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A Sunday drive to the Barron Falls

I’ve always liked to look on the bright side of life and after a week of endless, biblical rain which saw me confined to the house and unable to do anything remotely fun I needed a silver lining to the endless grey clouds!

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Parts of Cairns had been battered by a huge tropical low which eventually went on to form into TC Lam and batter the NT. It saw parts of the region receive 300mm – half of London’s annual rainfall – over night! Thankfully we’re used to this sort of thing happening in summer and aside from the annoyance of not being able to use solar power to dry my washing (aka hang it outside) and the high winds making scuba diving seem less than inviting it was business as usual.

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Fortunately there are more than a few bright sides to the rain up here. Previously parched plants get a drink and burst in to life, flowers open up and the grass turns green. The local joke is that when you try to mow your lawn during wet season the grass grows up behind you. Sounds fanciful, but the plants around here know they have to grow while they can, leading to some amazing rainforest (and garden!) growth spurts.

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It also means that our beautiful waterfalls get a much needed top up and start to flow with their full force. While on our Uncle Brian’s tour last year Mikey and I were both gobsmacked at the lack of water running through our favourite swimming spots due to the delayed wet season. More water-dribbles than water-falls especially after our wet season kicked off so late in the year. Especially the famous Barron Falls which had sadly reduced to mere drips and drops.

Until, that is, last week.

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Having seen some pretty incredible photos of the falls after the week of extreme downpours I got Mikey to drive us up to the lookout after I’d finished work.

It’s located just outside of the centre of Kuranda and the lower lookout is also where the popular scenic train stops for a photo opportunity.

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^^^It’s not quite life sized.

Don’t be fooled though, the train station looks like it’s just a quick stroll down whereas it actually turns out that the path takes you on a windy boardwalk through the dense, dripping rainforest.

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Usually I wouldn’t complain but thanks to the aforementioned rain we had to make a few hurried shelter stops under trees to protect the camera!

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The walk was worth it though, to see the usually bone dry falls (who am I kidding, it’s usually mostly just rocks with a trickle) absolutely pounding.

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The force of them was enough to make the ground shake and the noise was astounding. It’s probably the biggest waterfall I’ve ever seen and we were both mesmerised.

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This video is now the most liked thing I’ve ever posted on instagram and obviously we all know that how well things do in social media is an absolute indication of how good they are, so there’s proof enough.

We were also lucky enough to get a few rays of sunshine to poke through the rain clouds, which hit the mist at the bottom of the gorge and produced some fairly epic rainbows.

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Yet another reason to love the rain of course – rainbows! Come on, are you telling me they don’t give you some sense of child like glee? Liar!

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We weren’t too distracted not to nice this little guy who decided to make a few webs all over Mikey as he tried to take pictures. I’m usually a massive chicken when it comes to spiders but he looked so cartoon like I couldn’t resist taking a snap or eight.

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I edited the photo through my fingers, not joking. I’m a massive wuss when it comes to arachnids.

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The difference between the falls in the dry and wet have to be seen to be believed. Here’s a photo I made for the work facebook page:

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Just a slight change, eh?

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Definitely worth enduring a bit of rain for! Can someone please remind me that things like this are a short drive from my house when I’m having a moan? It makes a welcome change to the excitement of a chicken cottage opening down the road from my flat in London.

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