Do you think road trips are fun? We love road trips. Nothing beats cruising along, with the wind in your hair, driving to an unknown destination ready to explore. Every trip is different, with new scenery, different landscapes and eye catching landmarks….
We made our way down south along Bruce Highway, with no rush in mind, I guess that’s the beauty of travel. If we like a town we stay for longer, if we are not a fan then we move on. It’s a brilliant lifestyle and our West Coast Cruiser caravan allows us to do this. Our kids get so much enjoyment from swimming in the creeks and meeting new people every week.
In between Cairns and Townsville we visited some memorable towns and places. Probably way too many to list but in this blog post I will mention the places that we thoroughly enjoyed and we hope that you visit them too. Far North Queensland is by far one of the most beautiful places we have visited on our trip. With so many different animals to spot, mountains to climb and rainforests to walk, there is never a dull moment.
Leaving Cairns we stopped in at Babinda for a few nights. We found the greatest free camp called Babinda Rotary Park. Upon arriving we felt like we had struck gold. The kids jumped out of the car to go check out the river and within minutes of parking the van they were swimming. We chose a sunny spot to power up our solar as you will find no power here. What you will find is toilets, showers and drinking water.
When in Babinda we visited the Babinda Boulders which is another swimming hole just six kilometres down the road. Our favourite place was Josephine Falls in the Wooroonooran National Park. Here you will find cascades and walking trails for all fitness levels. We loved the swim but be careful those currents are strong.
The smell of sugar cane is a smell that grows on you. It is that robust smell of sweetness that suddenly hits you when driving with the windows down. Sometimes it comes from the mills and other times it comes straight from the crops that are ready to be harvested. Driving along Bruce Highway you will see hundreds of crops, not only sugar cane but many fruit trees. All locally and home grown. Be sure to stop at the side stalls and grab some cheap fresh fruit and vegetables.
In Innisfail we chose to stay at Mena Creek Campgrounds. This is a homestay and we thoroughly enjoyed it but beware it is on a farm with thick red sand or mud (if it has rained). Nothing in the van stays clean if you have kids. What you will have is access to the flowing Mena Creek which is filled with fish. We used the kayaks for free and took a paddle around to see what we could find. The kids loved watching the cattle and loved the tractor ride that the host took us on.
When in Innisfail or nearby, the Paronella Park is a must to visit. We recommend the night tour. It has a brilliant light show and the park itself is really interesting with some amazing history. There is a pub 100 metres up the road, stop in here for some lunch and play your favourite songs from the jukebox.
Tully is an interesting place. Well I might be stretching the truth here but we did learn a lot while we were here. To be honest there isn’t a lot to do but we stayed for four nights and it rained just about the whole time. We still went out and explored, we took a photo while standing in the rain in front of the big golden boot which is situated at the towns entrance. The shoe was a town prize for the most rainfall in 1950, the town had 7.9 metres in one year….enough to fill that boot. Kind of ironic for the photo in the rain.
While we were there we managed to clean the outside of the caravan from top to bottom. We then made a funnel to collect the water and fill our water tanks up. This works perfectly and overnight our tanks were full. And it was fun!!!
Whenever I think of Ingham I think of Ingham Chickens. The town of Ingham in Queensland actually has nothing to do with Ingham Chickens. But we did stop here for a few nights and found a wonderful creek. Crystal creek is is 50 kilometres south of Ingham and has some really cool swimming holes. If you venture out to big crystal creek you will find a rock which has a slide for the kids. It really is natures playgound, filled with all things that stimulate every family members senses.
Are you looking for a beach getaway then here it is. The beach is gorgeous, filled with palm trees and idyllic sunsets. On a good day it is blue and calm with the sun beaming right of it. The palm trees stand still and you can enjoy your beer or glass of vino on the beach. The campsites are reasonably priced and has something for every traveller.
After six weeks and 350 kilometres later we arrived in Townsville. Another city to add to the checkpoint. Yes Townsville is large and busy. Very different to all those small coastal towns we had just visited. It had hit school holidays and the caravan parks were filling fast with ridiculous prices for our family of five. We had booked ahead and we planned to stay here for two weeks. We scheduled in all of our dental check ups and doctors visits. We have three children so these things are a must even when living on the road full time. We picked up next terms school books and once those two had passed our feet were itching hard to get back on the road!
From Kylie and Dan
Fearlessly Living and Exploring