This past weekend we had grand plans to take the boat out for a spot of fishing and sightseeing before weekend sporting commitments steal away our Saturdays. Unfortunately, it became clear in the lead up to the weekend that the weather forecast was going to be against us.
Undeterred, we kept monitoring all week, noticed that the forecast for Lake Tinaroo was more favourable than the coast, and decided to try our luck there. While the rain wasn’t quite as heavy, it still wasn’t really conducive to a day of fishing, though we did manage to get the boat wet.
Despite the lack of fishing, we enjoyed our country drive, with a couple of stops on the way. We also made a mental note of plenty of other sight-seeing activities to check out another day.
Leaving home and heading out along the Palmerston Highway, our first stop was Millaa Millaa, mostly so that we could grab a coffee and hot chocolate. Luckily, the rain had eased by the time we arrived, and was down to a steady mist. We did discuss the fact that the rain probably meant that it would have been a great day to do the waterfall circuit, but decided against it with the boat in tow.
The first thing we noticed on exiting the car was that there was loud music, mostly country and old school ballards, emanating from somewhere. Considering the fact that the on-street parking was readily available, we were pretty confident there was no music festival in progress. We soon discovered that the local real estate agency had two huge speakers out the front directing music along the main street. We asked a lovely lady across the street at the library about it, and she informed us they do it every Saturday. Adding to the atmosphere, we presume.
Our search for hot beverages led us to the ‘Barista in the Mist’ cafe, where we not only found great coffee and hot chocolate, but some very tasty homemade sausage rolls. An eclectic fun decor, including a fantastic traveller’s trunk complete with care instructions in the top drawer, greeted us and we enjoyed a couple of quick games on chess.
Check them out here:
Giant Kauri Pine
After leaving ‘Barista in the Mist’ we continued our short walk up Main Street and happened upon segments from a giant Kauri Pine under cover behind the local museum, next to the park. Information panels near the pieces advised that it was carbon dated at 870 years old.
The specimens were trucked the present site post-Cyclone Larry in 2006, the tree having collapsed in 2003 when the root system could no longer sustain and support the tree (apparently at that time 26 metres from ground to the first branch, with a diameter of 2.7 metres).
Next stop en route to Lake Tinaroo was a short diversion to check out the Curtain Fig, which Mr and Mrs M could recall visiting a decade earlier on a Tablelands self-drive. While strangler figs are not uncommon in North Queensland, the unique formation and sheer size of the Curtain Fig make it worth the diversion.
Signs at the entrance to Lake Tinaroo promisingly proclaimed it a ‘Barra Haven’, and while we did put the boat in, the rain meant that we didn’t really have a serious attempt at fishing. We motored about and tossed in some pots hoping for a haul of redclaw, but no luck. We had fun, until the rain got a bit much, and we headed home.