Headed north of Townsville to the Paluma National Park.
Beautiful lush green rain-forest walks up to waterfalls and swimming holes. It's like we have arrived at a different planet from the last few months – no more moon-like landscapes, dry river beds, rocky escarpments, huge cattle stations, one pub towns, etc etc …. Now it is lush palm tree forests, beautifully shaded creeks, waterfalls, and swimming holes, shopping centres and civilization!!!!!.
Walked up to Jourama Falls, then drove up to Crystal Creek Falls, BBQ, and then up to Paluma township along a fairly treacherous windy road where we did a rain-forest walk. Then back down to Paradise waterhole …. which sounds idyllic – and it is – fantastic spot.
Then onto Townsville – a very pleasant city with fantastic foreshore facilities, stunning views from Castle Hill, outstanding botanic gardens, and a nice Marina area …. plus scrumptious fish and chips (barra)!!
South down the coast to one of Australia’ s greatest hidden secrets … Bowen. Stayed at Horseshoe Bay – sensational spot – surrounded by 4 or 5 beautiful beaches, set amongst granite boulders and palm trees. Horseshoe Bay in particular is stunning!!! Played golf at the beautiful Bowen Golf Course, and went to the Art Deco Bowen Cinema – like stepping back in time (saw The Joker). Few beers at the Grand Hotel – one of the most beautiful pubs we have seen … anywhere. It also has a busy port, mural water tanks, and much more – a great find!!!
Onto Airlie Beach – gateway to the Whitsunday Islands - nice town … very very touristy … must be a dozen or more outlets selling cruises to the Whitsundays, Barrier Reef, and other activities. There we were - Donna and I ... and 2,000 young European Backpackers!!!. Wandered around like tourists (which in fact – we were!!!), and drove out to Shute Harbour – once a very busy port, but got blown to smithereens by cyclone Debbie – and is now almost deserted.
We then headed across to Daydream Island – a beautiful 30 minute ferry ride across to the Whitsundays – for a few nights with friends we went on a Europe Contiki Tour with 30 years ago … and we hadn’t seen for many years. Was a very funny few days – which comprised eating, drinking, and sitting by the pool – plus a forest walk Donna forced us all to do …. And of course the afternoon Trivia Quiz (which we won!!). The Islands is very nice – and very small. Was a great few days.