And now for PART FOUR – our journey along the Savannah Way through to FNQ (Far North Queensland) so far 🙂
Adels Grove & Lawn Hill National Park
After a quick stopover at Hells Gate Roadhouse, we cleaned up, and got away early. We detoured off the Savannah Way, headed for Lawn Hill National Park. HINT – there are only limited camping spots at the National Park itself, so book early! We didn’t, and ended up staying at Adels Grove, a campground about 10km from the National Park . It wasn’t all bad though, Adels Grove was a great campground, with pretty good facilities, and safe swimming! We recommend staying in the bottom ‘Grove’ area. With no designated sites, you are free to camp where you please, and spread out if you need to. Plus, its really shady!
Adels Grove was a nice stopover for a couple of nights, giving us a good chance to explore the Lawn Hill National Park. We can highly recommend the Indarra Falls – a reasonably easy walk, and an awesome spot to swim and chill out! Just don’t leave your run too late….it gets awfully warm in the middle of the day (yes, even in winter!)
From Adels Grove, we jumped back on the Savannah Way, passing through a number of small towns – Gregory, the Burke & Wills Roadhouse, Normanton, and eventually hit the coast at Karumba – right at the base of the Gulf. After being inland in the dust for so long, it was lovely to see the ocean again, and Karumba turned it on in amazing fashion! We saw the most spectacular westerly sunsets here, and soaked them up!
Once the sun starts dropping in the afternoon, the Sunset Tavern is the place to be…. They had great meals, cold beer, footy on the TV, and, of course, the sun setting over the water – we really couldn’t ask for much more! The boys had a good go at fishing aswell, but unfortunately didn’t bring anything home of decent size 🙁
After four nights, it was time to head off, and continue heading to the east coast. Almost 600kms down the road, we arrived at Mt Garnet for a quick stopover, before making our way into Cairns the following morning. This was where we really started to see the changing landscape – the browns and reds were replaced with greens and blues, and the flat road became quite windy and mountainous, as we edged closer to the Great Diving Range.
Just before lunch, we finally made it back the East Coast again… yay 🙂 Arriving into Cairns, we took some time to explore, before making our way to our chosen caravan park. What we quickly realised when we arrived though, was that it wasn’t actually a caravan park, but a resort! Chrissy and I had an idea when booking, but the kids didn’t, and the looks on their faces was priceless!
The Cairns Big4 Coconut Resort was simply magic – and by far the most kid-friendly Caravan Park/Resort you will find! The activities and facilities were exceptional – two swimming pools, outdoor movies each evening, mini golf, tennis & volleyball courts, water park, bike track, 2 massive jumping pillows, adults only spa & gym, kids adventure playground, aqua aerobics, snorkelling lessons…. All free/included 🙂 Even though we were in beautiful Cairns, we actually had to schedule one day just to hang out at the Resort, to soak up all the facilities!
We did manage to drag the kidlets out for one day though, and spent it up at Kuranda, a small little town just out of Cairns. It is home to the Historic Scenic Railway, and the Skyrail Cable cars. We took the Scenic Rail up the mountain, a 1.5hr long journey, winding through the rainforest of the Barron Gorge National Park. Here, there was lots of history, and beautiful waterfalls to experience.
Once there, we explored the little hippy town of Kuranda, full of market stalls and arty chic! Lunch was at one the cool little pubs, then it was time to head back down the mountain – this time by cable car. The kids loved it! It was a hop on/hop off tour, where you could stop in at the stations on the way down and explore the many lookouts over the Barron Gorge – simply stunning!
Daintree National Park
From Cairns, we made our way north along the coast through the Daintree National Park. This is far and away some of the most beautiful countryside we’ve been through. The Daintree is known as the place where the rainforest meets the sea, and it is just magical! The rainforest is cool, dark and damp, as you would expect, and as you travel the incredibly windy road, there are glimpses of sunshine and ocean peeking through the trees.
We stopped for a night right on the beach, which was quite surreal. The rainforest was just so dense, that the sunshine couldn’t penetrate, and it felt dark the whole time. A few metres away, though, you step out of the forest, and onto the stunning beach, with blue skies, lined with palm trees, and it’s like being in a completely different world!
During the night, we were absolutely hammered with a tropical rain front, and were forced to pack up in the rain and soaking wet! We had to make tracks pretty quickly because, well… Wet canvas is not fun! We really needed to get to our destination and unpack to air/dry it all out!
We continued our journey, heading north towards Cooktown, along the Bloomfield Track. This is a 4WD track, with a few steep hills, rough gravel, narrow windy roads, and a couple of creek crossings. Similar to the country we’d been in the last few days, it was beautiful, and quite a scenic drive.
Arriving at Cooktown, we were quite excited, and filled with anticipation, as it was to be a new home…. Well, for 6 weeks at least! We have managed to pick up a house sitting job, and so for now, have packed the camper trailer away! Instead, we’ve traded it for a 3 bedroom house, with a bathroom, full kitchen and proper beds! So… this is where you’ll find us for a little while. It’s a nice break from camping, and a great opportunity to catch up on some school work and the blog (hence all of these new blog posts!) Also, we’re just in time for the Olympics too! After 4 months of no TV, the boys are certainly making up for it, and getting a huge sports fix!
We’ve settled in to the town pretty well now, and the kids are getting out and about. We’ve enrolled Madi in the local Childcare Centre for one day a week. This has been great for her to have some play time with littlies her age! The boys have also been attending the local PCYC, for their after school sports program twice a week. Check out the boys here on Wednesday having a go at Wheelchair Basketball during the Mystery Sports session 🙂
So, that’s about it – I’m sure I’ve left out heaps – but that’s a quick little rundown of the last couple of months!
– KR 🙂