes and are expecting her to appear in our English garden at any time. alice_on_sand.jpg (283732 bytes)
Brother Declan was a perfect delight, with good manners, devoted to caring for his little sister and very talented at school.  Here he recognises the "I want some" look wanna_lick.jpg (211596 bytes) and duly obliges with a lick of his frozen yoghurt bite.jpg (225320 bytes)
Granny Liz helped with the swings, but also grabbed some quiet time while the children played liz_on_seat.jpg (354689 bytes) and while granddad swung the swing swung_by_granddad.jpg (304848 bytes)
Here we are walking along the boardwalk at Hallett Cove, with Declan using his new radio controlled car electric_car.jpg (387211 bytes) Sometimes we ventured down to the sea southern_ocean.jpg (132822 bytes)
We managed a number of super walks at the coast with clear blue sea and incredible views norlinga.jpg (238067 bytes) Plus odd lizards lizard.jpg (424428 bytes)
The day of the wedding arrived and Declan looked really smart, all dressed up declan_ready.jpg (138348 bytes) As did Alice in her pretty wedding dress alice_ready.jpg (147655 bytes)
The groom charged off with a piece of breakfast toast between his teeth and clutching various artifacts for the day groom_with_toast.jpg (234696 bytes) We had the responsibility for making sure the children made it to the ceremony unscathed and clean - not an easy task! kids_arrive.jpg (391020 bytes)
Both bride and groom were late arriving, but finally Abi did arrive bride_arrives.jpg (280975 bytes) Along with her bridesmaids bridesmaids.jpg (288198 bytes)
The "celebrant" adjusted the bride's appearance - seemingly a tradition abi_adjust.jpg (274995 bytes) and the wedding party was complete wedding_group.jpg (267451 bytes)
There were people watching watching.jpg (224475 bytes) And a local parrot called a Galah was also watching from a nearby tree galah.jpg (361677 bytes)
The best man and groomsman exchanged some whispered words sweet_whsipers.jpg (160352 bytes) Rings were exchanged and the register signed register.jpg (134238 bytes)
So that finally Mr and Mrs Kubea could start to relax bride_and_groom.jpg (218170 bytes) This was a time for lots of other photographs.  Here, Abi chats to daughter Alice abi_alice.jpg (170556 bytes)
And Granddad stands proudly with his grandchildren me_and_grandkids.jpg (237425 bytes) The reception was held at a beach front hotel and the setting sun provided a gorgeous backdrop to everything reception.jpg (91134 bytes)
Sinking slowly below the horizon sunset.jpg (137654 bytes) And creating spectacular effects with the palm trees palm.jpg (219962 bytes)
After the wedding Liz and I jetted off to Cairns, on the coast of Queensland.  We rented a small car and drove a couple of hours west, into a region known as Atherton Tablelands.  This is Atherton - reminded us a bit of a Texas town atherton.jpg (241841 bytes) Our little cabin on a holiday park was superb.  Very well appointed, clean and surrounded by fragrant flowers and brightly coloured birds liz_at_park.jpg (356273 bytes)
The birds would eat the blossom from the trees and made lots of noise bird.jpg (213795 bytes) But this was quite the nicest place to stay atherton_park.jpg (379509 bytes)
We met up with Sheila, who turned out to be a first class travel guide - and also to seemingly know everyone wherever we went.  shiela.jpg (194627 bytes) Her house to the south of Atherton was located among trees and was very comfortable shiela_house.jpg (445314 bytes)
She took us into the outback in her 4-wheel drive truck and we visited many places, including a remote settlement called Irvingbank, where there used to be a huge tin mine 4wd.jpg (319172 bytes) There are only about 80 people living there now, and I had a Guinness in the hotel irvinebank.jpg (323904 bytes)
We saw kangaroos kangaroos.jpg (271755 bytes) Beautiful flowers flower.jpg (269800 bytes)
Huge, old fig trees - this is the "Cathedral" tree cathedral_fig.jpg (382297 bytes) And were photographed cuddling at the summit of a mountain called "Mount Misery" misery_mountain.jpg (310776 bytes)
We also visited Millaa Millaa and its famous waterfall.  It's true to say that we thoroughly enjoyed the area and will return! milla-milla.jpg (473569 bytes) Next was to drive back to Cairns, and we took in Karunda on the way to walk through rain forest kuranda_forest.jpg (475319 bytes)
And to walk along the banks of the river in the deliciously cool shade kuranda.jpg (418026 bytes) We took a ferry out for a day trip to Green Island, on the Great Barrier Reef ferry.jpg (201001 bytes)
Beautiful, unspoiled beaches green_island_beach.jpg (162383 bytes) Exotic birds bird_2.jpg (261199 bytes)
Coral and brightly coloured fish on the reef (which simply didn't come out on the photos we took) coral.jpg (222509 bytes) Here, the fish and gulls are fighting over food thrown from the boat fish_and_gulls.jpg (268227 bytes)
My lady travelled back to Cairns pondering over all that we had seen in that magical place deck_girl.jpg (180337 bytes) Maybe she left her thoughts on this beach where we sat in the shade prior to catching the ferry back final_beach.jpg (285736 bytes)
Cairns at night from across the bay.  Cairns is a typical, noisy city - but the beauty which surrounds it is tough to beat. cairns_at_night.jpg (101600 bytes) A really great holiday, and thanks to all the family, and friend Sheila for their kindness in making it possible

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