|Fingers crossed - Kuranda|
We assisted the economy of Mareeba by buying the service station (or it felt like it just paying for the diesel) and topping up the groceries. There are a lot of bananas growing in the Mareeba area and we were disappointing to find that they fruit is still not ready for picking so there were no stalls selling the fruit.
On Tuesday the Patrol was booked in to have a second battery installed so we had to be in Atherton (12 kms away) by 8 am. We spent the morning looking through the shops and the car was ready by around midday. In the afternoon we went to Yurrabunga which is a small town on the shores of Lake Tinaroo. Near the town there is a "curtain fig tree" which was really interesting to see. From here we drove to Milandra to see the falls and visited the dairy museum. There is a lot of dairy farming in the area. Unfortunately the tours of the dairy factory were not running. On our return to the caravan we stopped at a farm which operates a cheese and ice creamery. The milking of the cows was in progress and the public were allowed to visit the calf house and then go to the milking shed to see the progress. They milked 260 cows on a 42 cow rotary - it was interesting to note the interest expressed by others visiting but of course we have seen the milking process many times before.
On Wednesday we had another early start as the Patrol was booked in for it's 30,000 km service. We had been fortunate to get this booking as when we had telephoned the Cairns Nissan branch back on the 18th August the first appointment they could offer us was the 12th September. We did not want to wait around until then so when we could have the service completed in Atherton on the 31st August we made this booking. The service only took 2 1/2 hours so we can now continue our trip west.
Many communities offer free camping as a way to encourage visitors to the area to stay a while and assist the local economy. We certainly did our bit for Atherton with both the car service and the new battery plus incidental shopping.
We hooked the caravan on and paid a short visit to Herberton to see the historic village. From there we made another diverstion to Millea Millea to visit the three waterfalls in the area. They were well worth diverting to go and see. As we continued closer to Ravenshoe, which is the highest town in Queensland, we passed the wind farm which has 20 power turbines. We were surprised that some of the turbines were so close to the farm houses in the area.
We are staying in the small town of Ravenshoe - there are a couple of pubs, an IGA and a Foodworks supermarket, a hairdressers and a couple of takeaway shops. There is a very active volunteer group restoring a steam train and we are staying in the reserve adjacent to the railway - unfortunately for us there is a long wait to take a train trip as it only operates on a Sunday. There is ten km track to a neighbouring town.
|Cairns Villa & Leisure Park|
|Savannah Way sign|
| Next stop Atherton|
|Mt Surprise to Normanton|