Journey to Mission Beach

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
Trip End Oct 14, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We got back to Cairns at about 13h00 and Al walked the 3 blocks from the marina into town to collect our hire car. We were given a bright green car, even brighter than our Jucy van. We are hoping the that Bron getting us the green and purple Jucy van last week hasn't changed our luck and that we are going to get wild & bright coloured hire cars for the rest of our lives.

We left Cairns and continued to head south towards Townsville from where we are planning to fly to Melbourne. We had rain on and off and when the road was close to the coast it was quite windy. Nothing like our Llandudno south-easter, but a good 25 to 30kph. We stopped at a couple of beaches on our way to Mission Beach where we had booked to spend our first night. Each of the beaches we visited was a disappointment with small towns, big camping sites and long narrow beaches like we has seen at Clifton Beach a few days ago. We have since found out that that is the case all the way down past Brisbane to the Gold Coast for about 1800km.

Driving in FNQ (Far Northern Queensland) we have been astounded at the number of older big 4X4 Nissan Patrols and Toyota Landcruisers around, possibly because this is primarily a farming area, sugar cane mostly, but also the muscle cars with big double exhausts in spite of the narrow roads and national 100kph speed limit. Nobody exceeds the speed limit and all the drivers are law abiding and courteous. The main north/south national road only has a single lane and you get stuck behind sugar cane trucks regularly, although there are a few short double passing lanes. What is very nice is that there are ridges on the yellow line and the centre lines that cause a vibration when you dont drive within your lane.

Mission beach had been recommended to us by Tim, the manager of our holiday apartment block at Port Douglas, although, with hindsight, he did say it with his nose in the air. Well it was also not quite what we had hoped for, and nothing like quaint Port Douglas.  and the hotel we had booked at didn’t look great from the outside. The grey weather didn’t help, but we decided to drive around a bit and see what our options were.

On the road to South Mission Beach Deb spotted our first live, moving cassowary, on Cassowary Drive of all places, crossing the road. We pulled over and another one came out of some trees behind a fence and the two seemed to have a chat over the fence while they did some preening. While this was happening a kangaroo came out of the forest, had one look at these two ugly ostrich type thugs and scampered off back into the bush. Now we knew why we had come to Mission Beach.     

We drove back to Mission Beach and followed the GPS to a hotel we had seen on the internet, but was too expensive. It was delightful and we checked out the chalets, used our new negotiating skills, acquired in the far-east, and got a good deal. We sat on our patio, had a snack dinner and looked into what the weather had in store for us and what our travelling & accommodation plans should be for the next few days, and realised we were missing our new son-in-law too much, so we booked a flight to Melbourne for the next day and called the Bradleys to ask if we could come and stay.

The best flight was out of Cairns & not Townsville, so we left this morning to drive back to Cairns, stopped in Innesfail for coffee, because Al keeps dosing off driving at these slow speeds, and are now sitting on a flight to Melbourne to see Colsy and Bronwyn.
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