Week 37-38 -The varied offerings of the Tablelands

We worked out that the Atherton Tablemands is a pretty big area, so we based ourselves in Mereeba at a wonderful place called Ringers Rest (look it up for a place to stay). Dave, the owner, is an ex ringer and is the most kind and genuine bloke you could meet. We got to feed the cattle and horses and watch the hot air balloons land. Dave also graciously gave Craig and the kids a ride in his sulky pulled by a mare called Black Beauty. Sundowners here consisted of a campfires and beers and songs and stories from Dave’s days as a stockman. A fantastic place and the kids didn’t want to leave.

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Ballons landing daily!
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Dave taking the kids for a ride in the sulky, pulled by Black Beauty!
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Awwww, Dave with Craig…

Our first day was pretty bland, washing clothes and food shopping. Although we did treat ourselves by visiting the CoffeeWorks factory for some amazing coffee and milkshakes. Did you know that Mereeba is home to no less than three coffee plantations? Well we know now and so do you.

The next day we dashed into Carins for a Doctors appointment for Lily as she was complaining of a sore ear. Got in straight away, so we took a different route back up to Mereeba via the Gillies Hwy. Now this road has extreme curves and unfortunetly Lily decided that she wasn’t well in the tummy either, so she threw up everywhere. Nothing like driving with the windows down to get rid of the stench. After a little rest back at camp, she felt better so we visitied one of the dairy farms to have an icecream and buy some fancy cheese. While we were there we got to see the cows being milked. However, the smell of the cows and their poo was too much for Campbell who preceded to vomit in the gardens. Two for two with vomiting kids! Didn’t stop him having an icecream though!

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Brave faces despite the smell!

Being so close to Mareeba we had to visit Kuramba and we like it for what it was, a tourist town. The kids and I loved the market and the ‘crashed plane’ in the main street.

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A bit weird, but funny photo
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Didn’t really crash, but was part of a movie set that found it’s way to Karumba

But our main goal was to travel the SkyRail down the hill and back again. Views were amazing and the information supplied about the rainforest was great too.

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Chilling out in the cable car
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Looking down into Carins
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Hanging over the Barron River
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Hold on it’s a long way down!!!
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Beautiful viewws

The Atherton Tablelands has been a wonderful place to hang out. We have explored heaps of waterfalls, viewed platypus in their natural habitat, and attended the ‘Taste of the Tablelands’ festival – all about food!!!!

After a week and a bit in town, Craig and I finally got to go back to the famous ‘Coffeeworks’ museum and shop. Amazing place witgh a huge varity of local and international coffee types. Needless to say we tried, sampled and tried the coffee again. It was pretty magic, even the kids were able to get involved with chocolate and tea tastings. The museum had hundreds odf different coffee machines and makers, really interesting!

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Soooooooooo many coffees to try!!!!!!!!!!!
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A wonderful exhibit in the coffee museum
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I love the history here

To combat the effects of the coffee we also visited a tea plantation and tea house. Nerada is an Australian branded tea grown and processed in the area. Knowing that the kids love their tea, we had a ball visiting, having one or five cups of tea and scones. We also were able to sight our very first Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo in the wild here too!!!

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Acres and acres of tea plantations
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Ummmm taking a photo of the photo sign??
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Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo in the wild!!

While in Carins, we ventured into the Aquarium and were amazed at the amount of sea lfe and information. The kids loved the shark and ray feeding because of their funny faces (the rays not the kids!).

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Zebra shark
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Smile for the camera

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Learning and having fun
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The freshwater sawfish was pretty awesome too!

And if you think all of the above wasn’t enough, we also took two days out to visit Paronella Park. This was the vision of a bloke who decided to build himslef a castle in the rainforest. Whilst it was a very popular place in it’s heyday, unfortunetly it was forgotten about and was not maintained. Luckily someone decided to restore the park and it is open for business. We were able to wander around during the day and then visited the park at night to witness the light show. It was such a magic place.

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The castle
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Staircases everywhere
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Menna Creek Falls
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Bamboo forest
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Family photo
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The restaurant at night
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Evening view of the falls

We loved the Atherton Tablelands and we will definately be back to explore further, but we had to move on. Central Queensland here we come.

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