15 July 2011

9th July 2011 - Atherton

After coming to grips with the fact that it was raining – and would continue for some time, we decided that a few rest days would be nice. But who the hell decided that ‘a few days..’ would last for a week?  To be fair, it hasn’t been pouring rain but simply continual relentless gentle rain.  As if that wasn’t enough, the night temperatures dropped so much we needed to put the doona on the bed – 9 degrees one night!
In between showers we managed to visit the Tolga Woodwork Gallery.  As someone who likes to do a bit of woodwork, the quality of the items on display is simply overwhelming. Everything from major furniture pieces to exquisitely small detail ones is presented. I must stop taking Shirl to these sort of places – she just keeps finding more things that she wants me to make (at the moment, my ‘to do’ list is full up until 2087).
There appears to be an innate need among the human race to apply pedantic superlatives to almost everything.  Sport is, perhaps, the most frequently encountered arena where this propensity is displayed.
“Bill Bloggs just bowled the fastest ball ever delivered on a Friday, from the south end of Kickatinalong, within a first class match, and by a left handed bowler shorter than 5 ft 8 inches, to a batsman of greater than 6 foot, etc etc etc”
This human need was brought to mind when we went for a ride on a steam train at Ravenshoe.  Record books show this town as the highest in Qld. However, Tumoulin at the other end of the line, is higher! How so, I hear you ask.  Tumoulin is not a town: only a settlement. Makes you feel a bit ripped off.
 Steam Train at Tumoulin - the highest & wettest thingo in Qld
Queenslands Highest Pub - about 2 metres higher than the one over the road.
But wait, there’s more. Babinda and Tully, on the coast, are the towns that we usually think of when considering which the wettest town in Australia is. Tumoulin is wetter than both, but doesn’t earn a Guernsey because it isn’t a town.
Then we get to waterfalls, of which there is a plethora (like that word?), up here in the tablelands. Every one of them comes with its own superlative – widest, highest, highest dual drop, greatest fall of a single drop within a multiple drop ...... the list continues to expand. The one ultimate fact is that they all look good and for some odd inner tranquillity, they make us feel good as we go ooohhhh, aahhhhh, wow.
Millaa Millaa Falls

Millstream Falls - widest in australia.

Nuts! Everyone knows that Kingaroy grows the majority of Australia’s peanuts – wrong. The Atherton Tablelands has the most acreage of peanuts, however most of them go into peanut butter, peanut oil, flavouring etc, and only a small amount into table nuts. We enjoyed our visit to the peanut place, and expect that the after effects will be with us for a while.
Another thing they do up here is coffee – 90% of the coffee that is grown is Oz, is grown here. We did the taste tour where 21 different coffees, plus 42 chocolates and 3 coffee/chocolate liqueurs are on offer.  It’ll take us a week to come down of our high!
The ‘Coffee Works’ tour includes entry to their museum of the history of coffee. Absolutely amazing the financial impact the coffee trade has had on the growth or decline of nations. Another eye opener was the enormous variety of plungers, percolators, blenders, and machines that have been produced all with the simple purpose of brewing your coffee.
I’m sure that within the local rainforests there are thousands, no make that millions, of strangler figs. When it comes to superlatives, there can be no doubt that the Cathedral Fig, and the Curtain Fig  near Yungaburra are supreme. You can’t help but be gob-smacked by each of these.
Cathedral Fig with Shirl standing inside it.

Curtain Fig - too big to get in a single photo.

Our two weeks at Atherton was a period of go go go – so much to see, so much to do.  The rain slowed us down a bit, but we still seemed to be going somewhere each day. Highly recommended.
Statue at Millaa Millaa - not sure just what he's meant to be doing?

We leave for Mission Beach on Sunday. The road down should be fun given that Atherton is at 750 mtrs, but you then need to climb up to nearly 900 to go through Millaa Millaa before dropping down the Palmerston Highway to Innisfail. It is the easiest of the four roads between the coast and the tablelands. The next one north is the Gillies H’way from Gordonvale to Yungaburra which is quite skinny and goes for over 25 km without a straight bit of road. It’s not super steep, but it doesn’t have any guard rails!

No comments:

Post a Comment