Published: August 17th 2012August 15th 2012
It was a cloudy, drizzly morning in Cairns. We packed up camp and gave the Jayco a wash before we left. It really needed it, red dust all over. We had lunch in Tully and climbed the big Wellington boot, erected in remembrance of the 79m rainfall Tully had in 1950. We drove on through cane fields, banana plantations and other farmland to Girramay National Park where we camped at Murray Falls. The falls are large with plenty of water coming through and the campground is large and has plenty of trees and lawn. There are toilets and non-potable water and it works out at $20 a night for us. The drizzle had eased off by the time we made camp.
We took the short walk to the falls and the day use area and the boys had a swim. There are amazing butterflies here, big blue ones (Ulysses) and red and black and green and black (Cairns birdwings). I’ve never seen such butterflies in the wild before.
16th August 2012
We combined a few of my interests (factories and sugar!) today with a tour of the Tully sugar mill. We first inflated
Kyle's age to 7 so he was able to come with us. It's a very down to earth mill tour where you actually do walk through the mill, not a "sanitised" tour as you sometimes get. The mill has been operating there since 1924, and it only takes 8 hours from when a cane train enters the mill, to the product leaving as sugar.
We drove over to Mission Beach for lunch. The tropical beaches are very scenic and there are lots of colourful pebbles on the beach.
When we got back to camp we did the Murray Falls lookout walk (1.8 km return), which was very nice and gave a view of the falls, the river and mountains. The boys then had a swim.
We played Phase 10 after dinner and Nanna and Alex won.
17th August 2012
We packed up our Murray Falls camp and headed south. We had morning tea at Cardwell, and had a walk on the jetty and visited the memorial of the battle of the Coral Sea. We had lunch at a free campsite called Bluewater Park, which was full even at lunch time, despite being theoretically
for 24 hour stopping only.
We did some shopping in Townsville then drove to Bowling Green Bay national park, where we thought of camping. However it turned out it was an e-permit only site, with no internet reception, and the sites were very small. So we decided to keep going. We needed some fuel so went into a BP on the edge of Townsville, then noticed it had overnight stopping bays at the rear so decided to stay. I think it's very public spirited of BP to have these bays. We used the truckers' shower for a $2 fee. There is an enormous Bunnings next door and the boys had a great play in there before dinner. Later we saw two curlews running around the truck stop.
There are more photos below