Miz Lizzie Adventures: up one hill and down another

We did a LOT today.

To the point where I can’t fit it all in one post without being tedious. So there will be more tomorrow, mainly the Loot. We started out driving past the Australian Armour & Artillery Museum, the Skyrail cable car and the Kuranda Scenic Railway to head up the Kuranda Range to the Tablelands. I’ve written about all 3 of those before, so if you’re interested, do a search for those posts, as otherwise this one will turn into War & Peace!

Once at the top of the range, we drove to Mareeba, location of our lunch destination and Coffee Works. Lunch first: a plateful of beefy goodness for us both in one of the nicest foodie pubs in the area.

The Gateway Hotel in Mareeba has been Done Up in a big way, but my word, it’s worth it. This is a corner of the pub garden. See what I mean? Pretty lush, isn’t it?

After lunch, it was time for Coffee Works, also in Mareeba. They bring together local and imported coffees from around the world, roast them and blend them. You can tour the works and see this in action. They also have a huge collection of antique coffee brewing implements and vessels, and the world’s best gift shop. The photo below shows one small corner of the huge barn that houses the gift and coffee shops.

We scored there, but more of that tomorrow. They also have a chocolaterie on site, and make their own dark, milk and white chocolate, flavoured with chilli, ginger, coffee, lemon myrtle, orange, lime & pepper, cranberry & pistachio, etc, etc. We scored heavily there too, but again, more tomorrow.

The debate was then whether to return home the way we’d come, via Kuranda, go down the Gillies Range or down the Mt Molloy-Mossman Range. We’ve done the Gillies Range a lot, so we opted for the Mt Molloy-Mossman Range via the Mulligan Highway. It’s incidentally the direction you’d start out on if you were planning to take your 4WD up to the Top End; north of Cooktown (another day’s drive away)Β  it’s where the roads begin to get interestingly rough and challenging!

En route to the range, we passed Quaid’s Dam (aka Lake Mitchell) beside the Mulligan Highway, an artificial lake that takes you by surprise: it’s huge, deserted, miles from everything and doesn’t really have any function, not being for irrigation, or leisure, or drinking water, despite the fact that it holds 190,000 megalitres at full capacity. I believe there was a plan at one time to build a housing development in that location, but as far as I can see, there’s nothing there to justify or support housing in that area.

The Mt Molloy-Mossman range is lovely, passing through rainforest much of the way, with a couple of outstanding lookout spots for photos. It’s interestingly wiggly and huge fun on a motorbike, to the point that on a previous trip on the motorbike we’ve turned round at the bottom so we could ride back up and then down again!

This one shows the view over Mossman to the sea; the light-coloured fields are canefields, which appear light because of the flower plumes on the tall cane.

And then from Mossman, we turned down the Rex Highway south to Cairns, passing Port Douglas and Palm Cove. We passed this sea-eagle nest on top of a power pole – how the birds are not electrocuted is beyond me, but it’s a pretty substantial nest, and it’s right beside the road.

An eagle coming in to land on that must have given a driver or two a bit of a start, wouldn’t you say?

Last stop of the day was Ellis Beach, reliably deserted and peaceful, with Double Island in the background. The sun was getting low in the sky, the sea was calm, the sky a bit patchy (the rain started later), and I got to feel the sand between my toes, always a very calming experience for me.

Home again to Miz Lizzie, cool and comfortable, for cups of tea and a bit of planning for tomorrow’s expeditions. Oh, and tomorrow I’ll show you what we bought at Coffee Works!

Till then…


41 thoughts on “Miz Lizzie Adventures: up one hill and down another

  1. Familiar names of familiar places 😊
    The best looks very interesting:)

  2. anne54 says:

    What a dilemma you must have faced in the chocolate place!

  3. I love that kind of trip. Some planning, some spontaneity. So much good stuff along the way. I wonder how they build the nest and survive up there as well. Not a wise choice in my book. Looking forward to tomorrow’s treasures.

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s the best kind, isn’t it. The planning gives some structure, but you give yourself permission to change plans and move things around according to how you feel and the weather.

  4. Stunning scenery! I love the thought of you on your motorbike turning round for a repeat ride on that downhill road πŸ™‚ Good food, good shopping and always good to get the sand between our toes! I’m hanging out for the big haul reveal…..

    • katechiconi says:

      It was fun on the uphill, too! Nothing like a good wiggly road to make motorbike riders happy, and it’s not too busy either. I wouldn’t want to do it today, when it’s raining and slick, but we’ll find other things to do to make us happy in this weather.

  5. tialys says:

    I have woken up and can almost smell that coffee!

  6. I love how it feels like we have all hitched a ride.

  7. Enjoying your adventures. Wish the pictures of food were edible! And all that chocolate….

    • katechiconi says:

      The theory is that we should make it last to the end of the holiday. In practice, however…. I think WP need to develop Smellog, the blog template for those who love food and want to smell what’s going on. Imagine if I could send you the coffee and chocolate aromas!

  8. KerryCan says:

    What a fun day–such variety, the wind in your hair, chocolate in your tum, sand between your toes! Just perfect . . .

  9. Beautiful landscape! Can’t wait to see those chocolates.

  10. Lynda says:

    You certainly did! Lovely photographs. Faves? STEAK! View over Mossman and Ellis Beach. Side note; the electric companies here have begun building platforms atop the power poles in areas where our eagles nest. Saves the electric workers a huge amount of work and protects the nestlings. Win-win. πŸ™‚

    • katechiconi says:

      I suspect it doesn’t happen often enough here to warrant doing putting something on every pole a sea eagle might fancy… They go for trees much more often, and usually not so close to a fairly busy highway.

  11. Dayphoto says:

    When Terry was a lineman they had lots of trouble with the raptors building on the poles and then being electrocuted at some point. So the company had them put up nest detractors so the fledging and the parents could stay safe.

    • katechiconi says:

      Which is very sensible, but I don’t think it happens so much here; it’s the first time I’ve seen a sea eagle nest on a pole, although the smaller raptors do sometimes use them. Mostly, though, there are enough trees to keep them interested…

  12. I tempted my husband with your steak platter and read him your posts. We know nothing about Australia, but I am sure enjoying the education I am getting. Keep up the tour, your a great guide πŸ™‚ Sharon

    • katechiconi says:

      I ought to name this series ‘Cairns and the Tablelands, by a couple of greedy guts with an eye for a view’… I’m glad you’re enjoying the trip along with us; I wish it hadn’t rained so much, for even more sensational photos, but that’s the tropics for you. We’ve been here before and seen other things and eaten other food, so if you’re interested, search under ‘Miz Lizzie Adventures’.

  13. kathyreeves says:

    Lovely views and grand gastronomic adventures!

  14. Joanne S says:

    Thank you for sharing this trip through description and images. I’m learning that I didn’t really know Australia like I thought I did. (Preconceived notions). Not an eagle, but the local electric company technician used his truck to rescue a seagull caught in electric wires after citizen outcry (poor thing was left dangling for days). Later, I understand he was let go for ‘unauthorized use of equipment’ (more citizen outcry ensued).

  15. GREAT POST and AWESOME PHOTOS! Looks like great fun! The steak made my mouth start to water. πŸ™‚

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