Sunday, September 6, 2015
Arrived in Dimbulah on Saturday the 5th after a stop over in the gravel pit at the junction of the Kennedy Hwy. and the Gulf Dev. Road opposite the Forty Mile Scrub. On Friday the trip from Ravenswood to this stop over was a total of 430km and there are a couple of sections where the bitumen is only one lane wide. I didn't have the pleasure of passing any road trains (it is road train designated), but there were a few caravans going south. I stopped at Fletcher Creek for a bite to eat and to stretch the legs, but after hearing that it was such a busy place there couldn't have been more than a dozen vans there.
There were four of us staying the night in the gravel pit and the Gulf Road branches to the right after the road signs. There are toilets across the road but no showers or drinkable water and even though it is on the side of the highway it is not noisy.
On Saturday I traveled 244km through Ravenshoe, Herberton (where I stopped for two hours to speak with a cousin), Atherton and Mareeba to Dimbulah. In Dimbulah I booked into the Caravan Park for one week which is costing me $84 for one person in a powered site. The facilities are clean and tidy and a quiet place to stay and about half full.
The difference in the scenery between the first 400km out of Charters Towers (which is very, very dry) and the lush green of the Atherton Tablelands is unbelievable. It has been fifty years since I last visited Atherton and the tiny town has grown up, ie. it has all the things you would expect to find in the big city plus a wind farm just out of town.
I had never been to Dimbulah before but knew that back when I was a teen in Cairns fifty years ago that the area was all tobacco, so it was quite a surprise to see sugar cane and mangoes growing everywhere thanks to the Tinaroo Dam irrigation project.