Sunday, 19 April 2009

Paronella Park to Mission Beach

Paronella Park was built, almost single handedly, by Jose Paronella during the 1930s. Being in the wet tropics, vegetation and cyclones are slowly taking their toll on the park. Bizarrely, this just adds to the experience. The night tour included florescent fungi, fireflies, baby bats and huntsman spiders in the 'Tunnel of Love'. An impressive waterfall fed into a lake full of slithering eels. The climax of the tour was the illumination of the castle, set to the music of the major Japanese anime film in which it featured.

Much later than planned, and passing a big snake on the road, we arrived at the camp site in Mission Beach. We were too late to check in so didn't get any keys for the toilet block. Luckily, a very kind Scottish couple leant us their keys. The camp site had a few frogs and toads, one of which joined Jen in the toilet. Jen also saw an echidna – an elongated hedgehog thing with a beak-like snout. Andy only saw the less impressive back end as it disappeared into a bush.

In the morning, we walked along the croc free Mission Beach and had a quick dip in the surf. Whilst coconut palms drooped over the golden sand, a few showers came in to dampen the tropical perfection.

On our way back to Cairns we stopped off at Josephine Falls. It's famed for a beautiful swimming hole with natural rock slides. The current was a little strong in one place, and you momentarily got carried down the river. The look of surprise on Jen's face was priceless.

Read our Port Douglas to Lake Tizali posting.