Far North Queensland, sunshine and colour…and dodging the snow back home.

Almost every year we go to Far North Queensland in the winter. We leave our coats at home and freeze all the way to the airport. Then we board the plane for a  three hour flight into another world, casual clothing, hats and a pair of sunglasses…nothing can prepare you for the colours of Queensland.

As the plane circles to land in this beautiful part of the world my heart always gives a lift…..

the vast azure sea, the tropical mountains, and the long blue skies.

This year we went with friends and family, and visited three different places, Port Douglas, the Atherton Tablelands, and Palm Cove.

Palm Cove, a short distance from Cairns, is a pretty beach surrounded by palm trees and winding paths, and a mostly gentle sea.

We spent our time in Palm Cove with our family and lovely granddaughter, and it was interesting to see this colourful world through her eyes.

From our apartment, on the third floor, we had a great view of the lush green palms and tropical plants…

Giant Palm Lily.. growing up to 5 metres. White and cream flowers appear during the months of Feb to July. The berries ripen from yellow to red.

Birds play an important role in distribution of rainforest seeds, and we were heartened to see that Queensland has its share of cockatoos, eating and spreading seeds.

We woke every morning to the familiar sound of cockatoos screeching overhead as they flew from palm tree to palm tree. This must be an unsettling start to the day for unsuspecting overseas tourists.

Looking down from our apartment we saw a flash of iridescent blue, the Ulysses butterfly, common to this area…almost camouflaged by the rich green surroundings.

I know that many bloggers are interested in butterflies, especially Jason and Judy from https://gardeninacity.wordpress.com/ so here are a few striking Queensland butterflies from the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda.

Ulysses a large swallowtail butterfly abc.net.au
The Red Lacewing Butterfly Aust. Butterfly Sanctuary
Cairns Birdwing butterfly  Aust. Butterfly Sanctuary

The Cairns Birdwing butterfly is the largest of all Australian Butterflies

On our walk through the gardens to the beach we saw so many colourful and unusual plants and flowers…..as our granddaughter said ”Oh Wow!”

heliconia: part of the banana family
Golden Penda xanthostemon chrysanthus

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the name of this pretty pink/red flower..

The palm below is a striking entrance to a garden.

We have been coming to Palm Cove for about 25 years, and one thing is a constant, Pete’s Place. This is the shop where you can buy milk, bread, magazines, summer clothes and hats,

….and THE best best fish and chips in town. Especially the fresh Barramundi.

a pretty dusting of snow on the Brindabella Mountains.

Meanwhile, we read and heard about the changing weather, back in Canberra.

Canberra does get the occasional dusting of snow in our winter,  but this year …. especially in the National Park and some parts of Canberra, the snow kept on coming !

Social media went mad with clips of kangaroos hopping around in the snow, wombats and even a platypus pushing through the snow..

The ABC and BBC news and the Washington Post had clips of kangaroos bounding around in snow.  What a confusing time to be an Aussie animal…this photo says it all..

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Tasmania: Photo Bernadette Camus

SO….who is responsible!

…..and how about booking us into Palm Cove next year?

I hope you are enjoying your season where ever you are in the world, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog, especially if you should be out in the garden!

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey  All Rights Reserved.





26 Replies to “Far North Queensland, sunshine and colour…and dodging the snow back home.”

  1. What a contrast in your two sets of pictures! It’s no wonder you go to that beautiful place in Queensland every year, thank you for the stunning pictures you posted.

  2. Just before you southern folks wax too lyrical over the virtues of endless tropical sunshine, I do hate to break the spell – we had frost on the Atherton Tablelands last night and Cairns had its lowest August temperature since 1953 (7.9 degrees Celsius). We are well rugged up!
    Regardless, I do count myself as blessed to count the Far North as home. It was great to see you here once again, Geraldine.
    P.S. Ulysses butterflies and the Cairns Birdwing are frequent visitors to my garden. Lucky me.

    1. I’m glad we missed that cold spell! 7.9 degrees Celsius would have shaken the locals! However, it is a magical part of the world, as is your patch, your birds, garden and butterflies are something else! Glad you enjoyed the post. (Elizabeth might know the name of the pink/red flower?)

  3. Thanks for the beautiful post!
    We have had the hottest summer again!
    Yes, the planet is heating up.
    Hope the roos enjoyed the white stuff. 😉

    1. Thanks Diane, I think the roos were happy when the snow disappeared. The weather is certainly unpredictable, world wide.

  4. Lovely post, brought back such happy memories. Although thankfully it wasn’t snowing at Bonorong when we were there back in January. At least the roos have fluffy coats!

    1. Yes, the roos looked most indignant in all the photos I saw. While in Queensland we also went on a Daintree River cruise…that might bring back more memories (I think you went to the Daintree?)

  5. What a contrast! Your post is immediately giving me thoughts of a visit to Palm Cove to enjoy some warmth and perhaps see some of those eye-catching butterflies.
    It almost snowed here during that cold snap, and we’ve had some ferocious frosts this winter due to lack of rain and cloud cover. It would be great to get away to a place where it’s warmer.

    1. The lack of good rain in Canberra means everything looks so dry and brown, that is also why Queensland looked so colourful. By the second month of winter we start to get cabin fever, and Palm Cove is a tonic.

    1. Yes, the butterflies in Queensland, are quite stunning. We really do enjoy going to Far North Queensland, and having our family and especially our little granddaughter with us was just wonderful.

      1. Family time is so special. We have had my husband’s nephew and his seven-year-old daughter staying with us this past week and it’s been such fun!

  6. I’d book next year’s reservation before you leave, because that is one gorgeous part of your country. I love the butterflies, birds, palms and flowers. I only hope Jason wasn’t holding a cup of hot coffee when he got to those butterfly photos because he might have spilled it. Wow! And, to top it off, you had your granddaughter with you. Now, that makes it perfect. 🙂

    1. Yes, it sure was a perfect holiday. It was lovely to see it all through my granddaughter eyes…she is almost two years old now… (lovely age)

  7. Good Lord, snow in Canberra, those poor kangaroos! Climate change is becoming terrifying! What a fantastic holiday with your family and friends, how lovely that you got to see the world through the eyes of your granddaughter too! Oh…THOSE butterflies! Oh….THOSE mountains! What a beautiful part of the world. I did enjoy this post, just wonderful.xxx

    1. Yes, you are right, those poor kangaroos! Thank goodness the snow didn’t last long. I’m sure you would love this part of the world.

  8. Wonderful photos, Gerrie. Your paradise getaway looks just perfect, especially those butterflies. I remember visiting a butterfly park in Cairns. They were spectacularly colourful.

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