Monday, August 27, 2012


 Well we finally arrived in Cairns Friday 17th August and booked in at the Lake Placid Caravan Park which is a member of Top Tourist (that is after visiting the caravan repair people who took one look at the problem and said we can't fix it now but sometime next week we will let you know.Little did they know that it was going to rain on tues and weds.) The caravan park and facilities are well kept clean and tidy and are only 2 mins walk to the Lake, some tour companies do white water rafting down the Barron Gorge which is just a few minutes away and they end up in Lake Placid.We initially booked in here for 1 week but after finding out that the caravan cannot be repaired until Fri 24th we booked another week and then we decided to fly back to Brisbane  on 31st August for the weekend (we miss everyone) as there are three birthdays and fathers day in that weekend so we booked another week. Total 3 weeks in Cairns. We have put our annexe up for the first time since travelling and it makes a great difference, it's like having a separate loung room and we can watch the TV in there, and we will be able to zip it up enclosing everything when we jet back to Brisbane.

Entrance to caravan park
Just inside the park
Lake Placid

Lake Placid
 We have managed to visit the following places since arriving, as well as doing some serious relaxation and walking.
Barron Gorge

 The above two photos are of Barron Gorge where they start the white water rafting down to lake Placid, beautiful scenery.

Crystal Cascades

The above three photos are of Crystal Cascades another rainforest falls area not far from the Big 4 Cairns

Port Douglas

The view from Port Douglas Lookout on a very wet and windy day
 Mossman Gorge

We met a gentleman at Crystal Cascades who told us not to bother going to Mossman as it was no good and you couldn't see anything. don't know what he was looking for but we disregarded him and had a thoroughly enjoyable day there. You cannot drive up to the gorge anymore as the land and the rainforest have been given back to the aboriginal tribe that lives in that area and they are managing the forest very carefully. They have built an information centre which houses different tours you can go on in the rainforest or you can self guide yourselves. There are buses every 15 mins that take you to the Gorge to the start of the walks and bring you back.

Thought this beautiful tree root deserved a photo

Me on a swing bridge in the rainforest - very proud of myself

This picture a bit dark - realised that in a rainforest if you set your camera to night it is better

This was the next picture taken - a lot brighter and such a beautiful fig tree

This fungi had a red and orange and black sheen

Hartley's Crocodile Farm
Hartley's croc farm is between port douglas and cairns and well worth the entrance fee. There are two shows where rangers talk about snakes and crocs but the croc one has live bait ( the ranger) and they feed them chickens . We went on a lagoon cruise which is included in your entrance fee and lasts 45 minutes or longer if your guide is chatty like ours. The sides of the boat are filled in with thick plastic sheets and we needed them.The guide taunts the crocs so that they jump up out of the water and some bang on the side of the boat.
These are Salt Water Crocodiles at Hartley's

A Cassowary
They don't only have crocs at Hartleys  there is a family of Cassowarys and a snake and small animal section and kangaroos and a farm section

Friday, August 24, 2012

Herberton Historical Village

We visited Herberton Historical Village whilst we were at Malanda and what a day out that was. Beautiful old buildings lovingly restorted and some great engines that had been restored to full working order. We took a few photos but they don't do the place justice. Well worth a look.

I think Stephen wanted to take this car home

The Singer Sewing House

Machinery Shed

The Tin Pannikin Pub
Our next visit was to the Gallo Dairyland just outside of Atherton where they make their own gorgeous cheeses and chocolates. You can taste test both of them and we ended up buying a piece of Brie and some individual chocolates. Yummy

This  very colourful cow stands in the entrance

This next photo is me on the internet in the top left hand corner of the Malanda Caravan park as this is where the signal was the strongest.

While we were at Malanda our Caravan decided to spring a leak from the Four seasons hatch over our bed . We made a quick phone call to Retreat who manufactured the caravan and told them where we were and where we were going next. They then arranged for us to take the caravan to a repairer in Cairns to have a look at it. so this was our next stop before arriving at "Lake Placid Caravan Park" Cairns.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bear Minimum " Keep it Simple" Challenge

This weeks challenge over at Doodle Dragon Studios Blog is to" keep it simple" so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone as I needed to make a Birthday card for my Nephew's son. As we are travelling around Australia I cannot always find the time to enter these challenges but my Husband has gone fishing today so I thought I'd spend the time cardmaking.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Malanda Falls Caravan Park

On Friday 10th August we set off for Malanda Falls Caravan Park near Atherton. We had heard that it was ok and it was also very cheap only $22 a night for a powered site. It is a large acreage site and you can pick your own sites and they also have drive through sites for larger caravans. The amenities are clean and very tidy although they are older, The managers of the site are very helpful and friendly. Those that wish too can help to feed the calves and there are chucks and ducks and roosters and also they grow some vegetables and fruits. The area is home to the Tree Kangaroo which unfortunately I did not see even though I did all the rainforest walks I could. I did however see my first Platypus in the wild.

The next day we visited Yungaburra - very quaint old town and on the way we saw a huge curtain fig tree.

The curtain fig tree

Yungaburra main street

The next day was falls day - we tried to visit as many of the falls in the area and take pictures . some of them were incredible.

Malanda Falls
The caravan site is to the left of this picture up three flights of steps and the rainforest walks are to the right of this picture up two flights of steps.

Millaa Millaa Falls

Ellinja Falls

Mungalli Falls

These are a small set of falls on the side of the highway. Cannot tell you their name or why they are there as some vandal has scratched all over the information  until it was unreadable. Unbelievable!!

Zillie Falls
We also spent quite some time shopping in Atherton as we had to pass through it to other places. it has a wonderful Target Country and Big W and I found a great craft shop with everything for Cardmaking and scrapbooking to quilting , crocheting and embroidery.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paronella Park

We stayed at Paronella Park for 1 night in the caravan camping grounds. We arrived there early and set the caravan up then took the 45minute guided tour. We had lunch then went back into the park to tour by ourselves. Then after dinner we took the 8.30pm night tour as they light up the falls and the grounds and try to find the nocturnal animals for you to see.
This park was built by a gentleman named Jose and he was well before his time. He was an immigrant who worked hard and saved his money so he could build a castle not only for his family but for all to enjoy. He thought of leisure parks before they were fashionable.
He had swimming area and changing rooms for men and women, Tennis courts, a ballroom, cinema and an ice cream parlour besides the falls with boat rides and a tunnel of love to walk through. Sadly over the years two very large cyclones have wiped a lot of his hard work off the face of the earth but there is still enough left for you to imagine exactly what it was like

Entrance to Paronella Park
The  Grand Ballroom, the cinema and the Ice Cream Parlour

Kauri Pine Avenue

The waterfalls
People used to sail there boats up to the waterfall and pass underneath to the small caves area

The grand staircase

The fountain
It was well worth the cost and they also do pensioner discounts   so a real bargain as far as we are concerned. Our guide on the night tour was a young gentleman with a great sense of humour and able to talk all night long and make up stories. We managed to see lots of eels waiting to be fed and turtles also a bandicoot  and a scrub turkey roosting high in a tree as our guide said he was afraid the pythons would eat him (we didn't see any). He also told us that they had seen a crocodile in the area and that some crocs could run up trees ( I think that was a fib)

Eeels waiting to be fed

The main ballroom

It was a great experience and everyone should go and see for themselves how wonderful it really is.