Friday, September 27, 2013


We decided to have an extra day in Babinda as we wanted to see a lot of the waterfalls, lakes and trees etc on the Atherton Tablelands.  It was a lot quicker to access them from Babinda that drive all the way into Cairns and having to drive all those extra kms to come back down past Babinda.    It still meant a really early start as we had a couple of hundred Klms to cover to see all that we wanted to see.  We left early (around 8.30am) and headed up towards Gordonvale.  The scenery around here is absolutely spectacular....

Mt Pyramid
 We saw this really interesting mountain, and couldn't get over how pointed it was, so different to most mountains.  We asked Paul (whom we were staying with, as this is pretty much how I described it) and he told us that is what it is called. 
Close up view..

 From Gordonvale we turned off and took the Gillies Highway up to Lake Barrine.  This highway has about 200 bends in only 19kms of road, still it was a beautiful drive with lots of lovely views as you climbed up onto the Tableland. I made Steve stop so that I could take a photo of this gorgeous green tree frog painted on one of the rocks as you came around the bend. 
Green tree frog painted onto rock surface. 
 These were just some of the views we saw as we drove up this highway. 
View from the Gillies Highway
 Our first stop was Lake Barrine... what a beautiful tranquil spot, so quite and peaceful.  We stopped for Breakfast and a walk in the forest....
A visit to Lake Barrine
Where we enjoyed a lovely Breakfast
 The Restaurant and Tea Rooms, overlook the lake.  We took a table out on the verandah and enjoyed the tranquil setting.  In fact it was so hard to leave, we could have sat there for ages, but we knew that we wouldn't get to see all we wanted to if we lingered. 
Tours and Recreation on the lake.
 We also enjoyed a wander around the gardens at the restaurant, it was full of colour,  some beautiful flowers and waterfalls...  Some of these flowers I had never seen before. 
Flowers at Lake Barrine
 From here we went for a walk through the rainforest to see the Twin Trees.  Two HUGE Kauri Trees growing side by side. 
Twin Kauri Trees at Lake Barrine.
We left Lake Barrine to go find the Curtain Fig Tree.  Oh my goodness what a huge tree it was. 
Curtain Fig Tree

This tree was enormous.  Just to give you some idea how enormous,  I am standing in front of it in the above photo.  This was a short walk, but a pretty walk.  Whilst we were there, there was a gentle breeze blowing, and the leaves were falling out of the tree almost like snow flakes falling.  It really was very pretty. 

Seeing as much as Steve and I both love cheese and chocolate, Paul ( who we were staying with) suggested that we would probably really enjoy a visit to Gallo Dairyland, which wasn't that far from the Curtain Fig Tree,  we thought we probably would, so headed there next.   
Gallo Dairyland
We did some cheese sampling and bought a few different and interesting flavoured cheese, a sweet one for deserts and the others with a savoury flavour.  We also sampled some of their chocolate and then headed to the viewing room to watch the cheese making.  They were making Camembert Cheese.  A huge vat of it....(just one of my favourite cheeses)
Cheese making
We have seen this before...When we were in Tassie a few years ago we went to Andgrove Cheese Factory and saw some cheese making there. 

From Gallo Dairyland, we headed off to Malanda,  this countryside reminded us very much of our time in Victoria... Lots of green rolling hills with plenty of cattle, wind turbines, and waterfalls. 
The Malanda Falls were big falls, but the town had turned the falls into a town swimming pool and recreation area.  It was good to see families there using the facilities. 
Malanda Falls
Admiring the falls. 
We left Malanda to take a scenic drive to Ravenshoe.  It was advertised as the highest town in Australia.  On the way to Ravenshoe though we stopped off at the Millea Millea Lookout.  WOW what a view...
Millea Millea Lookout. 
We met some American tourist up here and spent quite a bit of time chatting to them.  They actually live on the water, and sail from continent to continent.  They were very interesting to chat too, and reminded me of my good friend Barb's sister and her husband, who have now been living on the water of 30 odd years.  They were telling us that they not realize that Australia was so big, so they had bought a vehicle and were touring around it.  They love it here.
We had read that the Millstream Falls just out of Ravenshoe  were Australia's widest waterfalls.   We kind of got a bit lost getting to Millstream Falls, although we did find Little MillStream Falls first.
These falls were gorgeous.  There we quite a few young folk there swimming, and it was quite a wall to get to the falls.  About 700mts.  Heck it was so worth it though, they were beautiful falls
Little Millstream Falls. 
By looking at the tourist map we had, I thought that Little Millstream Falls and Millstream Falls were both on a circuit route,  This was not so, and we ended getting lost and going way out of our way, probably loosing a good 45 minutes.  Nevermind we finally re tracked our route and ended up finding Millstream Falls.  I can just imagine how impressive these falls would be in a wet season.  The water would fairly pour over the edge of the falls.  Even wtihout all the water it was still very impressive. 
Millstream Falls
From Millstream Falls, we took a back road into Millea Millea.  It was recommended as a no towing caravan roads.  At first we couldn't understand why, until we got about half way along the road.  It didn't take us long ot figure it all out.  In places the road was so narrow, that we knew the caravan wouldn't make it accross rivers etc was flat out getting out. 
It didn't stop the road works though, we were held up for ages along this route.
Plenty of hold ups with road works.
We did notice that there were quote a few similarities though.  We drove through to Milla Millea, where we then decided to take the the circuit drive to see all the lovely waterfalls in this region. 
Millea Millea Falls
They looked so cook and refreshing.  There were lots of young fold there swimming when we arrived.
So thankful that we got the photos before they all dived in. 

From Millea Millea Falls we headed to Zillea Falls.  Steve in particular really enjoyed these falls.  Even tought there was very limited number of kids that could participate in these activities,  they did help.  I walked half way down these falls but then the walk became pretty full on with the path becoming very rough, tree roots everywhere, and I was a little afraid that I might go for a really mickey and hurt myselk.
Zillie Falls. 

Steve did actually manage to make it down to the bottom of these falls.   The last lot of falls on this curecue are

By now it was almost 5pm so we knew that realistically we were'nt going to get to see  all the falls we wanted to see, so we decided to leave the last couple for the following day.  Verry wise move. 
Our second last stop today before heading home was a stop at Crawford;s Lookout.  
Crawfords Lookout. 
The view here was quite spectacular also.  We would also have liked to do the canopy air walk at Mamu, but by the time we got there it was close to 5pm, so we knew we would not have time to complete it. 

The drive back into Innisfail was quite picturesque, and not only were their lots of cane fields, but we also notice quite a few fields of banana trees.
Banana plantations
By now we had decided that we wouldn't even try to get to Josephine Falls or the Babinda Boulders.  We would leave that until the following morning, when we would have more time to do the walk and appreciate their beauty.  So instead of racing, we decided to stop just outside of Innisfail for a cuppa and a Babinda Cream Bun.

We had heard lots of amazing reports about the bakehouse in Babinda from tourists all the way up the coast.  We had planned to buys some today, but as we were getting ready to leave this morning Paul came over to us with some he had bought earlier for us to take for morning tea.   We figured that since we weren't going to rush and try and see the last two tourist sites, we would just stop at the next rest area we could find and have a cuppa. 
We found this rotary park just outside of Innisfail.  It was obviously a free park as there were already a few vans pulled in there for the night. 

Loved this sign that I saw in the park, and had to photograph it because I really beleive in the message it delivered.
Rules to live by.
Well the Babinda buns lived up to all the positive comments we had heard.  They were really very delkicious.
Steve enjoying the famous  Babinda Cream Bun

  We finally arrived home a little after 6pm, HAPPY but stuffed. 
I know I am still a day behind, but will try and catch up on it tomorrow. 


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