What ever happened to Mission Beach?

Trip Start Mar 25, 2011
Trip End Nov 11, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Friday, April 29, 2011

The drive from Townsville to Mission Beach was nice and short, only but along the way we could see the results of Cyclone Yasi which struck this area in February 2011. There are houses totally demolished, lots with tarps covering the roofs and the rain forest all the way to Mission Beach has been devastated.... the destruction is amazing! Lots of trees at 45 degrees and the canopy of the rain forest is gone so that'll take some years to regenerate. Cardwell was really badly hit and its strange to see a row of houses with just one house destroyed, talk about bad luck. I drove through here just after Cyclone Larry and it looked like someone had gone through the rain forest with a chainsaw, this time it looks like the air force had dropped bombs in places.
Tully (called after an Irishman, of course) has been destroyed...the main street is pretty badly damaged and according to the barber - who performed the badly needed haircut - there won't be a banana crop here until August and they doubt they will have a Sugar Cane crop until next year, which means the Sugar Mill won't open and there will be lots of unemployment, which means there'll be no money spent in the town, which means the town won't be rebuilt in a hurry.
Now Tully and another town just up the road called Babinda compete to be the wettest town in Australia, both get about 4 metres (YES that is METRES!) of rain a year BUT in 1950 Tully received 7.9 metres of rain and built the "Golden Gumboot" as a reminder of a very wet year... we were here a few years ago when they were doing a calender shoot for the Rove McManus Show, we happened to be in town with Lou & Geoff and had our photos taken with the other few hundred people holding brollies...anyway the town will recover according to the barber and we all know that they hear it all and know whats going down.
We went for a wee spin to Tully Gorge, where the Tully River flows and the "kids" are into white water rafting, nice to see a river in full flow, Jenny and Deci had a go at this some time ago. On the way we passed acres of banana trees and usually they'd be full of plastic bags, put over the bananas to assit in ripening me thinks, but not a bag in site for acres and acres. Saw some rafters chraging down the river, looked like good fun. Mission Beach is one of the closest places to the Great Barrier Reef, so a great place to go scuba diving and snorkelling... its also well known for its Skydiving, just ask Aoife. Saw some crazies jumping out of a perfectly good plane and screaming all the way down, they land on the beach and it is a great sight...from the ground, says Trish...had a lovely meal at Bernies on the Beach, great value wine and beer too...and another sunrise...we had a visit from a Cassowary and her chick, a big flightless bird, lots of colour and also has a VERY big middle toe with nails that would cut ye in two boy..."Cassowaries are notoriously vicious and have attacked and killed men with their sharp, spikelike toenails"...you've been warned!!
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Mike McMonagle on

Best of luck guys! Sad and amazing stuff about the cyclones. As always, awesome photos. Please do not tell Josephine about the frog on the Golden Gumboot or she will put a bid in to buy it. Take care.
Is fearr de luck

julie g on

glad to see your having a good time.Love reading your stuff. love julie xxxxxxxxxxx

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