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.
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.