Trip to the Tip – Day One & Two ( photos)2012-08-04 at 01:21 am Blog RSS
Day One (Saturday 30th June 2012)
Day one was a day of bubbling excitement as I waited for my daughter Sherridan, her husband Billy and baby Willow to arrive to pick me up. Two months earlier she had called me full of excitement over their planned trip to the tip of Australia. We had talked at length before she surprised me with the question… would I like to accompany them on this month long 4 wheel drive adventure.
Would I? Like?
I had been yearning for an outback adventure for years, too long had it been… too long had I lived the ‘town’ life… I think my ready acceptance to join them was somewhat over enthusiastic to say the least.
And now the day had arrived… they would turn up any minute…. nervous-excitement clawed in my stomach.
Their arrival was a little confusing… a wrong street turned, with me on the phone giving directions. But I could see the vehicle, with Sherridan sitting in the back seat of the twin cab 4 wheel drive, placating Willow. I hadn’t seen my granddaughter Willow since she was a month old, and that was 4 months ago, it was a lovely reunion and a beautiful way to begin our journey.
Sherridan, Billy & Willow had already been on the road 2 days and it would take another 2 days before we reached the real wilderness… before our trip truly begun. This first 2 days took us through the coastal region that stretched from Townsville to Cairns, the 2 major towns/coastal cities on the eastern seaboard of North Queensland. The region has 25 islands off the coast and more than 12 National Parks on the mainland. I think some of the islands are National Parks too and many areas are Heritage listed. Cassowaries are found in this region, but one has to be lucky to catch sight of these huge flightless birds. Another elusive, though more often seen local, is the Ulysses Butterfly… whose vibrant blue hue can be easily seen against the greenery… but these butterflies appear to never rest and though I saw many, I never managed to get one on film so to speak.
The end of Day one found us staying in a caravan park in Townsville, roughly 300 kms from my home. Here we joined Billy’s parents, Bill and Annett, as well as his brother, Aunt, Uncle, cousins and friends. All up there were 17 of us. The roads we were taking were rough and isolated, few phones worked, internet was almost non-existent so travelling in a group made sense. We all had CB radios and loads of other safety equipment, including winches, generators and even a welder.
Townsville is thought of as the unofficial capital of North Queensland with a population of over 143,400 residents. Mostly a tourist town, situated on the coastal region of the Great Barrier Reef the largest coral reef in the world, Townsville also grows sugar and has beef and wool industries; I think fishing may also be one of its mainstays.
Our first night
We rose early, which was also to become normal routine and left the caravan park, heading north towards Cairns.
We stopped at the Tyto Wetlands Reserve and walked around the beautiful grounds, stretching our legs and soaking up the sights.
Tyto is 120 hectares of land just south of Ingham devoted to encouraging local bird species to inhabit and flourish in lagoons and trees that were created and planted as natural habitat. The information Centre is a fascinating storehouse of facts and interactive displays.
After spending some time at Tyto Wetlands we drove on to Tully where we stopped for lunch. The main industry in Tully is agriculture with sugar cane and bananas being the main crops grown and is the wettest town in Australia with an average annual rainfall higher than 4,000 millimetres (160 inches). In light of this the town’s monument is the ‘Golden Boot’… which we climbed after lunch, taking typically goofy ‘vacation’ shots.
Me in the Tully Boot
Our destination for today was Cairn’s another 140 kilometres (87 mi) further north, so we headed off again, all in good spirits.
Cairns was to be our last town of reasonable size to pass through so supplies were bought and last minute loose ends were tied up; we stayed in another caravan park for the night.
Cairns has a population of over 164,400 residents and is snuggly bordered on one side by the beautiful Great Dividing Range… and on the opposing side sprawling beaches and pristine ocean. The Daintree Rainforest flourishes in abundance just north of Cairns.
The caravan park was over-crowded and we were squashed onto a narrow strip of grass on a corner, it was far from adequate, but didn’t dampen our spirits. Tomorrow we would begin the real part of this journey… the part we were all looking forward to.
Lake Placid, near Lake Placid Caravan Park, where we stayed on the second night.
Last 5 posts by Sharon-Lee
- Some of My Sweetest Dreams Died Today - October 3rd, 2012
- Call of the North Wind - August 25th, 2012
- Part 5 Day 6- Ranges and Plains and Red Dust Roads - August 8th, 2012
- Day Five- Part Four- Leaving Archer Point- Trip tp Tip - August 8th, 2012
- Archer Point...Day Four Trip to the Tip- - August 6th, 2012
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