TUESDAY 14 JULY CARDWELL
I got up quite early, and did two loads of washing. There was not enough line space – mainly because the park provided such a little amount of same. I ended up having to string some line under the van awning to hang some of the clothes there.
John drove up the street and picked up the bread rolls I’d ordered yesterday. After I’d made up the rolls for lunch, we went driving.
First stop was to check out the Port Hinchinbrook Marina area, to make sure we knew where to go tomorrow morning. This was just south of Cardwell itself. It was a canal-style marina and residential development. I remembered that it was the cause of much controversy, due to environmental concerns, when we came through this way in 1998. It did not appear to have really taken off since then. There were a number of lavish, big houses, with their own moorings, the resort itself, and a few shops. It did not look to be thriving. Quite a few places sported For Sale signs and there was a lot of empty, unsold blocks of land.
On the assorted literature obtained from the Information Centre, the Cardwell Forest Drive appeared worth doing, so we headed westwards out of the township, to tackle that.
First stop was the carpark for the Cardwell Lookout, from which we did the 700 metre walk that took in all three lookout points. The views made all the effort worthwhile.
There were attractive grass trees along the pathway, and an unusual (to me, anyway) cycad.
The walk did involve a lot of stairs. I was definitely fitter – and lighter? – than when we walked in the Warrumbungles a couple of months before.
The next stop on the drive was Attie Creek and Falls. It was not all that easy to follow the track into there – signposts were scarce. Where the road ended, the creek was a pool, and not flowing. We decided not to bother, in the heat, with the 1.2km walk to falls that would most likely be dry, anyway.
We had our lunch at the pleasant Attie Creek picnic area. There was lots of bird activity, so we got out the binoculars and watched for a while. Spotted a lovely Yellow Robin.
Drove on round to the Spa Pool. Getting to this did not involve a hike.
As we were driving there, on the dirt road, straddled a nasty looking long, thin snake, sunning itself on the road. We couldn’t see behind, with the rising dust, but as far as John could feel, we hadn’t run over it. I just hoped it was still back there, and not hitching an angry ride hooked up in Truck somewhere. We were not about to stop right there to investigate, but when we reached the Spa Pool parking area, I was careful to look carefully before I got out of Truck!
The Spa Pool was an unusual, pale, milky blue colour. Again, the creek there was not flowing. There was lots of small, hungry seeming fish in the pool and we watched these for a while. The pool did not look at all attractive for getting into! Supposed it would be different when there had been good rain and creeks were flowing again.
We completed the loop drive through pretty valleys with small farms and emerged back onto the Bruce Highway about 10kms north of Cardwell.
Back to the van. Then we set out to walk along the beach to the jetty. It was hard going, with sloping, soft sand, so we didn’t go all the way, and walked back along the road rather than the beach.
Tea was sticky pork ribs, with rice. Very, very nice.
This morning, as we were about to leave the lookouts car park, for a moment there were no brakes at all on Truck. John now thought the vacuum pump had really gone, this time. Absolutely unbelievable!
After stewing it over for the rest of the day, he now decided that from here, we would go back to the Land Rover enthusiast – you guessed it – in Townsville AGAIN.