Tag Archives: FNQ

Where are we now?

A lot has happened since the last post. We are now in Darwin and plan on remaining here at least for the next 12 months. Hubby and I both have decent jobs and have moved into our own place. However, inspiration smacked me in the head this morning and told me to finish our story, so here it is.

Thankfully our journey back into civilisation (Cooktown *cough*) we relatively uneventful. The next plan was to head back down to Cairns to collect our roof rack that had snapped off the car in the roll over two week prior. However, as we have skipped Cape Trib on the way up, due to the unseasonal weather, we made the decision to stop there a couple of days on route to Cairns.

View from Cape Tribulation Camping

View from Cape Tribulation Camping

Morning sunlight pouring through the trees at Cape Tribulaiton Camping

Morning sunlight pouring through the trees at Cape Tribulation Camping

Besides the scary, bumpy, windy road into Cape Trib full of speeding cars, we had a lovely 2 full days.

The same owners that owned Punsand Bay at The Tip own Cape Tribulation Camping, which is where we stayed.

So what did we do in Cape Trib? I got up early and took some stunning photos of the sunrising over the water and through the rainforest šŸ™‚

 

 

 

Jungle Surfing

We also went Jungle Surfing through theĀ Rainforest.

And visited a fascinating Exotic Fruit Farm for a tasting, which I loved, and tried some really interesting fruits including:

  • Tahitian Lime
  • Pommelo
  • Yellow Sapote
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Sapodilla
  • Black Sapote
  • Jaboticaba
  • Rollinia
  • Atemoya
  • Guanabana (soursop)

Check out the weird fruits below! But seriously, this was awesome! And for around $25/pp including transport to and from the farm, great value for money!

Black Sapote ripe and green, Pommelo and yellow Sapote

Black Sapote ripe and green, Pommelo and yellow Sapote

I wish we had more time to spend at Cape Trib. The activities we could do were nearly endless. Next time we will horse ride on the beach, explore all of the other beaches and natural springs and relax.

Next stop Cairns to fix our car.

Snorkeling The Great Barrier Reef

Unfortunately as the weather turned bad we decided to skip Atherton Tablelands and drove from Paronella Park straight to Cairns. Apparently they have have a really late wet season up this way we’ve been told by every tour guide, receptionist, tourists e.t.c. Ā The four days we wereĀ in Cairns it rained and rained and rained. For the first three days we sat in the camp kitchen at our Caravan Park and played on the internet.

We really, really wanted to go snorkelling so on the 4th day we went out on the boat, regardless of the weather.

The ride out to the reef was horrible with at least 75% of the boat puking out the back deck, Johny included. Thankfully the outer reef was calm and visibility was pretty good. Here are some of the pics I took with the underwater camera we hired.

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The dive company we went with was Down Under Dive who were just fantastic. They had free sea sick tablets, really friendly and entertaining staff, well organised and monitored dives and snorkeling and great value for money!

Note 1: Cairns Holiday Park is the closest to the CBD; however it’s full of backpackers. Usually this wouldn’t worry me except when they are obnoxious, messy, rude, slamming doors and screaming at 3am. We had to be moved into the powered (and much nicer) section of the caravan park for 2 of the 4 days.

Note: we hired the camera at the caravan park. Quality turned out to be fairly average and I’ve had to enhance these pics. There were more expensive cameras on the boat for hire and the quality of their pics was way better.

A Walk Through Townsville

The day after our trip to Maggie Island I took a half-day off to myself without the Mr. We were staying in Rowes Bay so I walked along the boardwalk to Kissing Point and into the Strand.

Rowes Bay

Rowes Bay

The Council had really excelled in the design of the facilities along the bay to the city. There are lovely parks, a brand new wooden boardwalk, local artist installations, mainly relating to Aboriginal culture, an outdoor museum at kissing point and then the Strand. It really was a stunning walk.

Castle Hill from Kissing Point

Castle Hill from Kissing Point

I was so invigorated that I decided to walk the track up Castle Hill. Just for some context, I was on my own, it was really hot, I had no water.Ā The climb was hell! But the views at the top were worth it!

Magnetic Island View from Castle Hill

Magnetic Island View from Castle Hill

Then I did the very thing that everyone should do after a long hard walk, I walked to the brewery and had a beer or two at Townsville Brewery.

This walk was definitely the highlight of my time in Townsville!

The Brewery, Townsville Brewing Co

My Paddle

My Paddle

I really like to eat and drink and unfortunately Queensland isnā€™t really known for its gourmet food and alcohol products, they do exist, they just arenā€™t well known or as predominant as other states. So to satisfy my cravings I did some research into breweries and wineries in Queensland that I might be able to visit and Townsville Brewery came up as the only boutique brewery in Far North Queensland.

Townsville Brewing Co

Townsville Brewing Co

The brewery is located on Flinders St, Townsville CBD. The building was originally a postal and telephone office, the military communications headquarters during World War 2 and then back to a post office before being redeveloped into a brewery, restaurant, bar and function centre.

I knew that they brewed on site so I was completely unprepared for the dark andĀ opulent feel of the venue as I walked in. The inside was all high ceilings with simple chandeliers gracing the roof,Ā heavy wooden tables with intricate designs carved into them and bar tables made from old barrels. There were dark leather couches scattered around the space, aĀ ceiling to floor wooden bookcase, a simple and understatedĀ fireplace and a gold gilded mirror, I was in love.

The bar staff were lovely and yes they do have tasting paddles, my favourite. For $12 I was able to sample Ā their 7 beers on tap that are made onsite.

  1. Townsville Bitter Premium Light
  2. Townsville Bitter Premium
  3. Bandito Loco, Mexican Lager
  4. Belgian Blonde, Wit Beer
  5. Diggerā€™s Golden Ale
  6. Nedā€™s Red, Red Ale
  7. Flanaganā€™s Dry Irish Stout
The Belgian Blond

The Belgian Blond

My favourite, the Belgium Blonde. “A naturally cloudy ale brewed with pilsner malt, unmalted wheat, malted wheat and flavoured with coriander and ginger. It is bittered with Saaz hops and fermented using a Belgium yeast strain resulting in light-bodied refreshing beer with a slightly fruity and complete aroma.”

They also had a lunch special going with a chicken BLT and a schooner for $10, bargain. All in all a great place, great beer and great service.

Townsville Brewery_A Girl A 4WD And A Trailer.JPG-4

The island affectionately known as ā€œMaggieā€

Magnetic Island, Townsville

Magnetic Island, Townsville

From Mackay we continued northward to Townsville. We did stop along the way at Bowen and took a couple of pics with the big mango. A local news crew accosted us on the way back to the car and asked us some questions about what we thought of the local area from a touristā€™s perspective. Having not prepared for the interview and not seen anything of the local area, our responses were somewhat lacking and rather embarrassing ā€˜cringe!ā€™

Anyway we arrived in Townsville and we did a day trip over to Magnetic Island, also known by the locals as ā€œMaggieā€.

We found that as we are RACQ members we were able to get a 10% discount off the ferry to Maggie, bargain! We caught the early ferry across and waited until the car hire place opened. We wanted a Moke to get around the island, but they were really expensive so we hired the Topless instead.

Me in a Topless, Magnetic Island

Me in a Topless, Magnetic Island

Picnic Bay Wharf

Picnic Bay Wharf

The island is only 12kms long so we drove From Nelly Bay down to Horseshoe Bay to see if there was any good snorkeling to be had. Unfortunately there was a strong breeze and the lifeguards told us that there probably wouldn’t be any decent snorkeling that day.

Undeterred we drove down to Picnic Bay, changed into our snorkeling gear and attempted to go in. Dammit, the lifeguards were right, we could barely see a metre in front.

So we had a quick stop off at the local museum and the island’s memorial park and drove back to Horseshoe Bay for some lunch.

Lunch at the local pub was lovely and after a quick lie down on the beach we drove back to the ferry and called it a day.