It’s crazy to me that I have lived in Australia for two years now. It really doesn’t feel like that long ago I was sat at my desk in work, staring out the window and thinking “get me away from here!” I’ve had a fantastic time travelling around this beautiful country and I have experienced things I never thought I would. For example, right now I am sat in my truck, eating lunch before we load more hay into a shed. Pretty random when at home I used to work in Business Development for one of the country’s top ten law firms. I’ll have to write a separate blog post about the harvest we have had here because it’s has been unlike anything I have ever done before. It’s also a real eye opener for city folk such as myself.
I have lived in quite a few places whilst traveling around Aus and without a doubt, my favourite place has got to be Atherton. It is incredibly beautiful and there is so much to see in the Tablelands. There’s also a big backpacker community so it’s a great way to meet people, get some regional work and the locals actually like backpackers. Something we have found a bit of a struggle with in some areas.
Forty minutes drive from Atherton is a town called Mareeba. It very, very rarely rains there. They boast 300 sunny days a year and because of the altitude, it’s not actually humid. They have a drive in cinema and it’s the perfect place for it. We went here at least every fortnight. $14 for two films and free camping is amazing. At home I would pay almost $25 for one film, hence why Netflix is so popular in the UK.
It’s perfect because you can load up on all your favourite foods from the supermarket, stop at a ‘bottle-o” and even bring your dog a long if you wanted to. I love the outdoor cinema. I wish we could have one at home but with England being notoriously rainy, it probably wouldn’t be as great.
12km west of Mareeba, you’ll find Granite Gorge. There are multiple walks you can go on, a swimming hole, wallabies you can feed and a few pets you can hold, including a snake and a lizard.
If you plan on visiting Granite Gorge, do not wear flip flops! You won’t be able to walk the trials, even bare foot it’s too hot. I wore my converse and I’m glad I did. My balance isn’t fantastic and in flip flops and slippery rocks, its even worse.
The swimming hole was definitely my favourite part of the gorge. If you’re brave enough, there’s a swing rope. I don’t think any of us managed to do it without a small scream at the end. There are a few turtles swimming about here which you can see if you quietly walk around the edge of the water. I tried to get some photos but they are good at blending in.
There are cabins and camping at the Granite Gorge so if you’re reading this and thinking about going, I would really recommend it!