There was some heavier rain overnight and a few of the backpackers in the flimsy little tents that they get given got soaked – we had tried to be helpful by lending them our mallet to get the pegs into the hard ground but that doesn’t solve the problem of their tent not being waterproof in any way. We had another swim and hit the road.
We passed through Innisfail for some shopping and headed for Tully Gorge. The campground is a pretty large open grassy areas with a few nooks in amongst the rainforest. There’s an outdoor shower with walls but no roof and the cold water is the perfect temperature to refresh. The swimming situation is a bit confusing – a lot of warnings and signs about estuarine crocodiles but then tour groups come for whitewater rafting and snorkeling and don’t seem to be concerned. We decided to find a nice section of rapids with big rocks and just enough of water for a dip (but not enough for a croc to be hiding).
From near our tent site, a short walk wound through the rainforest with the focus on butterflies – every 100metres would be another information sign talking about a different butterfly and it’s ecology. We’ve been seeing so many butterflies lately that it was a good overview of all the different species.
Who would have thought that it might rain overnight while we are staying at the wettest point in Australia? This place absolutely cops the precipitation so we were lucky to get away with some drizzle. We did a day trip down to the coast but found a good back road that took us across to Murray Falls first.
This was a great little drive through a very disused road that eventually popped out into the huge banana farms mixed with sugar cane and cattle grazing properties. But the bananas are just on a different scale – there’s semi-trailer after semi-trailer coming out full of bananas. Murray Falls is nice – no swimming except for downstream, beautiful campground and nice lookouts only a short stroll along the boardwalk.
We got down to the coast and visited Mission Beach – South Mission Beach was probably the pick of the real estate with some nice beachfront houses with their infinity pools overlooking the water. We stopped and had lunch in the main strip of Mission Beach which you could tell would be a happening place many nights a week with small cafes, bars and restaurants. We stopped in at the main Cassowary conservation headquarters – Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation or “C4” – and had a good look through their information about all the work they are doing for the big birds.
One small walk we did through a beautiful palm forest even had a Cassowary-proof enclosure for people to have their picnics without being harassed by Cassowaries – we got excited that we might get another sighting but it wasn’t to be. There are lots of official roadsigns regarding Cassowaries, where they cross, telling people to slow down, to not stop or get out of their cars. But the great thing was the homemade signs that people put out to get people to slow down or to let drivers know there was has been recent Cassowary activity in the area – they are very fond of their Cassowaries around here!
We poured our emergency spare 20litres of diesel into the fuel tank and emptied out a couple of jerry cans of water that we’d also stashed away up the back of the ute in case of need – we tried to justify that we were just freeing up some weight but the reality is we are entering the final six weeks of our trip with less chance of us needing back-up supplies.