Saturday, September 21, 2013

Walks Around Cairns

The whole purpose of us hanging out in Cairns prior to our upcoming sea kayak trip to Lizard Island was to practice kayak sailing so that we would not be a liability to the rest of the group on the Lizard Island trip.  Ironically, over the week we have been around Cairns, there has been virtually no wind. 

Our first day, we had reasonable conditions to start.  The day after, however, there was not enough wind to justify the long and tedious bus ride to retrieve the car on a one way trip so we paddled to Double Island from Palm Cove and, oh, so slowly, sailed back to Palm Cove.  The third day, we did not even think it was worth the drive to the beach.  

Instead of sitting about waiting for non-existent wind, I did a couple of local Cairns walks.  

The first was a couple of circuit hikes around Mount Whitfield Conservation Park near downtown Cairns.  I left early one morning and hiked the red arrow circuit (imaginative name that) to the blue arrow circuit (another creative moniker) out to Mount Lumley.  The red arrow circuit seems to be the local training route, although I'm not sure why people don't go on to complete the blue arrow circuit as, at the top of the red arrow loop the elevation is just 150 metres (ASL) whereas on Mount Lumley, at the end of the blue arrow route, the elevation is 300 metres.  Anyway, I thought I would have the trail to myself once I passed the red arrow circuit and I did.

The second was a hike from Crystal Cascades, a series of falls on Freshwater Creek, up to Lake Morris, Cairns water supply dam.  This was another nice hike up a steep trail to an old road that leads to a nice viewpoint with interpretive signage.  Once you arrive, there is free tea and coffee at the kiosk - which has a lovely view over the lake - courtesy of Cairns Council.  After walking back down we had a wonderful swim in one of the swimming holes along Freshwater Creek.  

Lake Morris

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