Hello Family and Friends,
After leaving Cairns we decided on taking the 'Great Inland Way' a new tourist route from Cairns to Sydney. Unsure where we would stay that night we just headed out through Mareeba and Atherton. It was getting on in the afternoon with no possible place to camp when we fell on Innot Hot Springs and Caravan Park. Here we found 6 built pools all varying in temperature from cool to very hot filled from the natural springs. Rex tried them all, even the very hot against the advice of the other bathers. I think he lasted about 10 secs in the very hot before the message got through to the brain and he bailed out straight into a cooler pool alongside. His lovely English white legs were tinged a bit rosy for a while. The river that ran alongside into which the springs flowed at intervals was in places even hotter. Some people had dug holes in the gravel alongside the river which filled with water in which they soaked in a more natural environment. What surprised Rex was that a short distance downstream where the water was still warm he found fish living happily. The next day we had booked into Undara Volcanic National Park known for its lava tubes. We had a lovely campsite, unpowered which didn't worry us in the business lease section of the park. This is a commercial lease that has been specifically set up for tourists. Instead of cabins there where old railway cabins fitted out as accomodation as well as modern type tents with sleeping quarters either side and a kitchen area in the middle.
There where some good walks which covered lookouts, old telephone line from the late 1800's and a replica heritage hut but the lava tubes were only accessed by paid tour at $48.00 per person. I objected seeing it was partly the reason for a national park being located there.
We went into the National Park and walked around the crater rim of Kalkani an extinct volcano and saw where the lava tubes ran right through the national park but couldn't access them. This was our only complaint we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. Moving south fast we travelled on to Emerald. Their Botanical Gardens is a credit to them. We spent an hour exploring the different areas. I got lost in the Melalueca Maze, Rex tried an emu apple which he quickly spat out and the rainforest section was beautifully cool to walk through. We are now in Roma which is probably best known for its saleyards through which cattle are auctioned twice a week. When we went past them this afternoon there where some cattle waiting in the yards to be auctioned on Tuesday there is another auction on Thursday. Tomorrow we cross the Qld border into N.S.W our destination for the night Lightning Ridge.
Catch up again soon
Rob and Rex