Saturday, July 26, 2014

northern exposure (part 1)

After Grandma’s party, and checking waters and deciding we really could NOT drive home again straight away, we decided to take another day off. A 9 hour drive each way with a day off in between is not the funnest holiday. So we left our bags unpacked, booked the cabin for another night (despite its three forks and FREEZINGness each morning) and headed even further north for the day.


We headed down the Rex Range – pulled up at one of the lookouts and admired the view over Mossman and the surrounding farms. Its crushing season and the mill could be easily picked out.

We went to Mossman with the purpose of visiting my mothers oldest sister and her husband. Fortuitously we were also able to kill two birds with one stone (perhaps not the most apt term to use really?!) as my mothers’ brother and his wife were also in town and called in for smoko. None of them are getting any younger and I must say I was a bit shocked to see how much some of them had aged in the couple of years since I’d seen them. But then again, I am positively middle aged myself these days….

Of course my Aunt Heather brought out the cake and the biscuits and all sorts of other lovely goodies served on the good china (she told me that she thought, bugger it, it never gets used! so uses it whenever anyone turns up for a cuppa). Kids in heaven as I saw her sneaking them each a soft drink out of the back fridge with a little chortle. It was great to see them all. I am kicking myself now, I did not take a photo of them all with the kids.

Fed up on cakes and again needing to undo top pant buttons, we drove past the mill on my uncles directions (retired engineer) and think we may have slightly trespassed however got to see the sugar trains coming in and the bins being tipped out. Angus had a running count happening of all haul out trucks we had seen on out travels and the count was pretty high.


The kids then requested a beach visit, so the closest one to town was Newell Beach which I hadn’t visited ever before. One of those quiet coastal townships, with its service to the tourist trade limited to the fish n chip shop (open 7 days!!!! but closed on Mondays. Guess what day we were there!)

We checked out the beach. Looked pretty fine as beaches go. Fine fine sand and lots of shells. Kids removed with much whining and moaning.



With the fish n chip option scratched off the list, and CLEARLY in need of more feeding, we hit the bakery and found a pie. Enjoyed in the coolness of a local park by a river that I had swum in as a child. Buggered if I know how we did it, the water was absolutely glacial. We were fascinated by local flora (black bean tree I have been told).


There may have been quite a collection of seed pods chucked in the back of the car. Probably highly illegal. We then wound our way back up the Rex Range, and pulled up at Heather’s Julatten weekender block. I’d live there in a heartbeat. Gorgeous.


As you can see, we stopped at Julatten with a purpose – to collect pine cones (for our wood heater). Added one large garbage bag to the black bean contraband in the back of the car. Checked weather reports and wished I had another garbage bag.


We also wandered down and checked out the fruit orchard, down a steep driveway that did not seem so bad going down. But going back up laden with odd bits of citrus? a TOTALLY different story!


Not such a shabby view from the front steps!

We then added citrus fruit to the increasing load of rolly around things in the back. Also collected were a couple of mystery fruit items which I consulted the collective brains trust of Instagram and Facebook about. (unripe sour sop and chocolate sapote apparently!)

The adventures of the day did not finish there! But I’ll bore you again another day with the rest….


  1. Twelve years ago we stumbled upon Julatten. We were buying bulls, as you do! We fell in love with the area immediately. It took us another two years to find the perfect property. We finally moved here in 2006 and have never looked back. It still takes my breath away and I have to pinch myself often to believe that I am really living here. BTW you would have driven right past our place. We are only a few Km from the lookout!

  2. Definitely a black bean. You were headed close to my current territory. I am thinking I need to head to the Mossman area to try and get pics of some cane trains etc as there is nothing much happening closer in to Cairns, well there wasn't a week or so ago anyway. Can't wait to see what else you've been up to.


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