Music and Fun for Everyone

After our second unexpected stay in Cairns we headed inland back up the mountain pass, towards the Atherton Tablelands…..again.

Doyle Family ShowDress upsOur destination was the Yungaburra Folk Festival for a weekend of music, markets and kid friendly activities. The Saturday morning had a massive market, selling local produce (tropical fruit is coming into season – Yay), crafts and novelties. We headed over to the children’s festival, where they had storytelling, crafts, hula hoops, and a dress-up box to ensure Coby was happy for hours. We sat in on some musical entertainment, and the kids got to try out some instruments. During the Doyle Family Fun Show, both Rhys and Coby got up on stage to sing with the band. Since this initial stage performance, Rhys has developed visions of grandeur, and practices his singing all the time.Dress ups - Nice hair

We set up camp at Lake Eacham Caravan Park, right next to the Crater Lakes National Park and in the middle of more rainforest. There was an abundant amount of wildlife just wandering around the park, including chickens, ducks, a turkey (of the Christmas dinner kind), bush turkeys and a gaggle of interesting birds I couldn’t identify. Feeding the birds scraps of our food was great fun for the kids, as was feeding the resident goats and enormous pig.

The sun finally came out, so we borrowed some swimming noodles from the Caravan Park, and headed to the lake for a swim. It was cool, but very refreshing.

The next morning we made our way north to Port Douglas for my special Birthday treat. The sun was holding out, so we were looking forward to a relaxing couple of days. We decided to stay at the beautiful BIG4 Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park. To read more about this lovely caravan park, click here.

As we have spent a lot of our time recently in isolated places, it has been a long time between Playgroup visits. Our family was welcomed to Port Douglas Neighbourhood Centre Playgroup. We managed to time our visit really well, because it coincided with National Children’s Week. This group got together with Mossman Playgroup and other groups in the area for a special Children’s Week Playgroup. We were all invited to this session as well, and it was one of the best mornings the kids have had during the entire trip. To read more about our wonderful North Queensland Playgroup experiences, click here.

Special thanks to Deb, Alex and Emma for your hospitality and kindness.

Ellis BeachEllis Beach SunriseMy birthday afternoon was spent strolling along four mile beach, and having a relaxing lunch at the local Surf Club. Late in the afternoon we went back to the Caravan Park for another swim and more relaxing by the pool. The kids insisted my birthday wouldn’t be complete without cake, so we put some candles on a chocolate muffin. I felt very special.

Now the children’s choice of birthday cards gives great insight into their subconscious. Coby chose a card with butterflies and flowers, no surprises there. Rhys chose a card with two chimps, which he thought was rather hilarious. It was of a mum chimp hugging her little chimp, and very cute. I wonder what was going through Rhys’ mind when he chose it.

Mike had a dream this trip to camp right on the beach. I think we got as close as we could to fulfilling it when we camped at Ellis Beach. At high tide, we were literally three to five metres away from breaking waves, quite a soothing sound at night. We also managed to sneak out together to watch the sunrise, while the kids slept peacefully.Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk

The next big highlight was the enchanting Paronella Park. In the early 1930’s a Spanish migrant, José Paronella realised a childhood dream of Catalonian castles by building his own castle in the rainforests… He acquired 13 acres of virgin forest next to Mena Creek Falls to build his inspiration, complete with refreshment rooms, banquet halls, tennis courts, gardens and Queensland’s first Hydro Electric Generator. Despite several floods and cyclones over the years, periods of abandonment and a bad case of concrete cancer, the park is still a vibrant, unique and captivating attraction definitely worth a visit.Paronella Park Waterfall

Paronella Park also has a caravan park attached to it, which is free for a night if you have paid for entry into the park. I highly recommend staying for the evening, as it is worth doing both the day and night tour. The caravan park boasts all the usual facilities provided by other parks.

All of us enjoyed our visit, but for Coby it really was an extra special highlight. She got to indulge her love of all things princess and fairy, got dressed up and ran around the park pretending she was in a fairytale. I loved watching her have so much fun.

To read more about our fabulous stay at Paronella Park, click here.

We have been exploring Far North Queensland for just over 6 weeks, a bit longer than we anticipated. It’s dawning on us that we have only two months to go, so we have to make the most of it…

It’s all south from here.

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