Burleigh Head National Park

Beautiful rainforest walk around Burleigh Head National Park in a winter morning. Magnificent view to Surfers Paradise high rise and beautiful coast toward Coolangatta.

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P/S At the moment due to the falling rocks, the track is closed at the bottom of the hill.

* Thoa Read *

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Townsville – capital city of North QLD

The local people call it Brownsville because of the dry climate and having no rain make the city looks so brown. The UV in Townsville is extremely high all year round so the city is covered with brownie colour. But I always look at the beautiful side of everything so under my eyes Townsville city has a unique beauty of a country town.

The Strand

The Strand

Townsville is spread out a lot and it looks like a giant village with the olden part (city) and new part. The public transport here is very poor so the best way to look around the city is having your own car.

In the city you must go to The Strand, which was built in 1999 after the damage from cyclone Sid in Jan 1998. It’s about 3 km walkway paths with palm trees along the beach. A lot of functions for kid to enjoy like water park and playgrounds. Especially there is a fantastic view to Magnetic Island.

The Strand

The Strand

Castle Hill is an icon of Townsville. I always love to drive up there to enjoy the cool breeze from the ocean and a panorama view down to the city. But Mt Stuart is the best place to see how big it is this giant village. You should follow the track and go around the mountain to have the view to Townsville from East to West.

Castle Hill view from the city.

Castle Hill view from the city.

View to the city from Castle Hill. Magnetic Island is in distant.

View to the city from Castle Hill. Magnetic Island is in distant.

View from Mt Stuart to west of Townsville.

View from Mt Stuart to west of Townsville.

 

 

Townsville Harbour.

Townsville Harbour.

Red Baron Seaplanes.

Red Baron Seaplanes.

An old pub in city.

An old pub in city.

Building in city.

Building in city.

Building in city.

Building in city.

View to Castle Hill from Rowes Bay.

View to Castle Hill from Rowes Bay.

Besides that Townsville also have some nice parks which is worth a visit like Queens Gardens, Anderson Botanical Gardens or The Palmetum.

Anderson Botanical Gardens.

Anderson Botanical Gardens.

The most beautiful nearest picnic area out of Townsville is Alligator Creek. Only 20 mins driving south of Townsville, you have a perfect spot for family’s fun activities all day long with swimming hole for kids and walking track for adults who likes tracking.

Alligator Creek.

Alligator Creek.

Bluewater creek is located north of Townsville and this photo is taken at our friend’s house in Bluewater. The creek runs at the back of their acreage and it looks magnificent.

Blue water creek.

Blue water creek.

* Thoa Read *

North QLD Road Trip – Route 4: Cairns – The Tablelands – Townsville

Staying Cairns for 4 days but we haven’t seen much in Cairns city. We just mainly sleeping and walking along the esplanade in the afternoon. Have to give it another occasion to come back here.

From Cairns we head to The Tablelands via Gillies Highway to visit old town Yungaburra, Atherton, Lake Barrine, Lake Eacham and Malanda Falls before heading back to Townsville via Bruce Highway. The bonus for coming back trip is Kurrimine beach which is home of the renowned King Reef Crayfish. King Reef is the closest spot where the Great Barrier Reef comes to the Queensland Coast.

Cairns to Townsville via Gillies Highway

Cairns to Townsville via Gillies Highway

Pyramid mountain in Gordonville

Pyramid mountain in Gordonville

Funny painting on the rock at Gillies Highway.

Funny painting on the rock at Gillies Highway.

The Tablelands is famous with a lot of dairy farms. On the way to Yungaburra we saw a lot of cattle and the road sign warning cattle crossing the road.  We visited 2 famous huge trees in Yungaburra. The Cathedral Fig Tree, like the Curtain Fig Tree, is a gigantic 500 years old strangler tree. Located in the Danbulla State Forest, the Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being the best place to hear an early morning bird ‘singing’ in the Tablelands. Circumnavigate the base of the tree and giant buttress roots on the easily accessible boardwalk.

While we drove around Yungaburra town to have a look, we saw a mango shop at street side. We bought a box of huge Bowen mangoes with a bargain. We’re all mango lovers so it was little win.

In Atherton we only visited The Crystal Cave according to the tourist information flyer that is a must. But we were a bit disappointed with the “cave”. It’s a man-made cave and it’s more for commercial. We got this feeling because after days by days traveling around Far North Queensland and beautiful nature in The Tablelands, we were expected to explore a real nature cave. This “Cave” is located in a main street of Atherton. In front of the “cave” is a shop selling all the stuffs made from gems. It’s not too bad inside that they decorate like a cave and hide the gems all around that. You need to wear a helmet with a light in front of it (to look like a mining worker) but I don’t think many people wearing it (I didn’t). The big disappointing is The Empess – Worlds biggest Amethyst Geode (as they advertised). Yeah, it’s huge but it’s not original. I mean it was made by many small pieces and once again it’s man-made too. I called this “Cave” is a gallery – a gem collection. But we’ve been there and done that.

Malanda Falls is not as big as Milla Milla Falls. People built a swimming pool around the falls so it becomes a very popular area for picnic. But I don’t like that idea at all. I prefer swimming under running water.

Lake Barine and Like Eacham are so beautiful. They are very huge and smooth. This is very truly Tablelands.

Dairy farm.

Dairy farm.

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Cattle road sign near Yungaburra

Cattle road sign near Yungaburra

Cathedral Fig Tree

Cathedral Fig Tree

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Lake Barrine

Lake Barrine

Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham

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Curtain Fig Tree

Curtain Fig Tree

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Red dirt

Red dirt

Grand hotel in Atherton

Grand hotel in Atherton

The Empress at Crystal Cave in Atherton

The Empress at Crystal Cave in Atherton

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Malanda Falls

Malanda Falls

Kurrimine Beach

Kurrimine Beach

Big Bowen Mangoes bought in Yungaburra

Big Bowen Mangoes bought in Yungaburra

The holiday was over. We really enjoyed the trip and would love to come back there. We have planed for another occasion to visit Cooktown – the northernmost town on the east coast of Australia.

Road trip is so interesting and comfortable. It’s just flexible and we don’t rely on anything else. Just do what we love to do and enjoy!

* Thoa Read *

North QLD Road Trip – Route 3: Cairns – Daintree – Cairns

We made this journey after a day visiting Kuranda by train and sky rail. It was wonderful experience because the train was going through the rainforest with significant views and from the sky rail we had a stunning view down to the magnificent tropical rainforest. I had a post about travelling by train to Kuranda before. You’ll find it in category “Australia”.

Cairns to Daintree

Cairns to Daintree

From Cairns we follow Captain Cook Highway to go up Far North QLD. We visit Palm Cove, Port Douglas and Mosman on the way up before reaching Daintree. Palm Cove is lovely place with stunning tropical beach (compare with Cairns). It’s a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Along the esplanade are lot of luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants that can provide you a very comfort stay on your holidays. Port Douglas is a great getaway to Great Barrier Reef and we see a lot of boats here transport people to visit the Reef. Mossman Gorge is a must-see place even if you don’t want to swim; it’s still worth a visit. We can’t go direct to the Gorge by our privet car. The local government set up a centre, which is transfer tourist from here to the Gorge, by shuttles bus every 15 mins. It costs $6/adult and free for children under 4. Daintree is a small town at the end of the road because it doesn’t have a connection road to next town Cooktown (unseal road only recommended for 4WD vehicles as there are a number of creek crossings. People have to go back to Mossman to access to the inland road). Specialty here is crocodile watching and travel on boat along Daintree River to enjoy the rainforest.

Double Island

Double Island

Tropical beach in Palm Cove

Tropical beach in Palm Cove

Luxury hotels and resorts along The Esplanade Road in Palm Cove

Luxury hotels and resorts along The Esplanade Road in Palm Cove

Rocky Point

Rocky Point

Captain Cook Highway

Captain Cook Highway

View from Rex Lookout

View from Rex Lookout

Pebbly Beach

Pebbly Beach

View from Flagstaff Hill in Port Douglas

View from Flagstaff Hill in Port Douglas

Anzac park in Port Douglas

Anzac park in Port Douglas

Sugar Wharf at Port Douglas

Sugar Wharf at Port Douglas

Four Miles Beach at Port Douglas

Four Miles Beach at Port Douglas

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Rocky Point

Rocky Point

Daintree Village

Daintree Village

Crocodiles watching trip along Daintree river

Crocodiles watching trip along Daintree river

On the way back to Cairns, we decide to go by the inland road then via Kuranda Range. It’s nothing to see along the road due to the dry season and it’s way to inland so the scenery is totally different from the beautiful coastal road we had gone before. The only thing remained in my mind is there are a lot of termite nest and white gum tree along the road.

Daintree to Cairns by inland road

Daintree to Cairns by inland road

Termite nest near Mareeba

Termite nest near Mareeba

Stunning view from Kuranda Range.

Stunning view from Kuranda Range.

View to Cairns Region from Kuranda Range

View to Cairns Region from Kuranda Range

That was incredible day that we had done a lot of things in a day. Even we are all very tired but we were so excited to look at the photos later in hotel room.

Stay tuned to see what’s next on the last day of the trip before we heading home.

* Thoa Read *

North QLD Road Trip – Route 2: Bramston Beach – Milla Milla – Cairns

We woke up early and hit the road on a beautiful sunny day from Bramston Beach. The early driving gave us a good chance to enjoy the beauty of countryside that we missed it yesterday afternoon when we came here. Bright sky, high cloud and light winds bring a gentle relaxed feeling for the morning. Sometimes we saw cattle leisurely walk on the dairy farm under the brilliant sunshine of the morning. It was a great start for the journey.

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Bramston Beach to Cairns.

Bramston Beach to Cairns.

After leaving Bramston Beach, we are back to Bruce Highway to drive up north. Heading to the next town Babinda where there is a famous national park called The Boulders. Babinda Boulders is surrounded by lush rainforest and is a popular swimming hole for tourists and local people.

Babinda Boulders.

Babinda Boulders.

 

Swimming hole at The Boulders.

Swimming hole at The Boulders.

Lush rainforest at The Boulders.

Lush rainforest at The Boulders.

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We had a very random decision after visiting Babinda (that’s the interesting thing of road trip). We decided to go back Innisfail and followed Palmerston Highway (State Route 25) to get to Milla Milla. Because we had plenty time to travel to Cairns so we just wanted to explore a part of The Tablelands.

Babinda to Milla Milla

Babinda to Milla Milla

There is beautiful countryside on the way to Milla Milla. We go to see Milla Milla Falls first before visiting the town. But unfortunately we are in dry season so the falls does not have much water as we expected. Milla Milla is famous as a dairy town as well.

Tea tree farm on the way to Milla Milla.

Tea tree farm on the way to Milla Milla.

A look out.

A look out.

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Milla Milla Falls.

Milla Milla Falls.

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Very tiny town Milla Milla.

Very tiny town Milla Milla.

Symbol of Milla Milla

Symbol of Milla Milla

On the way to Cairns we drive through Gordonvale and Edmonton. It’s close to the wet tropic now so this area is greener than Townsville. The only thing I am disappointed about Cairns is that it does not have a decent tropical beach. The Esplanade is fantastic but it was built over the mangroves so when you walk along The Esplanade you only can see the muddy beach and the port in a distance.

Gordenvale.

Gordenvale.

Peter Bridge

Peter Bridge

The Esplanade in Cairns.

The Esplanade in Cairns.

Public swimming pool in The Esplanade.

Public swimming pool in The Esplanade.

War Memorial in Cairns.

War Memorial in Cairns.

We had a relaxing night and were ready to explore the Far North QLD. Stay tuned to see what’s on next?

* Thoa Read *

 

North QLD Road Trip – Route 1: Townsville – Bramston Beach

Townsville city.

Townsville city.

We made this trip on Christmas vacation last year when we first moved up to North QLD. Starting from Townsville – capital of North QLD, we followed Bruce Highway to drive to up north. We drove through several small towns called Ingham, Cardwell, Innisfail before reaching to Cairns. We continued the journey to Daintree by following Captain Cook Highway and visited Port Douglas, Mosman on the way. We finished the trip in 5 days and came back home on the day before New Year Eve. That was the longest road trip that our family have ever done. But it was fantastic and we did enjoy the scenery as well as discover the wonderful tropic land.

Townsville to Bramston Beach

Townsville to Bramston Beach

Main street in Ingham.

Main street in Ingham.

Cardwell

Cardwell

Cardwell Post Office

Cardwell Post Office

Tully - The wettest town in Australia.

Tully – The wettest town in Australia.

We saw a wild cassowary on the way to Misson Beach.

We saw a wild cassowary on the way to Misson Beach.

Misson Beach

Misson Beach

A big Cassowary Statue in front of Misson Beach Shopping Village.

A big Cassowary Statue in front of Misson Beach Shopping Village.

Wall painting at Rest Room in Flying Fish Point.

Wall painting at Rest Room in Flying Fish Point.

Famous Flying Fish Point Cafe.

Famous Flying Fish Point Cafe.

Beautiful tropical beach at Flying Fish Point.

Beautiful tropical beach at Flying Fish Point.

Getting into Innisfail town.

Getting into Innisfail town.

A suburb in Innisfail.

A suburb in Innisfail.

Halfway through.

Halfway through.

Josephine falls.

Josephine falls.

Water hole below for swimming.

Water hole below for swimming.

Bramston Beach.

Bramston Beach.

We decided to stop at Bramston Beach to make an easy drive tomorrow to Cairns and 5 hours on and off the car was also enough travel for  my daughter. We stayed at Bramston Beach Resort for a transit night. Nothing flash on the beach, we went for walk on the sand and picked up some seashells for our little girl. Then my husband told me about a beautiful Coconut Plantation Camping Site where his family camped for years ago but he didn’t remember exactly where it was. Luckily we have talked to the carer of a caravan park near there and she showed us the way to go. But it was a shame when we got there, now that place is just a fallow land, not a coconut plantation any more. We can see the ruins from camping site with BBQ area, bath area as well as some old camping huts.

That was our first route on the journey up to North QLD. Stay tune for more photos and stories during our road trip.

* Thoa Read *

Sydney from helicopter

Sydney is too famous all over the world. Everybody wants to visit Opera House and Harbour Bridge when they come to Australia. I have visited Sydney for couple times but I always want to come back there if I have a chance. It’s never bored when you are in Sydney. There are too much things to do and we have so little time.

This time I have a chance to look at Sydney from helicopter. It’s a bit sprinkle on the day we fly but it’s a wonderful 45 minutes flight. Nothing can beat the spectacular view from the air, especially down to a beautiful city like Sydney.

Do you recognize any place in these photos below?

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* Thoa Read *