For our holidays, we decided to head to north Queensland. It had been over 27 years since we had been up there.
We arrived in Charters Towers and wandered the main street looking at the beautiful buildings and reading many of the plaques that dot the footpath. We discovered the Miners' Museum and Nathan had fun panning for gold. The fellow there recommended we travel to Townsville via Ravenswood, so we did and are very happy that we followed his advice. There are some beautiful buildings from the town's goldmining days. The windmill is made from timber, even the blades on the fan as well as the tail! On the way out of town, we came across The White Blow...a solid rock of quartz that has worked its way up to the earth's surface. It's over 300 million years old!
Then we had a couple of days in Townsville. Nathan loved playing on the beach. We also went to to the Museum of Tropical Queensland. Nathan was amazed by the displays, stories and part replica of HMS Pandora. He was very disappointed that he was too young to be involved in firing the cannon and has asked that we go back there when he's 8!
We then headed north, and decided to call in at Paluma. The road was very windy and quite often visibility wasn't the best because of the low lying cloud. On the way, we crossed the most amazing little stone bridge:
This is what greeted us at Paluma.
There were some houses and lovely little gardens but the only signs of life we saw were the garbage collectors and that was at about 10.45am!
From there we travelled to Innisfail. There we experienced our wettest days.
Have you heard of Paronella Park? I didn't think I had, but my dear mother informed me that I'd been there before....when I was about 3 years old!
This most amazing place was created by Jose Paronella, a Spanish migrant, who came to Australia from Catalonia in 1913. His dream was to build a Spanish Castle and Pleasure Grounds set in the tropical rainforest. If you ever get the chance, go there.... the determination, ambitiousness and sheer hardwork of one man will blow you away. The tours are excellent and we were give Jose's life story. I could feel the presence of the man as we wandered the park.
Cyclones and floods have taken their toll , but the current owners are doing their very best to restore this little patch of paradise to its former glory. Ticket entry also includes a night tour. Not only did we see the buildings beautifully lit at night, but we were also shown fireflies and luminous fungi, bandicoots and fed the turtles in their nesting area.
We will definitely be going back here one day.