A Travellerspoint blog

August 2012

Cassowary Coast

Our flat battery generated plenty of interest from Palm Cove onlookers, the satisfaction of helping a toyota (trust us, it's a big thing!) was at least given to a fellow Prado owner. We were on our way to Kurrimine in no time. 

Brads uncle John & Bev were on hand to meet us there - the council caravan park which they call home three months of the year can be best described as a fishing village. After setting up it wasn't long before the usual 4 o'clock happy hour. This was our only commitment during our time here and was a chance to meet with the rest of the fishing gang and talk tales... Not a bad outlook over the shoreline. 
Conditions were perfect the next morning to take out the fishing boat. The Trevally that we'd normally keep for eating was caught and used by John as live bait! We landed what we were going for, a few mackerel, apparently small fry to usual standards - you be the judge... 
... Plenty to feed us and a few hungry locals that had flown in. 
Surrounded by islands and a few breaching whales & turtles we headed back to camp via Stephens Island, a beautiful place you can camp overnight. One for next time. 

We took a day trip to the popular Mission beach to check out the Sunday market and soak up the atmosphere. Plenty happening on and above the water!

Thanks for looking after us John and Bev, lovely to see family on the road and share quality time together. We can see why you've been coming up here for the past ten years, an idyllic fishing spot & great friends to share it with. What more could you want. 

On the road early we headed to the mountains, back towards Tully River in the hope of some whitewater action. All that was missing was a helmet. Well, we found one...
.... Yes it's a pink stackhat circa 1980. More fortunate for Brad's safety was finding three rafting guides on their day off who were happy to take him down the river! 
What a rush hitting grade 3&4 rapids on a technical river - Jen did a great job getting some footage.

I love some of the names of these rapids - Alarm Clock, Theatre, Staircase, Wet n Moisty;

...and more placids sections.
We could see why some of these guys have been down over 1,000 times, thanks fellas!

Leaving Tully National Park we kept our eyes peeled, still on the lookout for Cassowaries. They live mostly on purple coloured berries and we heard a lovely story that the locals would put out buckets of fruit after Cyclone Yasi, ensuring their survival. 

Next major stop is Airlie Beach to coincide with Xavier Rudd's tour! 

Posted by Jenandbrad 15:19 Archived in Australia Tagged qld Comments (2)

Tropical winter

...Ok, its still worth sharing our first glimpse of the east coast.

As we rolled down the hill towards Wonga Beach, we welcomed the rising coastal temperature. And it was a warm reception from Jen's close family friends, Pat and Graham, who were traveling north for the season.
Quality time was spent strolling down the beach and lapping up the picturesque Mossman golf course in between rusty swings.

On towards the Daintree rainforest, an early rise to catch the ferry across to the NP. 
We decided to ditch the van and camp for a few nights, still, never far from civilisation. 
Up towards the top of Cape Tribulation we found a watering hole, keeping a watchful eye for crocs.

Cape York will have to wait for another trip but hearing so much about a unique and isolated camp, we decided to make the trek further north. Re-hitched we took on the 4wd track to Elim, found in the horseshoe bay just above Cooktown. It was everything we'd hoped for. 

We hear this place attracts universities to study the still relatively unknown cause of the fresh water bubbling up through the sand. 

Jen's keen eye spotted this tree snake scurrying up from the beach and into the nearest hiding spot.

Back towards Cairns, Palm Cove was a great base for a few days...
... But what's that stuff in the sky?!...
...Seemed like a perfect day to meet up with our traveling friends from our last blog entry, Emma and Ryan and their two lovely kids, from Mt Gambier. Crystal Cascades did in fact have plenty of running water because of the down-pour and the kids had the run of the park. 

Very slowly, creeping down the coast, our next stop Kurrimine to spend time with Brad's uncle John and Bev.

Posted by Jenandbrad 18:59 Archived in Australia Comments (5)


We were interested to see Katherine having been Trent's (Brad's twin) home for 6 months many years ago. He carved out didgeridoos here at the local art gallery, one of which is with us this trip. 'Kathy' Gorge was beautiful by kayak although no luck with the barra so it was falafel for dinner, within a nice campsite under the trees within the NP. It would have been a different experience had we had Trent as our tour guide. Maybe next time mate. 

On our way south we stopped by Mataranka to check out Bitter hot springs; The beautiful turquoise water carried us down a channel through Lilly pads and mossy logs. Mataranka thermal pool used by generals during the war, was crowded, less natural and not a patch on the Bitter springs. I'm sure it's the warm water that makes you do crazy things!

Like all travelers to this area we spent a night at Daly Waters a quirky, historic pub claiming to be "The Reel Outback Of Oztralia". 
They pack em in here! Parking attendant John on bike showed us to our plot 60 odd vans in each row. 
There was pub memorabilia covering every inch of the place. A gathering of bras, undies, ID cards, jerseys, photos etc reflecting how many thousands of travelers stop into this town in the middle of no where.
The novelty of the place included a unique show "Reflections Of The Aussie Spirit -  100% Outback Stralian". The most politically incorrect entertainer but hilarious, belly laughing evening.

We crossed the cane toad border into Camooweal, Mt Isa then up towards Karumba near the Gulf of Carpentaria. Forget the big banana, this life size Normanton crocodile was caught and recorded at 8.6m! 

The Karumba crew have a unique but appreciated humour...
... We met another lovely young family coasting around and shared our last sunset over the water together. 

With the east coast on our minds it was back on the road to get some kms under the belt, on the lookout for hungry cows... 
Our overnight stays often turned into two, surprised by the charm a number of the free camps offered. 

By avoiding the highway directly to Cairns, we rolled through the stunning mountains of the Atherton Tablelands. Tully Gorge and rainforest was a highlight, Jen admiring the 300m drop from a safe distance... 
...including a winding drive through Millaa Millaa and Yungaburra countryside. 

Zig zagging down the great dividing range back towards our beloved Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately the sun spoiling the shot but we don't need to show you all how beautiful the east coast is!

Posted by Jenandbrad 00:41 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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