Monday, June 23, 2008

Mission Beach

Some food, some travel, lots of photos—I’ll try to keep the words to a minimum.

We started our holiday about 40 minutes north of Townsville at Frosty Mango. They make their own tropical fruit ice creams on site, mostly with fruit they grow there, and about half their stuff is dairy-free. I got a lime & basil cone and Andy got a dragonfruit cone.

The next stop was another few minutes up the road, Jourama Falls. Only 6 kms off the highway and then a 1.2 km walk, we got to a lookout to see water pouring down the mountainside.

Then it was back on the road through Ingham and north to Cardwell. Here we stopped off at the Rainforest & Reef Centre and went for a walk along the jetty to look at their shallow, mucky beach.

From Cardwell we just drove straight through to Mission Beach so we could check into our accommodation. Cassawong Cottages is made up of 6 private bungalows—4 family sized and 2 couple sized. We had a big spa bath, a giant bed, a kitchen, front veranda with a bbq, and a back balcony that looked straight into rainforest.

We took full advantage of the kitchen and bbq area.

For breakfast one morning we had pancakes (I pre-mixed the dry ingredients and brought them with us in a jar), with raspberry jam sauce (also pre-mixed in Townsville) and bananas cooked with orange-mango juice.

Full of breakfast we headed off further north. We went along the ‘Canecutter Road’ and saw lots of sugar cane and banana farms.

Then we arrived at our main destination for the day—Paronella Park. In the 1930s a Spanish immigrant built a castle with some serious gardens next to a gorgeous waterfall, and it’s mostly fallen apart now but it’s still really beautiful.

We continued north on the Canecutter Road and stopped at a colourful produce stall in South Johnstone, where we got a pile of avocados, and a two-headed pineapple.

Then we found ourselves in Innisfail, a small city in the north with crazy traffic—so we left pretty quickly and headed back south. We turned off the main highway to stop at Cowley Beach for some hot chips and great views.

We got back to our bungalow in the afternoon and had a snack on the balcony of olives, balsamic vinegar peanuts, crackers with avocado, and champagne.

A walk on the beach across the street from our accommodation worked our appetites back up for dinner—pasta, bbq potatoes, garlic bread, and grilled tomatoes.

We had to check out of our bungalow by 10 am, so we had all day to explore on the way home. Our first stop was Tully, just inland from Mission Beach, and a major sugar cane processing area.

We climbed up the Golden Gumboot at the centre of town. The boot is 7.9 metres tall, which represents the highest annual rainfall they received in the town, which is the wettest place in Australia.

A bit further south from Tully and back to the coast we found Hull Heads, where the Hull River comes out to the ocean.

Just outside Ingham we stopped at the top of a hill to take in the views of Hinchinbrook Island just off the coast.

Then we turned off the highway again to go out to Lucinda and see the “world’s longest offshore sugar loading facility”—a six km jetty. The jetty is so long it curves with the earth’s surface.

Our holiday ended the same way it began... at Frosty Mango. This time we shared a 5-flavour boat. Clockwise from the hot pink one there is Dragonfruit, Custard Apple, Cashew Apple, Mango, and Mamey Sapote.

Three days and two nights without any phone calls, work, or stresses was definitely what we needed.


kristy said...

Sounds like you had a great time and it looked gorgeous. I want to try some of the ice cream flavours our like lime and basil, dragonfruit and cashew apple.

I really like your idea of premixing pancake mixture before you leave. The possibilities are endless: cheesy sauce etc. I might have to do that next time I go on holiday.

Bianca said...

Love all the ice cream!!! Wish it was mine. But glad you guys made it back okay. Looks like a great trip and what a crazy pineapple!

Vegetation said...

Beautiful photos! We got off the launch at Mission beach from Dunk Island when we got married, we didn't get time to look around much though, but I remember the sugarcane and banana farms that we saw in the shuttle bus.

I'm very jealous, it looks like you both had an amazing time :) And that ice cream! YUM!

Groover said...

Wow, this brings back fond memories ... great photos.

VeggieGirl said...

Wow, such FABULOUS photographs of your trip!! Oh man, that 5-flavour boat looks beyond delicious.

the little one said...

I'm so glad you had such a fabulous time! Everything looks wonderful. The waterfalls had to be amazing.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

You're so lucky to have all those wonderful places next to your home... I hope your back with full energy!

Sanja said...

Oh, it looks like an amazing holiday. I love the colors of that ice cream boat!

Anonymous said...

What lovely eats! I am really curious about the lime and basil flavor. Sounds like such an interesting combination. Glad you were able to sneak away for a vacation!

Vegan_Noodle said...

What a wonderful weekend getaway! The ice cream sounds so delicious. I love having a kitchen when I go on vacation, cuz finding vegan pancakes is usually impossible!
And I love that you had champagne to go with your snack. Now that's a vacation!

Pink Theory said...

What a wonderful vacation. It looks like you had a nice relaxing time...I'm so jealous :-) The cold desserts look yummy. And I love that you made some of your own food on vacation. Its always nice b/c you can actually be slow about it and enjoy every second of the process unlike when at home and other life stuff gets in the way.

Alec said...

Looks like an awesome and relaxing trip. I love those pictures! I'm jealous despite my heading off to the beach for vacation next week.

Sam said...

Lime and basil ice "cream"?! I'm so jealous!! I may just have to pull out my ice cream maker and try to make that...

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

Oh my goodness! It sounds like an amazing trip. Basil lime ice cream sounds very interesting! The beaches looked fun...was it too cold to swim? I love jetties or piers or any other ocean protrusions that allow people to walk over the water-cool pic of the long jetty! Good call on pre-mixing the dry ingredients for pancakes, I'm going to have to use that idea on my next vacay!

textual bulldog said...

this looks like an awesome vacation! i especially loved the castle next to the waterfall, and the bungalow with the balcony looking into the rain forest... so beautiful!

Veggie said...

Totally freakin' amazing trip. I'm so jealous, what a beautiful place and the ice cream flavours sound just incredible.

Stephanie said...

Hi there. I wandered over from Dragonbird and have to say that your blog is making me want to move to Australia--which is dangerous, given that my partner has been there and fallen in love with it and probably really would go if I would ever seriously consider it. :)

Your ice cream photos make me insanely jealous. I think I'd collapse from shock if I came across such a beautiful, yummy-looking vegan ice cream boat at a St. Louis, MO, establishment. :)