Yesterday’s extraordinary visit to Cairns …A full afternoon…A great day…

The colors in this bloom were unlike any we’ve seen.

We apologize for today’s late posting. It was time for me to workout and the fitness center is only open from 8:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturdays and we needed to get on the road. Plus, I was behind managing the many photos from yesterday’s outing. 

Bright yellow and brown blooming flower. We’ve seldom seen so much brown in flowers.

With the sun shining when we returned it was also time to soak up 30 minutes of Vitamin D. I had started the post as soon as I was up and dressed, but left it unfinished with so many photos to download from yesterday’s outing.

We can’t quite reads the name of this on the included sign.

After completing yesterday’s post, we decided to head out on a sunny day to check out the Cairns Botanic Garden. In most countries such garden are named “botanical” gardens. In Australia, like many other countries/continents we find that many words and expressions are different than our familiar US words and expressions. 

These red berries accompany a dark, almost blackberry.

Not surprisingly, I’ve found myself using some of the Australian words and expressions. How quickly one could change their manner of the use of their native language. In many ways, the easy to understand words and expressions are rather logical here in Australia, even the shortened words such as “veg” for veggies or vegetables.

These were common in Hawaii.

In a future post, we’ll share some of these words and manners of speech. At the moment, I’m accumulating a list that we’ll share most of which are charming and humorous. 

Part of the grounds were blocked off for the construction of a new conservatory.

Whether its named botanic or botanical, we decided to visit the venue in Cairns we’d read so much about these past seven weeks. Easy to find with well marked signs on Highway 1 in the city of Cairns, past the airport, we were a little confused as to which “car park” we’d take. 

The Silk Floss tree we’d seen in Kauai.

As we drove along the huge expanse of the grounds which includes: Flecker Garden, Visitor Centre, Centenary Lakes, Rainforest Boardwalk, Australia’s Gondwanan Heritage Garden and Mount Whitfield Conservation Park, we managed to snag a free street parking spot close to the entrance of Flecker Garden.

The purpose of these spikes is to protect the tree from destruction by possible intruders. These has gorgeous blooms during the summer months.  Its winter here now.

For most tourists and local visitors, Flecker Garden holds the majority of the interest. Many other areas are designated for serious hikers with steep trails and mountains not intended for those less than experienced and fit hikers. 

However, Flecker Garden provided us with a perfect perspective of Australian vegetation and even a bit of wildlife we’ll share here over the next few days as we post some of our best photos.

Although many of these plants and trees grow in Hawaii as well as Australia, most of them originated on other islands throughout the world.

When we visit an attraction such as this, we’re always torn over whether it’s necessary to identify each of the items in each photo we post. Often, we’re able to name most of the subjects of our photos. However, yesterday’s tour of Flecker Garden made it difficult.

The bright orange of these vines stood out among the greenery.

With the growth of many of the wide variety of plants and trees, the originally placed signs with were often ambiguous as to which plant or tree the sign was intended to identify.

Heliconia. Wow!

As a result, only some of our photos will be identified. Otherwise, we’d be spending days searching online for the names of each plant.  With the high cost of wifi at this time, it makes little sense. If any of our readers would like to provide input, feel free to do so via email or a comment at the end of the post and we’ll happily update the photo with the proper name.

Snake Cactus.

We often wonder if the technical names of plants and scrubs really matter to our readers when in essence, we’re not a botanical website. We are world travelers sharing our wide array of experiences of many aspects in a certain area and by no mean profess to be an expert in any of these areas.

Close up, Snake Cactus.

As we wandered about the vast grounds of Flecker Garden, we found ourselves reveling in the many new and unusual plants and also smiling over others we’d seen in other tropical areas of the world, primarily in Hawaii on the four islands in which we lived over a period of eight months.

Once we entered the main entrance to Flecker Garden we were reminded that there was no entrance fee (we’d seen this fact online). This was a first. Of the many botanical gardens we’ve visited throughout the world, there was always an entrance fee which we’d gladly have paid. 

Unusual red bloom without a sign identifying it.

In some areas of the world, our visit to gardens has been “hosted” based on the fact that we’d be providing additional marketing exposure via our online photos and promotion. Not having the responsibility of creating stories as a more professional piece, we were more at ease as we wandered through the gardens, thinking only of what would appeal to our garden enthusiast readers and our own personal tastes.

Cascading pale yellow flowers.

Tom doesn’t love visiting gardens. As a matter of fact, he’d just as soon not visit them at all. However, as shown a week or so ago of us visiting a military museum, we compromise, attempting to show tolerance along with a degree of enthusiasm when we’re dragged along on a less than interesting sightseeing expedition.

Extra-long stamen of a lily.

Considering that 80% of our sightseeing appeals to both of our tastes and interests, these compromises are merely an exercise in attempting to offer ourselves and our readers a wide array of what each country has to offer. 

This flower was blooming on the Flame Tree.

We realize that we tend to stay away from many of the most popular tourist attractions when crowds, traffic, parking issues, and expense are factors for us. Plus, out intent in traveling the world was never about hitting all of the “hot spots” but, instead about immersing ourselves in “living” in an area and experiencing life as close as possible to that of the locals.

The Australian Brushturkey, also called the Scrub Turkey or Bush Turkey freely roamed around the gardens. These turkeys are not closely related to American turkeys. Click here for more details.

It is this type of experience that brings us the most joy and fulfillment in our travels as explained in the post a few days ago when we discussed living life as the “accidental tourist” as shown in this post, in case you missed it.

Over the next few days, we’ll continue sharing many of the exquisite discoveries we made at the Cairns Botanic Garden and hope that you too will find them interesting and worthy of a peek.

May your weekend be filled with that which brings you much joy!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 25, 2014:
One year ago, it was only five days until departure from the island of Madeira after a highly enjoyable two and a half months in the lovely home in Canmpanario overlooking the sea in an ideal contemporary house. Although little English was spoken in our area we found a way to communicate with the locals. For details as we wound down the last few days in Madeira, please click here.