Back to the 1930 s

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, June 9, 2012

With another 396kms to go until Cairns ..next stop was mission beach...at last a side road from the Bruce highway going East...and so much greener with fields and hills and trees leading to an area of sandy bays one of which was mission beach... the most noticeable thing in this area was the cassowary signs... be careful do not kill them .. do not run them over.. do not shoot them ..oh and beware they are dangerous.. although they looked harmless enough  in the zoo last week..!! .....

the area itself was quite touristy and the beaches were just ok, not great, with some parts just very rocky... we took a few pics and drove on, now crossing the bruce highway to the west, to follow the old road to mena creek and paronella park,...

Paronella park has a  very cute history.. in the 1930 s a spanish guy , mr paronella, came to australia to make his fortune, after 8 years he returned to Spain to get the love of his life and take her back to oz, but as he had not spoken or written in 8 years she had married someone else, whoops.... but luckily enough her sister was available and so he took her back to australia and built her this castle...paronella park.. it was used in the 30s and 40 s as an entertainment centre for visitors and locals to watch films and enjoy dances and sunday picnics for a fee.  I am sure it was awesome in its day but now is rather run down and shabby... and the last two typhoons,  2004 and 2010, have  destroyed most of the buildings making them unsafe to walk into sadly, but it was great to see the outside and we got free overnight parking with showers and electricity with our entrance tickets..so well worth it... what also makes this place interesting is Jose Paronella was the first person in this area to have electricity...hence the film shows etc..because he set up hydro power using the waterfall in the grounds..which at the time no one believed he could do...and so when it was all set to go for the first time, he lit up the waterfall for the whole neighbourhood to see...

oh and one other thing.. 3 weeks before we visited a crocodile had been spotted in the lake there, for the first time ever, apparently he swam upstream....up until then people had been swimming in the lake but now signs were everywhere do not swim so we didnt ..!!

an evening tour was also included in the entrance fee, so when it got dark we were shown around the park with lights and torches ending on a light show with music at the castle itself...a very good day..
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