Sunday, November 01, 2009

- Mossman to Paronella Park -

On Thursday night we joined Col, Vanetta, Chook & Eddie at the Bowls Club for a lovely farewell dinner and drinks. It was lovely to have spent some time with you all and a big thank you opening up your homes for us, it is very much appreciated!

So we set off the next morning, beginning our adventure south past Cairns and back into the unknown. We decided on the coastal drive, also dubbed “The Great Green Way” down to Townsville. It was beautiful country, with high rain forest mountains, rolling cane fields, hidden waterfalls and untouched beaches.

(The Boulders just south of Cairns.)

After exploring in amongst Innisfail we headed slightly inland to a place called Mena Creek also home to the famous Paronella Park.

Paronella Park is a wonderful unique place, built in the 1930’s by Spanish man, José Paronella. Who’s dream was to build a beautiful garden and reception centre for the enjoyment of the public. We decided to stay and take the opportunity to explore both during the day and taking the night tour.

He certainly left nothing for the imagination! He built by hand a castle, yes a CASTLE! This once housed a museum complete with Ballroom/theatre off to the side. From the castle, The Grand Staircase guides you down to a picnic area at the waters edge, looking out to the beautiful Mena Creek Falls! In the lower garden another smaller castle was built for refreshment tearooms complete with two tennis courts, water fountain and view of the waterfall! However José didn’t stop here! He planted over 7000 plants on the property including magnificent Kauri Trees, lining Kari Avenue. Water features, tunnels, bridges were all constructed presenting the property as a marvellous secret garden waiting to be explored!

It was certainly well worth it and the night tour certainly added another dimension to the dreamy atmosphere with the water fountains and castle lit up, it was truly magical!

(The Kauri Avenue... just as spectacular at night!)

(The Tearooms in the lower gardens)

(Mena Creek Falls were beautifully lit up.)

(The Tearooms and water fountain in all its glory on the night tour.)

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