A Travellerspoint blog

Friday 16th June - A day in Cairns.

sunny 25 °C

Friday 16th June - A day in Cairns

As Greg had a new bike, I couldn't let the day pass without going for a ride with him. Taryn, Greg and I headed off up to Kuranda, a small town in the Rainforest in the Cairns hinterland. It's famous for its rainforest markets and the Kuranda Skyrail, and a cable car that goes up the mountain to Kuranda. We had some crepes for lunch, did some shopping then headed back down the range and into Cairns. Some shopping for shirts we will wear at the Brunette Downs races in a weeks time, (stay posted for that episode of my blog) then a beer on the Cairns Esplanade. Home for a quick swim, then out for arvo drinks at Salt on the Cairns waterfront and dinner in one of Cairns best steakhouses. "The Water Bar". We dined with some friends new and old. The food was excellent, as was the service and the wine. Home and into bed as tomorrow, we depart Cairns.

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Thursday 15th June - Townsville to Cairns

semi-overcast 26 °C

Thursday 15th June - Townsville to Cairns

We had a great stay with Moz and Kay in Townsville, so said our goodbyes, took some photos, then headed off north. Out of town via the new Ring Road. A stop at Frosty Mango for some mango slushy and a break, then through Ingham and on to Cardwell for a quick break. Cardwell is a beautiful little seaside town with views out to Hinchenbrook Island. Further north through Tully, (the wettest town in Australia - don't tell Babinda) and turn off to Mission Beach where we had lunch on the beach looking out to Dunk Island. We were truly in a tropical paradise. Then back out onto the Bruce Hwy for a short stint before turning left at Silkwood. Through Japoonvale to Mena Creek. This is in the heart of North QLD cane growing region and we were surrounded by nothing but sugar cane fields, with smoke and steam billowing out of all the mills. The cane crushing season had started.

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Now the highlight of the day was our stop at Paronella Park. It is a theme park, built in Spanish castle style during the early part of the 20th century. Built on 13 acres of rainforest at the foot of Mena Creek Falls, by a Spanish immigrant named Jose Paronella. During and after the 2nd World War, it was the social hub of Far North QLD. The history and tragedy of the park is a great story and is worthwhile reading.
Then back on the bikes for the last leg to Cairns, and my Daughters place where we would stay 2 nights. Arrived about 6:00pm to a great dinner of spaghetti bolognese. Some catching up with my daughter Taryn and son in law Greg. Then we were into bed late.
A great day with lots of touristy sightseeing. And 466 kms done.
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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 04:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Wednesday 14th June - A day off in Townsville

overcast 25 °C

Wednesday 14 June - A Day Off in Townsville

We are staying in Townsville for another night, so we all have a day off to do what ever we want. I'm having lunch with some family relations, Andrew is doing some walking to clean out a few aches and pains and Clint is spending some more time with his folks.

I finally got my Cruise control sorted out. Turned out to be a simple fix, but the difficulty was in the diagnostics. It's now working like it should and I'm a happy man. Had a great lunch at the Seaview Hotel on the Strand with my Aunt and cousin, then Andrew and I rode up to the summit of Castle Hill, which is in the centre of Townsville. I was astounded by the number of people walking, jogging, biking up to the summit. It's a narrow 3km bitumen road now shared by vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians alike. Apparently 10,000 people per week use the 6 trails and the summit road. Must be a lot of fit people in Townsville. After some great photos of the surrounding city from the summit lookouts, we returned to ground level and back to our accommodation at Mozzie's.
Dinner and a couple of Jameson's. Some planning for tomorrow's leg of our trip and into bed.
Tomorrow, a scenic touristy ride to Cairns QLD.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 06:28 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Tuesday 13 June - Coming Home

sunny 26 °C

Tuesday 13 June - Coming Home

Today would be a very easy day with only 208 kms to Townsville. Clint's and my home town. Looking forward to renewing old acquaintances, and visiting family.
Andrew and I had a late start. We made some arrangements for Andrew to have his jacket repaired in Townsville, while I did some blog entries and had a short walk to the beach for some photos. We packed up and got underway by 10:00am. Had a bit of a tour along the esplanade of Queens

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Beach, then out to the Hwy where we met a “wide load” being transported on a semi low loader. We filed into the line of traffic behind this huge thing with police escort and power line crew in attendance. Turned out to be a excavator bucket as big as a house. Obviously for one of the drag lines on the coal mines out Collinsville way.
We headed north through Merinda, past Abbott Point, which is one of the largest coal loading facilities in the world, then on to Home Hill and Ayr. Some photos of the Burdekin Bridge, which was completed in 1957. That makes it exactly the same age as ME! At 1097 meters in length, it is only 46 meters shorter than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Then in to Townsville by 1:00pm. Andrew headed out to have his jacket repaired, I had a coffee and a chat with Mozzie, our host for a couple of days, then did a bit of shopping for dinner.
Andrew and I decided to go for a ride to show Andrew around Townsville. In through the city and the Casino precinct, then along the Strand. A quick walk up onto Kissing Point (an old army barracks and fort from WW1 era) with views out to Magnetic Island and north to the Palm Island group. A great sunset, then ride back to Mozzies for dinner.
Clint rejoined us about 9:00pm. A good long session of reminiscing, some red wine and then it was into bed after a very relaxing and rewarding day.
ZZZZZZZZZZ!

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 06:56 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Mon 12 June - Marlborough to Bowen

sunny 24 °C

Mon 12 June - Marlborough to Bowen.

After the long day yesterday, we decided not to do the big slog to Townsville, but to pull up stumps at Bowen. This would allow us time for some site seeing in Mackay and Airlie Beach.
After the complimentary breakfast, we packed up, fuelled up and headed north along the Bruce Hwy. My original plan was to follow the "Old Bruce Hwy” out through Lotus Ck and the Funnel Ck. This would take us down the Sarina Range into Sarina. But I got some local knowledge from the cafe and found out that the road had sustained lots of damage and that the Sarina Range was closed due to land slips from Cyclone Debbie a couple of months ago.
So we headed up through Sarina and into Mackay for a look around. A whistle stop tour of Mackay then out to Mackay Harbour.

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You can ride all the way out to the end of the breakwater, where we stopped for a break and some lunch. Clint then decided he would try for Townsville while Andrew & I would do some site seeing around Airlie Bach and Shute Harbour. Travelling through Proserpine where my parents lived 60 yrs ago, then Cannonvale and Airlie Beach. The effects of Cyclone Debbie (a Cat 5 system) was evident by the lack of vegetation on all the trees and the surrounding hills were denuded. Couldn't see much structural damage in Airlie but on arriving in Shute Harbour, it was like a ghost town. All the port infrastructure and tourist offices were barricaded off and closed. No tourist movements, no activity, no rebuilding happening. It was kinda scary and sad at the same time. However Airlie seemed to be really busy with tourists and locals alike.

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Now the gremlins had attached themselves to Andrew as his riding jackets blew a zip. A bunjy strap around his waist helped keep it all together for the ride to Bowen.
Out of Airlie Beach for our last hour to Bowen. We arrived about 4:00pm. Checked out 3 local pubs in town but none provided accommodation??? A bit disappointed, we headed out to Queens Beach and checked into a motel. A few beers and dinner in the bistro, catch up on my blog, and Andrew & I talked well into the night.
ZZZZZZZZZZZ!

More photos of the damage at Shute Harbour.

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Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 15:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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