Saturday, June 27, 2009
One has to be part of a tour group to view the lava tubes but one can walk around the crater of Kalkani by oneself.
A videw of a section of the wall. The colours are caused by calcium deposits plus the effct of some ores possible megnesium sulphate (?).
But the waterfalls are stunning. The Cairns Highlands/Atherton Tablelands tourism brochure includes the Barron Falls and the Josephine Falls but these we have already seen and have written about in this blog earlier.
Yesterday and today we visited the Malanda, Dinner, Little Millstream and Big Millstream, Pepina, Millaa Millaa, Zillie, Elinja and Mungalli Falls. We found the Millaa Millaa Falls the prettiest. The aboe photo shows the Millaaa Millaa Falls.
The old Palmerston Highway linking Millaa Millaa to Ravenshoe is a very attractive and winding road – a very worthwhile drive.
This is a photo of the Malanda Falls which are in the town itself, you can just stop by the roadside, there is no walk to it, it is very accessible. They have made it into a sort of swimming pool area but done well and tastefully.
Monday, June 22, 2009
This is the old hospital at Cooktown that was bought by the Jehovas' Witnesses and used as their hall. They actually moved the building from its original site. But it is beautifully preserved and cared for so it is in good hands.This is the view from our last free camp site along the Mitchell River. Very little known apart from locals. The information was given to us by a local and we trusted it and followed the road 10 kms from the main highway. It is freshwater and inland so far and along a causeway and from the sea that it was safe to swim in. There may be freshwater crocs but no salties. Not that we saw either species but saltwater crocs are harmless and shy. Mind you, I did not venture too far in but at least it was possible to enter the water. Good for fishing too but without Pete and Toni, wasted on us.
I have to also confess to completing my "real camping" experience here. Lack of toilets means you dig a hole into which you defecate and burn the toilet paper used and then re inter it all. I successfully passed Camping 2 on the syllabus!
200 tonnes of coffee are grown in OZ per annum and 90% in the Mareeba area. NWS has 10 tonnes of annual crop and they hand harvest it all.
Coffee was first grown in North Qld 1880. The industry 1880-1926 grew 500 tone per annum. the industry declined for a number of reasons. Kanaka labour ceased with a change of government policy and also the coastal areas first planted with coffee were more suitable for sugar cane. Market competition from Brazil and Colombia also made the industry less viable.
It is an amazing collection and a very worthwhile tour which we enjoyed - Andrew still enjoying. His capacity for consuming chocolate is vastly greater than mine.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
One of the Aboroignal rock art sites.
The photo above shows getting fresh water out of the river for dishes etc. The bank is high and steep, for a safe distance between us and the resident croc, and the rope is to haul the bucket up. A bucket full of water is pretty heavy I may add. And it is not easy to get the empty bucket submerged enough to get any water - it takes some patience and skill.
Lakefield is Queensland’s second largest national park and it is also one of the more isolated national parks on the Cape York Peninsula. The park is located within the Laura Basin that drains northwards into Princess Charlotte Bay.
Lakefiled is a remote park and the QNPW leaflet advises that visitors need to be self-sufficient with adequate food, water, fuel and basic vehicle repair equipment. Access to the park is only possible during the dry season from about April to November and 4WD vehicles are recommended. Vehicle access is not possible during the wet season. The photo above shows part of the lovely campsite.
The next afternoon after our arrival, a couple of hours after their friends Sue and Ken left, Pete caught a lovely sized barramundi and Toni caught an almost as big one the day after. The photo attests to it. The next day Toni caught one only ever so slightly smaller. I need to add that until our arrival, Pete and Toni had no luck with fishing at this particular spot. It goes to show Sue and Ken, how the power of suggestion works. We willed Pete to be successful as I have been longing to try freshly caught fish. We discovered by they way that Sue and Ken Moffitt are long time bridge players and while I forgot to take any photos and we also desisted from a game because of Pete and Toni, we plan to meet again in Darwin sometime in July and have that game of bridge.
We had to delay having Andrew’s piece de resistance, spaghetti bolognaise in favour of the freshly caught barra. And I made a laksa from the fish head for lunch the next day – take note George Gondor – we thought of you as we eat the laksa. Photo coming up of our laksas. The blog can only take up to 4 photos at any one time it seems.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
This is a photo of one of the swimming pools at the Big 4 caravan park in Cooktown. (The other one is blue and not worthy of mention.)
The bathers are new, purchased at the shop in the last caravan park we visited, the Pinnacle Caravan Park north of Mossman, near Wonga Beach. It is a really nice caravan park and reasonably priced. I judged it to have the nicest camp kitchen of any I have yet encountered and it has an oven.
This is a view of the Endeavour River and inlet that Lieutenant James Cook saw on 18 June 1770 from the Grassy Hill when he landed in the Endavour. The town that bears his name was a bustling town servicing the Palmer Goldfields in the last century. It is now a charming little town that provides the gateway to the north of Australia. Many travellers go only as far as Cooktown before heading back south and across to the Gulf of Carpenteria. We are venturing north a little way in order to meet up with Peter, Andrew's son and his wife Toni, at Hann Crossing at Lakefield National Park.
The coloured sands at Elim Beach. In order to reach this, driving 78 kms from Cooktown, we detached Priscilla and drove with Max. It is a long drive but the coloured sands are quite spectacular.