On the road again, part 2

Between Townsville and Atherton, our most northerly stop, lies something I’ve wanted to see for years.

It’s called Paronella Park, a sort of fantasy romantic castle and grown up playground, built by Spanish immigrant José Paronella and his family in the 1930s. And it’s unlike anything else. For years it was abandoned and neglected, but has been slowly restored to some magnificence, and a condition safe for visitors to the buildings and the superb gardens around it.

I’ll leave you with first my photos, and then a link to a YouTube video. I’d recommend turning the sound off, the commentary is a bit treacly.

castle-turret

castle-back

fern-shadow

through-to-the-fountains

kauri-avenue

castle-front-with-fountains

helliconia

teresa-falls

shell-ginger

The promotional video for the place. Go to full screen if you can, it’s worth it.

Paronella Park is not supported in any way by the state or federal government, but by volunteers and visitor entry fees. It’s totally remarkable, and I have a pass to return any time in the next two years, because believe me, I’ll definitely be wanting to… It really is quite magical. If anyone out there gets the chance, do yourself a huge favour, and visit.

I just wish my photos did it justice.

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30 thoughts on “On the road again, part 2

  1. Anlina says:

    Looks amazing, I’ve never heard of it 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s a fabulous place. They have guides to take you round and explain everything, or you’re free to wander by yourself, which is what we did. A return visit is definitely on the cards, preferably with a quilt and a picnic basket and a bottle of something nice. If you ever get this far north, do look in.

  2. Now I want to see Paronella Park too!

  3. Disney meets the tropics! It looks really incredible, would love to visit.

  4. manicmumdays says:

    You’ve captured it beautifully!! So pleased to see it’s still so well looked after 🙂 Now I am keen to take the boys for a visit as I havent been since well before they came along.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s not cheap, but the pass gives you admittance for 2 years and a free overnight campsite so long as you show photo ID when you come back. Well worth it, I’d say.

  5. nanacathy2 says:

    It looks marvellous , just the sort of place we would love. I shall watch the video on my computer.

  6. tialys says:

    It looks lovely – your photos are great. Paronella Park – love the name – it sounds like a character in a bodice ripper novel – maybe a Jilly Cooper one 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m not sure how José would feel about that! He was a man of vision, he’d always dreamed of having a castle, and Australia gave him the opportunity. Nature tried to take the place out with floods and storms on several occasions, but it was always rebuilt/rescued.

      • tialys says:

        Yes, I noticed the amount of floods, typhoons, cyclones, hurricanes, plagues of locusts etc. it has been subjected to. Australia sounds a bit scary sometimes 😉

      • katechiconi says:

        On the other side of the scale you have the constant sunshine, friendly people, beautiful places to live, great food… All of which, believe me, totally outweigh the passing crappy stuff.

  7. Lovely entirely. If I ever make it over there…

  8. lucyannluna says:

    Looks like a great place to explore, I hope it was as tranquil as it looks

  9. rutigt says:

    Beautiful photos! The flowers and the trees and the palace!!!

  10. dayphoto says:

    Gosh that is beautiful!

    Linda

  11. Jen Gardener says:

    Wow, stunning. Strange they don’t advertise it more – I’d never heard of it. Though I was only 15 the last time I travelled up that way.

    • katechiconi says:

      You see billboards for it beside the highway once you’re past Mackay, but it’s a long way north and perhaps too far for most people to bother. I really think it should be more of a tourist route feature, it’s just amazing.

  12. Sartenada says:

    Awesome sceneries in my eyes, who lives in Finland. Happy new week!

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