We awoke for our last morning in the NT and also our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary. Good lord that has gone fast! (Can't really say its been a tough first year together, can we?!)
We had a nice breakky of pancakes and headed off towards the border. We popped on the playlist from our wedding, which although sounds a little cheesy, those of you who were there will know how we asked everyone to choose 3 songs for the wedding, so it was nice to be reminded of people when certain songs came on. As in, "Oh, that was Dad's song", "This will always remind me of Matty" and "Oh no, not that one of Seans again"....
We spent a full day on the road and for some reason were feeling rather energetic (i.e. a bit loopy) - must have been all the sugar in the cordial we decided to consume. This resulted in a lot of frantic waving at people as they drove past, coming up with as many different waves as we could such as double handed waves, "You're out" - one finger up, and the old fashioned "give us a honk" to the truck drivers.
We stopped at Barkley Homestead and then continued on to the Border Crossing:
We were heading towards Gregory Downs as had been told this was a nice place to camp. We took a little detour that involved a bit of off-road but meant we cut out a few hundred kms (and missed Mt Isa - Gosh Darnit)
Upon arriving at Gregory Downs, we had a quick drink at the local pub (catching the start of the League Grand Final) and then headed to the river to find a spot. And it wasn't too bad at all...
(and yes, I am wearing togs!)
We spent the evening having a couple of swims, and enjoying a nice salad by the campfire. Happy Anniversary!
Next morn we headed off - we filled up at the Burke & Wills Roadhouse and then drove on to Normanton for lunch. We spotted this giant croc - apparently it's a replica of the largest croc ever shot in the world, in the Normanton River - over 8m!
However, the original photos of the croc got "lost" in a flood so I'm not sure if its a true replica. I can't imagine there being a croc this big - if there was, I definately wouldn't want to meet it!
We continued our long drive, stopping at Croydon for another fuel stop. It started to get dark and we were spotting quite a few Roos and Cows near the road so we decided to pull up at a rest stop. Then it was 2 minute noodles for dinner and straight to bed to avoid the wrath of the mozzies!
Watch out for giant Cows:
The next day we entered the Atherton Tablelands and drove towards Ravenshoe. It was quite a relief to get back to some greener pastures:
We drove into Ravenshoe and hit the visitors centre where we spoke to a lovely dutch man ("Isn't that Vierd? I love gold!" - Sorry - Goldmember reference there for Miss Lordy). We wandered round the shops, went to a bakery and then to a wood-working exhibition which was pretty impressive.
We then drove around the "Waterfall Circuit"
Millaa Millaa Falls:
We had a great drive around the beautiful green countryside with its lovely rolling hills, calling in at the Bio-Dynamic Dairy Farm where we tried some cheese and yoghurt.
We drove up to Lake Tinaroo where there were 5 different areas to camp ($5pp). We found a great spot by the lake at Downfall Creek campground where we could have dinner and watch the sun go down:
We hung around for a while to have lunch and then headed towards Yungaburra. We stopped at a Platypus viewing area and caught a quick glimpse of the elusive creature but weren't able to get a decent photo.
Just past Tolga we stopped at a Memorial Park Rest Stop. This was a great park - a lot of time and money spent on it:
The next day we drove to Mareeba and attacked "Coffee Works".
A word of warning about the coffee drinking however: Dave and I do not drink a lot of coffee and I cannot imagine how much we consumed in the 4 hours we were there. We were still buzzing when we went to bed at midnight (Yes, thats right - about 4 hours past our usual time!) and I was still lying there at 4am. Should have known better but it had to be done. Really.
We stayed the night (or at least tried to sleep!) at Wonga Beach just South of the Daintree.
Goodbye Atherton Tablelands - Cape Tribulation, here we come!
Cathedral Fig Tree Video: