Monday, September 23, 2013


Today has been long and tiring....
We travelled less kms today but it took us longer to get here...
We left Bowen this morning bright and early around 8.30am,  took a few photos of the esplanade on our way out, as it was too dark last night when we went for our walk...
It is a beautiful area and it is great to see it used by so many people. 

There is a great double skate area right on the water..
 Lots of kids were using this last night when we went for our walk... Probably too early for them this morning..
Swings and playground.
Great water park.
We also took some photos of the long Jetty that we walked out along last night. It was pretty dark when we walked along it,  I didn't realize just how long it really is. 

The Jetty we walked out along
Entrance to the Jetty
Up Close and personal to it. 
 We finally got out of Bowen probably closer to 9am, and had a pretty good run until we got held up on the side of the road - and it wasn't because of road works...

They were actually having a big burn off, and the smoke was so thick you couldn't see the road...
Smoke and Birds
 Steve was fascinated by the huge number of birds that were flying in and out and around all the smoke.  Lots of Hawks, so we assumed that they were looking for the wild animals as they ran from the fire.   Personally I couldn't see the birds,  my eyesight for long distance is not so crash hot. 
The burn off
 We were actually stopped here for a good 20 minutes, and the back up of traffic ahead went on as far as the eye could see, and it was pretty much the same behind us.
Stuck by the side of the road...
 Ayr was only 120 kms from Bowen and yet it took us nearly two hours to get there...
There has been a lot of new roads built in this area, as there were lots of road without line marking... You can see that the roads in this area really did cope a battering in 2011 with all the rain and then Cyclone Yasi... It has been a long rebuild. 

Once again this area reminded me of your childhood with all the cane fields around...
Perfect day
This was more like Bundy with the absence of the mountains... We could not get over how flat the Bruce Highway is north of us....
Crossing the Burdekin River
It wasn't until just after Homehill and just before Ayr that we hit the road works...
Constant stopping at the road works. 
Our fuel was getting low so we pulled into Ayr to refuel.  The main street is lovely and quite wide.
We really do wish we had more time for this holiday.  I would love to stop and stay a few nights in some of these places...
Main Street of Ayr
 The drive from Ayr to Ingham, was long monotonous and boring... It was flat, and brown,  Everything was very dry.  Oh how I love the colour green... Green fields and paddacks... I am just not a brown kind of girl...

Once we got past Ingham, the countryside changed and it really was quite pretty.  Lots and lots of cane paddocks and the mountain ranges once again.
Lovely mountain range backdrops
on the way to Cardwell
 But once again the road works were horrific and we had several long long stops.  Long enough for us all to get out of the car and go for walks up and down the highway. 
Long delays on the side of the road.
After commenting on how flat the highway was, just before we got to Cardwell, we had to go over the Cardwell range which was a pleasant change in scenery and temperature.  The forest almost turned into rainforest...

Cardwell Ranges
Water truck hosing down the highway
 This all seems to be a new highway,  beautiful road, all very smooth
New highway around the Cardwell Range
We arrived in Cardwell around 2.40pm and it was beautiful, we found some parkland right on the ocean front and decided to take some time out and have a late lunch.  We were both feeling pretty tired and hot...
Beach front at Cardwell
Lunch on the beach
We could have stayed here all afternoon
Nice healthy lunch
 The views were beautiful,  It reminded me a little of our stay at Mayfield Beach in Tassie.  Sitting on the beach and looking across the water to see land and mountains on the other side.  We were looking out over to the islands...
Our view
 Just over two years ago this beach was absolutely decimated by Cyclone Yasi,  they have done a great job of restoring it.   It is not all finished yet, but it is starting to look really good again.   I love this area of beach, but I can also see that there is absolutely no protection from rough surf whipped up by cyclonic activity. 
These trees managed to survive
 I think I managed to have a little cat nap... We honestly could have stayed here all afternoon. There was a gentle sea breeze and it was so refreshing, which totally made you want to relax. 
Having a nanna nap
Enjoying my lunch
Who wouldn't enjoy having lunch surround by this beauty.
 We found it very hard to pack up and leave.  Steve had a little kip also.
40 winks. 
Home away from home
Cardwell Beach
 Reluctantly we left here to continue our journey onto Paronella Park.  It was still another 100kms away, and we were thinking that if we had more hold ups on the side of the road, we could be another couple of hours getting there. 

Fortunately that didn't happen, we turned off the Bruce Highway at a place called Silkwood and followed "The Canecutters Way" to Paronella Park.  This was the nicest drive of our drive so far.
it was very green full of undulating hills and the scenery was picturesque with grazing land, with a mountain back drop.  We arrived here at around 4.40pm.  It was a long day of driving.  
Our destination
I had read about this place on several travel blogs that I have read and had decided that we should stop in and check it out on our way night.  It is pretty reasonably priced.  Admission is $40 an adult, but that includes, an overnight stay in their caravan park, a night tour of the park and then a day tour as well.  Both very different.  Also you are then able to wander around the grounds and park at your leisure, and you also receive a travel pass to come back as many times as you like within the next couple of years.   We did the night tour tonight and thoughly enjoyed it, but will share more about that tomorrow, when I update with photos from Paronella Park. 
Our piece of paradise for the night
We were pretty impressed with the Caravan Park here, we weren't expecting too much since they actually throw in a nights accommodation when you purchase tickets to go through the park... The caravan park is lovely,  only pretty small, but the sites are all enclosed by bush land, making you feel as if you are in your own little area.  The amenities block is clean and very spacious.  We wish we had time to stay a few extra days.   The owners of the Park are very welcoming and personally like to greet their guests when they arrive.  Would definitely recommend a visit to Paronella Park.


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