Thursday, January 26, 2012

Holidays are over

Now that we are after-hours caretakers of a charitable home we don't have a lot of time to get away together - especially not if we want to be away for more than a couple of hours. Usually Mr Sunshine has to teach on weekdays and I have commitments to grandchildren and a Bible Study group. So while schools were on Christmas holiday break we took the opportunity to get out during the day when we could.

In early January we had a relaxing day trip to Tully with Cheetah. Tully is the rainfall capital of Australia, although there have been times when (shock, horror) they have been accused of topping up their official rain gauge in order to maintain that reputation. Obviously having the highest rainfall is a great source of community pride - even more important than maintaining your communal meteorological integrity. Things have settled down these days and it's all water under the bridge.

So proud are they of their achievements in the race to the top of the precipitation stakes that they built a giant gum boot with a spiral staircase inside. That is Mr Sunshine looking out from the top of the boot and Cheetah sitting on the foot. The sign inside the boot tells you all of the important data about Tully's rainfall.

From the top of the boot you get an excellent view of the Tully Sugar Mill. Sugar cane, banana, paw paw and pineapple farms blanket the landscape from Rollingstone to the Daintree, but sugar cane dominates. Unfortunately sugar cane is also responsible for a  dark stain on Queensland's history when Pacific Islanders were tricked into leaving their islands and  forced into virtual slavery on many farms.

An unexpected delight of the day was the colony of woven bird nests near the giant gum boot. I have since found out that they are Metallic Starlings (also called Shining Starlings). Apparently their colonies can grow so large and heavy that they bring down tree branches and as the nests lay crushed and scattered on the ground the goannas, bandicoots, rats and snakes clean up the mess of injured birds and nestlings. Note to self: this idea could be sold to the creators of Angry Birds.

On the way home we saw a sign to Murray Falls which neither of us had ever heard of so we rounded out the day by taking a 20 kilometer detour that was well worth the effort. Apart from the main falls, there is a series of rapids and pools that turbulate like a washing machine. Here I have to apologise for not having a better photo, but we were under attack while trying to enjoy the spectacular scenery. March flies the size of baby elephants bit us and tormented us until we gave up and left.

Note to self: never, ever go bush without insect repellent!


  1. Great pics of Tully. I'm glad that you were able to find little of pockets of time to get away. March flies are viscious, so understandable that you would not linger in their company.

  2. We're planning to visit Tully on our planned trip north this year. Will keep an eye out for the giant gumboot. If those march flies are the same as what we call bush flies, which ate us while we were on Fraser Island, then insect repellent doesn't work. In fact, I think they drink it! Ah, summer in Australia ..... don't you just love it?

    1. Mum-me we have found that, no matter what the makers may claim, many repellents just don't do what they are supposed to. Sand flies (biting midges) are another creature that drinks them up. Rid seems to be the most reliable repellent for the tropics. Lightweight long sleeves and long pants are the only thing for really bad areas.

  3. Lovely pictures & Tully is such a beautiful place ( actually that part of the world is just gorgeous). I have grandparents & relatives up on the Atherton tablelands so we always stopped at Tully on our drives to see them.

    Hope you have a wonderful week ~ glad you could get away

  4. Beautiful picture--Great photographer!Great blog.


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Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus


About Me

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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
I have worked as a Biology lab assistant, Pathology lab assistant, geochem lab assistant, land tenure researcher, hospital and prison chaplain, parish care coordinator and part owner of a small business. I have studied some science (no degrees) and have a theology and a chaplaincy certificate. I still love science of all types and enjoy studying theology. Science and theology belong together. At present I am a work-at-home Grannysaurus.

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