By now you could well be used to the pathetic attempts at humour in many of our blog posts. It may therefore, come as a bit of a surprise that this one has a slightly more reflective tone. We learnt so much during our visit to Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta and it really opened our mind to the history and beliefs of indigenous Australians.
It was told in the Targ-alung runes that the twice nine would conquer the Pajinka and so it came to be. At their head strove, Johndalf the Khaki. Most knew him only as a trickster who could conjure fire, but his wisdom spanned aeons and he knew the differential magic from before the syncromesh.
We met our fellow adventurers and guide, John, in a Cairns car park at 8 am on a Sunday morning. We’d decided some time before, that an Australian road trip wouldn’t be complete without reaching the top of Cape York, the most northern point of the Australian mainland. However, we were also aware that to make the most of it, some fairly challenging four-wheel driving had to be undertaken. Given that our 4WD experience wasn’t that extensive we booked a tagalong trip with Tagalong Tours of Australia. We’d be driving in a convoy of vehicles with a tour leader and we figured we’d learn a fair bit for the rest of our trip.
We set off at a pretty cracking pace over The Great Dividing Range to Mareeba and on to Dimbulah for morning tea. After our break we had our first dirt road experience on the way to Chillagoe. We also had our first casualty as the corrugations on the road shook our UHF radio aerial off.
We stopped for four nights at Cape Hillsborough National Park about 40 km north of Mackay. It’s not somewhere that’s on everyone’s must see list for Australia but we’d been recommended to visit so thought we would give it a try. It was also an opportunity for a trial run of our camp set-up before we joined our tagalong trip in Cairns to travel to the tip of Cape York over 18 days, camping every night.
Cape Hillsborough formed around thirty million years ago as a product of volcanic lava flows. The Pennant Rock is a volcanic plug remaining from that time. The first human inhabitants were the Juipera Aboriginal people and the current name was given by James Cook in honour of the Earl of Hillsborough. Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park was first developed in the 1950s and this was to be our home for the next four nights.
“Mary, have you decided on our holidays yet”, said Hugh at the breakfast table, “can we go to Blackpool as usual”. “Oh, Hugh you silly sausage” said Mary, “you know very well that we live in Australia now and that you haven’t been to Blackpool since 1976”. Hugh looked quite disappointed and turned to Mark and Caroline. “Why are you in our house for breakfast?”, he said, “didn’t we say we’d telephone the police if it happened again”
“Do stop being such a grump, Hugh”, said Mary, “you know how much I enjoy these special sleepovers. Anyway, Mark and Caroline have a surprise, they’re taking us on holiday to Childers, won’t that be nice”.
“Yes” said Mark, “The Professor has arranged for us to stay in a haunted hotel with Jane, Stephen and Colette. I think having eight of us will really spice up our usual foursome. The Professor said Jane would love some company”.
“Oh Mark, do telephone him now”, said Mary, “it sounds splendid and quite adventurous”.
Even Hugh began to get quite excited about the prospect of an adventure to Childers, “Will we see the Isis Devils?” he asked. “I do hope so” said Caroline, “I’ve heard that they are delightful”
Yes you’ve got me. The title is just another cheesy excuse to use a song title. But at least it provides something more entertaining for you to do than read my drivel. The title should probably be more accurately, do go chasing waterfalls, as we find it to be a pretty satisfying occupation.
We’ve written before about making unexpected stops on our travels and the value of serendipity. Our drive from Armidale to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales was no exception. I guess the fact that we driving along Waterfall way should have given some indication that there were sights to be seen along the way.
In Australia, its often suggested that Melbourne is the centre of all that is hipster. We now know this to be false and the movement was in fact launched in the New England area across the towns of Glenn Innes and Armidale way back in the mid 19th Century. How do we know this you may ask? Well, two of the original settlers in the area who assisted other squatters to lay title to land were John Duval and William Chandler. They weren’t referred to by their true names. No, because of the impressiveness of their beards they were simply referred to as The Beardies. This name lives on in the main drag of Armidale and the History Museum in Glen Innes dedicated to The Land of the beardies. Apparently, after founding Armidale, the first thing they did was to open a Barista coffee shop, another Australian first. (I may have made that last bit up but the rest is all true).
Ok, I give you that the title might be a bit hyperbolic but I think you can safely assume we were pretty impressed with Alure boutique resort in Stanthorpe. We like camping and we like 5 star luxury and to be fair we’re not so keen on the bit inbetween. As a combination of the two, Alure could have been made for us. However, we were a little apprehensive as we’ve tried so called glamping before and been disappointed by damp tents with mediocre facilities. We needn’t have worried, Alure was everything we could have asked for and more.
This post is about wine-tasting in the Granite Belt region of Queensland. I’m not sure what you were expecting but suggest you might need to go and wash your mind out with soap.
We arrived in Stanthorpe having driven from Toowoomba. We stopped on the way at Queen Mary Falls which is about 30km outside of Warwick and well worth a stop. There’s a nice café which is part of a caravan park and an adjacent free to use BBQ area. We shared a sandwich and chips – great value and watched the parrots being fed by children. They were really tame and would land on your hand for food. Unusually, it appeared that when people weren’t there to entertain the parrots, they occupied themselves by knitting jumpers for the trees.