A bit of a lazy morning this morning, didn’t get up til after 7am, so it was after 9 before we had left the tent for the day.
Our first stop was the BP in Kuranda and then the Barron Gorge Lookout. We parked the car and wandered out along the boardwalk and down onto the Barron Falls railway station. This time we’re on the other side of the gorge, and looking across we can see the Skyrail in the distance. We’d been there a few minutes when the tourist train from Cairns pulled into the station beside us, offloading hundreds of Japanese tourists, who were more concerned with taking each other’s photos than looking at the scenery. There was a constant misty drizzle of rain while we were there. From there we went to another little lookout place called Wright’s Lookout. Cairns is meant to be visible from here through a gap in the hills, but unfortunately being a wet day, the fog is blocking the view.
We drove back into Kuranda to stock up on food for dinner and more ice. We found that the general store sold kangaroo meat, which we like, so we bought a couple of steaks. After leaving the shopping at the tent, we made our way out towards Mareeba. We turned off the Kennedy Highway towards Barron Gorge NP with the intention of walking a couple of the bush tracks but by now it was pouring rain (well we are in the rainforest), and we didn’t really feel like getting that wet. So we carried on towards Mareeba. As we left the bush behind us, we also left the rain, so we turned down a nearby road pointing to Davies Creek NP. This was at the end of a long red dirt road, and after the recent rain, the truck certainly looked like it had done a few miles. Here we found a campground and a walk (2kms) to the falls. We drove the 2kms and then had a look around the falls.
We got back onto the road towards Mareeba and thought as we were that close we’d have a drive through that town. Well it was pretty ordinary and looked rather sleepy, so we turned back. This time we went down the road towards Emerald Creek Falls in the Emerald Creek State Forest. We walked up to these falls, a bit of a hike, but once again very pretty. These places must be sensational in the wet season.
Back at the tent we opened a beer and sorted out the things for our evening meal. As the weather was looking pretty dodgy for cooking outside, we bundled up our food, cooking gear and a bottle of red wine and headed to the camp kitchen and prepared our meal there.
It’s always a good social place to meet some interesting people and have a chat, but only a few people came by tonight. One, a young girl, brought a rather large bag of spuds of which she washed every one, then piled them back into the bag and took them back to wherever it was she was camping. She must have been feeding an army. She didn’t seem keen to chat, and the few words we heard her speak weren’t in English anyway.
Another person, a man from Texas, USA, (I mention USA because there is a Texas in Australia), stopped to say hello on his way past and sat for half an hour with us discussing the state of the roads in Australia and how they should build better ones. He was also not very pleased with the weather as it was meant to be the dry season. Nor were we very happy with it but we are in the rainforests, and anyway we didn’t come this far to listen to an American complain about our country. We can do that ourselves.
He then got on to talking about computer companies with Vic and which ones were worth keeping his shares for and which companies weren’t going to last. Seemingly satisfied with passing on his opinions, he left us.
After we’d eaten, a guy from a nearby campervan popped in, he seemed to be curious about what was going on, as he walked in, didn’t actually say hello or anything, just looked at the fridge and mumbled something like “mmm – fridge” and then opened the freezer door and said “uh-huh”, he closed that door and then opened the fridge door and said “uh-huh” again. He walked around the tables and as he was heading out he stopped and asked us if we’d seen the curlews. We told him um – no, not tonight. Then he said, “so, nothing to report?” I told him there was a gecko on the wall and a spider in the sink, and he said “ok”, and left. Vic and I looked at each other and laughed. I wonder if he was hoping to find the curlews in the fridge.
A little while later, the guy who runs the place stopped in and said hello, and asked us how we’d heard about the campground. I told him I found it on the internet. Then we mentioned how the lady at the information centre told us to go up to Davies Creek to camp and never actually mentioned this place. He said, yes, other than the Skyrail, Cairns doesn’t seem to want to admit that Kuranda exists.
After exchanging a few more pleasantries he left and we cleaned up our mess and headed back to the tent.