BLUE AND MA'S ODYSSEY travel blog

Tully Sugar Cane in Flower

Cane harvest in the early days

Cane harvest in the early days (2)

Tully sugar mill

The Big Gumboot

Coral Sea Monument

Cardwell Bay


21st June, 2013

Time for another history lesson:

Tully was established in 1872 for sugar. When gold seeking faltered the Chinese migrants became the first to introduce banana plantations.

In 1935 a hydroelectric power station was built in the Tully Gorge.

The population of Tully is 2436 people according to the 2011 Census.

Primary production in Tully is primarily cattle, sugar cane and bananas although there are some other horticultural crops. Sugar milling is the main industry.

The Golden Gumboot is a monument recording breaking rains of 1950 when 7.9 meters of rainfall made Tully the wettest town in Australia by far.

They also do white water rafting through the Tully Gorge National Park.

The islands visible from the beaches in this area are called the Family Group Islands and fishing is the most popular pastime.

That’s enough history for this time of the morning.

More washing today so Caz and I combined our loads of linen and used the big super-size washing machine and got it all done in one load. It’s a tad overcast so I hope it dries.

Rob went down to the boat ramp to fish early this morning and came back with a pretty good catch……….sandfly. It looked like he had the measles all over his legs and arms.

If I had received that many bites I would have ended up in hospital in a pretty bad way. Doesn’t it make you peeved that he can get bitten really bad and all I have to get is one and I’m in agony for days on end and what’s more he says he isn’t itchy.

We went into Tully to do some grocery shopping and have a walk down the main street and of course I didn’t take my camera did I.

I noticed a sign on the side of the road saying there were markets on tomorrow so will bring the camera in the morning when we come back.

On the way home Rob took me down to the boat ramp to show me where he was fishing and also out to the heads. There are a lot of really nice homes there, all fairly new; most of the old ones were demolished by Cyclone Yasi a while ago.

There is a camping ground at the heads and they charge $15 per night just to plonk your van on a piece of dirt. There are no amenities and the toilets have a “CLOSED” sign on them. Seems a lot of money to pay but I suppose it is cheaper than a caravan park provided you have all your own amenities.

We had a quiet afternoon and then went to the campfire for an hour or so.

22nd June, 2013

You wouldn’t believe it but Rob got up this morning and there isn’t one bite in evidence anywhere on him. Talk about luck of the Irish.

Yes, I remembered the camera today. I got a pretty good shot of the cane flower and also part of a cane train….. It was so long that we couldn’t wait around for the engine so will get that one another time.

We went back into Tully this morning to go to the markets. We drove around and around and couldn’t find anything so went to the Tourist Info Office on the highway to ask and also get some information on things to do in the district.

Seems the markets are a very small affair and are up the main street, so back into town and there they were…………………..all five stalls spread out along both sides of the main street.

We went to the Ulysses Café for breakfast and then had a walk over to the park. It is a nice area and they have miniature replicas of can gathering in the old days and also The Big Gumboot.

They even have garbage bins with gum boots on them.

The Sugar Mill is in full production now and there are different shades of smoke coming from the chimneys…………Rob laughingly said they are doing raw sugar (brown smoke) white sugar (grey smoke) and caster sugar ( white smoke). You never know he just might be right, I guess we will find out next week if we manage to go on the factory tour, that’s if it isn’t already booked out.

Rob has now gone fishing and it will be interesting to see how many bites he comes back with today. He did douse himself quite liberally with my mixture of Tea Tree Oil and Cooking Oil. Yep, cooking oil. The lady in Charter’s Towers told me about it so I am giving it a go. So far so good. The test will be Rob I reckon.

When you are in this neck of the woods you have to have bananas. After all the majority of the bananas that you get in the shops come from here……………..SO……………….It’s banana pikelets with whipped cream for afternoon tea.

All good on the sandfly front, no bites today unless you call the “CATCH OF THE DAY” a bite.

A good size shovel nose shark was the catch which rendered up two fairly good fillets and we all know how much these Victorian’s like their flake.

Tomorrow night there is supposed to be the biggest full moon of the year but with the cloud cover expected tomorrow Rob thought it would be better the take some pictures tonight just in case.

23rd June, 2013

Not a very nice day today and after we both had a very restless night it was decision time.

Stay home or go for a drive. The drive won.

We headed back south to Cardwell to have a bit more of a walk around the town.

OK, some facts about Cardwell:

Established in 1864 as a cattle port for the hinterland and the first port north of Bowen and originally named Port Hinchinbrook.

The population is 1179 people and the local industries include forestry, aquaculture, tourism and agriculture.

Cardwell also has the largest island national park in Australia and in the Great Barrier Reef, the Hinchinbrook Island National Park.

Cardwell also boasted a dugong oil factory at one stage, producing oil for medicinal use by Europeans and in Aboriginal settlements. Later in 1895 it was joined by a meatworks.

Disaster struck the local beef industry when cattle herds were found to be tick infested and consequently had a very bad effect on Cardwell’s early development.

The clouds are so low now that you can’t see the tops of the mountains and it looks like it could rain at any time. I hope it holds off till we have done our walk.

We had brunch in Annie’s Kitchen and we both enjoyed our meal, Rob of course had his savoury mince and I had lamb’s fry and bacon.

There isn’t all that much in Cardwell and with all the road works going on you can’t walk along the beach front either, so it was walk from one end to the other and back again.

Just as we got back to the car it started to drizzle, not heavy but by the looks of things it will be a lot heavier the closer we get back to Tully.

We went out to the Coral Sea Monument and as the name suggests it is a monument to all the Australian and American ships and men who fought in the Coral Sea against the Japanese. It is very well done and is still a work in progress. The aspect from the walkway across the bay to the islands was really nice even with the cloud cover so it would be really sparkling on a clear sunny day.

It is good to be able to take a drive over territory you have covered before because there certainly things that you miss the first time.

What did we miss I hear you ask……..Banana plantations and Mango orchards. Not all that many but quite a few never the less.

The Poinciana trees are coming out in flower now and they look really nice with the orange or red flowers.

Back at the van and the rain looks like it has set in for the day so nap time is looking good.



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