Monday, March 12, 2007

South again

After a night in Chillagoe at the Observatory Ecolodge, I headed out to the coast. Stopped at the Australian Coffee Centre at Mareeba for a tour of the plantations and a couple of espressos. It was raining here, the first rain I'd seen in a month or so. Then on to Kuranda, the Barron Falls (hidden in the mist), a very wet rainforest walk, and a night stop in Cairns, in a backpackers, not my tent. The last part of the drive was down the escarpment from the Atherton Tablelands in pouring rain and heavy traffic, a complete contrast to earlier in the trip where I passed about one car an hour!

Barron Falls, near Kuranda. Definitely rainforest!

Wallaman Falls, inland of Ingham. The single drop is nearly 300m. Saw two Cassowaries on the drive in - as big as emus but very shy.

Stopped the next night at Dungeness, just across the water from Hinchinbrook Island. In the morning there was a tree frog waiting outside my room.

A 5km long jetty at Lucinda, near Dungeness. It's used to load sugar onto large bulk carriers for shipping anywhere in the world.

The last night was back in the tent, at Horseshoe Bay near Bowen.

Apart from the all year round tourist frenzy that is Cairns, the summer is amazingly quiet for travelling around north Queensland. People assume it's too hot or wet and stay away, meaning the camp grounds are quiet, the roads empty and tours, most of which are still running, are in small groups. I covered 2483km, and used 11.1L/100km. Sleeping in a tent for 6 out of 8 nights meant that fuel was the greatest expense, followed by tours and then food. And the best bit? There's more to see!


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