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Adventure Tour Through Atherton Tablelands in North Australia

August 18, 2015

We recently did a tour through the Atherton Tablelands which are southwest of Cairns.  We had such a great time and met a few awesome people, which is always a bonus on these tours :)

The tour started early, we were picked up at 6:30am by Brett our tour guide from Barefoot tours who checked our names on his clipboard and gave us a hug to wake us up and welcome us onto the bus.  That is certainly a way to wake up in the morning but I must say it does make you feel welcome and a part of the group.  We knew we were in for an experience for the day.  We did a few more rounds to get everyone picked up.  Brett then stopped and allowed us to get coffee (which was much appreciated by the entire bus).

Now that we had some caffeine in our system we jumped back on the bus and started on the journey for our first stop.  We did a few intro questions to get the group chatting and feeling like a group which always start corny but are always awesome convo starters.  These icebreaker questions included age, nationality, what you do for a living, and whether you were are folder or a scruncher (in reference to toilet paper).  A folder or a scruncher is such a funny question at any time of day but 7:30 am its hilariously awkward.  Now this was a new question for Greg but my last time in Australia my group tour asked this same question, so I guess it must be an Aussie thing.

First stop on the trip was to see a pretty incredible tree.  This tree was massive and the roots actually grew for the most part on the outside of the tree instead of into the ground.  It is called a cathedral fig tree and its so large that if 24 people held hands they would not be able to get all the way around it.

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Next up was a pretty incredible volcanic crater lake, lake Eacham.  Absolutely beautiful, but its winter in Australia and while Greg opted for a swim I sat this round out.  We then had some great coffee and tea to warm us up and were on our way.

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The next stop was Mount Hypipamee National Park.  We were able to walk out to see the depth of a pretty insane crater and Brett threw a large rock off the edge to show us what it would sound like if our bodies were to fall into the water.  Spoiler: it is not a soft landing.  We then walked over to a beautiful and FREEZING waterfall that had a cave you could swim into.  Now I did not sit this one out, I am always game for some waterfall jumping and swimming.

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Once we were good, cold and wet we dried off and headed to the next waterfall.  This is the famous Milla Milla falls where the Garnier Fructis commercial was filmed and the girl is doing the wet hair flick.  Everyone was taking their picture doing this hair flick and I must say it was pretty fun.  This waterfall is absolutely breathtaking and you cannot go and not swim up under it.

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Last stop on the waterfall tour was one with a natural water slide.  At this point everyone is freezing and Greg and I have not felt warm in weeks due to traveling through Australia in winter and having zero clothes for warm weather but how do you not go swimming in a natural water slide?  It was pretty awesome and not too cold which was surprising.  I am not sure if the water was warmer than the previous spots or we were just numb.  Either way it was awesome.

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Brett knew everyone was frozen at this point and he heated up some water for coffee, hot chocolate and tea.  He also got us some cookies and sandwiches and taught us how to do a timtam slam.  I will continue to teach anyone around me if I find timtams because this is such a fun thing.  You have a cup of coffee/hot chocolate bite 2 corners of your timtam and use it as a straw for the coffee/hot chocolate.  Just as you think it’s not working and your cookie is melting, quickly eat your cookie.  SO YUMMY.  Greg and I proceeded to slam some timtam slams and may or may not have gotten a little sick from too much chocolate.

Overall this was such a fun tour and I highly recommend it to anyone in the Cairns area!

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