After leaving Sarina our plans changed for the better. Becoming tired of the road and packing up each day since leaving Kenilworth, we decided to stay two nights in Finch Hatton, where Murray spent the first four years of his life. His dad, Fred, was the local school principal. Not a big town by any means but it has a lot of character.
Getting the washing up to date again was a must. We are really good at hand washing anything now. The rain had subsided here after fives weeks of it, so my washing was going to dry okay. There is so much to see and do around this area known as Pioneer Valley. Little towns pop out everywhere.
After a walk up and down the local main area of Finch Hatton, checking out the main drag, the school and schoolhouse where Murray used to live fifty or so years ago, we returned to the park for a walk around our surrounds, a fire, drink, dinner and an early night. We decided to check out the national park and surrounds the next day, Sunday.
Heading up some windy roads into the mountains we arrived at a town called Eungulla (pronounced Yungala), 680m above sea level which overlooked the Pioneer Valley. The view was breathtaking from the lookout.
On recommendation from our caretaker, Ron at the caravan park we called into some gardens at the Hideaway Cafe which were given a raving review from Ron. Upon walking in to pay our five dollars each to walk in these “picturesque” gardens, we were greeted by the owner and maker of them, who obviously believed she was Olivia Newton-John in “Grease” with tight leather pants on and a face of botched up plastic surgery that would scare anyone to death, and nearly did when we saw her. Walking into her gardens was like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, almost as false as her face and we instantly had a laugh. A couple of photos later we hurried to the car and burst out laughing. We had been well and truly ripped off but had the best laugh of the week. “Hideaway Cafe” not somewhere we would recommend visiting, it should remain hidden. When forgot to take her photo, too scared.
This kept us amused for a few kilometres as we drove out to take a look at Eungella Dam. There were plenty of people camping out there and fishing. It was a very pretty spot.
Back down the windy road into Finch Hatton we headed out to the Finch Hatton Gorge. It was a nice drive through some very lovely water crossings and into the rainforest. The walk into the gorge took a few hours so we took the shorter walk, due to the time of day, an hour to the Araluen Cascades. Up and down through some gorgeous rainforest. Wow, was it a beautiful spot, well worth the walk and almost twisting my ankle. Ouch.
Returning to our little piece of paradise in the caravan park we felt satisfied, happy to have had a day off and ready to move onto Townsville tomorrow, Monday, where we will catch up with Murray’s brother, John and his family.