Mission beach, Tully, Paluma Range National Park

Trip Start Sep 27, 2009
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Where I stayed
El Arish Rest stop
France Creek Rest stop
BP Truck stop

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We got woken up nice and early by the traffic at El Arish rest stop which is so close to the road the big trucks almost made the van shake. Mission beach is made up of a few different beaches so we firstly went to Bingal Bay which was completely deserted at 8 in the morning! We stayed there for a couple of hours as the beach was really nice.

We then went to the main Mission beach which was a long stretch of coast and the view over to Dunk island was pretty cool so we chilled there for a while. We couldn't swim in the sea though as the stinger net hadn't been put up yet and there had been loads of stingers washed up on the beach so there was no swimming allowed boo. We watched a load of people skydiving over the beach though was fun.

After Mission beach we went to South Mission beach which was the best of the three beaches. It was really beautiful and really quiet. We spent the rest of the afternoon there reading our books and walking up and down the beach. We had a shower at the beach and then headed back to El Arish free rest stop for the night.

The next morning we went white water rafting on the Tully River. We booked a day white water rafting with R and R which cost $160 each and we got a free DVD. The Tully River is supposedly the most famous place in Australia to do white water rafting as the river has 45 grade 4-5 rapids.
We met in Tully and drove up to the start point on the Tully River. Tully is the known as the wettest place in Australia so not surprisingly it was raining! There was 30 of us rafting  with six people in each raft. We were in a group with two really lovely English girls called Jo and Laura, an American guy called Gary and a Korean girl called Park, our rafting guide was an Aussie guy called Macca who was hilarious.

After suiting up in our life jackets and helmets we were given a paddle and Macca gave us our instructions. We then hit the river which was awesome, it was so much fun! We went through loads of rapids, loads of drops, under a waterfall, we swam down the river and jumped off a huge rock it was brilliant. It was much more hardcore than the rafting we did in Nepal as there were just so many rapids one after the other.

The Tully river was beautiful, it was surrounded by the rainforest and we saw loads of waterfalls it was really stunning. After a couple hours of rafting we had a BBQ lunch on the side of the river and then did anther few hours on the river. The group we had was really good fun, especially Macca who was a brilliant guide so we had an awesome day and loved it!

It was still raining in Tully when we got back so after a quick beer with the guys we set back on the road and headed further down the coast to spend the night. We stopped at a free rest stop just outside the Paluma Range National Park, the weather was horrendous and it just rained all night long!

The next morning it was still a little grey but thankfully the rain had stopped so we headed off to the Paluma Range National Park. The Paluma Range National Park is the most Southernly part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. We first went to Big Crystal Creek section of the National park and went to Paradise waterhole. Paradise waterhole was a beatuiful swimming hole surrounded by the rainforest. The water was crystal clear so we both jumped straight in for our morning bath! We jumped off some rocks and swam around for a while and then went to the rock slides.

The rock slides were awesome, there was one big waterfall and then a cascade of rock pools with slides it was so much fun. We both went down the slides loads until we got sore bums but it was great fun and it was beautiful around there.

We then drove 18km up a mountain to the village of Paluma 1000metres above sea level. The village is known as the village in the clouds and it was certainly like that as it was so misty. We went to one of the lookouts in the village which is meant to give you views all the way to the coast but it was so cloudy all we could see was white mist so we drove back down and stopped at Little Crystal Creek.

Little Crystal Creek was another set of waterfalls and swimming hole set under a bridge, it was really nice but we didn't swim as it was too cold and raining up there! We drove all the way back down and headed to Townsville were we spent our third night at the BP Truck stop ready to go to Magnetic Island the next morning.
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