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Biking to Cape Hillsborough - North QLD

Another grand day out on the bike with Barry.
This time heading south. First to Laguna Keys, a once thriving resort for the rich, with a world class golf course and apartments for private sale, but now a deserted marina
surrounded by ghost ships
including an old glass bottom boat
Once a jewel in the crown of the region, the Laguna Quays resort had become a sad, overgrown and rundown site since its last closure in early 2012.

After a quick pit stop at a nearby pub, and a pat of this lovely Rhodesian Ridge Back, Lenny
We continued on down a dirt road to Seaforth
and on to Cape Hillsborough
a national park in Queensland, Australia, 837 km northwest of Brisbane.
The park is a peninsula of volcanic origin, covered largely by rainforest; the maximum elevation is 267 m.
The cape at the tip of the peninsula was named by Lieutenant James Cook during his first voyage to the Pacific in 1770; the name is in honour of Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough who was President of the Board of Trade and Plantations from 1765 to 1765. The nearest major town is Mackay, about 40 km to the southeast.
Cape Hillsborough National Park is situated on the Whitsunday Coast, a short drive north from Mackay, and covers an area of 816ha. The park is characterised by fabulous rocky headlands and formations, formed by early volcanic behaviour.
At Cape Hillsborough National Park, rainforest nearly meets the waters of the Great Barrier Reef, providing an exceptional environment for plants and animals. Rugged, rainforest hills plunge to rocky headlands of rhyolite boulders.
Created by volcanic activity, the boulders separate white sandy beaches in this scenic and peaceful park.
The waters surrounding the National Park are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Along the coast are beautiful rocky coves, secluded sandy beaches and fantastic scenery.
There are also plenty of opportunities to see a wide range of wildlife in the National Park, including Kangaroos, Sugar Gliders, Turtles and Wallabies. Throughout much of the park you will see Brush Turkeys throughout the day. You may get to see the Eastern Grey Kangaroos, which can often be found around the picnic areas and on the beach during the afternoon and evening.
The beach is littered with signs of ghost crabs, burying themselves into the sand and creating interesting patterns
The vegetation and plantlife around the park is also diverse and can be fully experienced on one of the many wonderful coastal walks.
There are various walking trails over the headlands and throughout the National Park giving plenty of opportunity to see the various nature and animals.
A great walk is out to Wedge Island. You can reach it from the Andrews Point walking trail, however, you can only do this at the fall of low tide.
There is also a pleasant walking trail along the Mangrove Boardwalk which is 1.2km, and starts about 500 metres inland from the picnic area.

As we got back to the bike, I noticed there were several beautiful Blue Tiger Butterflies on the ground, obviously in their last stage of life

Heading back home, we couldn't resist a look around a local pottery shed
there was everything you've ever wanted, made of pottery! and it reminded me of the manufacturing places I've seen in China

we stopped for a beer at The Leap a pub with a story
"As legend has it, in 1867 settlers decided they’d had enough of local Aborigines spearing their cattle for food. One raid in particular caused so much consternation among the farmers that matters came to a head and police got involved.” Of course in those days the Queensland police had not yet developed the outstanding reputation for fairness and even-handedness in their dealings with Aboriginal people that they enjoy today.
“The troopers tracked the natives to the top of the mountain that looms where the hotel stands today,” says the history. “From high up near the clouds, a tribeswoman named Kowaha reportedly hurled herself from the sheer cliff face, rather than surrender to authorities. With her baby in her embrace, she leapt from Mt Mandarana and fell to her death far, far below.
“Incredible as it may seem, the baby girl survived her and was taken into care by the wife of a trooper. The Leap Baby, as she came to be known, remained in the district until her death in 1928.
“Since that fateful day of confrontation the area has become known simply as ‘The Leap’, a place where visitors come to learn of and ponder about the mysteries surrounding events in Mackay’s heart-rending past.”

And sip on a coldie while they’re doing it, which is a very civilized way to ponder the mysteries of any where's heart-rending past when you think about it. The pub is popular with local Harley riders and appeared to have six beers on tap, which is excellent. Service was good and the beer fresh and cold.


Last town on the way home was Proserpine,
a town that thrives on sugar cane production
and fires were burning signalling the end of the harvest for that particular paddock

Walking along the beach front at Airlie in the evening,
after an overdose of tiger Prawns
there's the most haunting cries of the Curlew (worth looking up on youtube!), and movements in the dark suggest you're being surrounded!
perfectly harmless, and more afraid of me than them, but I couldn't help but feel I was being watched
by statue like figures

Posted by charlystyles 13:43 Archived in Australia Tagged cape_hillsborough laguna_quays Comments (0)