The island continent of Australia is about the same size and shape as the continental 48 states of the USA. Cairns is where Boston is, Perth is San Diego, Melbourne is New Orleans, and Sydney is Washington DC. Just about the same. Now the weather is a different story; February in most of Australia is very hot. It is in the 90s and humid in Cairns and over 100 but drier in Alice Springs. The Australian Open played in January in Melbourne is usually played in unbearably hot stadia.
Well, all that aside the coastal road north from Cairns to Port Douglas, Mossman, and Daintree is a treat in any weather. What a lovely uninhabited coastal edge. The tropical rain forest reaches nearly to the sea the whole way and the vistas are easy on the eye. There is a bit of sugar cane grown here and that has altered the native flora significantly … but it is still a very nice road. I was driven by a birding friend over this route as we chased after a flock of Spotted Whistling Ducks. We never found them but we found where they were the day before. The large open area, a paddock in these parts, with the grassy wet spot they were once in was being mowed and surveyed and no self-respecting duck would have hung around – and these didn’t. But, we did have some good luck, good birds, and a very nice morning. Below is a scene or two and a bird or two.