North Queensland Road Trip

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

I love a road trip, and Airlie Beach to Palm Cove in 5 days didn't disappoint.

From cold, wintry Victoria we flew into the warm tropical Whitsunday Coast, with Airlie Beach the starting point of our trip.

After a few days in Airlie Beach, catching up with mates and soaking in the sun, we collected our hire car and headed north, with a rough plan to make it to my brother-in-laws birthday bash in Palm Cove in 5 days time.

Our first stop over was Townsville.

Heading north again from Townsville, I had been told of a pretty little waterfall cascading under an old stone bridge and wanted to see it for myself. So we detoured inland and found the Little Crystal Creek which was just as pretty as they said. However we arrived at the wrong time of the day for any decent photos (harsh light, deep shadows) so you are going to have to google it yourself to see what I am talking about.

Our next stopover was Ingham. Here we stayed at the tourist trap known as Lee's Hotel, which is touted as the pub immortalised by Slim Dusty's song 'A Pub with no Beer'. This, however turned out to be marketing speak (i.e. bullshit) as the actual pub with no beer was the Day Dawn Hotel that was demolished in 1960 to make way for Lee's Hotel built on the site. But it makes a good story and the hotel does support local artists by displaying some great paintings and photographs of the local area.

We didn't bother to hang around Ingham and headed out to Lucinda to check out the jetty. If you are like me and get excited about stuff like this then it's pretty awesome. At around 5.8km long its the longest jetty in the southern hemisphere, and had to be designed and built to take in the curvature of the earth. With Hinchinbrook Island as a backdrop it was a nice pace to stop and take it all in.

After the short stop to stretch our legs, marvel at the jetty and have some lunch in the park, we continued on our way to Tully to take in a tour of the sugar refinery. This tour was well worth the time and I would recommend it to anyone passing through.

From Tully we continued on to our overnight stop at Mission Beach.

Next stop Menna Creek., where we spent the night at a great BnB in the hinterland surrounded by rolling green hills and cane fields.

From our base at Mena Creek we spent a good part of the day, and evening, at Paronella Park, which was one of the highlights of the trip. The testament to one mans dream, or folly, to build a castle in the north Queensland jungle.

Then on to Palm Cove in time to meet up with family for the celebrations and a great way to end our trip.

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