166. Innisfail

En route back to the coast from Undara, we turned off to investigate the Millsteam Falls near Ravenshoe, reputedly the widest single-drop falls in Australia. Not very large, but rather pretty.

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The area around the Falls is notable for another reason, it was where a large Army camp was set up during WW2.  We did not walk the track but no doubt it was an interesting well-sign-posted site.

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We stopped off in Ravenshoe for lunch and also a roadside stall selling fresh local produce. A whole bag of smallish avocadoes, about 15 and all absolutely perfect, were just $3!

After the usual downhill slalom drive we knew when we were approaching Innisfail, there were banana plantations everywhere. Also sugar cane.

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We headed for a camp on Flying Fish Point, through the town of innisfail and then a stretch of bush where signs warned us to watch out for cassowaries. And indeed we did spot one, although it was a bit shy.

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When I was living in Lismore in northern coastal NSW in the early 1960s , sugar-cane territory, I got used to the sickly sweet smell coming from the sugar refineries and also the frequent cane burn-offs. The defining smell is still the same but nowadays the cane is harvested green. The green tops and leaves are left on the ground to form a “trash blanket” which prevents weed growth, filters water, keeps the soil moist and increases soil carbon status.

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I got this information at the Sugar Museum. They were very keen for us to accept several samples of raw sugar and jelly beans, and to promote sugar in general – a losing battle I think.

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Here’s an example of an early IBM computer. Yes, I remember them. So does Dave.

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After an indifferent lunch we headed for nearby Etty Beach, with more warning signs about cassowaries, which apparently use the beach nonchalantly and frequently.

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We didn’t see any but we did enjoy watching the descent of a number of skydivers who all landed precisely on the beach in front of us, although one had to twist and descend very smartly and probably gave the joy-rider an extra possibly unwanted thrill.

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The town of Innisfail is built on hilly ground beside a river, with some unusual old buildings and a statue of a cane-cutter.

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The Innisfail harbour entrance is quite narrow.

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An inventive name for a boat – “Purr-feck”.

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Here are some more local ‘Signs’…..

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… and a partridge in a pear tree (?!)

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After two nights there we headed south for Ingham through more sugar cane country.

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