Saturday, July 26, 2014

Northern Exposure (part 2)

alternately titled : Living on the Edge

I last left you as we departed Julatten laden with pine cones and rolly around fruit and things in the back of the car. Heading back to Mareeba and our cabin, The Husband wanted to check out this other road where OF COURSE there is always machinery and other super duper fantastic treasures to be looked at.

Very luckily (for me and kids) but there were no fantastic rusting bits of machinery to be seen but I did, quite absently, read out a sign that I saw, EMERALD CREEK FALLS. Then the blinker came on and off we went exploring.
There seemed to be a fair bit of UP in the road that were were following. We were surprised to find quite a lot of sugar cane growing in the area, which was clearly not of the same fertile soils as other areas on the tablelands (the higher and rougher it gets, the less fertile the soil).
What goes up must go down and finally we did indeed go back down again. The photo does not adequately convey the steepness of this section of road and now we understood the NO CARAVANS part of the road signage. As certainly on the way back on this same road I ended up finding a very low gear in order to get up and over. holy smokes.

Anyhow, we found the camp site. A lovely running creek could be seen and heard, but tempting us was the sign that said FALLS –1.9 kms return trip. That is 950 metres each way. PIECE OF CAKE.
Someone in the National Parks and wildlife team wants to go and get some lessons on distance as that was the longest bloody ninehundredandbloodyfiftymetres I have ever walked in my life. More like 1.9kms EACH WAY.

Still it was a nice walk despite being somewhat steep and having a bunch of torturous bloody steps half way along. All that what must go up – there was a big waterfall up there somewhere! The track followed the creek along and one could see little tracks down to favoured swimming holes along the way. Children had to be restrained. We were going to see this BLOODY WATERFALL.

We finally reached the end of the official walking track that led to a little look out where one could admire the torrent of water pouring out over the rock at the top of the mountain. The flow of that water! We would have dearly loved to climb further and see the source of that gushing flow. But we did suspect that what we thought was the top of the hill was but a crest and there was a lot more mountain up there. But geez would have like to have seen the spring that fed that torrent.

At this point my phone went flat, quite over the longest 850 metres ever as well. We turned back around and walked back down (surprisingly so much shorter on the way back, perhaps its 950 metres on the way back?!) which ended up being a much trickier prospect in unsuitable sandals than the climb up had been. We took a break and dipped out feet in THE iciest water I have ever dipped my feet in. Numbing stinging cold. Like out of the fridge cold. We refilled out water bottles from the creek.

So we then drove back up that steep and interesting road…where the “living on the edge” comes into the equation. Fuel light on orange, some questioning frowny looks to The Husband and children living in fear that they would “starve to deaf” that evening if we ran out of fuel on the way back into Mareeba. (however I did not mention that I had found that one can travel approx 35kms on orange without any exciting things happening, that is just between you and I, Ok?!). Fortunately with only 11kms to travel were able to refuel without incident.

The next morning we packed up and headed off homewards. We continued our thing with steep mountain goat walks to look at waterfalls with a visit (and last run for the kids) at Little Millstream Falls. Air was quite brisk at Ravenshoe.
(a long way down; side note it would be nice if they would remove those two trees ruining the view!)

And then we drove and drove and drove. Had lunch on the road back in the dry country and got stuck behind a hay truck from our part of the world for aaaagesss. And made it home just before dark.

Our northern exposure done for another year.


  1. Oooh I have now decided Mr Sparky and I need to go to Emerald Creek Falls. I have also never been to Millstream Falls even though they are close to Mr Sparky's family farm but that is his story as to why. I dare say I will head there one day but it will be solo. Looks like a fun adventure but even knowing how far I could make it on empty I will still be worrying the whole way.

  2. Your enthusiasm for hiking is obvious by the abundance of 'bloody's in your descriptive recount! Gee what a wonderful part of our country though, and an area I'd love to take a family holiday to. Unfortunately my husband doesn't believe in such notions.
    One day.
    Don't you always love that heart in mouth sensation that comes with the fuel light being on, generally partnered by some "told you to fuel up at the last stop" by knowledgeable spouses. Though yes, past experience tells me there are many k's left even when that light's on. I've learnt though not to be too trusting of the 'cruising range' now indicated in modern vehicles. Surprising how when you get down to only 30 k's left and you're 25 k's from town, how it can drop rapidly and you've a cruising range left of 4 km, but still 8 k to town! Fun times. Are you picking up that I hate fueling up?


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