The Dome is on the rooftop of the Reef Casino and Hotel and is full of all sorts of birds and other wildlife. We checked out the pademelons, the huge croc named Goliath, koalas, cockatoos, lizards and freshwater crocs. There was a talk about some of the local bird life and when the handler asked for 2 volunteers, Alex decided to give it a go. They both ended up pretending to be a tropical tree by holding a flower in their outstretched hands while the handler squeezed some nectar onto the petals. One of the rainbow lorikeets came down to feed on the nectar and kept jumping between the two 'trees' and walking up and down Alex's arm. His face lit up as soon as it landed the first time but by the end, I think the claws must have been bothering him. He said he enjoyed it but it was someone else's turn next time.
After the bird show, we went to have a look at Peter's favourite bird (apart from me of course!), the red-tailed black cockatoo. As soon as she saw him, she launched herself off her perch and landed on his shoulder. He was ecstatic until she started pulling on his earrings! When he covered them up, she got stuck into the little knob on the top of his cap. She dismantled it completely and then flew off back to her perch.
Peter couldn't leave it at that though, could he? He put his arm out and encouraged her to fly back onto it. As soon as she landed, she started trying to to peck at his watch so he tried to put her back onto her perch. She wasn't having any of that and promptly dug her claws in ... and then there was blood. Not much, but enough to frighten the tourists just walking through the door into the Dome. My comment of "Now that she's made you bleed, it's time to go" probably didn't help much either!
We went back into the souvenir shop where he got some first aid (a tissue and the offer of antiseptic, which he refused), then we watched some American tourists having their picture taken with a koala named Harvey. Typical Aussie male that he was, he had his paw on the girl's boob in all the photos! After laughing at the looks on the male tourists faces once they realised that, we headed back to the car and off to Crystal Cascades.
On the way there, we spotted a McDonald's and gave the kids an early lunch before they started complaining that they were dying of hunger. We were just finishing when Mark rang to ask where we were. They had arrived only to find that their room wasn't ready for them yet. We gave them the code to our apartment so they could have a bit of a rest while they were waiting and said we would see them when we got back. (They left Perth last night at 11pm and flew via Brisbane, with an hour's stopover, to Cairns. If they're anything like us, they would have been dead on their feet!)
I remember Crystal Cascades as a lovely swimming hole in a river just outside Cairns. I came to the conclusion today that time really does change things. Either that or everything just looked really different when I was a kid. It is now a very fast-flowing river with incredibly steep banks and an awful lot of rapids. This may be due to all the extra rain north Queensland has had recently (two cyclones in the area) but I'm starting to think I have just labelled a mental picture wrong.
We walked as far as we could, getting rather wet in the process as all the little waterfalls on one side of the path had turned into things resembling a burst fire hose, spraying everyone within range. The stream water was lovely and cool but as most women know, you can only put up with wet underwear (especially bras) for so long. We went back to the car, dried off a bit and then headed back to the apartment.
Once we got back, we sent the boys straight to the pool from the car so they wouldn't go barging upstairs like a herd of rampaging elephants, waking everyone up. Peter and I went upstairs to check whether Mark, Bec and the kids were still there and if they were asleep. We must have just missed Bec and the girls as we spotted them from our balcony,walking down the driveway to their block. Apparently they had just woken up and headed down to their room, where Mark and Lachlan were waiting.
Peter and I left the boys
They arrived at about 6:30 so Bec and I sent the big boys out for dinner and beat back the starving hordes with a whip and a chair until they returned. The food was soon inhaled, as were the follow-up ice creams and then the kids had fun playing with some tennis balls I found in the bottom drawer in the kitchen. (What? Don't you keep your tennis balls in the bottom drawer in the kitchen? No? Glad it's not just me that thinks that's a bit weird!) The kids all had great fun playing horsey when the tennis balls got boring, while the
They ended up leaving just before 9pm and now I am going to head for bed myself as I have no idea what we're doing tomorrow and need a decent sleep 'just in case'. I think we discussed some possible options but for the life of me, can't remember if we're each doing our own thing or going out together. Oh well, I'll find out tomorrow ...