A Travellerspoint blog

QLD – ATHERTON TABLELANDS “MENA CREEK – PARONELLA PARK”

8 June Saturday

overcast 22 °C
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Paronella Park is a popular tourist attraction, now offering a 1 night powered site in the adjacent caravan park with our $40 per person admission fee. Pretty good deal. The caravan park is only tiny and at best fits 12 vans. Lucky we arrived early to grab a site. We set up Swifty at 10.00 am and ventured into the park for a day tour. It’s a walking tour through the castle ruins. Paronella park was built by a Spanish immigrant back in 1929. It was his intention to build the park for the pleasure of the public. It once hosted balls, theatre nights, tennis, swimming, tea gardens with musicians and dancers performing. It has a wonderful avenue of Kauri trees framing the waterfall at the end. When you go on the tour you learn all about his family history, which is amazing. The guy that built this park, Jose’ Paronella, was actually only a baker by trade in his home country. How he built this was INCREDIBLE, plus he pioneered the first hydro electric generating plant to power his park from the waterfall here and also pioneered the first flushing toilet and hot water cylinder. Unfortunately a fire destroyed the castle then a series of floods and more recently a couple of cyclones. The current owners now have permission to rebuild the ruined ballroom. Not easy as it now has a national trust listing. They hope to hold dances and movie nights as they once did in the 1940’s. We loved it there. We actually went on the night tour as well which is with a different tour guide who tells different stories and lights up the castle at night. Quite special.

Posted by buttermenthol 02:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - CARDWELL

6 June Thursday to 7 June Friday

sunny 26 °C
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Only 2 nights in Cardwell. We had hoped to nick across to Hinchinbrook Island but the boat trips over from the port here are only on demand and only when picking up or dropping people off for the 3 day Thorsborne trek. If the ferry does make a trip across it is only then for a half day at one beach which didn’t look too fantastic compared to our time in the Whitsundays. We were quite happy exploring the mainland. Today we did the forest drive and five mile creek. Plus we ventured into the Edmund Kennedy National Park for some barra fishing. Tide was out so no go on the fishing as when the tide is out you can walk for a good kilometre till you reach the waters’ edge. Didn’t fancy that as easier for the crocs to grab you. Ahhhh. The guy at the caravan park that checked us in showed us a photo of the big croc that cruises up and down the shoreline here. Big sucker. Even though we didn’t go barra fishing we were rewarded however with a cassowary sighting on the way there. We both screamed and grabbed and fumbled for our cameras. Got a distant pic from our car so not so good. It was exciting though. The forest drive was amazing. We stopped at Attie Creek falls and did the uphill walk to the top to see the water hole that the falls cascade into, It was only 10.30 in the morning so we didn’t swim there but instead drove on to Dead horse creek for a nosey before driving on to a another water hole called the spa pool (for a picnic and a swim) Well I have never seen such a water hole. Turquoise colour water and so clear. It was called spa pool as the water falls into the pool from several fast flowing creek streams. We swam but warily as there are stinger fish warnings. Some kind of crazy fish that sting on contact. Everything here in QLD is out to cause you great pain I am sure.

Posted by buttermenthol 19:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - TOWNSVILLE

2 June Sunday to 5 June Wednesday

semi-overcast 26 °C
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Our four days in Townsville were great. We enjoyed “The Strand” which is a walkway along the beach with once again a beautiful man-made swimming lagoon out in the open plus an outdoor water sprinkler park, BBQ’s and picnic areas, all for free. My goodness what does Parramatta city council do with our rates money????? Also spread out along The Strand were lots of places to grab a bite to eat or coffee or a wine. We had fish and chips and lazed around under palm trees by the lagoon reading and picnicing. Not crowded at all. Very peaceful. Townsville has this lovely rocky mountain back drop behind the town with breathtaking views across to Magnetic Island on the seaside. We drove the very steep road up to the look out at Castle Hill. So high up it felt like being in an aeroplane. We were treated to a 360 degree view up there. We also went to one of Townsville’s popular attractions “Billabong Sanctuary” What a delightful place to see all of our natives animals. Croc feeding, a free flight bird show, koala, dingo and wombat talks as well as various snake and reptile talks. The park is designed so that you move from talk to talk with the greatest of ease as they are strategically staged at 15 to 30 minute intervals .No-one could possibly miss out on a thing in this park. HIGHLY recommended even for us Aussies. State of Origin on tonight so we are off to the Leagues Club for dinner and the game. Cowboys Leagues Club in Townsville has been voted No 1 best food in all of Australia’s Leagues Clubs so no Spag Bol reheats for us tonight. Off tomorrow so stay tuned to see where we end up……………

Posted by buttermenthol 21:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - AIRLIE BEACH

28 May Tuesday to 1 June Saturday

semi-overcast 25 °C
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We both loved our stay at Airlie Beach. We extended our stay to 5 nights. The Caravan Park was really resort style with everything you could ask for. We enjoyed the pubs and clubs in the town immensely. Lunched at the yacht club with the beautiful Whitsunday Islands to gaze at over a chardy and calamari on the deck. Had dinner out at a groovy pub with good music two nights in a row. Even went to a night club and danced the night away. My favourite hang out was where the live bands played, in particular this crazy good 2 man band with just bongo’s and an acoustic guitar. They had an unusual reggae type style. We stayed until the end of their gig. The town itself has an amazing free man made lagoon which we are noticing as being quite the usual up here. This one was massive, comprising of several lagoon pools that were linked with bridges, stepping stones and sand areas dotted with palms trees. There are too many stingers at the beaches so these lagoons seem to be popping up in every town we visit. Usually right on carefully planned boardwalks or esplanades beside the actual beach so the views are spectacular. Airlie Beach had plenty of stinger warning signs everywhere complete with bottles of vinegar stored in holders attached to these signs. Haven’t seen that before. Good idea. Our highlight at Airlie Beach was the snorkel cruise we took through the Whitsunday Islands. There are 74 Islands in total, 5 of which are inhabited with people and resorts. Daydream Island is up for sale at the moment for 98 million. Ahhhh!
We swam at Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island itself. The whitest sand which is almost pure silica. Apparently the American’s used to take our sand for glass blowing. It is heritage listed now so nobody can take anything or leave anything behind except footprints. The view from Hill Inlet lookout on Whitsunday Island was the best I have ever seen. And the snorkeling was great off Hook Island. When we were out snorkeling they threw fish food out over us. This just made schools of fish go into this feeding frenzy. The fish were big and plentiful. At one point fish food landed on my back and the fish were leaping over me. Scarey and funny at the same time. Sherrie and I screamed though our snorkel when we saw a dark shadow rise up below us. It was a giant Trevally about a metre long. Some fish were as big as dinner plates. We loved that cruise. Mind you the seas were rough and Sherrie vomited into a sick bag and I fell over in the boat trying to look after her. Again we laughed at ourselves.
We also went to a popular swimming spot with our blow up air beds and compressor. Cedar Creek Falls. It looked great but it was a rainy day so we walked around for a bit and spent the rest of the day driving around checking out the sights and some of the beaches. I have to say I have seen some strange letter boxes here. We have photographed 3 or 4 to post on our blog. Loved the microwave oven. The best one was an outboard motor. Pretty funny.

Posted by buttermenthol 05:08 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

QLD - SARINA

27 May Monday

24 °C
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Sherrie’s birthday today.
We had 1 night in Sarina stopping only because it was nearly 6pm and we didn’t think we could make it to Mackay before reception closed at the Big 4 caravan park that we had intended on staying at. We set swifty up in record time. I reckon we did it in 10 minutes as were we keen to get across to the Leagues Club to celebrate Sherrie’s birthday with a couple of drinks and a nice meal. We ended up being the only 2 in the club (this is becoming a pattern) so we asked them to turn off the music and turn up the tele so we could watch THE VOICE. Yay!!!!

Posted by buttermenthol 05:06 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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