Port Douglas To Airlie Beach

We spent most of today in the car.  Which sounds grim but for the most part, the scenery was interesting so time passed faster than a similar distance in England would have.

We bade farewell to our lovely friends early this morning and set off.  We  mainly drove along the ‘Bruce Highway’ which is aka Highway 1.  It is however nothing like a trip along the M1, as you can see.

Port Douglas to Cairns

This has to be one of my favourite drives I have done.  It takes about an hour and is beautiful.  A lot of the time you are next to the beach.  This is a single lane highway which was originally cut at the end of the Nineteenth Century by very manual labour.  The rainforest covered rock ran in to the sea so this was not a simple task.leaving PD 1 This was taken from a lookout point so I was out of the car but most of the shots that follow are taken from a moving car so excuse the wobblyness of them.lookout road next to beach road from PD 6

road from PD 2 road from PD road trip 4 Kangaroo sign palm trees to Cairns The road from Port Douglas to Cairns is called the Captain Cook Highway and it then becomes the Bruce Highway.road hazard sign We had such interesting and happy times in the Atherton Tablelands. I would love to come back one day.Cairns signThe huge Captain Cook statue at a shopping area in Cairns.  Many places are named after Captain Cook as he first landed in Australia in North Queensland at a place now called ‘Cooktown’ 🙂

large Captain CookCairns to Innisfail

Heading South of Cairns we are happy to see the sign declaring all roads are open.  I would expect them to be at this time of year but during the wet season they may be closed.

road open signs Rainforest meets sugar cane fields.sugar cane mountains sugar cane and mountains During most of our journey today, the little train track used by the sugar cane trains ran beside the highway and sometimes across it.sugar cane train track sign The sign that is hard to read says ‘Harvey Creek’.Harvey Creek South of Cairns before Babinda BabindaWhen the sugar cane is cut, the fields are ploughed and replanted.  I love the dark red colour of the soil in Australia – due to the high iron content.

deep red soil The sugar cane train tracks have their own bridge here.train bridge The bananas all seem to have bags round the growing bananas.  Considering how enormous these plantations are, that can not have been a quick task!banana plantation Innisfail sign

Innisfail to Mission Beach

long way to Townsville Sugar cane growing on both sides of the road.sugar cane fields We mainly listened to “Triple J” on the radio.Radio road trip 3 One of many creeks we crossed.creek A truck full of just harvested sugar cane.sugar cane truckThose of you with a good knowledge of the road from Cairns to Townsville may wonder why we went via Mission Beach which is a detour that added about 40km to our journey.  Well, we nearly stayed at Mission Beach instead of Port Douglas so we wanted to look at it to confirm we had made the correct decision.

This is Cassowary country.cassowary sign going to Mission Beach cassowaries sign Clump Point Mission Beach 2 Mission Beach is absolutely beautiful.Mission Beach (More) miles of soft sand and in the distance some islands, one of which is Dunk Island.  It was lovely and we would have enjoyed it here but not as much as Port Douglas as it is too small and quiet and not near enough lots of varied types of activities.

We had a short walk along the beach to stretch our legs and then hopped back in the car as we still have a very long way to go.

on Mission Beach Mission Beach to Townsville

The next town was Tully.Tully MB sign The vegetation is very green around here.bush near Mission BeachYou regularly see these markers along the highway.  They are used in the wet season so you can see how high the flood waters are !
depth marker beside beach What may look like banners across the road in the next picture are actually walkways across the highway for all the arboreal animals who live in the forests here such as Tree Kangaroos and Koalas.  So many were being killed, these arial walkways have been created to help them over the road.  I hope it works.arboreal walkways road trip 1 More sugar cane.  Hundreds of miles of it.Sugar cane growing If you look carefully on the right hand side of this photo, just below the sky line, you can see one of the sugar cane trains – they are incredibly long.  The cane is transported by train to the mills.  sugar cane train Another bridge for the cane train.bridge by road Townsville – phew!  We have driven a long way and still have 300 km to go.sign to Townsville


Townsville to Airlie Beach

I had read that Townsville marks the change from Wet Tropics to Dry Tropics.  The landscape certainly changed, almost immediately.  It was amazing.  The lush green of the rainforest clad hills have been replaced by patchy barren looking scrub.scrub We are heading South of Bowen.Ayr and Bowen sign As well as agriculture (mainly sugar cane, bananas, mangoes and cattle) there is quite a lot of Primary industry in this part of Queensland.  Shortly before this there was a Copper Refinery.Zinc refinery Another sugar cane train.sugar cane train 1 The bush here is predominantly Eucalyptus with very little ground cover.  It seems so barren here compared to FNQ.Eucalyptus bush The journey we estimated taking 9 hours took closer to 11 due to endless road works where the single lane highway has one side closed for highway repair.  It was very frustrating.Bruce Highway road works sign We made it to Ayr.  Getting closer.Ayr This bridge was fun.metal bridge This was some of the view from it.view from bridge A sugar mill!  The air was filled with the scent of molasses.  You see signs asking you to be careful as “sugar cane hauling” is in progress.  We have seen the sugar cane growing in the fields, seen it being cut and shipped in trucks and trains and now we have passed one of the mills.sugar mill We had to wait for this train pulling 24 wagons to pass.  We think that was molasses as similar looking wagons actually said ‘molasses’ on them.  That is an incredible weight to pull along.24 Molasses trucks

The rest of the trip was mainly completed in darkness.  We have now arrived in Airlie Beach and are looking forward to tomorrow, which will not involve much time in the car.

About Lose Weight and Gain Health

Hi! My name is Zoe and I live in Hastings, East Sussex, with my son Harvey and dog, Milton. I have been fighting the fat for years but this time I am serious. I want to lose weight and gain health. This blog is about how I am changing my lifestyle so I can lose weight but not by just "being on a diet" but by making small changes to our lives so that as I lose weight, I gain health. I want my family to be healthy too and never have to struggle with their weight like I have. In common with many large people, I have gained and lost weight many times over the years. This time, I want to lose it and maintain a healthy low weight. I am interested in eating food that is nutrient dense and delicious and that appeals to children and adults. I do not eat animal products so follow a vegan diet. I try to use locally produced food supplemented with what I can grow myself. I support and try to use local farmers markets and farm shops. Another objective is to add more exercise to our days. It sounds so simple when I write it down :-)
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2 Responses to Port Douglas To Airlie Beach

  1. Abi Ellson says:

    Wow, that is a long way to travel in 1 day! Are you going to visit Keven? If you do give him my love & a hug xx

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