Tablelands & leaving Cairns

After a couple of days at the beach it was time for another quite unique region: the Tablelands west of Cairns. That’s where the outback meets rainforest and creates a green, but still sparse landscape. The region is quite a bit higher above sea level so the nights are comfortably cool.
Granite Gorge, located on private land as it seems, offers a nice camp site and you can feed the little rock wallabies that live between the granite blocks which gave the gorge its name. You can also do a short walk past some interestingly shapes rocks to swimming holes but there wasn’t much water so it was not really inviting.
From Granite Gorge we followed the road south past Dinner Falls and The Crater, a lake deep below the lookout. The area is known for its waterfalls and near Millae Millae along the waterfall circuit you can actually visit four of them in beautiful countryside which almost resembles the alps. Near Lake Eacham a friendly farmer let us stay on one of his
paddocks, in the morning we had breakfast at the lake and a quick swim to wake up. After a coffe at the nearby Lake Barrina we drove along Danbulla road which basically runs around Lake Tinaroo and leads to a couple of beautiful camp sites at the lake (btw. although Lonely Planet says you need a 4WD it’s actually a very easy dirt road). On the way we came past some impressive fig trees (Cathedral and Curtain) and saw a Cassowary with its little chick crossing the road in front of us.
Looking for a place to sleep we decided to drive back towards Cairns. A place called Mission bay sounded interesting but when we actually arrived in Yurabarah it turned out to be an Aboriginal community! No white men there, people living in houses in the forest and at the beach, some burnt ruins and fires glowing in the forests … quite an experience and a bit too scary for some members of the party so instead of putting our tent up we headed back to Cairns and checked into the Northern Greenhouse (where Lee and Leigh had their water fight) and ran into a couple from the snorkeling trip. The world is so small and at the same time so big …
The next day we swapped the Hyundai for another Wicked van and booked our Whitsunday/Fraser Island package. When we finally left Cairns it was already late afternoon and drove only a short while to a place called Babinda. A guy we had met at Granite Gorge had told us about it and here we actually bumped into him again! What did I just say about the size of the world?
It’s actually a place similar to Mossman Gorge which offers five free camp sites, toilet facilities and a nice swim in the river | See the pictures

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