Dundee Park and Kirrama Range

We arrived in Dundee Park, El Arish (named by Australian soldiers who served in North Africa and received this land plot to settle). Staying here with long time not seen friends: Thomas and Lina Baur bought the former crocodile farm and converted it into an Ecotourism Education Centre. It is a wonderful estate, but huge amounts of work for the two of them. Labour is expensive in Australia, and trade unions make it an entrepreneurial nightmare for small businesses. So some need to work much harder. Feibai had her “re-education” with shovel and pick on the construction site of the large butterfly house. She could have modeled for one of Mao’s Communist propaganda posters. The butterfly house will be really wonderful. I can already imagine it full with tropical butterflies. Thomas took us in his 4x4 up to the Kirrama Range (download track here). It is amazing how quickly vegetation changes in different belts from the tropics to savanna land. Up on the table lands, if imagine different trees, you could think you are in East Africa. On the way there are amazing waterfalls. And nobody makes it there. It only costs you the effort to go there. The Herbert river flooded the track in the end. After a quick inspection (crocodile country!) of depth and the strong current we returned and did not make a full 400 km loop. Tropical Cyclone “Nathan” (a Hurricane or Typhoon, however you may call it), after making strange turns in the Coral Sea for more than a week now, is now heading back for North Queensland and has built up its strength to a Category 3. It is forecasted to hit land at Cooktown, North of Cairns, on Friday. But who knows? We should fly out Cairns on Monday via Sydney to Christ Church, New Zealand. It is a bit tricky to plan the travel, as the coastal road to Cairns might get flooded, and the mountain routes might get blocked by falling trees. We are traveling light and without a decent chain saw, which limits this choice. Just hoping Dundee Park will not flood and that Nathan is wise enough to make another turn back to the Corals Sea. But this seems unlikely. So let’s wait and see, as the forecast is getting more and more accurate by the hours now.

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 "Table Lands" travel height log

"Table Lands" travel height log