This area, Tully and Cardwell to the south and surrounding townships were right in the eye of Cyclone Yasi when it hit 6 months ago, causing extensive damage to property. Yes there is still some repair work to be done but nearly everything is open for business and it is a beautiful place to visit, and from the large number of holiday makers who were visiting here they know that it is a great place to stay. We counted 6 other Apollo motorhomes on the site one evening! The park also suffered a lot of damage during the cyclone but Don, Janene and all their team have worked hard and brought it back to a top class resort.
This area is home to the endangered Cassowary and we were very lucky to see one of these amazing birds walking through the caravan park, an imposing sight with it’s glossy black plumage, bright blue neck and red wattles.
The weather over the last few days has been perfect and the fishermen have been queueing up to get their tinnies launched and out to catch their supper, just hope Ben and the crew have success with their fishing!
After our tour of the sugar cane fields with Shane at Lucinda, we decided to join one of the daily tours of the sugar mill at Tully to see the next stage in the process. We donned hard hats and protective glasses and spent a fascinating 90 minutes walking through the mill seeing what happens to the sugar cane after it arrives from the plantations by train through to it being loaded onto lorries as raw sugar crystals at the end of the process, before being taken to the port for export.
Mourilyan Harbour is 54km north of Tully and we drove out there to have a look at the bulk sugar terminal where the sugar is stored in large sheds awaiting export. Moored next to the dock was the large cargo ship ‘Lia’, and the sugar was being transferred by a conveyor system from the storage sheds out to the ship where it was discharged into the holds ready for export. So, we had seen the whole sugar process from start to finish, perhaps the same sugar cane that Duncan had watched being cut from the harvester cab was now being loaded as sugar crystals on to the ship for export.
Tully has an average annual rainfall of 4.4m and is one of the wettest towns in Australia, but rather than hide the fact away, it proudly has a 7.9m high fibre glass gumboot on display, the height of the annual rainfall in 1950! You can climb to the top and from here you have a marvellous view over Tully Mill.
We took a picnic and had a day at Tully Gorge National Park, the heavy rainfall encourages lush tropical vegetation here, and also ensures plenty of water down the Tully River, great for the white-water rafting tours that take place down the river. Actually it was a beautiful sunny day and the butterflies we saw flying around the picnic area next to the river were amazing, we saw the bright turquoise Ulysses butterflies and well as brilliant green, yellow and black male and female Cairns Birdwing butterflies feeding off the nectar of the bottle brush plants. It was a super day and the scenery in the gorge was stunning.