Monthly Archives: July 2023

Wallaman Falls, Girringun National Park, QLD

Monday 31st July 2023
We woke to inclement weather again today but it was showing a little promise. We went for an early walk to look for the crocodile which has been seen in the area lately. We were told that it wouldn’t be out today As it only comes out to bask in the sun.

We decided today that we would go to Wallaman Falls which are a spectacular waterfall with a height of 269, with a pool 20m deep. When we arrived it was raining and the fog so thick we couldn’t see the falls at all.

We drove to the camp ground and enjoyed morning tea, reading some of the information boards. They were very interesting. We then did the loop track at Stoney Creek. This was a short walk through another rainforest where we enjoyed the varied plant life yet again.

As the weather had lifted, we decided to try our luck for the steep walk down to Wallaman Falls. We were lucky that the fog had lifted and it had stopped raining. The track weaves through open forest along the escarpment and offers amazing views of the Herbert River Valley. As the track goes into the gorge, open forest gives way to vine-thicket rainforest. We enjoyed the steep descent to the lookout of the magnificent falls. The rain and the mist prevented us from making it to the pool for a swim. We tried for a short while but it was too dangerous to continue any further. We enjoyed our lunch with the view of the amazing waterfall, watching the plummeting water fall with such force and beauty.

We then walked back up the steep track to the top where we were lucky enough to see a Ulysses butterfly. They are so magnificent and their iridescent blue wings are unbelievable.

We then headed on our way home, about 2 hours later than we were expecting due to the fog this morning. We were very grateful to have been able to experience this adventure once the weather cleared, we thought it was going to be a non-event. We were so lucky.

We got home about 5.45pm, combined all our efforts under the direction of our Italian chef tonight. We enjoyed a beautiful meal of Pepperonata with turkey meatballs on a bed of sweet potato mash and haloumi. It was amazing as always.

David has had a very big 3 days as the driver and tour guide for Broady Tours. He will enjoy the rest on the island. We ate as prepared as we can be for the rain forecast. Silly me should have brought my heavier rain jacket but I left it in the shed at Townsville. I have bought a poncho just in case we get torrential rain but the guy from the ferry said we should be fine when we saw him this morning.

The next couple of hours was spent packing our bags for tomorrow’s 4 day adventure hike on Hincinbrook Island. We are expecting inclement weather which is very disappointing but hopefully the rain won’t be too heavy. Wish us good luck!

Yungaburra to Lucinda QLD

Sunday 30th July 2023
Well after an amazing sleep in our little 6 bed hostel room at “On the Wallaby”, we enjoyed an amazing day.

First stop was a walk to the Platypus Viewing Platform in Yungaburra. David went early and saw an Azure Kingfisher and a platypus showing himself. The girls and I joined him and saw the platypus but unfortunately it was a little bit smaller than the first one and more shy. But luckily we did see one. Back to the hostel for a leisurely breakfast, pack up and then we were on our way.

We the headed to The Curtain Fig – a heritage-listed tree,  it is one of the largest trees in Tropical North Queensland and is over 500 years old.

Then after a quick coffee we headed to The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour which is a living memorial dedicated to the memory of all who served in the fight against terror in Afghanistan and to those brave and selfless Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of freedom and liberty. Once again, it was a very moving, thought provoking visit and contributed to some interesting conversations.

Next stop was the Crater Lakes National Park where we enjoyed a walk in the rainforest around Lake Eacham with many birds and beautiful plants. It is a former volcanic crater. Surrounded by dense rainforest, it has an average depth of 65 metres. It’s an enclosed catchment, isolated from any other waterways. The lake only fills with rain, making the lake crystal clear and water quality good enough to snorkel and dive in. It’s also popular with kayakers. Alice and Ange had a swim here even though there was a crocodile warning sign within the last 7 days.

Then on to another Crater Lake – Lake Barrine was formed over 17,000 years ago when a large volcano erupted, leaving a crater that over time filled up with water to create a lake. The largest of the natural volcanic lakes in the area, Lake Barrine is 730m above sea level. It is about 1km in diameter, with a shoreline of almost 4.5 km, an average depth of 35m and a maximum depth of 65m. Once again, it is only fed by rainwater.

The Cathedral Fig came next. With a crown as big as 2 Olympic swimming pools towering nearly 50m over you, this mighty 500-year-old tree is amazing.

We then drove the narrow winding road for over 30mins to Gordonvale and then continued on the Babinda Boulders, which are a magnificent. There is a swimming hole surrounded by lush vibrant rainforest. The four girls had a swim and enjoyed the cool, refreshing waters, floating with the current and swimming back to shore a couple of times.

The day was getting away from us as we continued on our way in search of a cassowary at Etty Bay. David caught a glimpse of one as we drove passed some houses on the way in to Etty Bay. Unfortunately four the rest of us there were none at the beach this year. We then headed back to where we had seen a man chasing the one through someone’s yard with his camera on the way in. Once again, we saw one in the same yard and another two in the next persons yard walking near the owner sitting out on a garden chair. So we saw three in all. Very lucky.

We still had over 2 hours to drive to our home for the next 2 nights at Lucinda Cove Resort arriving at 8pm. It was a very big day. We enjoyed a home cooked meal, a chat and headed off to bed.

Broady Tours excelled himself today and the girls were very happy.

Townsville to Yungaburra QLD

Saturday 29th July 2023
We woke early and decided we needed to reduced our luggage a little more to fit the girls in the car. So, we unpacked our backpacks into a single layer on the bed in the roof top tent. Then believe it or not we were on our way on schedule today at 8.02am.

First stop was the storage shed where we put the ladder for the tent and a few more odds and ends. We then headed to the airport to collect Alice, Ange and Jaci. They arrive at 9am and they were on their way to meet us in the carpark with their luggage collected at 9.10am. Nothing like a smaller airport to speed things up.

After a quick discussion we were on our way north to explore. The aim was to reach Nandroya Falls in the afternoon and have a hike there. Our first stop was a recommendation by an indigenous guy David met Lake Proserpine camp. The Frosty Mango, they grow their own fruit and make their own ice-cream , some of the flavours were Lime and Basil, Lavender, Dragonfruit, Mint and your usual flavours like Hazelnut, Guava, Chocolate, etc. So after about 100km and only 10am we were eating ice-cream. So far, so good. The girls are very happy with Broady Tours.

We continued on and then stopped at Hinchinbrook Island Lookout. The girls were interested to see where the ferry went through the channel. The weather was overcast and the clouds were very low. We are hoping the weather is going to improve before the walk.

Next stop was a lunch in the park at Cardwell, the girls have seen their first crocodile warnings and once again we are all a bit nervous about seeing one on the island. Then onwards we went, arriving at Nandroya Falls at 2.30pm in the rain. As it was rainforest we decided to still go for a walk. It was a lovely walk, about 7km and took 2:20hrs in the most beautiful lush rainforest. We saw a wide variety of ferns and plants made all the more beautiful by the rain, making the leaves glisten. They have obviously had a lot of rain as the waterfalls were pumping. The only birdlife we saw was 8-10 ???? swallow feeding on insects at the Falls. David also saw the olive-backed sunbird. It was a most enjoyable walk, although we were a little wet by the time we finished.

Unfortunately the rain continued to fall, getting so heavy and misty there was no point going to any of the other sights we had planned. We had made a good decision earlier today to stay at hostel in a 6 bed dormitory. We were all very happy with this decision as the day’s weather worsened.

After a dinner of fried rice which I had cooked last night, a shower, a cuppa and some chocolate the girls headed off to bed as they left the Central Coast at 3am this morning and only had a few little snoozes on the way.

Alva Beach to Townsville QLD

Friday 28th July 2023
Today was to be a bit of an organising sort of day. We finalised our overnight hiking backpacks, minimised our clothes in to an Aldi bag, so we can empty our car at the storage shed so the girls can fit in tomorrow.

We left Alva at about 10am, intending to go straight to the caravan park we have booked for tonight, then the shed after lunch. As always, Broady Tours is flexible and ever-changing. As we were driving along the Bruce Highway we saw a mountain, so what did the Broady’s do when they see a mountain nearby? Well, they have to check it out.

We drove in to Alligator Creek in the Mt Elliott, Bowling Green Bay National Park. I had measured hike to Alligator Creek lookout. A 3.2km return hike along Alligator Creek Falls track to the lookout, it was up about 245m in elevation. Unfortunately we were foiled by barricades where we thought the road went. Apparently it was an overnight hike or 17km return from the carpark. So instead we did the Cockatoo Creek walk. After reaching the creek, I walked back through Alligator creek’s boulders for a little while but decided to bush bash out, back to the track as it was too far to boulder hop the whole way. We saw some little birds and David saw his first Ulysses butterfly for this trip. They are still as vibrant as ever.

An hour and a half later, we headed to the storage shed. Removed as much of our gear as possible and cleared the seats for the girls to fit in tomorrow. We are still not quite sure if we can managed 5 big packs, plus a small bag each with clothes for the next couple of days exploration drive, Only time will tell.

We checked in to our camp late this afternoon and continued to get organised for tomorrow. After cooking tomorrow night’s dinner and tonight, we are as ready as we can be.

I will probably be off line for at least a couple of nights and possible won’t get back to blogging until Saturday 5th. We will see how much we try to fit in to a day as to whether I have any time.


Lake Proserpine to Alva Beach via Airlie Beach QLD

Thursday 27th July 2023

Well, we have finally hit the warmer weather. It was about 15°C during the night and once again I am overheating. We had a considerable amount of rain overnight which slows us down a little getting away as we wait for the tent to dry a little.

We headed off towards Airlie Beach at about 10am. Depending on the weather, the aim is to do an 8km return hike to Honeyeater Lookout, a section of the Great Walk in the Conway National Park. It is quite a steep incline, about 400m elevation. It felt pretty easy with just a day pack and we moved along quite well. The track was quite wet and slippery. We enjoyed being back in the bush, there were some good plants and fungi, but only a couple of birds along the way.

We saw a few people along the way and also at the lookout. The view was impacted by the weather as it was very overcast and hazy. All in all, it was good to be walking again. The walk was only 2:15hrs as we hotfooted it on the way down.

We then went for a drive to Shute Harbour and through the Main Street of the town for old time sakes. There were so many more resorts up on hillside than last time we were here and the marina seems to be new as well. There was a lot more development than when we were here last and it looks like there is more in the making. There were still many international back packers and a lot of young Aussie tourists as well.

We then headed on the drive to Alva Beach. We have booked a cabin so we can pack for our hike tonight and just get a bit organised before we pick the girls up on Saturday. Tomorrow we will drive to Townsville, unpack all the unnecessary stuff in the car so we can fit the girls and their packs/luggage in for our next little adventure. Hopefully the weather improves.

Slade Point to Proserpine via Cape Hillsborough, QLD

Wednesday 26th July 2023
Today has dawned only marginally brighter than yesterday. The sky is a little bluer but it is still very windy and it still looks very sketchy, like rain could start at any time. It is time to pack up from our little home once again and venture out in to the big wide world again.

After a little shopping we head a little further north up the coast. We take a little detour in to Cape Hillsborough National Park. It is a very nice little spot. After lunch we head out for a short 3km loop walk along the Beachcomber Cove trail. This starts along the beach and then up a very easy trail to a lookout. Then it winds back down to the start. An enjoyable little walk.

We then start driving north again. We couldn’t decide whether to go in to Airlie Beach or stay just outside the main tourist area. As you can imagine, we decided to stay just outside at Lake Proserpine and arrived around 4.30pm. This was a lovely little area except the wind was about 45kmh and the lake was really choppy. Maybe we can see it at its best tomorrow. We enjoyed a little R&R before dinner for a change. We have been trying to decide on a drive for when the girls arrive on Saturday. To go hard and try to see lots or just do a couple of walks nearby.

We Arte slowly getting closer to Townsville. Only 290km to go over the next 2 days. I think wee should be able to manage a walk or two along the way.

Slade Point, near Mackay, QLD

Tuesday 25th July 2023
You would not believe the rain we had overnight. It was a continuous down pour between heavy and very heavy. The wind howled as well. We are so glad that we chose to bunker down in an apartment on the outskirts of Mackay. We are struggling with not doing any walking. We were both hoping to go for a walk today but it is too miserable. We walked 87km in six days and haven’t walked more than 20 steps in any direction since. Oh well, maybe I can get some more blogging done and DB might succeed in doing some work. Only time will tell.

It has been raining on and off between torrential and light, with a very strong wind since we woke this morning. A about 10am it looked like there could be a small window of opportunity for activity, so I donned on my rain jacket and off we went. We haded towards the beach and were greeted by a flock of red-tailed black cockatoos putting on a show. We spent some time trying to photograph them without too much success but we may have one of two shots that are okay. We then headed off for a walk in the Slade Point Natural Resource Reserve. It was a short walk through the bush on a nature trail with some lovely flora and some birds., About 10 mins into the walk it started to sprinkle and the weather was looking very inclement. David decided to turn around as he didn’t wear his wet weasther jacket. I decided to continue. I enjoyed a lovely walk for over an hour, noticing some very colourful big and little plants and flowers. It was lovely to be out in the not so sunshine. With about 10 mins to the end of the walk, and at the most open section along the beach foreshore, the rain pelted down again. I was saturated by the time I got back to the apartment but very satisfied with moving the legs a bit today.

We will hang at the apartment today, catching up on the blog and hopefully David will solve his work problem. We are so lucky we have an apartment and the ability to make these choices when the weather is poor.

Rolleston to Mackay, QLD

Monday 24th July 2023
After a rest day in the rain at Rolleston yesterday we have decided to continue on our way as we have very little food left. I scrambled together some makeshift dinner last night but a shop is necessary and there isn’t anything except the service station and pub here. We will drive as far as we can manage today. We headed along the Rolleston-Blackwater Road to Blackwater. This was a narrow road with minimal traffic, mostly mine vehicles and one or two tourists. It was pleasant drive although a little bumpy.

We stopped at Blackwater Woolworths to replenish our groceries but they were having a blackout and all fridges were covered with silver padding to keep the cold in. So I was only able to buy a BBQ chicken and some veges but that is better than nothing. So we continued along our merry way.

We drove passed many mine sites which looked like mountain ranges in the distance. It was a long driving day but we eventually made it to Mackay. We are staying just north of Mackay out of the hustle and bustle at Slade Point.

Rolleston, QLD

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July
After finishing our hike at Carnarvon Gorge today and driving 90mins to Rolleston, we enjoyed a lovely meal at the pub after 6 days of freeze-dried hiking food and a good sleep inside a cabin out of the cold and in a double bed. It was bliss!

We did some housekeeping on Sunday, unpacked and repacked our hiking bags and just had a well-earned rest day.

Tomorrow we hope to start our drive north towards Townsville for hiking adventure number 2.

Carnarvon Gorge National Park, Great Walk – Day 6, QLD

Saturday 22nd July 2023
Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk
Day 6 – Cabbage Tree to Carnarvon Gorge visitors Centre
17.9km – 285m ascent 924m descent
Total track time – 6:02 hours
Moving time – 4:30 hours
Plus side trips – Boolimba Bluff

Well after my best night’s sleep in the trail and a balmy 6′ overnight we are ready for a big day hiking. The boys got on their way early as they have a3 how drive to Roma at the end of the day. We also got a good start at about 9am. The first part of the hike was along a fire trail and then we were on to a single trail. The most of the day is down, down, down, about 1000m in elevation. Our our knees will be sore tonight. Today was much more scenic with views on both sides of the trail at different times. We walked through all types of vegetation as well. We enjoyed the view at Boolimba Bluff and then the day finished with a descent of 350m down 1000 rocky steps. We hiked 17.94km over 6hrs up284m down 924m with a moving time of 4:30 hours. We had lots of time spent taking photos of the views and lots of bird life today. We even saw a dozen cows along the way. We finished the hike around 3pm and after chatting for a while at the visitors Centre we returned to our car and were on our way. We have decided to head to Rolleston which is about 1:30 hours away and stay in a cabin with a shower. And a lovely dinner at the pub. Yay!