Before starting the long trek south, we decided to make one last visit to the Atherton Tableland and see a few things we missed earlier when we made the dash to Mareeba to get the jeep’s window fixed plus a few other things.
This time we climbed to the tableland via Gordonvale, quite a different experience to the Cairns-Karumba road. Initially we drove through the usual interminable sugar cane fields, inhaling the characteristic sickly-sweet smells coming from the Gordonvale sugar refinery. The mountains loomed ahead. It is said there are 265 turns in the Gordonvale-Yungaburra road but I lost count.
Mostly the the country was more open and there were some splendid views of the coast. Near the top we turned off at Windy Hill to admire all the wind turbines. Yes it was quite windy! There are 20 turbines altogether.
From tropical sugarcane lowland through rainforest to undulating green pastures – yet another startling contrast all within a few hours. We stopped at the Ravenshoe (pronounced -hoe not -shoe) i-Centre where an unusual tree stood guard – a Cadagi tree with two quite different types of leaves ‘due to some climatic abnormality’.
The local Aboriginals had a beautiful large display room. These finely woven cane baskets are made from lawyer vine.
Several aboriginal stories are told in detail with beautiful little illustrated panels. Here are the last two in the ‘Fire Story’.
Yungaburra was essentially a logging township. Together with the usual logging museum photos and instruments, there were a number of folders containing newspaper articles detailing the area’s opposition to new logging laws. Here is a poignant reminder of how ‘for the greater good’ doesn’t always succeed as well as expected …
We didn’t linger as we wanted to make Undara before nightfall.