Saturday, 5 July 2014

Best views, sunshine, peacocks and prawns...

A beautiful sunset when we were at Rollingstone Beach ... getting ready for those spectacular sunsets in the Whitsundays when we hook up with the Smiths and the O'Connors.
Sunset in North Queensland...nothing like it
On Wednesday morning we packed up at the beach and headed to the Atherton Tablelands with high expectations.  We meandered up the highway calling in at Mission Beach and South Mission Beach. Mission Beach was very tired with lots of closed businesses and empty shop fronts. South Mission Beach was scenic with an excellent caravan park that has been added to the list of ‘will stay one day’.
South Mission Beach

The trusty iPhone map app gave us a shortcut up the range through South Johnstone and we stopped for a picnic lunch in the scenic Henrietta Park.
Lunch at Henrietta Park
We had pre-booked the Woodlands Caravan Park at Atherton for a three night stay and when we arrived we set up the annexe for the first time. Ian decided to put the big cover over as it was sprinkling rain.
A very wise move.
 We sat at Atherton in pouring rain and freezing temperatures for two days with a couple of forays out to the local tourist attractions. The Herberton Heritage village was interesting but certainly not worth the $54 entry fee. The most interesting thing for me was the old school house where I spotted the Dick and Dora readers from my school days.  
Can you see Nip!
We called into the Gallo Dairy farm but our experience at the Chocolate Cottage in Toowoomba had spoiled us for excellent chocolate shops. It may have been the smell of the dairy pervading the retail area that turned us off buying chocolate or cheese!
We drove back to the camp via Lake Tinaroo which was very pretty. On a sunny day it would been stunning but we have since heard that sunny days are few and far between in Atherton.
On the third day, Ian discovered the  best view of Atherton   (through the rear vision mirror) when we decided to pack up and head for the coast as it was too wet to do the waterfall trail. We googled the most northern beach we could find and settled on Wonga Beach. Coming down the range through Mount Molloy was reminiscent of the Dorrigo Waterfall Way.
Misty Mountains
We set up camp at Wonga Beach
Camp at Wonga Beach
between clumps of paperbarks, strangler figs and coconut palms. A family of peacocks…one peacock and four hens roosted in the tree above us on our first night and luckily their calling cards landed about five metres from our camp site. The sweet smell of the sugar cane flowers wafted through all night.
The sugar cane is in flower
A friendly peacock who looked at himself in a bumper bar ALL day
A family of curlews is camped beside us and the new camera is being  put to good use.
Curlew beside the camp
We smiled at the tourist attraction on the way in. Hook a Barra…not real fishing …the photo says it all.
Hook A Barra
The beach is still showing the damage from cyclone Ita… with a lot of debris and oil stained sand with discoloured water. 
Cyclone debris on the beach

On the beach
However the view is still beautiful to the islands in the east and the mountains in the west; the park is green and lush.
Day Two in the Daintree… the sun came out. Twenty eight glorious degrees as we headed back to Mossman for the Saturday markets and on to the marina at Port Douglas for prawns fresh off the trawler. We actually had to go to the trawler to buy them.
Prawns for lunch
Port Douglas was very ritzy as we expected. Back to the campsite for fresh bread, prawns and a rest.
Interesting warnings around the park and on the beach… beware: poisonous snakes of the ‘wet tropics’, a crocodile warning on the beach, and a first aid station with a warning of marine stingers in summer at the edge of the beach.
Crocodile warning
  It makes the beach at home look pretty good.
Tomorrow we are off to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation with a decision to be made …whether to head all the way to Cook town….about fifty kilometres of four wheel drive terrain.

Till next time…


  1. Sounds like you're having a lovely time. and I'm delighted the Chocolate Cottage 'won' out! Have fun!

  2. Good to see Ian is having a turn with the camera.

  3. Love the pics, Annie! And goodness Dick and Dora brought back memories!