Published: June 30th 2010June 30th 2010
With nerves on edge we head inland towards Ravenshoe, Queensland’s highest town some 920m above sea level, or thereabouts. We start with 8km of near vertical road, but cruise it at a steady 25kmph. We decide Innot Hot Springs is the place to stay for 2 nights, no phone coverage, no internet coverage and no TV signal, geez, what are we gonna do????? Oh, and did we also mention, no sun, in fact it’s freezing, but what it does have is several hot spring pools and this is where the rest of the day is spent.
Day 2 and the picnic packed, we’re off backtracking a little to visit Millstream Falls, Australia’s widest falls (don’t worry Viagra, Millstream falls short by a long way), so now we have visited the longest drop at Wallaman Falls, and now the widest. Our journey takes us back past misty Windy Hill to see the 20 wind turbines, and then on to Hypipamee Crater before lunch, followed by a couple of hours at Herberton Historic Village, where Steve goes back to school, and the teacher looks vaguely familiar…. Well worth the entrance fee (we think this is a smaller sister to Sovereign Hill at Ballarat)
Next stop Mt Surprise, ‘Bedrock Village’ Caravan Park. One of the best yet, so we quickly extend our stay till Sunday and book 2 tours, an afternoon on The Savannahlander Train, (Mt Surprise to Einasleigh, the train actually runs through the caravan park) and then a full day at The Undara Lava Tubes.
13 weeks of travel and we have finally made a pretty big boo boo, we don’t have any food in the pantry and guess what….neither does Mt Surprise! We have to resort to sending Debby out scrounging!! She comes back laden with fruit and veg and swears it only cost her a quick cuddle and a kiss on the cheek to the on site chef, Steve wasn’t so sure after seeing the smile on her face!!!!!!! (PS thanks to the lovely Phil)
Our afternoon train journey on the Savannahlander (courtesy on Deb’s Mum & Dad, our birthday presents) departs at 12.15 from Mt Surprise station. We join the other passengers doing the full 4 day journey which starts and ends in Cairns. We have a 2 hour ride, it takes this long because the train keeps stopping and we all get out to be shown points of
interest, such as a nest built by a large Bower Bird. The land is dry and barren, welcome to Outback Australia. At Einasleigh we have time for a beer at the pub before our guide takes us on a tour including Copperfield Gorge, Einasleigh town (sorry we blinked and we missed it) and then onto a creek for billy tea and biscuits prior to our 70km return journey to camp on unsealed roads. Another great day.
Saturday the same guide, (David) takes us to the Undara Lava Tubes. This full day tour is fantastic from walking round the rim of Kilkani Crater to experiencing the inside of four Lava Tubes. Lunch at the Lodge was a brilliant buffet in an amazing setting of disused railway carriages. If you are in the region you would be silly not to do this (you can even stop at Undara Lodge in one of those converted railway carriages).
Well that’s another week gone, only 38 more to go, but as we leave Mt Surprise and head west to Georgetown for what we thought was going to be a quiet 1 night stopover before Normanton, we discover the local Rodeo is still in town. Our
next blog will bring you several spectacular photos of the day!
There are more photos below