Where the reef meets the rainforest
We stay with Len, Kim and Matt. Len we first met in Malaysia. He travelled from England to Australia on his BMW to work and live there. Thanks mate for having us!
At the beach
VW-Combi- meeting at Redcliffe
"Great Keppel Island"
Wildlife Sanctuary near "Yeppoon"
This Koala is deaf and blind.
This Emu has a deformed leg.
Many kangaroos are involved in road accidents.
Mother with "Joey"
And a wombat ...
We spent some wonderfully lazy days at Tony and Tamara's place. Thank you guys!
In 1913 the son of a Spanish baker arrived nearby Innisfail to plan a splendid life for himself and his fiancee Matilda. Jose Paronella's dream was to build a castle. And after 11 years of creating his wealth by buying, improving and selling cane farms. Upon retunring to Spain Jose discovered that Matilda had married another. Determined to sail back to Australia he proposed to Margarita, Matilda's younger sister. By 1929 they had purchased the Land of Jose's dreams. On 13 acres beside Mena Creek he built his castle, picnic areas at the lakeside, tennis court, tunnels and bridges and wrapped it up in an amazing range of 7000 tropical plants and trees.
Sporty Australians at the Esplanade
Our 10th wedding anniversary!
For the journey to the "Cape" we hire a 4WD Landcruiser, our "Troopy".
Ray, Jeff, Ian und Nigel. They did it on their (motor)bikes. Thank you for your hints, guys!
Along the coast north of "Cairns".
The "Daintree Rainforest" is the oldest continous rainforest on the planet and is home to the most diverse fauna and flaura. At "Cape Tribulation" the rainforest is so lush, you can almost see it growing. In fact the most of the world's 19 primitive plant families are found within this unique area left over when Australia was still part of the great super-continent Gondwana. It is also home to a large number of endemic animals - those found nowhere else.
The famous "Bloomfield Track" is unsealed with many creek crossings and steep mountains to negotiate. Estuarine crocodiles inhabit this area! Tin mining and timber were the mainstays of the pioneer days, now fruit orchards and cattle properties dot the region.
In the year 1770, James Cook discovered a safe river to seek shelter and repair the damage done to his ship, the Endeavour, after running aground on the "Great Barrier Reef". He and his crew spent 48 days on the banks of the river during which time damage was repaired and stocks replenished.
Cook made contact with the local Aboriginal people and managed to trade beads and trinkets with them. Meanwhile, Joseph Banks, an acclaimed scientist of the day, travelling with Cook, recorded the unusual fauna and flora of the area.
Cooktown has a rich modern history and Aborignal hostory which stretches back tens thousands of years. Cooktowns's population boomed in the 1870s-1880s as prospectors came from all over the world to the goldfields at the "Palmer River". Once Australia's second largest port, today the town has a population of only 2,000.
The "Battle Camp Track" and "Lakefield National Park"
"Cape York Peninsula"
The "Cape York Peninsula" has - for thousands of years - been home to the Aboriginal People. Seafaresr, who spanet their lives in and out of outrigger canoes, they gathered food and other resources from the seas and surrrounding country. The different groups were connected through language, marriage ties and trade. THey were warriors, constantly redrawing their boundaries throigh inter-tribal wars and alliances.
The arrival of European settlers in 1864 brought great change. Within 30 years, their population was greatly reduced, tribal groups were broken down and prviously hostile groups banded together fro survive. THe goldrushes in the 1870s and 1880s saw an influx of European and Chinese miners. Cattlemen and miners engaged in bitter land wars with indigenous people. However, the cattle industry was ultimately developed by both black and white people, with indigenous people living and working on many of the stations.
The second WW saw thousands of American and Australian servicemen based on airstrips for battles with the Japanese.
"Cape York Peninsula" has been the secene of many debates on Aboriginal land rights and native title as traditional owners have sought the return to ancestral homelands.
By exercising their traditional rights and responsibilities for the land, many National Parks' Owners are involved in the management.
Today the main land use of the "Cape York Peninsula" is cattle grazing with large areas set aside for bauxite mining an the west coast.
"The Old Telegraph Track (OTT)"
The telegraph line was completed in 1887 with a series of repeater stations and an underwater calble link to Thursday Island. It was only two wires, one up and one down. Communication was by morse code. It operated till 1987, opening the way for settlement and development of the Cape. Outlying cattle staions relied on the line and the dedication of the linesmen for news and information. Frequent attacks by Aborigines on homesteads and the line itself meant constant work was needed to maintain the flow of information. Camps were set up along the track and the linesmen spent months at a time in the bush.
The line was upgraded during WWII and six wires were used to transmit the signals.
The last nessage was sent along the line in 19672, when communications were upgraded to micriwave repeater towers. The old telegraph line ceased to exist, however, the service track remaind and was for many years the only access to Cape York.
We meet Amanda and Roelof from Sydney and decide to travel the "OTT" together.
For the enthusiastic 4WD travellers, part of the "Old Telegraph Track" with its many creek crossings, deep sand and spectacular scenery, remains and is well worth the experience.
Creek crossing - same procedure as every time: get off, wade through, discuss the perfect line and then - do it!
Eroded banks are the most difficult to negotiate.
We don't take the "Chicken Run" ...
and neither the "Toyota Alley", ...
... we go this way!
Their sandstone bedrock acts like a sponge, restricting water loss and storing huge volumes of water which is slowly released.
"Green Tree Frog"
Day 2 on the "OTT"
or through, ...
and back on the track again.
Not this time!
Thank you Roelof!
Our camp at "Seisia": "Loyalty Beach"
Celebrating travel anniversaries with "BBQ" and champagne
Thank you, Amanda and Roelof, for travelling together! We were so lucky to have our beer and yoghurt cooled, our meat BBQed, our breakfast cooked, our washing done and some lovely people to talk to!
"Steve" is looking for a lift. He pedalled all the way from "Cairns" to the "Cape" on his pushbike. Respect!
On the bypass
Lunch at the "Fruit Bat Falls"
Aboriginal occupation here dates back over 37,000 years, and the images of the "Quinkan" spirits, totem animals and people adorn many of the rock shelters. THe discovery of gold at the "Palmer River" brought thousands of miners from 1873 on the old coach road from Cooktown ti the goldfields. Conflict, dislocation and new diseases decimated the Aboriginal People, and the traditional liofestyle of over a thousand generations was lost. The rock art tells the stories of the past.
Time to say good-bye. We really enjoyed your company, you doing the dishes, and thanks for the delicious dinner, mate!
The "Black Mountains" shadow the ares with awsome rock formations formed during the Gretatious Period 100 million years ago.
"Kuranda" - more than a village in the rainforest
There are many talented people living in and around Kuranda who have escaped the frenetic demans of ctiy life in order to follow their muse. Kuranda is home to an extraordinary number of potters, painters, photographers, glass and craft workers, masters in wood, jewellery and fabric. Their work is on display in many of the shops, galleries, and markets in the village, just as well as the odd souvenir-shops.
This ares is famous for its volcanic crater lakes, waterfalls, giant fig trees and the village of "Yungaburra", the "sweet-as-a-chocolate-box-town."
Damming the "Barron Falls" this lake was "built" primarily for irrigation. Today it is a multi-purpose dam providing water supply for towns, power generation, crop irrigation, stock watering and recreation.
Many birds inhabit this area.
With these living in the neighbouring trees you don't need an alarm-clock in the morning!
"Cathedral Fig Tree" and "Curtain Fig Tree"
The roof of the "Cathedral Fig Tree" is 2,000 qm, its circumfence 44 m and the weight of the leaves is about 1,000 kg!
"The Crater" (138 m tief)
Sunset at "Lake Tinaroo"
"Yungaburra" - sweet-as-a-chocolate-box-town
Touring the "Tully Sugar Mill"
"Winton", home of Australia's 'real' national hymn "Waltzing Matilda" written by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson in 1895.
Here "The Australian Stockman's hall of fame" is a spectacular tribute to the people of the outback. It tells the story of the rural areas from the arrival of the Aborigines more than forty thousand years ago, settled by the British, exploration, the establishment of grazing, agirculture, mining, forestry and other industries in country Australia.
Historically "Longreach" is known for its role with QANTAS. The Queensland Northern Territory Aerial Sercive was founded at Winton on February 10, 1921 but was sson moved to "Longreach" where a hangar and the country's first purpose built landing field were constructed.
The "Qantas Founders Museum" is a fascinating reminder that Qantas is the only airline to manufacture its own aircraft. You can tour the ex-Qantas 747 Jumbo jet, see the replica of a DH61, an original Qantas DC3 and an AVRO 504K, the first aircraft ever used by Qantas.
The Qu eensl A nd & N.T. A erial S ervice
ex-Qantas 747 Jumbo jet
"Carnarvon National Park" - Walk through "Carnarvon Gorge"
The alternator doesn't work properly any more so we have to charge the battery every night.
Visiting Kate, Thomas and John in "Beaudesert". Thank you so much for the warm welcome!
Breakfast with a view
At the Jungers' in Brookfield, Brisbane. Thank you so much for making us feel at home ...
... and for all your support concerning our cleaning orgies!
Building the crate at "Schenker Australia"
After 48.000 km half way round the world our bike is ready to leave for Germany. Thanks mate, you're the best!