In the third weekend of November, my sister and I took a road trip from Townsville to Cairns in North Queensland. We were taking this trip so I could attend the Professional Development Workshop: GPR and Total Station Basics at the JCU Cairns campus. The workshop was a great refresher on the basics for me and allowed undergraduate students get a feeling for equipment they wouldn’t normally use.
On our way up to Cairns we stopped at Frosty Mango (everyone MUST stop at Frosty Mango… it is awesom!), Cardwell (which is stunning), Innisfail for lunch before arriving in Cairns late on Friday afternoon. Over the few days in Cairns, I spent majority of my time at the university while my sister explored Kurranda and Mossman (a guest post on her adventures will follow soon). The highlight of the trip for me was our stop off at Paronella Park.
On the trip back to Towsnsville, we stopped at Paronella Park. The park was the dream of Spaniard José Paronella, who made his fortune cutting sugar cane in the north. The land was purchased in 1929 with his wife Margarita. On the 12 acre park, he built a grand castle, ballroom, cafe, swimming area, tennis court, fountain, tunnel and countless walkways. The place is absolutely amazing!
When we arrived, we were greeted by staff in the car park, pointing us in the right direction. It was so nice to receive the personal greeting. Entry to the park was $40 each but this fee covered a guided tour, re-entry for the next two years and included a free night camping in the park. We will be back with the family, so I’m sure we will use this pass again.
The Castle and surrounds are a skeleton of the former selves, surviving fire in 1979, Cyclone Winifred in 1986 and Cyclone Larry in 2006. The current owners lovely maintain the park as an eco-certified and heritage listed site. All costs of maintaining the park come from entrance fees. I strongly recommend that anyone in North Queensland pay a visit.
On our drive home, we also stopped at Tully, home of the Golden Gumboot and the wettest place in Australia. We also had to stop at Frosty Mango. There is no way you can go past without stopping!
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend. Many thanks to A/Prof Sean Ulms and our instructors Kelsey and Aaron for the weekend training at JCU Cairns.
Interested in studying archaeology at James Cook University? Go here.
All information on Paronella Park is from: http://www.paronellapark.com.au