For this trip we intend to visit as many waterfalls North Queensland has to offer and throw in some beach driving at Byfield and Cape Palmerston. With the cars and camper trailers loaded we made our way north on the Bruce highway to Caboolture to head inland and meet up with the Burnett highway an alternate route to Rockhampton. After a few hours driving we stopped for lunch at Nanango. The rest area/Heritage village was well worth the stop with plenty of memorabilia of the pioneer days.
Heritage village Nanango
Barry & Frank
After lunch we made our way to Wuruma Dam and set up camp for the night. The camping area has toilets, bbq’s and tables. Wuruma dam is 14km west of Abercorn and the dam provides water for irrigation and drinking supplies for Eidsfold, Munduberra and Gayndah.
Today we woke up to a lovely sunrise had a hearty breakfast, broke camp and headed to Mount Morgan. The road to Mount Morgan is quite good with some interesting scenery. While in Mount Morgan we called into the visitors centre had lunch at the lookout and played on a swing bridge over a dry creek bed. Then it was a short drive to Rockhampton (beef capital of CQ) and the girls relished in some retail therapy. After therapy we pushed on to Byfield National Park just north of Yeppoon. Byfield has three campgrounds; our campground had toilets, bbq’s, tables and water which were a bonus as we were staying for a few nights.
Byfield National Park
Track to the Beach
track turning soft
Today its time to explore and take a drive along some soft sandy tracks to the beach as there is a sand dune to tackle. After some minor delays on the tracks we reached the beach which we had almost to ourselves. The sand dunes were a short drive along the beach and after a few attempts we made it to the top and the view outstanding. We then made our way down the dune found a secluded cove put the Billie on and had a coffee and something to eat and discussed how much fun the sand dune was and how we had the whole place to ourselves. Back at camp that night Tegan and Trudi decided to play hairdresser and Chris and Frank were the guinea pigs.
A good Challange
From Byfield the day took us along the Bruce HWY through Malborough and on to Clairview rest area for lunch overlooking the beach with beautiful tropical waters, another great place to stop. After lunch we headed for Cape Palmerston National Park approx 130km south of Mackay. The campground is 4wd access only with a drive along the beach. While on the beach one of us was slightly delayed by an area known as Sticky Point (well known by locals). It was time to drop the tyre pressure a little further and on our way again. The campground was quite popular and after a bit of a drive around we found a great spot and set up camp. This was the first remote area camp for Trudi a bit of an eye opener but none the less another great spot in North Queensland.
Cape palmerston Track
Today we woke to another great morning had breakfast broke camp and with reluctance we leave Cape Palmerston with another drive along the beach (with no delays) back to the Bruce HWY turn off at Ilbilbie and head north as our next destination is Eungella Dam. The drive to Eungella Dam has some steep hills and the disco was having some overheating issues, so after a brief stop we continued to Eungella Dam, the Dam was quite low and Violet the pilot (Barry’s GPS) said our campsite was located in the water but we were high and dry. After setting up camp we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks then dinner and settled in for the night.
The Mountain to Eungella
Day 6-Thursday :-
Today after breakfast and breaking camp we make our way to Eungella National Park Platypus viewing platform. From the viewing platform we watched in awe a couple of Platypus at play, they were not shy at all, fun to watch. Now back on the road or should I say track Bowen Development Road and on to Townsville and stay at the Rowes Bay caravan park for a couple of nights.
Today we have a treat, a Ferry ride to Magnetic Island to enjoy the beach and other activities the Island has to offer. On the island Tegan was able to enjoy her favourite pastime. She went horse riding to the beach at Horseshoe Bay. The rest of us enjoyed a nice cuppa at one of the coffee shops and a walk along the beach where we saw the horse riders taking the horses for a swim. Out of nowhere Trudi said Barry “you’re too slow”, well like a flash off goes Barry along the beach after Trudi, he was more agile the she anticipated it was fun to watch. After our Ferry ride back to the mainland we made our way back to the caravan park. For dinner we had takeaway fish & chips and a nice cold bottle of wine, very relaxing.
Today is the day we start the waterfall part of the trip. After breaking camp and settling accounts it was off to our first waterfall Jourama Falls roughly 90km north of Townsville. There is a little walk to the viewing platform but well worth the walk.
From Jourama Falls it was on the road again to Wallaman Falls (Australia’s tallest single drop falls) it has a drop of 305m. Wallaman Falls has it own campground with toilets, gas bbq’s and picnic tables so we decided to stay the night.
Wallaman Falls road
Before we left Wallaman Falls we had another look from the viewing platform it is very spectacular and take some more happy snaps. Time to get on the road, travel down the range and meet up with the Highway. Heading north we arrived in Cardwell at lunchtime and had lunch and a stroll along the jetty. The jetty has great views of Hinchinbrook Island and there were turtles surfacing both sides of the jetty, well worth the stop.
Chris,Kaylene & Frank
Now we head for Murray Falls and when we arrived we were all impressed so set up camp got into our togs and went for a dip. The girls enjoyed the natural waterslide, what a great camping area.
frank,Kaylene,Chris, Trudi & Tegan
After our swim we took the short walk to the waterfalls and were once again impressed on a good day you can catch some spray from the waterfall.
Woke up to another day in paradise and today we leave Murray Falls and it off to Josephine Falls. Josephine Falls are a cascading waterfall and is located at the foot of Bartle Frere (Queensland highest mountain). From Josephine Falls it was north again to Cairns and book into a caravan park for three nights. Set up the campers and it was off to Natalie and Terry’s place for a BBQ great to have someone else do the cooking for us.
Josephine Falls sign
Gillies HWY look-out
Today we meet up with Natalie and go site seeing along the Gillies HWY (or is it the car sick hwy) and travel the Millaa Millaa Falls circuit and visit the Cathedral Fig, Tinaroo Dam which was pretty full and had one of the valves open an impressive site. The waterfalls we visited on the circuit were Milanda, Millaa Millaa, Zillie and Elinjaa. We also took in a side trip to the Crystal Caves store in Atherton. Mungalli Falls was our next stop. Mungalli Falls has a tea house so we stayed for a cuppa and a basket or two of hot chips (yum yum) which was well received as it started to rain and was a bit cool on the high range. After our indulgence we headed back to Cairns for the night.
Millaa Millaa falls
The adventure continues today along the Captain Cook HWY to Mossman Gorge. At Mossman Gorge it was on a suspension walkway to Spurgeon Falls and then down to the Gorge for a swim, the water was cool but refreshing and very popular. On our way back to Cairns we stopped at Port Douglas for a while and then back on the Captain Cook HWY for a scenic drive back to Cairns.
Last day in Cairns, it’s our turn to be chauffer driven, so we packed up the cars and campers and then parked them for the day. Around 8.00am our coach arrived to take us to the train station for our ride on the Kuranda Rail. The run up to Kuranda has plenty of tunnels and lots of twists and turns and great views of the Coral Sea. There is plenty of time to take photos of the Trestle Bridge and Stony Creek Falls and there is a stop at a platform overlooking Baron Gorge Falls. All aboard time to leave next stop, Kuranda Station. Kuranda is a nice little town with plenty to offer tourists, from grassy lawns, shopping malls with plenty of souvenirs that range from opals to indigenous arts to mention a few. We had lunch on some nice green lawn and then walked off lunch around town purchased souvenirs and made our way to the Sky Rail. The gondola ride down from Kuranda takes you over the rainforest canopy with magnificent views of Baron Gorge Falls and the Coral Sea. Off the Sky Rail and on the coach to be chauffer driven back Cairns pick up the vehicles and off to Babinda for the night what a fantastic day.
Kuranda Sky rail
Baron Gorge Falls
Today we woke to another beautiful tropical morning and it was on to the Palmerston HWY and visit Tchupala and Wallacha Falls. We had some unexpected stops at Souita and Pepina Falls the sign posts for these falls were old and faded but well worth the stop. On the road again to Ravenshoe (Queensland’s highest town), we had a quick look around with a stop at the visitors centre and then on to Millstream Falls.
Before looking at the Falls we had a well earned cuppa and then a walk to the Falls viewing area. During WWII Millstream Falls was an ARMY encampment and there are Plenty of reminders with signs warning of un-exploded ordinance in the area and do not venture off the track. After a few happy snaps it was time to leave for our destination Innot Hot Springs caravan park and set up camp for the night and then go to the pub for dinner, what a meal “ ah country hospitality “.
Innot Springs Camp Area
Day 15- Saturday:-
Prior to leaving Innot Hot Springs we spent some time in the hot pools. The pools vary from hot to boiling eggs hot, after jumping from pool to pool it was time to dry off and get on the road again. Today we travel on the Savannah Way a road that starts in Cairns and ends in Broome WA although we are only on it for a short time as we are going to Undarra Lava Tubes. The road was good we had a strip of bitumen with wide shoulder but with travelling in the outback we blew a tyre on the camper trailer and damaged the rim. Changed the rim and tyre and arrived at Undarra set up camp at the caravan park and booked ourselves in for a tour of the Lava tubes. The tour was very interesting and the guide was informative. That night after dinner we had a get together around a large camp fire and were entertained by some great stories.
Day 16- Sunday:-
After we breakfast we broke camp and headed for Townsville along the way we saw a mother emu and her chick’s great sight. Stopped for morning tea next to a running creek under some melaleuca trees (we are blessed), after morning tea back on the track to Valley of Lagoons stopped for a photo when a hair or a rabbit ran out from a bush next to were Chris was standing and frightened the daylights out of her.
Valley of the Lagoons
After all that excitement it was on the dusty track to Mount Fox (an old volcano) it had a bit of a goat track to the top but great panoramic views. From Mount Fox we made our way to Paluma and down the range with a brief stop at the stone bridge over Little Crystal Creek and then on to Bluewater rest area and camp for the night.
Looking down from Mt Fox
Chris,Trudi & Frank
Day 17- Monday:-
Another day and the adventure continue, on the blacktop again for our next destination Cape Hillsbourgh for a couple of nights. Cape Hillsbourgh is located just north of Mackay and the caravan park is just a stones throw away from the beach a great place to wind down and relax. The beach has beautiful sand and the water is clear and fantastic for a swim.
caravan park resort
Cabins at Cape Hillsbourgh
Day 18- Monday:-
Today we had a look at the local area a short drive on the beach and then a relaxing afternoon on the beach and veg out as the adventure is nearing the end.
Cape Hillsbourgh caravan Beach
Cape Hillsbourgh sign
Cape Hillsbourgh area
Day 19- Tuesday:-
Today we leave Cape Hillsbourgh and continue south through Rockhampton and on to Calliope rest area for our last camp under the stars. Calliope rest area as very large and located next to the river and has a toilet block.Tonight we enjoyed our last camp meal and reminisced about the trip and all the fantastic places we visited.
Day 20- Wednesday :-
Today we leave Calliope and head for home, blacktop all the way to Brisbane. We arrived home with both cars and campers fully intact. The only problems encountered were a bit of overheating and a blown camper trailer tyre, what a great adventure.