A few weeks ago I went on a trip from Cairns to Darwin with two friends Ann and George. It was the 'Leichhardt Savannah Expedition' with the 'Outback Spirit' company. We travelled in a small 4 wheel drive coach for 13 days and 3733k. We followed the road called 'The Savannah Way', which also follows part of the route that the early explorer, Ludwig Leichhardt, took back in 1844-1845. However, he started from the Darling Downs not far from Brisbane and it took him over a year to walk to Port Essington north of Darwin.
We flew from Brisbane to Cairns. It takes two and half hours. We were met at the airport by our tour guides Maddy and Robin and taken to the Shangri-La hotel.
The view from my room was stunning. It wasn't long before we were on the coach again for a city tour of Cairns.
It included a ride up into the foothills of the Great Dividing Range to a lookout at Copperlode Dam, where we could see all over the city and suburbs.
Then it was back down the hill to the Cairns Botanic Gardens, where there was a magical display of tropical plants and butterflies.
Opposite the gardens is a rainforest walk to the lakes.
Night falls fast in the tropics and so it was time to return to the hotel for our greet and meet dinner with the other tour members. There were 17 of us altogether. The trek across the most isolated country started the next day.