BootsnAll Travel Network

Feb 27th – Cairns At Last

Cairns 253

Originally uploaded by roupiesontour

What a relief to have reached out furthest North destination. It sounds strange but it has been harder driving North. Someone said it was because every mile gets you closer to going home so you will find it harder but I am sure it is the direction.

On the way we travelled through the Cane Cutter’s Way – named due to the vast swathes of sugar cane fields. You also cross over tiny train tracks which are used during the season to transport the cane to the refineries. Paronella Park was on the way and so worth a visit. A mad Spanish man had a vision and basically built a concrete castle here in Meena Creek – the middle of nowhere. It is now in ruins due to neglect and a few cyclones but the story is amazing. In the 1930’s he bought the land with a waterfall and built a small power station to light the ballroom that he had also built. The town did not get power until the 1950’s. The land cost £120, but for £40 he purchased a disco ball and put it up in the ballroom. New York only had 3 or 4 at this time and there was one in Meena Creek Australia! I love these tales of madness. The grounds are incredible and we saw bats, eels, turtles and lots of fish. There are huge Kauri pines and the amazing electric fern which is green but in the sunlight turns blue. If you ever pass stay here – the guide was local and obviously loved the place as his enthusiasm showed. I could have stayed all day (which would have been good as you also get a free night in the caravan park) but the kids were too hot and bothered so we pressed on.

The front of the van is covered in splodges but most I have to admit are not bugs but butterflies. There are so many here that seem drawn to our windscreen and I hate it – yellow, white, black, blue and green ones we have seen them all in the last few seconds of their lives. Bugs I don’t mind squashing but butterflies are so beautiful I feel so guilty. At least we have not had a run in with a kangaroo – there has been a lot of evidence on the roads up here of animals not so lucky. I swear I also saw a crocodile on the road (about 2 feet long) but the kids think it was a lizard.

Cairns is also experiencing some rain – we had a fun moment on the way up here when we passed a road with about 2 feet of water. I was being followed by a huge truck so I thought if worst comes to the worst he can at least bump me out of it so we just kept everything crossed and went through it. Thank God we didn’t stall is all I can say!

Staff at the park are amazingly helpful and although it has 2 pools the kids are not tempted to stray far from the van. We explored the city when we first reached here and before the rain started again, the air conditioned offices of the tourist office a welcome change from the humidity outside. In the evening we spent a few merry hours looking around the night markets and trying to ignore the kangaroo hides that seem to be on sale everywhere.

We actually have 3 days here so we feel a bit spoilt with all the time – what will we do with ourselves?

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