The Bush Oasis campsite was fine despite my initial misgivings. Everything was well maintained and clean, the owners were open and friendly and there was very little noise from the highway overnight. There was still plenty to see in the areas surrounding Townsville but we decided to travel further into the tropics and since we enjoyed Mission Beach before that’s where we decided to make our next stop.
We took our time packing up because we only had about 300 kms. to drive. The area around Ingham was all used for sugarcane growing and the Sugar Mill was belching out steam. That town was our first stop and after a bit of searching we found an Italian deli and had a delicious Panini for breakfast. We sat outside in a little laneway which had excellent mosaics all along the wall. There was also a model of a horse and rider on top of one building advertising the original, “pub with no beer” made famous in a Slim Dusty song.
Between Ingham and Cardwell we went through a pass and at the top was the Hinchenbrook Lookout which gave a wonderful view over the channel and surrounding lush growth. In the distance were hills a WWW2 plane flying from Townsville to PNG was unlucky enough to meet head on.
We drove on to Cardwell, another town devastated by cyclone, Yashi in 2011, the jetty and most of the town seems to have been rebuilt. There are little stalls at many farms and we thought we should start buying fruit there instead of in the shops but then we bought a melon in Cardwell.
Between Cardwell and Mission Beach farms seemed to be growing bananas and sugarcane. Mission Beach was also hit by Yasi and it was very hard to know whether places we visited before had been demolished or simply swamped by new development.
Tonight we’ve had to put warm jackets on again, Damn!