Destination Townsville, Australia
Dates 2008-09-13 to 2008-09-29
Transport airliner
Purpose holiday

In September 2009, we had a holiday in Townsville.

Day 1 (2008-09-13) Flight to Cairns

Today we travelled by aircraft from Melbourne to Cairns, via Brisbane airport. We did this in an aircraft. The aircraft flew in the air and did not crash until we landed.

At Cairns the Hotel got our booking wrong. The process is that we booked via an online booking agency, and they write the details into a fax, send it to the hotel, where the hotel types it into their computer. Unfortunately they mistyped the date, and the booking was made for the wrong day. The hotel was fully booked out. Fortunately we were transferred to another hotel of the same owner and stayed there the night.


In the night Dad took some night time photos with long exposure times (15 to 30 seconds).

Night time Photo

Day 2 (2008-09-14) Cairns to Cape Tribulation

We drove. In a car. A rental car. A rental car that was black, to be precise. At one stage we had to cross a river in a car ferry. The ferry cost as $19 for a return trip. We stayed the night at Heritage Lodge.

Heritage Lodge

Day 3 (2008-09-15) Cape Tribulation

Wompoo Fruit-dove

Today we walked up Mount Sorrow. You have to be careful to stay in sight of the orange arrows (or orange ribbons or blue ribbons) otherwise you can easily end up walking in the wrong direction (because it looks like that is the direction the path takes). We did so on several occasions and had to back track our steps and find out where the path disappeared to.

At one point we thought we were almost at the top. Wrong. We had only started the steep stretch. The path just kept going up as far as you could see. Eventually we got to the top of a steep stretch of path, but before we could get any relief, the path turned 90 degrees and we were at the bottom of the next ever lasting steep stretch of path. At the top of the mountain we got a good view, from a metal cage. Some people criticised the cage as being ugly, but it provided a place to wait without fear of leaches. Unfortunately no seats were provided.

View from top of Mount Sorrow

We started the walk at 10:55, arrived at the top at 13:32, started the descent at 14:51, and got back to the bottom at 16:22.

Day 4 (2008-09-16) Cape Tribulation to Undara

On the way to Undara, we saw the Millstream falls, and made some friends with some Kookaburras.

There are a large number of road trains using this stretch of road. Each vehicle can be anything up to 5 units long (1 engine + 4 trailers).

Throughout the entire area there is a lot of sugar cane farms. All of these farms are linked by the narrow gauge sugar cane railway. The carriages look top heavy, but somehow they manage to stay on the tracks. There are numerous level crossings, with some of them being rather complicated because there has been no attempt to relocate the train track away from intersections. Instead, a placing give way signs at appropriate points is considered satisfactory.

Undara is a place of historic volcanic activity. It is now a national park. We went on the sunset tour, and saw kangaroos, wallabies, and bats flying out of the lava tube at night. We learnt that kangaroos have pointy ears and wallabies have rounded ears.


Day 5 (2008-09-17) Undara to Ingham

We went on the half day tour, and saw more wildlife. We also saw the insides of some of the lava tubes.

lava tube

The mango tree on the side of the road is significant because it marks where the lava crossed this area.

mango tree

Later on we saw a number of water falls and headed for Ingham. At Ingham we stayed at in old building, Hotel Noorla, with historic features. For example, the owner created all the tiles by hand, and they appeared to be of good quality.

Ellinjaa Falls

We stay the night in a historic Hotel.

Hotel Noorla

Day 6 (2008-09-18) Ingham to Townsville

We see more waterfalls (the Wallaman Falls). When driving we go around a corner and find a dead cow on the road in front of us. Only it isn’t dead. There are two calves, back to back, sun baking on the road. We blast our horn at them as we pass them, but they don’t seem to take any notice.

We walk to the bottom of the waterfalls and take lots of photos.

Wallaman Falls

After the falls, we drive in our brown rental car to Townsville. By this stage, the car has been covered in layers of dirt and tar (from the many road works) and bullshit (from wondering live stock) that it is no longer black.

Day 7 (2008-09-19) to day 9 (2008-09-21) Townsville

My sister attended a wedding in Melbourne (the irony!), so we look after her dogs and try not to destroy her house too much in the process. On the first day we accidentally flood the house (the hose come out of the sink from the washing machine). On the second day the toilet flush mechanism breaks and is no longer functional. On the third day nothing breaks.

We take lots of photos of birds, lizards, snakes and dogs in the area.


Day 10 (2008-09-22) to day 16 (2008-09-28) Townsville

Fix stuff around my sisters house. Fix leaking toilet. Repeatedly. Fix TV, and allow it to receive ABC (perfectly) and other channels (not so good - Antenna is VHF only). Install blinds to protect dogs from insects in wet season.


Day 13 (2008-09-25) Townsville

Walk through Town Common taking photos of birds.


Day 14 (2008-09-26) Townsville

Walk through Town Common and take photos from the top of Mount Marlow.


Day 15 (2008-09-27) to day 16 (2008-09-28) Townsville

Continue fixing stuff. No photos. Wasted days.

Day 17 (2008-09-29) Townsville

Today we leave Townsville to go back home, in Melbourne. The aircraft flies through the sky. It is powered by our camera, with every photo we take we propels the aircraft forward and keep it in the air. Flying is perfectly safe, as long as we don’t run out of batteries. When the camera fills up with photos it is time to land.

Magnetic Island