Barefoot Tours and Canada Day

Ya, ya, I know, Canada Day was three weeks ago. Two of those I was fully enamoured with travelling around Eastern and Northern Australia with my big sis and last week I was caught in a warp – time froze and also went at the speed of light. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up here on a Friday evening only JUST writing about my first day of the second lot of holidays! I’ll keep the yammering to a minimum and focus on photos!

It all started on June 30th. I didn’t waste a moment and was OFF and away on my very first day of holidays. Kerry, the music teacher and self-appointed Kimberly Airport Shuttle, wonderfully dropped me off at 8:30 am for my flight to Brisbane and from there onto Cairns. Everything went smoothly until that point but then I had to kill time at Cairns airport for two hours while I waited exceptionally impatiently for Courtney’s flight from Sydney to land! Thank goodness for Teresa (librarian – best book recommenders one could have!) and the teen fiction books she signed out for me! There were definitely ants in my pants!!!!!! After a long drawn out hug with a few baby tears, we headed for the hostel. The rest of our evening consisted of an entertainingly grumpy shuttle driver, a free sausage and mashed potatoes dinner (questionable, at best), and a terrific Tracy booking tours for us at Gilligan’s hostel’s travel desk.

In the morning we were up bright and early to join 12 others and our tour guide, Brett, on Barefoot tours (as recommended by Sarah!) – on Canada Day! Courtney’s dash back into the hostel to get our Canada paraphernalia, courtesy of Dan, started the day off full of energy and excitement that promised a fun-filled and social day for our group!

The overcast day wasn’t ideal for the lakes and waterfalls we were scheduled to visit – and swim in – but the clouds did nothing to dampen my spirits about having Courtorama at my side!!!! First stop – Cathedral Fig Tree! A magnificent plant that  starts its life by relying on the digestive tract of birds in the hopes that a seed will be pooped out in the branches of an appropriate tree. It then sends roots down through the air and into the ground to subsequently strangle its host tree until it dies leaving a hollow centre. Strange to feel sad for a tree.

We were certainly in the land of ginormous flora!

The strangler fig!

INside the tree!

Our next stop, Lake Eachum is the crater of an old volcano filled in with water. Cold water. Courtney managed it after some coaxing, but I stuck to the shores as photographer.

Hey, at least I touched the waters of the crater lake.

Courtney and Audrey went all the way!

And had the goosebumps to show it! Possibly the best photo of the day! Haha

While we swam (or dipped our toes) Brett set up a gorgeous morning tea that introduced many of us to our first passion fruit experience (incredible)! Australians do love to eat!

An algae covered hole! The picture doesn’t really show it all that fabulously!

Dinner Falls was our first waterfall, but Courto and I both opted out of swimming on this one!

The group! (Note attempts at trying to dry towels!)

On the nature walk back to the bus Courtney became fixated on my “sharp, pointy” ankle bones and my use of them as a weapon became the topic of conversation for the rest of the walk. Awesome.

A misty view out over the Atherton Tablelands.

Next was our lunch stop where Brett surprised us with a celebratory tequila shot for Canada Day!



After lunch we headed to the most “famous” falls of the tour. Milla Milla Falls is where the Herbal Essences commercial was filmed (I don’t need to explain which one, do I?) and where some band’s music video was filmed (ya, no idea what band or what song – anyone??). I ventured into my first swim of the day – freezing – but unbelievable! We swam right to the fall and perched under the curtain to look up at the lush vegetation growing UNDERNEATH the water!!

Oh la la!

Seeeee…. UNDER the falls!


Yes, yes, YES!!!! (Check out Captain Matty’s Barefoot Tours page on Facebook for the “group” photos!)


Sugar cane fields and a final appearance of the sunshine!

Josephine Falls and its “rock slide” was our last stop. This photo shows our celebration at making it to the top after demonstrating the grace of a beached whale (see the bottom of the picture!) to get up the algae covered rock below the surface. I would also like to point out that I am wearing a bathing suit my mom wore as a teenager. Courtney has also worn it in her younger years. And it’s still going strong. Woo!

There I go!

Go Courtney!

Party bus back to Cairns! Haha… all day we had the most mellow music going, and as soon as we were all ready for a nap after putting on dry clothes for the long drive home, the dance tunes come on! Oh boy.

Our group was just so awesome and we had such fun together, that Brett reserved us a table at the Wool Shed and we all agreed to meet there later for drinks and Canada Day celebrations! Courtney and I geared up with the flag as a shirt and covered ourselves in stickers in anticipation of being the only ones…and we were, for our free dinner at Gilligan’s. The chef requested we sing the anthem, so we roped the Torontonian behind the counter into joining us and we belted it out. But THEN!!!!!!!!! We arrived at The Woolshed to see….


We ran into Laurie, or Lori, or Lorie in the entryway as she commented on our decorations and invited the fellow Canadian to join our party for the evening! Audrey (French) and Jeanette (American) from our tour also got into the spirit and dressed in red! What a party! The whole bar was decked out more festively than probably any bar in Canada was. A pretty fantastic second-Canada-Day-in-a-foreign-country that was capped off by about 20 of we Canadians (Courtney and I rounded up all our new friends we met through the night) shouting out “Oh Canada” into the mike for the whole place to hear! Woooo hoooo!!! Also, we ate poutine.

Fabo decor.

So… that was day one! Just 13 more holi-days to go! I’ll try to be brief!

4 responses to “Barefoot Tours and Canada Day

  1. Reblogged this on Kimberly's Cave and commented:

    Happy (late!) Canada Day! Check out my other blog for stories about my travels/life during my yearlong teaching exchange in Australia! Have a terrific day everyone!

  2. Love all the details…..and your mama`s bathing suit!! I spotted that before I even read your entry! Looks like a great “day one“! I am living vicariously!!! Keep the stories coming……

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