Hi Conference goers,

Please share any extra trips being undertaken before or after the
Conference in July. I’m meant to be compiling some ideas for you all,
but am currently home on doctor’s orders to rest and recover from either
a) a bad head cold or b) influenza. Would love to hear about your
potential adventures so I can possibly suggest extra sights in the areas
you’re travelling to.

My first suggestion would be to fly north to Cairns while the weather
is likely to be bearable, and base yourself there for a week. The
Trip Advisor link below gives an idea of the variety. Cairns is on
the coast where all the boats leave to visit the various islands.
There’s a plateau called the Atherton Tablelands that runs parallel
leaving a very low flat strip of coastal land north and south of
Cairns. It’s at a reasonably high altitude providing a very different
rainforest type. The Skyrail is an amazing way to get there. It will
float you up and over the rainforest and into the Atherton region
national parks. Great jungle, cafes and markets if you head to
Kuranda on the right day of the week.

Head further north up to Port Douglas overnight (very hip and great food
while being a good half way point) then on to The Daintree (as it’s
fondly known). World Heritage designated for being a rainforest located
right on the coast. Quite rare. You’ll pass through lots of sugar cane
plantations on the way but the coastal drive is flat, easy and quite
beautiful at times.

At the back of the city of Cairns is an area known as Crystal Springs
which is a large bubbling small river that is a beautiful swimming area
that the locals frequent (my niece lived there). In the city itself is
the boardwalk along the mudflats. The tide goes out quite a distance so
all the crabs and critters are revealed at low tide. It’s a city of
festivals too, so no doubt you’ll hear music and see unusual food
vendors around the streets. As it’s school holidays, think about booking
sooner rather than later.

Then there are butterfly farms and the Great Barrier Reef to explore.

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