I woke up early and excitedly made my way down to the Platypus Viewing Platform. It was a misty morning and I waited around a while trying to spot a platypus, ending up taking loads of cows in the mist as I couldn’t spot any platypus. Just as I was leaving I spotted a little creature skimming the surface of the water, diving a resurfacing a couple of times. I was very excited of course, though it proved quite hard trying to take a picture of it!
Our first stop after setting off was the Curtain Fig Tree, which is pretty impressive and interesting, before stopping at Malanda Falls, which wasn’t all that impressive, but it does seem to be very dry and most of the falls and showing at their best.
Of course I insisted at stopping at Tarzali for the Australian Platypus Park! We were there for the 9:30 tour and I was the only person there – Brian declined to chance to go and see platypus in the wild. I walked down to the lake with the ranger, while having a nice chat, and there we spotted quite a few Platypus! They are curious animals and when they spotted us one kept coming back up and looking at us, but it still proved hard to take pictures without spending a lot of time there. They really are incredibly interesting animals and I was just happy to have been able to see them in the wild.
Next stop was Millaa Millaa Falls, followed by Zillee Falls and Ellinjaa Falls. All of them were pretty good and on a diversion off the main road called the Waterfall Circuit.
To get to Mission Beach, our stop for the night, we drove the Palmerston Highway towards the coast and stopped at Crawford’s Lookout, where we got set upon by what I think may be horse flies, I got stung and loads of flies attached themselves to us so we got back into the car sharp-ish, not realising there was a stowaway! As we drove along, the usual sugar plantations were livened up a bit by the occasional banana plantation, but we must have seen hundreds of kilometres of sugar cane by now! The stowaway made his presence felt just short of Innesfail and Brian had to forcibly remove him before we could carry on in peace. We did a spot of shopping in Innesfail and got some bread (and of course a pie) from Brumby’s and some more shopping at Woolworths. The drive through the mountains is very pretty and scenic – and of course green!
After a bit of a kerfuffle finding Castaways Resort in Mission Beach we checked into our nicely air conditioned bedroom, and despite the check-in girl’s dire warnings of WiFI probably not working we had amazing WiFi, which made me childishly happy! We spent a bit of time in the room before venturing out again as it was HOT!! Apparently it has been unseasonably hot for a couple of days, with the heatwave set to continue for another few days – we didn’t mind too much as heat is better than being rained on or blown around! After a while and suitable cooled down we made our way to the town to go and see what the options for entertainment were!
The town itself is fairly small with not that many options for eating and drinking, though there’s a caravan park and camping areas so I assume in peak season it can get very busy. We walked back on the beach, which is a lovely looong stretch of beach, but like elsewhere we’ve been, with only a couple of areas that are safe to swim in due to stingers. The beach was actually much quieter than I expected, especially as it is school holidays, and we walked for a fair bit beyond our hotel before turning back. We headed out for dinner and drinks not too much later and had a beer at the Shrubbery Taverna and @Sealevel before some food at the Mission Beach Tavern. I had the biggest serving of veg and mash with my ribs that I’ve ever had and Brian had a steak – both were pretty good and not overly expensive, so we were well watered and fed by the end of the evening!