Archive for the ‘Queensland’ Category

The sun was rising behind the thick cloud layer and the world slowly came to light. Noone around as I stared at the base of these amazing waterfalls. Today was waterfall day, and I ticked them off – Ellinjaa, Zillie, Millaa Millaa and Nandroya.

With tripod and phone I potter around at the base of the falls. Its a solitary and very satisfying activity, trying to get the best photo. Ellinjaa Waterfall is right in your face – very close. The spray envelopes the space at the bottom of the falls. The dim light meant for a longer exposure and a beautiful effect on the water gushing down to the pool below.

Ellinjaa Falls

Zillie Falls is my favourite – and amazing. A huge rush of water behind a line of massive boulders. Again, the air was swirling with spray.

Zillie Falls

Cross Millaa Millaa Falls off your to do list. It is the most popular and well known waterfall in the area, but I thought it was very underwhelming. Why is it popular? Near the main road. Easy access. Can’t think of any more reasons.

Millaa Millaa Falls

A big concrete slab in front of the pool is ideal for setting up tripods for photos. My phone suffered from this concrete slab. The tripod lost balance and came crashing down, causing the phone screen to hit the concrete.

The road to Nandroya Falls was a longer one. The falls are 500m below Millaa Millaa and the road had some long steep descents (which were ascents on the way home). The path to the falls goes through some beautiful lush rainforest, and, to my surprise, was perfect for cycling on.

Nandroya Falls
Nandroya Falls
Lower Nandroya Falls

A few more falls tomorrow and then its into the outback, and more kms to be covered in a day.

“You can’t go there. Forensic are there laying tags. They took out a body.”

Road block

Usually you can cycle or at least push your bike through road closures. This time it wasn’t happening. This was a crime scene – a nasty car accident. It just meant turning around, going back where I had come from, and riding further up and down and up and down through the (beautiful) hills.

Millaa Millaa is really not very far from Atherton, and I wanted to stay overnight in Millaa Millaa. Soooo, I had lots of time on my hands today. This meant I followed signs to things that sounded interesting as well as taking a beeline to Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine – two volcanic crater lakes.

I did some bird watching at Hasties Swamp.

Hasties Swamp
Hasties Swamp

I marvelled at the curtain fig tree.

Curtain Fig Tree
Curtain Fig Tree
Curtain Fig Tree

And I swam in the (rather pleasantly warm) waters of Lake Eacham, followed by a loop of the lake.

Lake Eacham
Lake Eacham
Around Lake Eacham

I had Devonshire Tea at the famous tea house looking out over Lake Barrine. I sat perched on a beautiful balcony looking out over the glistening waters of the lake.

Lake Barrine
Lake Barrine

I was glad when I arrived at Millaa Millaa Hotel. I was knackered.

Today was snake day. I passed a snake lying on the road, warming itself in the sun. Another slithered away from the side as I passed. From then on I heard rustles of leaves everywhere. It’s good having snakes around. It means the road is not busy. Quaid Road from the coast up to the tablelands was closed to traffic, and I was the only one there, cycling through the forest.

Snake number 1
Cycling through the forest

Thanks to the Cairns Cycling Group Rides Facebook group for recommending Quaid Road to climb out from the coast. It was a beautiful bitumen road passing through the dense rain forest which, over time, opened out into savannah landscape.

It joined the main road at a beautiful swampy lake, and from there was a rather uninspiring main road.

Quaids Dam

Five km out of Atherton I was looking at my map when a young lady came up to me and said she was also a cyclist. She recommended I take the Atherton Rail Trail into Atherton which followed an old train line. It was much quieter and pleasant.

Atherton Rail Trail

At dinner I met some more people that like cycling. I have a nice lunch option for the day after tomorrow at a bio dairy.