Miz Lizzie Adventures: Paluma and Crystal Creek Falls

Day 2 of the Miz Lizzie Inaugural Adventure.

Our first night in the van was fine 🙂 The aircon worked very well, the bunks were comfortable, we got the site we wanted and virtually no neighbours. I’ve given the kitchen a serious workout, and it’s all good.

However, on waking, we discovered a few plumbing issues had materialised. Miz Lizzie is 18 years old, things have worn and perished, and now that we have her stretching her legs, problems are appearing. Nothing we can’t fix, so far. We spent the morning in the DIY store buying hose, joiners and connectors, plumbers’ Teflon tape and other fascinating bits and pieces.

After that, it was time for FUN!  We drove north for an hour, to make a visit to the Paluma Range National Park, a trip we’ve been promising ourselves for a while. It’s a World Heritage Listed Site, and having reached the top up an 18km intensely narrow and winding road, I can tell you it’s utterly worth the occasionally terrifying drive. For quite considerable parts of the journey the road is barely wide enough for two vehicles, and in many places, only wide enough for one. The drop off the edge is immediate and vertical, and there are no wussy safety barriers, either! However, in spite of all these drawbacks, the views are stunning, the lush wet tropical rainforest is dense and vivid, and for me, the highlight of the drive was stopping at the bridge over the Little Crystal Creek Falls. I’ll let the photos explain (click on them to enlarge, it’s worth it!).

little-crystal-creek-mt-speccrystal-creek-falls-2There were at least a dozen people swimming at all levels of the falls (I’ve carefully framed the photos so you don’t see the towels, sandals and snacks!), and I’m impressed at their fortitude, as despite the heat, the water’s cold. The top of the range is at 883 metres/2,900 ft above sea level, and it freezes up there in winter, tropics or no tropics.

After that, we tootled down the road a bit further to the famous Frosty Mango, a café serving ice cream made from a wide variety of tropical fruits grown on the premises. The flavours included guava, passionfruit, mango, sapodilla, soursop, jakfruit, black sapote, custard apple, Brazilian cherry, monstera, pineapple, carambola, jaboticaba and a handful more I can’t bring to mind. Mostly, these fruits never reach the mainstream market as they ripen quickly, don’t travel well and aren’t familiar to consumers, but they do produce delicious ice cream!

And then home, for a bit of a tinker with Miz Lizzie’s waterworks, a bottle of the golden throat-charmer for the Husband and a cider for me, and a relaxing evening. Tomorrow we pack up here in Townsville and head north again for Atherton, on the Tablelands above Cairns. We have a spot reserved in one of the most beautiful campsites I’ve ever stayed at, in a rainforest glade. Can’t wait!

So, a lot to do in the morning. An early night is called for….

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35 thoughts on “Miz Lizzie Adventures: Paluma and Crystal Creek Falls

  1. jmcheney says:

    Your photos are beautiful & thank you for cropping them. I wish I had been there at the Frosty Mango. I loved the tropical fruits I encountered & cooked with while living in Florida. Can’t wait for more of your lovely trip.

  2. 2 wonderful pics. Boy oh boy does that water look good…..

  3. kathyreeves says:

    I am imagining this tropical beauty with wonderful ice cream! Sounds fabulous, and warm, which is perfect, because it snowed again!!!😊 But, as you said, it is all good!

  4. craftycreeky says:

    Looks beautiful, you’re very brave towing a caravan along those roads 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      We didn’t take the van up Paluma! There are some very alarming signs at the bottom warning against caravans, large or long vehicles. No, we left Lizzie back at the campsite, to everyone’s relief 🙂

  5. dayphoto says:

    This is so much fun for me! I’m getting to see a wee bit of your wonderful Land!

  6. anne54 says:

    You have made me want to jump in our van and head off! Our journeys are usually to arid areas, so to spend time with rainforests and waterfalls would be wonderful. Enjoy your travels ~ and keep posting more lovely photos 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Then I recommend you head north! This part of the world is richly endowed with both, not to mention outstanding views, beautiful beaches, the Great Barrier Reef and some of the most beautiful butterflies in the world…

  7. I would make the trip for fruit ice cream.:) A good shake down trip is an excellent way to find out what needs to be fixed before you go on a long trip. Good planning on your part and wonderful that you have the handyman along. 🙂 It looks just beautiful.

    • katechiconi says:

      The handyman and his handymaid… I’m the tool passer, the screw holder and the runner around the other side to grab something… So far, no major issues, the beds are comfy and I’m getting by in the most minimal kitchen I’ve cooked in for years! I can certainly recommend the sapodilla gelato (something to try saying fast after a drink or two?).

      • You make me laugh, Kate. So you are having a drink or two. Isn’t that what vacations are for? I used to be the handy-maid too. I handle real tools pretty well myself now. We learn a lot helping, don’t we? 🙂 Enjoy every minute.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’m pretty handy around the tool box myself, having been single most of my adult life. But I don’t mind playing ‘pass the wrench’… it does go faster with two.

  8. That ice-cream sounds tops!

  9. Lynda says:

    Kate, aside from the plumbing you are simply having too much fun! I can’t wait to see the next leg of the trip. 🙂

  10. rutigt says:

    I love waterfalls. They are so impressive and I wish we had more of them in Sweden. One great fall is up in the north and when I visit it I can stand for ever, just looking at the water falling down!

  11. What beautiful pictures of a beautiful site! It sounds like you are having such a good time:)! Enjoy enjoy enjoy:)!

  12. Your pictures are so vivid I can practically feel the water. The ice cream I can’t quite taste. A visit may be required!

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