Friday, September 27, 2013

DAY 6 - A VISIT TO JOSEPHINE FALLS AND THE BABINDA BOULDERS

We were going to leave for Cairns first thing this morning, but since we didn't get to finish seeing everything yesterday, and these last two places we wanted to see where with 15km radius of where we were staying, we decided that rather than rush them, we would just go and see them this  morning before we left for Cairns.  Mind you it wasn't going to be a big day driving because Cairns was only 50 odd kms away.

We left Paul and Elaine's around 8.45am and headed into Babinda - we had to sample some one of the wonders from the Babinda Bakery.  We had been hearing all about his bakery from grey nomads all up the coast...  So we pulled in here first.

The famous Babinda Bakery
 We got some cream buns for everyone for lunch, but Steve noticed they had some bacon and egg pies, so he decided they might be nice rather than our bag of fruit.  Mind you the fruit would have been healthier.  Still the Bacon and Egg Pie was a nice change.

I also took these other couple of photos, first of the Op Shop because my friend Elaine works here as a volunteer.  She has been at us for years to call in and visit them when we come north, and just when we do, she goes and smashes her shoulder, requiring surgery, and is in Rocky, being looked after by Brenda.  I thought that maybe if I took a couple of these photos for her she might get a bit homesick and yearn for home. 
The Babinda Op Shop
 Elaine also volunteers at the Information Centre each week also, so I took these photos for her as well. 
Babinda Information Centre
The front enterance of the Babinda Information Centre
 We then headed for the Josephine Falls,  I had read some really good reports about them on Trip Advisor, so they were definately a must on my list of things to see and do.  The Josephone Falls are right at the foot of Mt Bartle Frere (which just happens to be the highest mountain in Queensland)

Mt Bartle Frere - Qld's highest mountain
 We have been having good views of it each day since we have arrived.  It is the highest point in the mountains  further back. 
The Track to Mt Bartle Frere goes one way, and the track to Josephine Falls goes the other. 
We decided to eat our breakfast before checking out the falls. 
Car locked, hat on my head, ready to go.
Tastes pretty good.
Fortunately we were here pretty early in the morning before their were too many tourists around.  This is a very popular spot with the tourist coaches and a couple of them arrived just as we were leaving.  It has a great swimming hole for swimming and a large slippery rock for sliding into the cool pools. 
The track goes this way
It was a lovely walk in, all on bitumen paths.  Only about 700mtrs which is pretty good. It was a lovely walk with plenty to see. 
A quandong  seed
Really interesting plants, love this spiral one.
Bush wild flowers
Cool rainforest to walk though
Amazing rock formations.
There were three levels to these falls.  The lower pool ( most popular for swimming and sliding) which you had to climb down  a zillion steps to access.   the Creek viewing platform. and the top pool.  These were impressive falls, and pools,  definitely the best for swimming in. 

Josephine Falls - there are three levels to these falls. 
Just enjoying the serene surrounds. 
Looking down the creek towards the next drop
Josephine Falls cascading down the boulders
Enjoying just listening to the sound of water and the birds. 
Viewing platform for the Top Pool
 We walked back down to the bottom pool then, there were already quite a few young folk swimming in there.  In the picture before, they use that big rock as a slippery slide into the crystal clear pool below. 
Lower Pool at Josephine Fallls
 We met this lovely young German couple, and had a nice chat to them, whilst we were chatting a Ulysses Butterfly flew past,  they were so excited and tried getting a photo.  A very difficult thing to do, because they just don't stay still long enough.  The only way we managed to get three decent photos of one was to take about 80 photos and pick out the best.  Anyway,  the young German guy had watched a few of the Aussie locals slide down this rock and he was real keen to give it a go. 
Here he is sliding down the rock
There was also lots of lovely colourful and interesting fungi growing on the forest floor.  Of course we had to take photos.  
Different kinds of fungi
Interesting things to see in the forest. 
This vine here looked like a snake coiled around this tree.  

 We left Josephine Falls and headed off to explore the Golden Hole, which was just a few more kms down the road.   One the way we passed through some beautiful countryside, lots of banana plantations.  These country roads are more prettier to drive along than the main Bruce Highway.
Driving along the back roads usually offer way more scenery than the Highway
Golden Hole
 This place is more a recreational swimming hole.
Quick a bit of open space to play around on. 

Golden Hole
Golden Hole
 This was not on our list of things we wanted to see, but since it was just down the road, and we were in the area we thought we might as well see it too.
Our next stop was back to Babinda and through town to go and see the Babinda Boulders.  These were turely magnificent and a definite must to go see if you are in the area.
The Babinda Boulders
 There are some magnificent rock pools in this creek, but you are only allowed to swim in the one near the car park.  Appartently the rocks are very slippery and a number of people have lost their lives swimming here over the years, so the council now has a very strict no swimming policy.  You are are caught swimming anywhere other than the designated swimming hole area, you can be heavily fined.   There is a really lovely bitumen walking track which three viewing platforms along the way for you to be able to appreciate the beauty of this creek though,. 
Babinda Creek and Boulders
Some of the crystal clear rock pools

 The photos truely don't do this justice... The water is so clean and fresh, and the boulders are huge. 
Babinda Creek.
Along the track, we notice one of these.  it was with a foot of us,  as much as I don't really like these creatures, Steve assured me that it wouldn't hurt us.  He even got right down to take a photo of it. 

Think it was just a green tree snake, but he really was with 18inches of everyone walking past him. 
Water flows over these huge boulders into beautiful clear crystal pools

One of the rock pools.  The rushing water has also worn the rocks away. 
They really are magnificent - photos do not do them justice.
Walking through the rainforest to get there.
More of Babinda Boulders.
Enjoying this wonderful scenery together.
Such a peaceful way to spend a day. 
The Babinda Creek
Enjoying the many different facets of the Rainforest.
The view of the creek from the walk back. 
 It was almost lunch time by now, so we thought we should head back to start packing so that we could leave after lunch to head into Cairns where we plan to stay for the enxt week. 
When we got back to the van, Paul and Emil were home for lunch, and were quite excited because they had just come back from the farm where the big Croc ( 18ft long) was sunning itself of the backs of one of the creeks.  Paul was keen to show us, so we left lunch and hopped in his car and took off.  Even though Emil had seen it that morning, he was still keen to come for the drive with us to see it again. 

Unfortunately by the time we got there, he was no longer on the bank.  We were a little disappointed, as we had missed him the afternoon we had arrived also.  Anyway as we were leaving, Paul noticed him up on the grass a little further up the creek.  It wasn't the best view...
Big Croc sunning itself in the grass on the far bank of the creek at their farm.
 but we could definately tell it was a crocodile.  Paul tried slamming the car door a few times to see if that would make him move, but he wasn't budging.  It was only after Steve gave a long shrill whistle that he started to slide through the long grass and then down into the creek.  We managed to get these couple of photos of him as he swam away.  he was HUGE.
Big Croc in the wild. 
He was at least 3mtrs long. 
 We felt pretty happy that we had seen one in the wild.  We then headed back to Paul and Elaines, where we had a quick bite to eat and then packed the van ready to head off to Cairns.  We left about 2pm and got into Cairns just after 3pm.  We decided not to stay right in Cairns so we are staying at a Top Tourist Park at Lake Placid.  Lovely lovely spot not that far from Barren Gorge.    The only downside is that there are sandflies, and I am extremely allergic to the little buggers. 

By the time we got everything set up and unpacked, it was after 5pm.  We were happy to just chill out for a while.  We ended up going for a drive around 8pm, to grab some dinner,  buy a few groceries, put fuel in the car, and then ended up down on Cairns esplanade to finish eating our meal.
It feels good to be finally set up and unpacked  - it gives us a lot more room.  We are booked in here for a week.

1 comments:

Anonymous March 16, 2016 at 8:30 PM  

I very much enjoyed your story and photos and tips of where to travel. Thank you for posting

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