JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A day trip

My friends Joan and Glenda picked me up nice on early on Sunday morning for a day of driving and photography.  Our intentions were to go to Mt Carbine and then on to McLeod River.  Unfortunately we only made it a short distance along the road before coming to a section of road that was completely impassable.  Three giant holes (big enough to lie in) in the sandy road on a very steep section meant that we had to turn back but not before walking a short distance along the road to photograph Mt. Carbine.
These holes in the road stopped us going any further.

Looking towards Mt. Carbine

After the disappointment of not being able to reach our intended destination Joan came up with the idea of heading across to Mt. Mulligan.  So back in the car as we headed back to Mt. Carbine township and then on another 24 km towards Cooktown where we turned off at the road heading to Karma Waters.  We veered to our left at the Karma Waters turnoff and about 8 kms down the road we came to the very lovely and picturesque Cooktown Crossing.  It was crowded with weekend campers (being a long weekend) but we found a pleasant spot to stop for morning tea.  

The very lovely Cooktown Crossing with kayaking a must!

Our morning tea stop at Cooktown crossing.

After a refreshing cup of tea we headed off again towards Mt. Mulligan.  The road twisted and turned and there were many gates.  We stopped at a lagoon to photograph some of the water lilies.  The place was surrounded by gum trees and termite mounds but still had a natural beauty.

A lily filled lagoon

Lots and lots of termite mounds

Back in the car again and after about 30 kilometres we stopped at the Hodgkinson River for lunch.  This place reminded me so much of Eureka Waterhole at "Caleewa"....the place where we spread Kurt's ashes.  It was almost eerie sitting there looking out over the waterhole and thinking back to that time but this place was just as beautiful as Eureka and had the same peaceful feel.

Lunch stop at Hodgkinson River

After lunch we were back on the road to Mt. Mulligan.  It is almost 30km to Mt. Mulligan Station but the road was quite good considering the amount of traffic that used the road.  It didn't seem to take very long before the towering peak of Mt. Mulligan appeared before us.  It is magnificent and we all agreed that if we could photograph the mountain at sunrise they would indeed be absolutely beautiful photos.  It reminded me a little of Carnarvon Gorge with its towering rock faces.

First glimpse of Mt. Mulligan

Mt. Mulligan from a different angle

The road meandered along with Mt. Mulligan on our right.  As we got closer to the mountain it just became more spectacular.  
Mt. Mulligan township ruins were our next stop.  
"Mt. Mulligan was a coal mining town and on the morning of Friday 16 September 1921, an explosion that was allegedly heard 60kms away to the south-east in Mareeba, brought down the coal mine at Mt. Mulligan.  Claiming 74 lives, this was one of Australia's worst mining disasters.  Although mining resumed and continued for some decades afterwards, the once substantial township was all but deserted by the early 1950's" - courtesy Paul Curtis (The Travellers Guide to North Queensland)
Some of the ruins at Mt. Mulligan

We drove and walked around the old ruins before returning to our car and heading towards Dimbulah.  We stopped at the old Thornborough Cemetery for afternoon tea and a wander through the graveyard.  I always wonder about the people buried there and what sort of lives they lived.  This headstone showed only too well just how hard it was.  Five children from this family, the eldest just 11 years, were buried by their mother in this spot.  Just so sad.

From Thornborough it was another 30 kms into Dimbulah.  The road improved dramatically but it was nice to once again be on bitumen from Dimbulah to Mareeba and then home.  We started our journey at 8.00 am and Joan and Glenda dropped me off at 6.00 pm.  It was a very long day but one I will remember for a long time.

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