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New moon walk reveals Great Barrier Reef secrets at Kurrimine Beach 

July 02, 2013
New moon walk reveals Great Barrier Reef  secrets at Kurrimine Beach

Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park escorts guests out to the reef one day each month. They take up to 30 guests at a time. If you would like to join them bring some shoes that you don't mind getting wet - reef shoes are perfect. It is about 800m walk through thigh high water to get out to the reef and this usually takes about 30 mins. Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park has a safety boat on standby in case anyone gets into difficulty.

2014 Walk to Reef Dates are:
July - 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
August - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
September - 6, 7, 8, 9

The spirit and hospitality of old North Queensland thrives in the picturesque fishing hamlet of Kurrimine Beach. It is a haven for anyone who appreciates a laid back holiday.

Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park Queensland 17.47.0 S 146.5.53 E is about 70m from the beach. Kurrimine Beach is 10km east of the Bruce Highway midway between Tully and Innisfail.

Visitors can snorkel on King Reef, which is just offshore or at the low low tides of new moon walk out to the closest spot the Great Barrier Reef comes to the Queensland coast. These neap tides usually occur for a few days each month from May to September at the new moon. The highest and lowest tides occur 36 to 48 hours after the new and full moons. At low tides manta rays and bait fish school in the shallows at Kurrimine Beach.

Kurrimine Beach Holiday Park's manager Tracey Patterson arrived with her family in August 2011. They came for two nights while touring with their Jayco caravan.

Tracey, husband Corey and their two children Bradley and Hannah left their caravan park on the NSW North Coast in June2010 after they had battled 11 floods in four years.

The idea was to stay above water for 12 months and tour Australia, but as Tracey says - Now we have a bad case of Kurriminitis.

Tracey says Kurrimine Beach, population 800, claims to be the home of the biggest fishing club in North Queensland. New arrivals aften do a double-take when they find that the boat sheds in town are bigger than many of the houses, she said.There are plenty of angling options. Fresh water mountain streams offer Jungle Perch, rivers run to Red Bream and Barramundi.

The South Johnston and the Tully rivers are amongst the best fishing rivers in Australia. Beach fishing spots combine a range of fishing opportunities from Whiting through to Mackerel, Tracey said.

From Kurrimine it only takes about 45 minutes to reach the Outer Great Barrier Reef and Coral Trout are on the saltwater fishing menu. A well placed crab pot can yield nice muddies in the creek. Or walk out to the reef at low tides (under 0.4m) and fossick for one of the famous Painted Crays.

Snorkelling for crayfish is also good around King Reefs when the weather permits, especially in the winter months. Kurrimine Beach has a stinger net, a tidal boat ramp out from the beach and an all tides concrete boat ramp in Maria Creek, which is only a 10 minute boat trip from offshore waters.

Kurrimitis is catching  at Kurrimine Beach Qld
Kurrimitis is catching at Kurrimine Beach Qld

Kurrimine Beach is a very laid back place, and is good if you want to get away from the hype of the city. As we seem to be putting down roots in this idyllic location, and inspired by an old postcard and a recent visit to Paronella Park (a quirky local attraction) I am on a mission to uncover more about this area, Tracey said.

She has plenty to do - for example: Paronella Park, Jos Paronellas dream was to build a castle. He chose a special part of Australia to created it.

On five Hectares beside Mena Creek Falls Jos built his castle, picnic area by the falls, tennis courts, bridges, a tunnel, and wrapped it up in an amazing range of 7,500 tropical plants and trees (now a lush rainforest!). It opened to the public in 1935.

Kurrimine Beach Conservation Park is one of the remaining patches of endangered mesophyll vine forests left in the region and an easy 600m walking track meanders through it. The main characteristic of a Mesophyll vine forest is that trees and plants grow on low nutrient beach sands of the coastal wet lowlands and rely for growth on nutrients from the breakdown of leaf litter on the forest floor.

Despite its hair-raising name Murdering Point Winery has delicious wines and ports, made from locally sourced native and exotic fruits. Founded by the Berryman family in 2001, Murdering Point Winery has rapidly gained a reputation for the quality of its wines and the innovative use of a wide range of exotic tropical fruits, particularly in making wines using Australian native tropical fruits Lemon Aspen and Davidson Plum.

Mixed bag at Kurrimine Beach Qld
Mixed bag at Kurrimine Beach Qld

Kurrimine Beach Horse Riding runs 1.5 and three hour riding tours on secluded Kurrimine Beach.

The quirky Canecutter Way includes the smallest National Bank in Australia in Silkwood, several historic pubs, Paronella Park and Mena Creek Eco Gardens.

Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk near the end of the Canecutter Way lifts visitors high amongst the canopy of World Heritage rainforest with views of the Johnstone River.

Innisfail is the the Art Deco Capital of Australia.It was rebuilt during the Great Depression years after much of the town was destroyed by a super cyclone in 1918. Many of these beautiful buildings have been restored to their original glory.

Mission Beach is a short drive away. The Big Cassowary, a stroll along lovely Mission Beach and fine dining are the main pluses.

Dunk Island is a short boat ride from Mission Beach. It is one of Queensland's most beautiful island resorts. Day trip, bird watch, spot Ulysses butterflies, snorkel, and enjoy the varied scenery on one of the many walks which cover the island.

In Tully the huge Golden Gumboot signifies that Tully is the wettest town in Australia. Tully Sugar Mill has a fascinating day or twilight tour during the sugar cane crushing season.

Lunch covered at Kurrimine Beach Qld
Lunch covered at Kurrimine Beach Qld

The Sugar Museum at Mourilyan is worth a visit and Mourilyan Harbour is the sugar loading terminal.

Tours include trips to the Great Barrier Reef, white water rafting, cruises to an island in the Family Island Group, skydiving or pipcnic on South Bernard Island.

There are National parks, picnic areas and walks which include Mount Bartle Frere Queensland's tallest Etty Bay cassowaries, waterfalls, accessible walks, rainforest and Wallaman Falls at 268m, the highest, permanent, single-drop waterfall in Australia.

Feast of the Three Saints is held on the first Sunday in May at the Silkwood Catholic Church and commemorates three sainted brothers put to death in the second century AD by the Romans. No matter how bad the weather it has never rained in over 50 years that this event has been celebrated while the three saints are paraded through the streets at Silkwood.

Information centres in the surrounding area include Innisfail, Tully, Mission Beach and Malanda.

Editors Note: Also see-

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