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Published: July 16th 2015
From Townsville we drove to Innisfail - back into sugar and banana growing country and the Wet Tropics. Innisfail is a big place, quite multicultural with a large Italian population. We had a quick look around, then turned off the highway and drove on to Mission Beach. This area is called the Cassowary Coast, another far north Queensland area where the rainforest meets the reef and also home of the elusive cassowary. We've seen them there before and at the Daintree, but not this time.
We booked into the caravan park at Mission Beach, walked along the nice little shops in the main street, and then went onto the beach. Mission Beach is beautiful. The sand is fine and white, quite different to a lot of beaches up this way, it is fringed in palm trees and the rain forest is just across the road. Dunk Island is the main island not that far across the Coral Sea. We walked along the beach, once more it was extremely low tide, and then got our light chairs to sit them on the sand, soaking up the warmth. Lovely. We chatted to a NZ couple who spend 5 1/2 months in Australia
every winter - they do a lot of free camping so gave us some clues on good places to stay. At night Doug walked to the fish and chip shop and came home with dinner - fish and chips for him, calamari, prawns and chips for me.
We were quite reluctant when it came time to leave Mission Beach this morning - we've decided we'll have a few days there on the way back - but we were also excited to be going up to the beautiful Atherton Tableland - it's been a few years since we last did that trip. The scenery is quite spectacular, rain forest, steep hills and once up on the tablelands, undulating hilly country, very green. It is dairy country and also popular with tourists and the area is dotted with pretty creeks and interesting waterfalls. It was fun visiting them all again, we parked and walked to most of them, one, the Millaa Millaa Falls had a tourist bus parked there and the pool in front of the waterfall was full of swimming backpackers.
The Malanda waterfall was just a small one with a cemented pool below. We were taking photos when
a young English couple started running to the other side and told us there was a platypus trying to climb the cement wall. We raced over with them, the platypus was just a baby and perhaps had fallen over the falls. We followed it as it struggled, then swam down the pool, surfacing every so often. We were worried it would tire itself trying to find its way out, but at last it reached the end where the creek overtook the pool and it was on it's way. We told the couple they were very lucky as it's hard to see platypuses in the wild. They said they'd seen a cassowary when they were at the Daintree. We should have stuck with them .. there were road signs telling us to watch for tree kangaroos but we didn't see one.
We did the other tourist things in the area - visited the huge curtain fig tree and then photographed the dairy figures scattered around Malanda. A busy day. We drove on to Atherton and it is here where we stayed overnight. We've been enjoying talking to our neighbours who are on their way south and home after doing the
Big Lap, comparing notes! Photos below are enlarged if you click on them.
Tot: 2.981s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 13; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0386s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb