Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Travels With DJ Pettitt - Day 5 - Patronella Park and Josephine Falls

We had been very lucky with the weather thus far and it was still holding.. the day dawned with another beautiful sunrise and a predicted 30C to the sound of bats screeching as they headed back to the hills around 4.30am (yes we're weird, we loved it lol and Joe got to hear it as DJ was on the famous balcony talking to to him at the time)

Sunrise and 30C coming up

We had decided today that as we couldn't do the Kuranda train (closed for maintenance) that we would go to Paronella Park.  This was on both our wish lists but we had figured there wasn't enough days to get it done, with Kuranda Railway out of the equation we called for our car to be brought around and headed out the door around the customary 6.30-7am (I gotta love valet service LOL)

Dunbulla State Forest

Josephine Falls in Dunbulla State Forest looked a promising stop, and was on the way so we headed there first.  Was more than worth the stop.  Stunning walk through rainforests full of tall trees, little streams and rocky pools, past tall trees supporting ferns growing on their branches to an amazing high volume waterfall.   It just pounded over the top like a mini Niagara.
Josephine Falls (a three tier lava  rock flow)
click the link for a short video

We took some photo's from the top then made our way via the walkways to the bottom.  Came across lots of 'young things' swimming and using the waterfalls like water slides.. ahhh to be young again LOL.

good if you're young!

We spent a  very enjoyable couple of hours in the cool of the forest before we headed back to the green doodlebug and made tracks for Paronella Park.
Paronella Park Fountain - fed from the waterfall and hydro

We arrived at Patronella around 12.30pm.. the green doodlebug AC worked great so it was a bit of a shock when we parked and stepped out of the car!  Was quite hot by now... we were welcomed by the owners Mark and Judy (lovely friendly  people) who filled us in on the history of the place and made us feel very welcome. (We weren't important they were doing it to everyone... soooooo friendly, informative and helpful).  We had a delicious lunch of chicken and sun-dried tomato foccacia's and then headed off on the tour.

Jose's decaying spanish castle roams over 13 acres

Our tour guide was Yeng..  very personable young man, full of humour and knowledge who made the tour both informative and fun.  what is it?  hard to explain briefly.. its 13 acres of amazing Amazonian rainforests created  from nothing by Jose Paronella  who made his fortune in sugar cane in the early 1900's.  He originally intended it for his bride Matilda but after working for 11 years to amass his fortune when he returned to Spain she had married another (11 years?  severe lack of patience that girl LOL) So he married her younger sister Margarita and brought her back to Australia where he, with Margarita's;s help, created the amazing Spanish castle in the rainforest.
Paronella Park Waterfall.. supplies their hydro scheme

After the tour we were free to wander at will.... taking some more pics before heading back to cairns late afterrnon. Our clothes were literally sticking to us by this stage (helped in no small way by the camera gear in backpacks)  in the heat and humidity and showers were definitely big on the wish list as we drove... even with the heat we had a ball.  If you ever get to cairns you MUST do Paronella Park....
Two Canon 7d girls.. still hot in the shade! (and I mean the weather! LOL)

We even stopped at a roadside 'honesty' stand on the way home and ate fresh bananas from the fields as we drove... what a day!!


  1. Looks like you two had a fantastic time my friend..beautiful photos and wonderful places but I wouldn't want to go there...unless we go back to the ice age temps...LOL

  2. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all your pics! Especially love Park, what a fabulous place & story!
    I am sooooooooo pleased you & DJ got to see & photograph all the scenes, birds, animals etc. Etc. Etc.
    All in all wonderful memories for you both!
    Hugs Lucy

  3. I agree Lucy. What a lovely story. Haven't been to this place, next time we get there hopefully. Thank you for sharing your amazing holiday DJ & Bev.

  4. I could have spent several more hours at Paronella Park! Bevlea, your photos turned out fabulous! Lucy, you really should have been there :-) you missed a LOT of ... click click clicking! :-)


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