Tag Archives: Queensland

Cape York Days 10 – 14

From here on our trip back was pretty uneventful.

Day 10. The Falls to Weipa

Weipa is a mining town and really not much else. It’s meant to be fantastic for fishing, however, the prices are also fantastic. So we set up at the Weipa Caravan Park on a non powered site at the waters edge for a couple of days of R&R. Too bad you can’t swim for fear of crocs!

Weipa sunset was brilliant. The colours on this haven't been altered by any enhancing software, this is the actual sky.

Weipa sunset was brilliant. The colours on this haven’t been altered by any enhancing software, this is the actual sky.

Day 11. Rest day at Weipa Rest day at Weipa, lazed around and went to the pub.

Day 12. Weipa to Chili Beach and Archer River Roadhouse

We left Weipa and to the Peninsula Developmental Road and turned off at the iron ranges. We were meant to stay at Chili beach however the campsite wasn’t good for our swag and there was nothing else available. This is a very popular spot, although I can’t see why.

We drove down to Portland Roads Out of The Blue Cafe, had some lovely locally caught seafood and then drove to Archer River Roadhouse.

Dinner was the famous Archer River burger, It is a bit of a legend with the tourists. The burger was $12 and HUGE! YUM!

Day 13. Archer River to Laura

We’re asked to give some of the local aboriginals a jump start in Archer River and saw more broken down on the road before Coen.

At the quarantine station (where we noticed we had a flat tyre) we were asked if we could tow some of the local Aboriginals into Coen as they had run out of fuel. Apparently a local family group was trying to get back up the Cape and drove their cars until they had no more fuel (?!?). We were unable to help as our car is starting to show signs that something may be wrong and we don’t want to risk more damage.

We saw the place where we rolled our car. The road has dried out so much that you would never know that 2 weeks ago that it was more a treacherous slush pool then a road. Along the sides of the road are reminders if you care to look. Deep tyre treads mark the churned edges where the graders haven’t yet been through.

We stayed the night in the back of the pub in Laura.

Day 14. Laura to Cooktown

We drove back to Cooktown and back to our trailer, our Cape York trip came to an end.

Cape York Day 9 – Eliot Falls, Fruit Bat Falls, Saucepan Falls and Twin Falls

And time to leave the Tip of Australia.

Back through all of the little towns to the Jardine River ferry, back across and we drove down to the falls. We skipped these on the way up because we were bent on getting to the Tip.

First stop was Fruit Bat Falls, the other 3 waterfalls are within walking distance of each other.

Even though we are in winter, it’s really hot and dusty, so a dip in a waterfall was exactly what we needed.

I also had been advised that all of these waterfalls are croc free.

The Tip Fruit Bat Falls_A Girl A 4WD And A Trailer.JPG-2

 

We drove down to Eliot Falls, Twin Falls and Saucepan Falls. This is where the campgrounds are and where were to stay the night. The waterfalls are very popular for people camping and day tripping so the falls were really busy. We had a walk around and a bit of a dip, but decided to come back early in the morning, before all of the people got in, to take pics.

We did however, bump into the 4WD Action crew, Hubby’s idols. We were very luck and were able to get some pics!

The next morning we got up early for some sunrise photos of the falls and were treated to an amazing view of empty waterfalls covered in mist.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cape York Day 8 – Thursday Island

UntitledOriginally we weren’t going to do the tour over to Thursday Island as is was a bit expensive. However, when we got to the Tip we decided that we had come all of this way, we probably won’t do it again, we should just do it. So we did.

We booked our ferry tickets through reception at Punsand Bay, who were wonderful, and caught the ferry the next day. Peddells Ferry is the only passenger ferry that goes over and they also run a tour. We decided to pass on the tour and instead take a tour with a local guy Dirk who was just starting his own business.

View of the back of the ferry to Thursday Island

View of the back of the ferry to Thursday Island

Good choice! He tooks us around on a personalised tour around the island. He was very laid back, but full of information. The name of his company is Lax Charters & Tours and he can be contacted on lax_tours@hotmail.com.

Thursday Island (TI) is the administrative and commercial centre of the Torres Strait Islands and the most northerly town in Australia, it has had a fascinating history.

The Island has approx 3000 residents with about 9000 in total on all of the Islands in the area, and there are a few. Dirk, our guide lives on Prince of Wales Island next door to TI and commutes over to work by boat.

First stop on our tour was the Fort on Green Hill which was built in response to a Russian war scare. It is now a museum with amazing views.

Green Hill Fort

Green Hill Fort looking over Prince Of Wales Island

Rows and rows and rows of Japanese Pearlers are buried here. They say that at least 600 Japanese were killed while Pearling

Rows and rows and rows of Japanese Pearlers are buried here. They say that at least 600 Japanese were killed while Pearling and not all were recovered.

We drove around the “suburbs” of TI and then to the cemetery. The Pearling Industry began when pearl shells were first discovered in the Torres Strait in the 1890’s. This attracted workers from surrounding countries. Unfortunately pearling was a perilous job and hundreds of workers, particularly the Japanese, were killed. This makes TI’s cemetery rather unique as the occupants are a mixture of Muslims, Buddhists, Japanese, Pacific Islanders and Torres Strait Islanders. As well as being one of the northern most cemeteries in Australia.

We weren’t able to visit the cultural centre as it wasn’t open because it was Saturday which was disappointing.

Instead we stopped at The Torres Hotel which is famous because its the most northern pub in Australia, Fantastic! We had lunch and a few drinks before we headed back to catch our ferry back to the mainland.

Cape York Day 7 – To The Tip

We had an early morning start and took the ferry over the Jardine River.

Crossing the Jardine River

Crossing the Jardine River

We drove through the little dust blown towns to the Croc Tent. The Croc Tent is at the junction leading up to The Tip. This is where we picked up some souvenirs and information maps of the area.

Just a little further and we made it to the northern most tip of mainland Australia!!!

Not a great picture, but we made it!

Not a great picture, but we made it!

Even though it was a little touch and go at the beginning of the trip, we are very glad that we did continue on. It makes it just that little bit sweeter knowing that against the odds we got there in the end.

Then off to Cape York Camping at Punsand Bay for some R&R.

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.  The four days we were 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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Through the Ruins of Paronella Park

The Tea Rooms, Paronella Park

The Tea Rooms, Paronella Park

José Paronella arrived in Australia from Catalonia in Spain, in 1913. In 1929, after spending a number of years in Australia, José purchased 13 acres in 1929 and started to build his pleasure gardens and reception centre for the enjoyment of the public.

there was a waterfall, hydro electricity, tea rooms, a castle, a ballroom, swimming pool and over 7000 tropical plants in the extensive garden, all built by José.

A view from the Falls at the front of the Park. On the left is the castle and at the bottom left is the hydro plant

A view from the Falls at the front of the Park. On the left is the castle and at the bottom left is the hydro plant

Unfortunately there was a flood and then soon after José died of stomach cancer, his wife died some years later and his son as well. His son’s wife was left to run the park and in 1977 she sold it.

Sadly, in 1979, a fire swept through the Castle. There were a number of cyclones and floods in the following years and the park fell into ruin.

A pic from the night tour, this is the castle

A pic from the night tour, this is the castle

In 1993 the current owners found the park, bought it and work on maintaining and preserving, rather than rebuilding.

The park has won a number of awards and it’s easy to see why.

We purchased our tickets through RACQ for a 10% discount so it was about $39 each. This includes entry into the park, a day tour, a night tour and 1 nights accommodation in their campground and your ticket is valid for entry up to 24 months. Really it was great value.

The park itself is just stunning! I was able to get some lovely daytime and night time shots.

The Tea Rooms

The Tea Rooms

We loved our time here! The guides were fantastic and the staff in the cafe/reception were amazing. The park is beautiful and a truly unique attraction in FNQ.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

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. 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!