After leaving Townsville we drove further north (about an hour’s drive) to a place called Mutarnee and set up camp at Crystal Creek Caravan Park (23/8/2017). We had lunch and then Andrew got out his drone and had a practice run at the park.
Friends of my family (Uncle Bill and June) sent me some links in regards to seeing a platypus in the wild. After looking into this place called Hidden Valley Cabins I found they had platypus tours. The tour started around 4.45 pm and went for about 1.5 – 2 hours!!! At $30.00 for each of us plus $15.00 for Mitchell, I hoped we got to see at least one platypus!!!
On the way there, we stopped at the Frosty Mango, yep its the Big Mango!! LOL for some mango ice cream. Yum!! This little cafe/information tourist bureau make their all their own fruit sorbets, gelatos and ice-creams on site. We had a walk out the back and saw all the different fruit trees.
It was about an hour and half drive inland through Paluma National Park, well, I had no idea what the road would be like going in. OMG, we had about 30 kms of windy road, there was barely room for 2 cars, you certainly didn’t want to look over the edge. Yes, this place was “hidden” alright!! We drove up the mountain and then back down again. After the windy road, we then had about 20 kms of dirt road!!! And the scary thing was we had to drive this way back at night!!!!
Once we arrived, we couldn’t believe all these cute little cabins tucked away in the middle of nowhere. What a wonderful retreat!!
There were 5 of us on the tour. We hopped into a little bus and drove out to the river. We didn’t see anything for the first half an hour. Mitchell did very well remaining quiet!!! We kept moving along the river bank and then finally we started to see a few. We couldn’t take any photos or use any flash as that could startle them so I tried to take some videos. Most of the platypus were across the other side of the river and you had to be quick but we did manage to see them so that was great!! Just wish they were a little closer to our side of the riverbank so we could get a better look! I only got one video of a platypus!!
We arrived back at the cabins around 6.30 pm and then we had the nervous drive home. Well, I was nervous!! Andrew was OK! (In hindsight maybe we should have stayed the night and drove home in the morning).
It was just complete pitch black, we travelled along the dirt road and then we hit the windy part. OMG, then the fog started coming in. You couldn’t see anything when the fog came in and then it would clear for a while and then it would come back in and then clear. I should have videoed some of the drive but I was a bit scared and then I started to feel car sick from the windy road, even Mitchell said he was feeling sick in the stomach!! Andrew also ran over a couple of snakes. We made it back to the caravan park about 7.45 pm. Phew, well done to Andrew on his skillful driving. Then Andrew gets his flashlight out and checked under the car to make sure no snakes got caught up!!! Yikes, glad there wasn’t any!!!!!
We left Mutarnee in the morning and we drove to Kurrimine Beach Campground. This was just an overnight stopover. It was a very small campground but it was right on the beach!!! Great little spot!! It was beautiful walking along the beach and then Andrew got out the drone and had another practice run taking some photos over the beach. Early night and then up in the morning to Port Douglas.