Day 804 – 809 24/7 – 29/7 Mareeba/Paronella Park/Bowen

Heading south & stayed at Mareeba for a couple of nights. Woke up to find these floating over us.IMG_7846

Drive to Herberton & found the Atherton-Herberton Historic Railway. They are rebuilding a 1905 steam engine to run on the 22km track between the towns. They have completed the restoration of the passenger car.


Herberton old buildings.


Herberton Historic Village has some great old buildings & wonderful collections. Well worth a few hours to wander around.


Plenty of old vehicle collections around.


Horse Drawn Carriages abound.


Dentist, Chemists, Camera & Sewing Machines. They have the lot.


A blacksmith making Ulrika a slytherin.


Mt Uncle Distillery & a collection of gins, whiskies, rums & liquors.


Golden Drop Wineries supplied Mango wine, Lemoncello & assorted liquors. The caravan is now full again.


Sunset at Ringers Rest.IMG_7825

The two most important buildings in South Johnston.


A few of the loco’s from South Johnstone Sugarmill.


Can’t drive past an old rail bridge without a photo.


Mamu Tropical Rainforest Walk lived up to its name as it rained as we navigated the paths.



Paronella Park is something everyone needs to see. Short story – Jose Paronella arrived from Spain in 1913, made lots of money from buying & selling sugar property. Purchases 13 acres of land, built a house, castle (with ballroom), tea rooms & tennis courts. In 1946 a flood destroyed the lower parts of the property & in 1948 Jose dies. His widow & children kept in going until 1977. It was sold but in 1979 a fire destroyed the castle & in 1986 a cyclone damaged it again. In 1993 the current owners rediscovered the “Lost World” & set about uncovering paths, repairing buildings & clearing out the forest.


They do a night tour that gives another feel.


And at the end a string quartet plays in front of the Lower Refreshment Room.IMG_1585


In 1933 Jose built North QLD’s first hydro-electric plant (it was another 10 years before electricity came to the area). It ran all the power for the park. In 2009 it was refurbished & continues to power the entire park.


Do you notice something familiar about the bark on this Kaurie Tree?  The camouflage the Australian Army uses is based on this pattern.IMG_7950_edited-1

The view from Flagstaff Hill back over Bowen & looking out to the Whitsundays.FlagstaffHill1FlagstaffHill

Bowen North Head Lighthouse was built in 1866 & continued in operation until 1985. It sits on North Head Island which is accessible to the mainland only on very low tides.

Lots of muriels in town.

Also some good looking buildings.

The view from the caravan.QueensBay

Nice sunset.IMG_8178

Found something I didn’t expect in the middle of Bowen. A battery of Coke ovens. Originally built & owned in 1933 by the QLD Govt it was sold to Mt Isa Mines in 1988 & kept operating until 2016. The 50,000t of Coke it produced went to Mt Isa for use in their Blast Furnace. When it closed the rail line into Bowen also closed after 130 years.IMG_8181

When the Japs invaded New Guinea in WW2 the Catalina’s on #43 Squadron moved to Bowen. There is still lots of hardstand & slipway left from those days. Dad did his National Service in the RAAF on Catalina’s based at Rathmines.

Quote of the Day

“The murals in restaurants are on par with the food in museums.”

Peter De Vries

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