The huge pod of perhaps 100 bananas, having been cut off the tree and transported to the processing shed is hung from a conveyor belt and after washing and cleaning, the workers cut hands of 4-5-6 bananas for boxing and transport to market.
The Mission Beach caravan parks wesaw when stopped for a cuppa and a stretch were all crowded. It is not a place where I could stay comfortably ~ I do not like being treated like a sardine.
One caravan park's price board visible as we walked past displaying both daily and weekly rates showed only a $3 discount for for a weekly booking ~ it didn't excite me in any way.
From Mission Beach is was along the coast to Bingal Bay, another small holiday village on the beach, before back to the Bruce Hwy at El Arish. At Silkwood we turned inland towards Paronella Park.
the concrete of his construction, not realising that years later the rust would cause the concrete to shatter.
Paronella Park Symons's from Tassie
Today, the owners are trying to keep the place alive via tourism ~ and it's working. An assortment of multi-language fluent young people are highly proficient tour guides, and guided tours of the site are conducted regularly.
The buildings, while not liveable are enchanting, the grounds are spectacular. The river running alongside provides a wonderful waterfall, competent tour guides take groups around, and the caravan park powered sites are free ~ included in your entry ticket!
Day-17 the group headed for Innisfail, to do some basic shopping before heading up to the Atherton Tablelands. Innisfail is a delightful country town, well supplied with retail outlets, and is located on the banks at the confluence of the North and South Johnson Rivers, where there also is a good walking track along the river bank.
From Innisfail we headed westwards up the Palmerston Hwy as it runs through some prime agricultural lands, lots of dairy farming on lush green grasses.
As we climbed through the Frances Ranges, the views were impressive ~ all around the horizon we could see many hills covered by the deep blue haze so characterstic of Australia.
At Millaa Millaa we took the Waterfalls Road to see several of the many waterfalls of the region.
The spectacular Millaa Millaa falls; the Zillie and Ellinjaa Falls were all running well, all with the inevitable tourist buses in attendance along with our group, and all visitors' cameras were clicking away merrily.
Ravenshoe is another pleasant country town on the Tablelands; locals and tourists are well served by its shops and cafes, there are good schools to be seen as we drive through the town.
Thirty kilometres west of Ravenshoe is Innot Hot Springs, our destination for the day. We will be here for two nights, and having a lazy day in between.
We checked in with Shane and Leanne, our hosts and got settled into our sites; and soon set off for the long walk (well it was 30 metres) to the hot pools and spa. Later in the afternoon, Alayneand I joinedhalf dozen other travellers in one of the many pools available. As I lowered myself into the warmth of a 35-degree hot pool, I allowed myself to be cocooned by it. Aaaaaaah !!
At our happy hour, members of the group were chatting about options for tomorrow ~ Bill and Helen are considering popping out to the Undara Lava Tubes (about an hours drive away), Neill Roberta are just going to relax a while, and Allenand Suzanne are considering their options - in other words, we will wait and see. Ah isn't it nice to be able to do this.
The Innot site appears to be quite run-down, something which I find most disappointing.
When I first came here three years ago, our hosts (only managers, not the owner) were new to the place were full of ideas for its rejuvenation after many years of indifference by a previous owner. It appears, however, little has changed, and the place is now looking the worse for wear. All our group had concerns about the state of the park and its facilities.
Day-19 and our 21-day tour will soon be over. Today we ventured back to Ravenshoe and onto Herberton.
Herberton has a history of mining, both tin and gold, and is now home to many such museums. We visited the world-renowned cameras museum and as is often the case checked out the local cafe's Devonshire Tea offering as well.
Atherton is a much larger town, lots of shops and services to which we availed ourselves, before continuing to Lake Tinaroo for the next two nights.
More later about the Atherton Tablelands ~ hope that you are enjoying the journey so far.
Regards, Phil Alayne
Disclaimer: none of the businesses referred to herein have supplied any services or discounts to Phil Jones Photography Tours to secure any preferential comment in the above travel blog.
Editors Note: To follow the adventures of the Brisbane to Cairns Tag Along group please open the attached link and follow the extra links at the end of the GoSee Information Article.
Lucinda sugar loading facility commemorative Stone
Mission Beach Banana farm worker Tim