A Travellerspoint blog

July 2013

Touring around Townsville

Day 57 - Saturday 6 July 2013

We awoke to a warm humid day with an expected maximum over 30 degrees. We spent the morning on a few shopping errands, fuel, papers, Woollies for prawns, and a few other odds and ends. After lunch we drove up to the Lookout on Castle Hill for the views of Townsville. There were lots of people up there including a few watching the V8 Supercars with binoculars. The V8s are very noisy and can be heard all over Townsville, including about 6 kms away at our caravan park.

V8 Supercar racecourse from Castle Hill

V8 Supercar racecourse from Castle Hill

Utes at the first corner - no Navaras!

Utes at the first corner - no Navaras!

Utes stretching out

Utes stretching out

After watching the V8s for a while we took in the views of Townsville, which is laid out all around the hill.

Mount Stuart from Castle Hill

Mount Stuart from Castle Hill

Altitude apartments

Altitude apartments

Townsville's Port area

Townsville's Port area

Townsville's Sugar Shaker

Townsville's Sugar Shaker

After looking at the sights of Townsville we decided to try and find the new Myer Store at the Stockland Shopping Centre. Because the Centre was on the other side of the roads that had been closed for the duration of the car race we did several long detours while the GPS tried valiantly to get us to our destination. The trip was successful as Di managed to find some new shoes - she has been looking for quite a while. We also found a bookshop where we got a selection of Ken Follet's latest books at significant markdowns - we have yet to make the transition to e-readers and still like the feel of a book.

That evening it was back to John and Chris's apartment for dinner with garlic prawns on the menu and not so much red wine as David was driving. After dinner we watched the Cats re-enforce the Kennett Curse and give the Hawks another lesson despite the best efforts of the umpires and the interchange stewards to even up the game. Even the Hawthorn coach had the good grace to admit that he would not have liked to win by a few points after the interchange debacle!

Castle Hill at night from Altitude Apartments

Castle Hill at night from Altitude Apartments

Posted by TwoAces 04:50 Comments (0)

Cairns to Townsville

Day 56 - Friday 5 July 2013

Forecast temperature for Cairns today is 19 to 24 degrees, partly cloudy. As we had started packing up last night we were organised and ready to go before 9:30 am. We used our new pump at the dump point for the first time - it works a dream. Our trip today was 340 kms and took us south through Innisfail, Tully, Cardwell, Ingham and on to Townsville. Early in our trip today we passed another Trailblazer 5th wheeler - so that makes at least four in Queensland at the moment.

We were stopped several times for 5 to 10 minutes each time for road-works, particularly between Tully and Ingham. We had planned to stop half way at Cardwell, but the whole main street through town was dug up with road-works leaving nowhere for cars towing caravans to park. Next choice for lunch was Ingham, but the town was closed up tighter than a drum with a public holiday for the Ingham Show - even Woollies was closed.

As there was a rest area just south of Ingham we continued on - but the rest area was chock-a-block full of caravans stopped for lunch. Again we continued on and eventually stopped at the rest area at Rollingstone for lunch. After lunch we continued on to Townsville and booked into the Coral Coast Tourist Park for 5 nights and were allocated site 45 at the back of the park, which was easy to back onto. Townsville is a bit warmer and more humid than Cairns, so by the time we had done a full set up we were dripping wet and ready for a shower.

Site 45 - Coral Coast Tourist Park

Site 45 - Coral Coast Tourist Park

Our site even has a lawn and a garden

Our site even has a lawn and a garden

Later in the afternoon David's niece Justine and her husband Craig called by to check out our caravan as they had not seen it before. We got a lift into the city with them as we were having dinner with David's brother John and his wife Chris at their new apartment. We started with a Cook's Tour of the apartment as we had last seen it prior to completion. We had a lovely dinner on the balcony - prawn starters followed by steaks cooked on the Weber Q with salad. Not surprisingly this was accompanied by too much red wine. We eventually went back to the caravan park in a taxi.

Dinner on the balcony

Dinner on the balcony

Posted by TwoAces 01:59 Comments (0)

Raining in Cairns

Day 55 - Thursday 4 July 2013

Raining in Cairns today - the first rain we have seen since Shepparton in Victoria. The temperature today was 19 to 26 degrees with relative humidity of 88%. We headed into the City this morning as we both had hair cuts. With us both looking much trimmer we headed for Cairns Central for a wander around the shops before lunch at an Italian Restaurant in the centre. Di had Char-grilled Chicken Salad while David had Calamari with Salad. Shopping resulted in a couple of Polo shirts for David and some shoes for Di.

Back at the Caravan Park we started to pack up as the rain had stopped, as we are leaving for Townsville in the morning. We booked our site at the Coral Coast Tourist Park in Townsville some time ago as we were concerned about the Queensland School Holidays. It was just as well that we did book ahead, as this weekend Townsville becomes rev-head heaven with 3 days of V8 Supercars - Would you like to swap places, Frosty?

The other night I had a call from Nick Tall, who is travelling north in company with Geoff Creese and their wives. They leave Townsville on Friday to make way for the V8 Supercars, while we will arrive in Townsville after they have left - so unlikely that we will catch up this trip.

Our new friends in their Trailblazer came back from a trip to Mossman today to find that a camper-trailer was set up in front of the 5th wheeler with no space for them to hitch up and move their van. Just as well they are here for a couple of more days. The Dill in the camper trailer (need I say a Victorian) thought that they would be able to hook a rope on the hitch of their van and pull it sideways. As they say you can tell a Victorian but you can't tell them much!

No photos today.

Posted by TwoAces 03:29 Comments (1)

Lakes District on the Atherton Tablelands

Day 54 - Wednesday 3 July 2013

Another sunny day in Cairns so we decided to pack a picnic lunch and drive up to the Lakes District on the Atherton Tablelands. We drove south from Cairns to Gordonvale where we turned right onto the Gillies Highway. The road was opened in 1930 and climbs about 800 metres from the sea to the Tablelands and has 263 corners in 19 kms.

View from the Gillies Highway Lookout

View from the Gillies Highway Lookout

Closer view from the Gillies Highway Lookout

Closer view from the Gillies Highway Lookout

At the top of the climb we drove into Lake Barrine, which is a fresh water lake about 1 km in diameter formed in the crater of a volcano that blew its top about 10,000 years ago. The Lake Barrine Tea House Restaurant was originally opened as a guest house in 1930 with the opening of the Gillies Highway. We stopped for coffee and shared a slice of toasted raison loaf, before walking along the lake shore to look at twin Kauri Pines, thought to be about 1,000 years old. They are about 50 metres high and have a diameter of 2.2 metres.

Lake Barrine Tea House Restaurant

Lake Barrine Tea House Restaurant

Di at Lake Barrine

Di at Lake Barrine

Twin Kauri Pines

Twin Kauri Pines

From Lake Barrine we continued on to Malanda to look at the Malanda Falls. Malanda is the centre of a dairy industry, and one of the largest dairy factories in the world providing the main source of employment in the town.

Malanda Falls

Malanda Falls

From Malanda we continued around the loop to Yungaburra, stopping at the Curtain Fig Tree on the way. The curtain fig tree stated life about 800 years ago when a seed was dropped into the crown of a host tree. The fig germinated and sent roots down to the ground, and as it grew it strangled its host tree which eventually died and fell into a nearby tree, ending up at about 45 degrees. The fig continued to send down roots and the host tree rotted away leaving the fig tree about 50 metres high and 40 metres across at the base.

Curtain Fig Tree

Curtain Fig Tree

Another view of the Curtain Fig Tree

Another view of the Curtain Fig Tree

From the fig tree we continued on to Yungaburra, a small town first settled as a centre for timber, dairying and farming in about 1910 with many of its original buildings still in place. The Yungaburra Hotel is renowned for its old world architecture based on locally felled timbers such as red cedar and silky oak. At Yungaburra we stopped for our picnic lunch before continuing on to Kuranda via Atherton and Mareeba.

Yungaburra Hotel

Yungaburra Hotel

Yungaburra Butcher

Yungaburra Butcher

At Kuranda we stopped at the Barron Falls for a photo before a bit of shopping at a local dress shop - Di was back for something that she had seen on our last visit. With our shopping done it was back to Cairns.

Barron Falls at Kuranda

Barron Falls at Kuranda

Posted by TwoAces 03:25 Comments (0)

Still chilling in Cairns

Day 53 - Tuesday 2 July 2013

Another sunny day in Cairns, 20 to 26 degrees, so we headed of to Stockland again for coffee and papers before a visit to Woollies for some groceries then BWS for some more red wine.

In the afternoon David spent his time wiring up the new pump, which had been supplied with the pump, the control switch and the battery connections all separately packaged. For the technically minded the pump is a Flojet self priming macerator pump with a standard Jabsco impellor and a stainless steel macerator. The pump connects directly to the 3 inch sewer outlet on the holding tanks and discharges through our 1 inch sullage hoses. They claim that it will empty our 2 x 110 litre holding tanks in about five minutes.

Flojet macerator pump

Flojet macerator pump

Posted by TwoAces 17:44 Comments (0)

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