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THE ATHERTON TABLELANDS & SURROUNDS.

September 25, 2015

We have just spent a few days, not the first time, around the Tablelands. It is a lush part of Australia with various crops, beautiful waterfalls, great NP & many places to do day trips. We always spend the 72 hours at Rocky Creek Memorial Park north of Tolga which is donation, not potable water, toilets. It is now definately NO water of any kind to be put on the ground. This is a health regulation incurring hedty fines. I wish I had taken a photo of the sign (unusual for me not to take photo of a sign!) We spoke to a few just tossing water where ever- they had not even read the sign. Funny thing though, the base of all the trees are very green! Our water was disposed of at the dump point in Atherton which is not so hard to accomplish.
Our first night there we had dinner at Bruce’s cousins home which was a great visit after 3 years.
We decided to go a round trip the next day with the first stop at Hasties Swamp on the way to Herberton. Well the amount of Magpie Geese here was amazing. the sign says that there are approx 1500 and wondering how they could possible count them. While we were up there heard this noise, well it was the geese coming. they arrived in 5 flocks (?correct word) over about 20 mins.
A couple of photos.
Some more crops are potatos, onions, pawpaws.

This was just one panoramic shot.

The photos below were in 2011.

After the Swamp we continued on towards Herberton where there is the most wonderful Heritage Village where now you can- so we have been told- get a 2 day pass. As we had spent a full day there in 2012 this was a miss this trip, even though they have finished developing another stage which is mainly a large machinery, tractor area. Left the decision up to Bruce about the tractors etc but he was not desperate to go in.
The next spot around the trip was into Watsonville where the roundabout is a windmill!

After this we were onto dirt road, winding around the hills & crossing many old causeways, some still flood damaged.

Irvinebank was the next ex-mining town we came to & where we decided to find a cuppa. There was an ad for Devonshire Teas but where was anyone’s guess? Could not be found so we settled for a chat at the local pub & have a cuppa there. Like the rest of northern Oz the country was terribly dry because there had been no good “wet” for 2 years & everyone not very optimistic about getting one this year. They surely need rain. There is a great dam here with various ducks, a mixture of domestic & wild but they all were very quiet. We were warned at the pub to take bread as they would soon be at our feet & that was so true. The colors in some of them were magnificent but trying to get the sunlight shining on them was almost impossible as they were never still as the blurred shots show.

Montalbion is another deserted spot & the only life we saw at this dam was some swans. There were also a lot of brumbies around this country as there were back in 2008 as well.

Emuford another ex mining town in the 1800s. Only a few concrete slabs there now.
Soon up to the T junction to either go right back to Atherton or left out to the Chillagoe Caves. I will include a few photos from the trip we did out to Chillagoe in 2008.

Along the way there was this water hole which is an old open cut marble mine with blocks of marble as a fence to stop cattle falling & drowning.

These marble slabs were literally glowing in the sunlight. It used to be all sent to Italy after mining then bought back to Australia to be sold at exorbitant prices. Before getting to Chillagoe we stopped for a look at the Lappa Pub. The train line is the Savannah lander.

Now back to 2015.
Now on a sealed road again & soon into Dimboola where we stopped for lunch- had not intended being away so long. Pub did not serve meals so a burger place opposite made the biggest burgers. Once again we were back into farming sugar cane, bananas mangos, avocados. The photo is a close up of a centre pivot irrigation line.

Some of the banana plantations between here & Mareeba are huge & employ many many folk with a lot being back packers. There are “ no admittance” signs in front of all the properties as security control for diseases is very strict.

We found out this is coffee. There are also many Blueberry property owners up here. We stopped to but some local fruit, $5 for the same size container blueberries that the supermarkets sell which when we went grocery shopping, we found to be only $3.90 from near Coff’s Harbour NSW. They looked much better fruit as well. We were taken! I guess we gave a bit to the local farmer.

A couple of waterfall photos from 2012 as well as a couple of other tourist things. This trip there was no van as we went down the Gilles highway then south to the Palmerston highway & back to Atherton.

Back to 2015.
Before we left we decided to circumnavigate Lake Tinaroo to fine a spot to spend a few days next year. We are coming up north as soon after the wet as possible to see what it is like with everything really green. There was one really nice camp site – all NP- but only rather small but absolute water front.
Was very lucky to also sight a platypus in the creek at Yungaburra as well as this large flock of Brolgas having a great feed in the ploughed cane field. They must love spot as we have seen them here on every other trip.

All on the Tablelands so maybe will entice travellers who have not been this way to travel north.

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One Comment
  1. fantastic, love the photos, keep enjoying

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