After 10 days on Magnetic Island we said a sad farewell and caught the ferry back to Townsville where we picked up hire cars and started the drive north. We drove through Ingham and made stops in Halifax and Lucinda where crocodile warning signs kept us out of the water. We drove past sugar cane fields and saw fields of banana trees that had been shredded by cyclone Larry some months before and many homes we drove past still had parts of their rooves missing.
I grew up in Sydney and the climate and landscape there are very different to that of Northern Queensland. The mix of rainforest, green hills and beaches all in close vacinity of each other was beautiful. It seemed like old times to me - being on an a backpack adventure but with the family this time. We didn´t book any accomodation in advance so it was a challenge to find accomodation at our first overnight stop Mission Beach.
The next morning, after an amazing "trucker´s breakfast" at a café next door to our hotel we continued north and made a stop at the lovely Josephine Falls and then backtracked a few km and drove through Wooroonooran National Park, along the Atherton Tablelands and on to Lake Eacham. After a short petrol stop in Gordonvale we continued on to Palm Grove where the accomodation prices forced us back in the direction of Cairns. We found affordable appartments at Trinity Beach where we made ourselves at home for the next 3 days. It was a great base for heading off to the rainforest and The Great Barrier Reef - more on the reef next time.