Cape Trib Trip – The Back Roads

Well, first of all, I survived. We did stay on the Undara camp ground (a campground with well over 700 sites – we were two out of ten guests that night) and we finally received our rain. No, let me rephrase that: we received our deluge. Apparently Atherton received 110mm of rain that night (Germany receives on average between 50-80mm a month). Although I do not have any official figures, Undara must’ve received a similar amount.

Steve, in his wisdom, and knowing about the dangers of his leaky tarp decided to sleep in the car. I, on the other hand, confident in my gear, slept in my hammock.

Now, I did have to get out and adjust the tarp a little to stop spray coming in. After that though, it was might comfy. I actually ended up watching a movie on my tablet (hey, we’re car camping, okay) before going to sleep.

The morning after was beautiful and sunny we soon got on to the road heading home.

img_20170103_134136

Steve Posing as Proud Car Owner (in His Dreams)

We ended up taking the Gregory highway (63) all the way down to Charters Towers, which turned out to be a fabulous choice. Smooth road most of the way (only a few remaining single lane stretches) and no traffic whatsoever. I think we had stretches of an hour without seeing another car. Considering this being only the hinterland and not really real outback (sorry Charters Towers), it’s pretty amazing.

img_20170104_153156

And Steve Wonders Why I Love Clouds

We decided against turning off on to Hervey Range road and going home, but decided to extend our trip by a night in Charters Towers (amazingly, despite Steve having lived in Townsville for over 30 years, he’d never made it to CT).

Cape Trib Trip – Undara

We’re off into the hinterland. The volcanic park in Undara is the goal. Famous for their lava tubes, Undara is overrun with tourists throughout the year – except during the wet season 🙂

We did make a stop in Ravenshoe (Ravens-Hoe, not Raven-Shoe, btw. 😛 ) and had a look at the wind farm. Only three were out of order, so I’m guessing they’re doing better than the guys in South Australia.

img_20170103_123857

I Teleported to Europe to Take That Shot

Eventually we made it to Undara, where we went to see one of the highlights of the trip: the Kalkani crater rim walk.

What a wonderful place. Since it’s off season, we had the crater all to ourselves. The peacefulness and quietude were breathtaking. The loudest noises to be heard were the crickets chirping and your own heart beat.

img_20170103_160433

What’s Ye Doin’ in Me Kitchen?

Cape Trib Trip – … And Good-Bye

The night was way better than expected. At least for me. My ZPacks tarp is worth its money and keeps me dry in any condition. Steve with his old Hennesey setup was less fortunate and ended up with a drip feed into his alcove of nightly pleasures.

The rest of the day was reasonably uneventful. We did do a last dip in the big wet though …

img_20170101_121817

The Pond

… but soon it was time to say good-bye.

img_20170102_114851

More Rainforest Road

One thing that made the good-bye even harder to bare is this place: the Daintree Ice Cream Company

Spectacular ice cream made from tropical fruits no one has ever heard of. I did try to get myself locked into the cold room, but they found me and chased me away.

They grow their own fruits on site as well.

img_20161230_150748

Strange Fruit in the Orchard. And there’s something weird growing on the trees …

Cape Trib Trip – Cape Trib the Second

Happy New Year!

Wow, it’s 2017. Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t too far off with his vision of 2017 in Running Man. Thank goodness there’s still room to escape from all the madness.

We spent the day busily procrastinating. We used the car very purposefully and drove up and down the roads multiple times for no good reason.

img_20170101_120302

Rainforest Road

We did go for a swim in the crocodile and jellyfish infested waters, figuring that an attack by croc, box jelly, or Irukandji would be preferable to instant death by body odour.

It’s a great feeling when you wade into the ocean and the water temperature is exactly the same as the air you’re breathing. It’s like stepping into thick air, rather than a different medium.

img_20170101_121219

Natural Deodorant

The evening did bring the first clouds though and we got ready to get drenched over night.

img_20170101_151428

Dare I Say It? Independence Day?

Cape Trib Trip – Cape Trib

It’s New Year’s eve and the gods of weather are kind. Despite forecasts of “heavy falls”, the sun is smiling upon our tired faces. The night’s been noisy and sleep was possible only intermittently. A group of German backpackers figured that it would be perfectly acceptable to have a boombox on the beach and to drink and dance into the early morning. And there I was, thinking that after having survived the 80’s boombox boom, I could lean back and relax.

It did have one advantage though. I was up early to enjoy the morning beach by myself.

img_20161231_062138

Cape Tribulation with View to “the Point”

We were lucky and the weather stayed stable throughout the day. Temperatures were well over 30 ÂșC with over 90% humidity. My sweat on the camera lens added a great Instagram photo affect to the scene.

img_20161231_102123

Cape Trib with Sweat Effect

Cape Trib Trip – Making Way

From Mission Beach, we went up to Innisfail, but then decided to leave the busy Bruce highway and make our way through the tablelands instead. We had two wonderful rest stops. The first at Mungalli Creek Dairy, where we only stopped for a coffee. The second one was at Lake Barrine, where we gorged ourselves on tea with scones, jam, and cream. It’s civilised gluttony.

Ahhhhh, live is good.

Later we did a quick stop in Port Douglas, for yet another coffee. The local wedding chapel on the beach is really pretty and the view from the lookout isn’t too shabby either.

Cape Trib Trip – Mission Beach

For this year’s Christmas and New Year holiday, the trade winds blew me up North to discover Cape Tribulation and the Far North hinterland. Together with my friend Steve, I rented a Toyota Camry Hybrid and we made our way up north. First stop was Mission Beach. We stayed at the Beachcomber Coconut Holiday Park for the night, which turned out to be quite remarkable in three ways:

  1. It was the first time I slept on my new Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Xlite. And I simply cannot believe how comfy it was. My previous mattress was an Exped Sim Lite UL 3.8 LW and, to be honest, there is no comparison.
  2. The camp ground was actually perfectly quiet.
  3. A cassowary came strolling in, just as we sat down for dinner.

The morning was really nice as well. Thankfully I was up early enough, so that I could enjoy a sunrise stroll down the beach.