The last weeks we spent travelling through North Queensland with our van. Heading off from Airlie Beach we spent an afternoon in Bowen, a small town with big streets where… nothing is happening. At least they had some really nice beaches there. We arrived in Townsville the same night and camped in a dark, quiet side street.

The next day we explored the city. People there do a lot of sports, especially running up Castle Hill which is located in the city centre. Well, we were lazy and took the car to enjoy the beautiful view from above…

From Townsville we took the ferry to Magnetic Island. A hike along the Fort Walkway led us to the top of a hill where we had a magnificent view over the island. Back down we realised that we just missed the bus. As it’s intervall is quite long (one hour) we decided to hitchhike and were very lucky. Not only did the first car stop that came along, we also found our free of charge tour guide for the day. Charlie, the driver who stopped, a landscaper living on the island for ages, wasn’t busy and asked us what we wanted to do. As we didn’t have much of a clue, he took us around, showed us his favourite places, some of them you would never see as a tourist, and told us about the history of the island as well as Townsville’s. Thank you!!!

Back from Magnetic Island we continued our journey up north. Next stop: Jourama Falls. We enjoyed nature at its best, sun bathing and swimming in rock pools below massive waterfalls. In the evening hours we listened to and looked out for water birds at the Ingham Wetlands. But birds were not the only thing we encountered… a kangaroo passed our way and hords of mosquitos attacked us… time to leave!

We spent the night at Australia’s highest single drop waterfall called Wallaman Falls. The sheer height and the setting sun behind the falls which painted the sky in a dark red were breathtaking. The next day we moved on, stopped in Mission Beach for some lazy afternoon hours and reached Paronella Park in the evening.

We spent hours exploring the park during the day as well as at night time. The falls located there are lit up by artificial light. The power for this and the entire park comes from Australia’s first hydro power plant which was built by Mr. Paronella himself a century ago. But the really exciting stuff is if you go to a dark place and turn off your flashlight… When your eyes have adjusted you will see sticks on the ground glowing greenish in the dark. It’s mushroom spores that do the trick. Take some time to replay your favourite Star Wars scenes. 😉

In the following days we drove through the Atherton Tableland. The scenic landscape is filled with waterfalls, volcanic lakes and huge trees. Taking a small dirt track off the main road we reached Granite Gorge. Big rock formations where formed here through the forces of nature. It’s a place where one of Australia’s cutest species lives, rock wallabies. They got used to humans in the area and come very close. Sometimes too close… One of them jumped into our van looking for food and I had to chase him out which wasn’t that easy.

Our next stop was Daintree and its nearby river which is home to many wild crocodiles. They are the reason why you shouldn’t go swimming anywhere around further north, not even on the beautiful beaches around Cape Tribulation. As driving further north requires a 4×4 car, Cape Trib was our last stop in Northern Queensland. We had to return the car anyway in Cairns which is located a few kilometers south of it.

After being on the road (and without proper internet) for a whole month we enjoyed having a break in Cairns. We used the time to relax a bit and edit our pictures and videos to get this blog going again. Mike, a really wonderful guy we met in Brisbane, invited us to stay at his place for a couple of days. He showed us around the city and his favourite spots in the area: falls, creeks and an Aboriginal community. His son Adrian taught us how to catch mud crabs and organized a white water kayaking tour which was big fun even though the water was pretty cold.

Last but not least we went diving at the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately the weather during our stay in Cairns was pretty bad. It rained almost every day which made the sea very rough with bad visibility underwater. Furthermore our stay on the boat wasn’t pleasant as we had bed bugs all over our cabin. These nasty little bastards kept us awake the whole night and the next day I counted more than 50 bites on my left arm alone. Me being a mosquito, spider and bug magnet, David had more luck but still got bitten a lot… Despite this, diving was great. We saw many big turtles, reef sharks and colourful fish.

And now… Maaaaaaaaaaaany pictures! 😉