Posts Tagged ‘millaa millaa’

Around Tropical North Queensland

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

No that I can do a lot in my condition, with only three more weeks to go before our life changes completely and forever, but we’re trying to show my parents as much of the region as we can. They are loving it!

We have always loved Port Douglas on a Sunday, when the markets are on. So one morning, after doing our weekly shopping in Rustys and making sure the rain was going to give us a break, we headed for this fantastic destination. First thing, as we always do when we get to Port Douglas, we went for a coffee and a muffin in our favourite cafe in town (I’m afraid we never remember the name of the place, but the muffins there are absolutely delicious). And then to the markets. This time there weren’t as many stalls as usual, still we managed to see a few unusual things, at least for the Spanish eye: the bike producing cane sugar juice, funny faces made out of coconuts, a whole stall selling macadamia nuts with different flavours, exotic fruits, etc. It’s always very interesting to wander through markets, since you never know what you can find.

Next stop, Four Mile Beach, where there were quite a few people enjoying the tropical waters. We didn’t have a swimm, can you believe we had forgotten our swimming apparels at home? Lucky we have a swimming pool at home. Yes, I know, it isn’t the same, is it?.

Another area we have taken my parents too is Steve’s all time favourite: the Atherton Tablelands. The weather wasn’t the best, so we had to give Granite Gorge a miss this time, which is where I really wanted to take them so they could hand feed wallabies. I don’t think there are too many wallabies in Spain. However, we had plenty of time to do other things. First we visited one of the many tropical wineries in the area, where my parents bought coffee liqueur (by the way it is disappearing from the frigde, I have the feeling that it’s very good, not that I have tried it). After that, a stop to drink a very tasty coffee, since the area is also well known for its coffee plantations. Being Spanish, they’re a bit particular about their coffee and it seems the one we had at Skybury met their standards.

My mum was very surprised by the size of the termite mounds that we saw all the way along the road, so we took her to see the massive mounds that have been put together to create a very impressive avenue in the area. As you can see, some of them can be the size of a grown up person.

Another thing they are finding interesting is the amount of “Big Things” that you can find in Australia. So far, we have seen the Big Pineapple in the Sunshine Coast, the Big Captain Cook in Cairns, and the Big Fish and the Big Peanut, both in the Tablelands. There are still a few around the Cairns area we haven’t seen, hopefully we will before they leave Australia. It’s something we don’t have in Spain and they seem to be very interested in.

We also had time to show them what Australian food tastes like at The Falls Teahouse, in Millaa Millaa, one of our favourite restaurants in the Cairns region. I’m not a very big fan of meat, in fact, I’m really struggling with the amount of meat that I have to eat during the pregnancy, but I always look forward to their meat pies, the best ones I have ever tried. I probably haven’t been around too much to be able to talk about meat pies, but if the same afirmation comes from Steve, a meat lover, then it must be true. And since the Falls Teahouse restaurant is so close to some of the falls that belong to the very well known Falls Circuit, we also visited Millaa Millaa Falls, the best known of all of them, but definetely not the only one around. There are about 7 or 8 waterfalls, all of them beautiful and worth a visit. So if you have the time, go for it, 100% recommended.

And our last visit so far has been to Green Island, off the coast of Cairns. Finally I got to visit Melanesia Marineland, where Cassius lives, the biggest croc in cautivity. The sweet little thing measures only 5.5 metres and has such a kind face… I find crocs and snakes fascinating, so I never get tired of seeing them, although when they find a comfortable position they can remain quite for a very long time. It wasn’t the case in one of the enclosures we saw. There were at least 9 small crocs in a few different ponds. The one that seemed like the boss run from one pond to another, where there was a smaller croc. This one jumped out of the pond towards us at a very high speed, and the three of us run away from the fence at the same speed. At the time, we didn’t ever remember there was a fence between the crocodile and ourselves.

We also did a couple of tours on the island: one of them on a semi submersible and another one on a glass bottom boat. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a semi submersible is a boat partly underwater with glass windows on both sides, so as the boat moves you see the different corals and marine life. And the glass bottom boat is somehow similar, but this time is the bottom of the boat what it’s made of glass.

Thanks to both boats, we saw lots of different fish species, being our favourite ones the Clown Fish, best known these days as Nemo. I just love the anemonies moving and the Nemos coming in and out of them. We also saw a couple of massive turtles, giant trevallies and many other species, including a manta ray. This time we didn’t see any sharks, unfortunately.

We’re already planning a few things for the next few days, such a basketball game in Cairns or a visit to Paronella Park, but right now, we never know what we will be able to do. Junior is not here yet, not because I don’t want to, but it seems he’s very happy where he is right now. I hope he decides to meet us all soon, we’re definetely getting “unpatient”, as our lovely Flynn, Steve’s nephew, says. I’m sure nobody is more impatient than I am right now.

The Atherton Tablelands… again

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

I’m sure if you follow our adventures in Tropical North Queensland you will be thinking we visit the Atherton Tablelands way too much. Well, it’s Steve’s favourite part of the region, and since he’s the one who drives, he decides where to go. But I must admit that it’s nice to get away from the city for a few hours and enjoy a change in the scenery and weather as well.

Our first stop for the day was Tichum Creek Coffee Plantation, and, as we did a few months ago, we enjoyed a delicious coffee and a chat with Mario, the owner. After leaving this coffee plantation in the Atherton Tablelands, the road took us to De Brueys Winery, where Elaine and Bob showed us around and shared their future plans for their winery with us. Hopefully next time we visit them they will have finished the wine tasting room, which is already looking pretty good to us, and they will have started with their wine cellar tours.

Steve enjoying a capuccino at Tichum Creek Coffee Plantation.Bob and Elaine, owners of De Brueys Winery.

Granite Gorge is a must see place for everyone, an incredible family friendly activity in Tropical North Queensland. It’s a “natural reserve” where you can see wallabies in the wild and will have the unique opportunity to feed them. The wallabies are very friendly if you have food in your hands, otherwise they get tired of you pretty quickly. We tricked them a few times, but by the time we had been there for a while, other people had already come offering food and we were absolutely invisible for them from then on. However, we managed to take a photo of one of this gorgeous creatures (Colleen, the owner told us this specie of wallaby only lives in the part of the world) carrying a baby wallaby on its pouch. Soooooooooo cute.

That's me, patting a wallaby at Granite Gorge.Wallaby with its baby in its pouch, at Granite Gorge, Atherton Tablelands.

We also went for a walk there. Granite Gorge is pretty amazing (we always say this word is overused, but in this case is the word that best describes this corner of Tropical North Queensland). It combines massive rocks with sandy creeks and refreshing waterholes. If you feel energetic, you can go for a walk around the area and you will discover pretty unusual rock formations, some of them resembling different animals. Won’t spoil the surprise for you.

Boulders at Granite Gorge.Steve standing on massive footprints on the rock, at Granite Gorge.

A few minutes after leaving Granite Gorge we arrived to The Peanut Place, which we were really looking forward to exploring, since Steve is a big peanut fun. Too much of a coincidence that he finished the peanut butter this morning. I think he had everything planned. Of course, we couldn’t leave The Peanut Place without buying a few items. It was hard, everything looked really tasty. But after a while looking around, we bought their famous peanut butter, absolutely gorgeous lime and chilli peanuts and eucalyptus honey. And we took another photo us “our beast” in front of the Big Peanut (as we did a few months ago with our long gone friend the van).By that time we were already feeling hungry so we headed, as fast as we could, to Millaa Millaa, where we know of a fantastic place to have lunch or just a snack. And, according to Steve, they sell the most beautiful beef pies in Queensland. The place is called “The Falls Teahouse” and apart from delicious food and a fabulous view, they also offer accommodation.

Our Cairnsunlimitedmobile in front of The Big Peanut, near Tolga, in the Atherton Tablelands.The famous beef pies at The Falls Teahouse, in Millaa Millaa.

As you all should know by know if you read our blog regularly, the Atherton Tablelands is very well known in Australia for its Food and Wine Trail The weather in this part of Tropical North Queensland is perfect for the growing of different tropical fruits, coffee, tea and many restaurants and eateries take advantage of the local produce from the region. So if you love food and wine, the options are endless and we strongly recommend that you spend a couple of days of your tropical holidays following the self drive itinerary we have put together in our Tablelands Food Trail and discovering this area. And since we knew what was coming ahead of us, we didn’t order dessert at The Falls Teahouse, but waited until we got to Gallo Dairyland, where you can choose from a wide array of flavoured chocolates and local cheeses.

And that’s all we had time for today. You cannot believe how good it feels to be away from the computer for a few hours, even if we mean that tomorrow we will have a big day in front of us. But as the Spanish saying goes: “Tomorrow will be another day”.