By no means do I consider myself a blogger, but when we made this monumental decision to pack up and sell everything, I promised myself that I’d write things down.
Random learnings, feelings and thoughts that popped up along the way because the Universe knows I can’t keep up with photo books or albums and, since having kids, my memory sorta sucks.
My sister has been living in Mission Beach with her family for the past 12 months and I’m ashamed to admit it, but aside from a long weekend here and there I haven’t spent a lot of time in this part of the world, which seems absurd when it’s only a few hours up the road. Finally we had time on our side to extend our stay a little, so our theory was to head up early in the new year for some time to relax and reset.
In between lazing by the pool and eating all of the things (‘pavlova’), we made a few little discoveries that I wanted to note.
Garners Beach: While I wouldn’t say ‘secret’, it’s certainly very secluded. Most times we visited we were the only ones there, especially early in the morning (which is when we tend to try and get out. The kids are up by 5am most mornings so by 7am they’re going stir crazy). A quick goog and you’ll find your way here, a little out of Bingle Bay and down a couple of dirt roads. Watch out for the Cassowaries that roam the sides of the roads. We were lucky enough to see them just about every time we ventured out!
Early in the morning, before the wind picks up, the water is still and sparkling and oh-so-clear. Gorgeous to look at but you wouldn’t catch me swimming for quids. In fact, the entire time Raff was in the water (up to his ankles) I was scanning for crocodiles and box jelly fish. Yes, slightly OTT, but it is a North Qld after all, and crocodiles up here are an actual thing. As are the box jellyfish and irikanjis that are small and lethal and able to get through stinger nets! I have a very healthy respect for the creatures that live in the sea, especially here in NQ, so, for the most part, I stay the hell out of it. Much relief was felt when I managed to coax him over to some rock pools to look for hermit crabs.
The Tablelands: The last time I ventured up to the Tablelands was after we got married, back in 2004! It’s still as cute as I remember it to be and the villages that are dotted around are well worth a visit. Millaa Millaa, Malanda and Yungaburra all make good places to stop and visit. It rained pretty much the entire time we were there but on a clear day there’s the Waterfall Circuit which would be great to see. We visited the Mungali Creek Dairy for Devonshire tea (the cream was next level!) and made a stop at Gallos for cheese and chocolate made on the premises. Gallos also have an Animal Nursery that the kids adored and you can watch the cows being milked daily at 3pm.
Murray Falls: We nearly abandoned our plans due to bad weather but I’m so glad we didn’t as it was sensational! Probably our favourite day of the trip. The day was misty, cool and rainy – which meant that we were the only ones there for quite some time. We had a picnic lunch (they’re becoming our go-to thing) then wandered down to the water. There’s signage that directs you to a main swimming area but just a little downstream from that we stumbled across the most fantastic spot that had easy access for the kids to enter the water and some fantastic small rapids and natural water slides. To say the kids enjoyed themselves wouldn’t even begin the describe how happy these little folk were, with yells of ‘this. is. EPIC’ every time they body surfed their way down.
Honestly, the past 10 days have been gloriously replenishing and so full of good-for-the-soulness. Saying goodbye on the last day was a bitch (tears) but we’re ready for The Ganly Gap Year to commence.
NZ, we’re on our way!