Staying With Louise
We had met Louise and her daughter, Isla, in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Having shared the unforgettable tiger cuddling experience we all had something to talk about, and after exhausting that topic it turned out they were heading to Bangkok on the same day as us and needed transport, so jumped on our bus (although we nearly left without them! But that’s another story). It also turned out that we were heading in the same direction as Louise in about a months time. To Cairns, Australia.
British born, now in a deep relationship with Australia, Louise moved here to escape the cold and unhealthy climate of Britain. Which was very fortunate for me and Laura, as Louise invited us to stay with her, and made us feel very much at home.
And these, unfortunately, are the only photos we have of Louise. And her dog. Her daughter is the little blonde girl in the tiger photos previously posted.
The Waterfall Trail
Heading to Cairns we decided to take the easy and enjoyable drive up through the tablelands. The waterfall circuit takes several hours by car, driving through rainforest’s, visiting waterfalls (obviously!), stopping at designated look-outs and swimming in crystal blue lakes (with pelicans!) and is certainly all about the journey and not just the destination. Unfortunately we started a little late in the afternoon, making it impossible to reach all the waterfalls in darkness, but after an incredible encounter whilst watching a migration of bats – thousands and thousands of them – take to the sky’s, like bees to a honey pot, we decided to return to the circuit several days later after relaxing in Cairns. And return we did.
Millaa Millaa Falls (all of the above photos) was undoubtedly my favourite of them all. In fact, she – I’ve decided it’s a she – was the most beautiful I have ever seen. She had a perfect fall and gentle landing with flowers spreading the valley’s and a wind-swept spray which cooled you from the heat. I’ll never forget her.
Below are photos of two other waterfalls we visited during this circuit.
Found in North Queensland is Paronella Park Heritage Gardens. In 1929 a man called Jose Paronella purchased this 13 acres of land for a mere one hundred and twenty pounds, not only creating it into the most amazing pleasure garden one could find, but opening it up to the public in 1935.
It may be hard to figure out, but this is a photo of a huge school of fish battling to be at the front for the feed. Amogst the large fish are even larger eels.
Arriving in Australia some 13 years prior to this, 1913, Jose Paronella worked cutting sugar cane. As time went by he decided to purchase, improve and re-sell sugar cane farms, not only teaching him many talents along the way, but enabling him to design, build and create this magical garden.
Through ‘The Tunnel Of Love’, these little bats are found, along with their hairy neighbours, Huntsmen spiders. Jose built this tunnel after digging up sand for building, when he discovered he could dig right through to the other end of the hill. His original plan was to open it up to the public, charging people to walk through and reach the secret garden. But whilst building the tunnel it rained, and the water came through his sand-based walls and made the decision not to open this potential hazard to the public. How very wise
Despite the park being sold out of the family in 1977 and sadly being hit by major floods and cyclone Winifred, it was in fact re-bought in 1993 and is now open to public, putting Jose Paronella’s Heritage Garden back on the map.
We spent two days at the gardens learning about bush tucker and aboriginal dance, exploring through the vast varieties of plants and rainforest, feeding the eels and enjoying the waterfall and castle.
This fern actually has that tint of blue you see, it’s not a reflection of light
By night, this magical garden really does become something else, where lights create a romantic wonder-land, torches lead you through the mass of bush land and some secrets of the garden are revealed.
I was amazed to stumble across glow in the dark mushrooms and fountains which are powered only by the pressure from a near-by waterfall, still working to this day since being built by Jose. That really is something, don’t you think?!
The then, and now. Bit a paint and it’ll look new in no time
Why am I holding the spear and shield? I want that didge
A book has been written about Jose, appropriately titled ‘The Spanish Dreamer’.
Okay this last photo appears random. We had been seeing these railway lines all over the country but never saw a train; only these cages in the photo. The tracks had a much smaller gerth than normal, and the tracks would often cross the roads, yet there was no lights or boom-gates to stop traffic. My first assumption that this mass of railway lines were out of use – and then I was thinking, ‘surely they can find a use’ – was only marginally correct. In fact, at that time of year they weren’t being used. They’re called the Cane Lines, and come into use when it’s time to cut the sugar cane and transport the various machinary to do so.
NEXT UP: The Outback, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, the Nullarbor and Perth.
We’re now in Cherating, Malaysia, and I’m looking at a fine beach. The suns out and so am I. Bye for now x
Tags: Australia, Travel