A Travellerspoint blog

July 2015

Atherton to Cooktown

Friday 17 July 2015

Fine and sunny again in Atherton for our 296 km trip to Cooktown.

Our trip today took us back through Mareeba, where we stopped for papers - would you believe it was a public holiday for the Cairns Show. We continued on through Mount Molloy, Mount Carbine, Lakeland and Helenvale. stopping for lunch after about 2 hours on the road. We arrived at the Big4 Cooktown Holiday Park early afternoon and checked in for 4 nights. We have a large grass site not far from the amenities so we are happy. After setting up the awning we headed for the Post Office to pick up our mail.

Back at camp we went through the mail - a replacement credit card and not too many bills so all OK. David then spent a frustrating hour or so trying to get a fix on the satellite for TV with no luck. He suspects a dodgy LNB, so we will look for a replacement in Cairns next week.


Our camp site at Cooktown Big4 Caravan Park.

Posted by TwoAces 03:50 Comments (0)

Atherton - Day 2

Thursday 16 July 2015

Fine and sunny with a temperature range of 5 to 18 degrees.

We started the day with a bit of shopping for fuel, supplies and a visit to BWS. Di also wanted to check out the Gem Cave and managed to find a couple of Topaz ear-rings to make up for the lack of success at Mount Surprise.

After lunch we drove to Tinaroo Dam for a few photos, then Hallorans Lookout not far from the centre of Atherton.


A view across Lake Tinaroo.


Another view of Lake Tinaroo.


Di at the Tinaroo Dam.


Water outlet at the base of the Tinaroo Dam.


That's a lot of water.


The view from Halloran's Lookout.


Another view from Halloran's Lookout.


Di at Halloran's Lookout.


A sculpture at Halloran's Lookout - Di thought it a bit rude.

Posted by TwoAces 03:48 Comments (1)

Day Trip to Mareeba

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Mainly sunny, but a bit cooler as Atherton and Mareeba are on the tablelands at about 400 metres elevation - temperature 5 to 18 degrees, with a heavy dew in the morning.

Mareeba is only about 30 km from Atherton, so we started at the Tourist Information Centre and Heritage Museum. Mareeba was first settled by Europeans in 1877. In 1829 Mareeba became the centre of a tobacco growing industry. In the 1950s the tobacco industry convinced the Queensland Government to build the Tinaroo Dam on the Barron River to provide irrigation for their crops. The Tinaroo Dam holds back a lake that is about 3/4 the size of Sydney Harbour. In 2003 the Australian Government cancelled the licences of all growers in the district. The district now supports the growing of avocadoes, mangoes, sugar cane, nuts, pineapples , and coffee.

The Heritage Museum covered the history of the area during aboriginal settlement, early European settlement, the exploration of the area including Cape York, covering mining, and agriculture including tobacco. One of the displays was a sleeping carriage from the Cairns to Herberton railway. Di thought the facilities were reminiscent of the St Petersburg to Moscow Sleeper from 2007.

After checking out the Heritage Museum we moved on to Coffee World at Coffee-Works in Mareeba. The best part was the tasting room, where we sampled Australian coffees and compared them to the best coffees in the world. We also got to taste a great many chocolates and liqueurs. The sampling was unlimited - taste as much as you like. Coffee World also has the largest collection of coffee artefacts in the world and provides hand held audio guides to explain the exhibits. Displays included espresso machines, roasting machines, coffee grinders, plungers, filters, percolators, samovars, and balance pots. They also had a historical display covering more than 350 years.


Mareeba Mazda - we'll stick with the mighty Navara.


Tobacco leaves drying on racks.


Steel telegraph pole used on the telegraph line to Cape York.


The blacksmith's shop.


Two Aces waiting for a beer at the bar.


Early toilet compartment on the Cairns to Herberton Railway - Di thought it reminiscent of the Moscow sleeper.


1920s road grader - designed for a horse team and converted to be towed by a tractor


Peninsula Pub Mareeba.


The first espresso machine - looks more like a Darlek from Dr Who.


Another early espresso machine.


Yet another early espresso machine.


An early coffee roasting machine.


Another early coffee bean roasting machine.


A selection of coffee makers.


Another coffee maker - we've got one of these at home.


A selection of wooden coffee grinders with draws - Betty had one of these.


More coffee grinders.


Go Cats!

Posted by TwoAces 03:44 Comments (0)

Mount Surprise to Atherton

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Sunny and warm for our 220 km trip from Mount Surprise to Atherton.

Our route today took us back along the Gulf Development Road (also known as the Savannah Way) to the Kennedy Highway where we turned north-east through Mt Garnet, Innot Hot Springs, and Ravenshoe. After Ravenshoe we bypassed the Misty Mountains at Millaa Millaa, no mist today, and continued on to Atherton. Last time that we came this way the misty mountains were very misty indeed.

We arrived in Atherton early afternoon and checked into the Atherton Holiday Park for three nights, and were allocated a reasonably large grassy site. We setup the awning and got out the satellite dish, then settled back for a late lunch.

No photos today.

Posted by TwoAces 03:43 Comments (0)

Fossicking at O'Brien's Creek

Monday 13 July 2014

Fine and sunny again with a temperature in the mid 20s - this weather is so boring.

The trip to O'Brien's Creek was about 45 km of reasonable gravel road through Mount Surprise Station with quite a few mobs of cattle near the road. We tried a couple of different fossicking spots in the Creek but with no luck. All we found were a few pieces of smoky quartz, but no topaz.

About mid afternoon we headed back to camp empty handed refuelling on the way in preparation for our trip to Atherton tomorrow.


Di making a start next to where we parked the car at O'Brien's Creek.


Our first fossicking site in O'Brien's Creek.


Fossicking site 2 in O'Brien's Creek.

Posted by TwoAces 03:50 Comments (0)

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