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Ellis Beach - 3 days

Cairns (Ellis Beach) - Monday 8th August 1977

We left pretty early after we had breakfast. I was on breakfast duty and we cooked eggs, tomato and onions. Sue and I travelled in the Studebaker. We drove past cane fields and rice paddies on our way to Townsville. The rice paddies seemed a bit out of place up here. In Townsville we stopped to refuel and we rolled the tarpaulin on the truck back. This way we could get brown as we were driving along. We drove on and passed through Ingham and stopped at Cardwell for lunch. Cardwell is really a pretty place. We walked out on the jetty and saw this cormorant in the water. From here north to Cairns it was really pretty scenery. We passed over hundreds of little creeks and rivers and lots of sugar cane fields. We passed through Tully and Innisfail. Around Innisfail we saw this absolutely divine scenery. There was Queensland's highest mountain, Mt. Bartle Frere, behind all this rolling hills and mountains and cane fields. Everything is so green and beautiful. We then drove through Cairns and up to Ellis Beach which is about 16 km north of Cairns. We are staying in a caravan park in a really pretty place. It is right on the beach with palm trees all along the beach. We could even have a hot shower tonight which was a real luxury. Ellis Beach consists of a caravan park, motel, restaurant and kiosk all in one. Behind it is this mountain. For dinner tonight we had a treat, Kentucky fried chicken which was beautiful. We then all sat on the beach and did a bit of fishing. I also rang Mum and Dad up at the kiosk. Also this night, there was someone prowling around our test, who wasn’t from our camp.

Cairns (Ellis Beach) - Tuesday 9th August 1977

Today we got up pretty early. We drove to the wharf at Cairns and went on board the Bali Hai, the 45 ft. launch. We sat out the front of the boat for awhile, but it became too rough, so we had to go and sit down the back. Some people started being sick right at the beginning and continued till the end. Altogether there were 37 guts thrown over the side. Willy won the award - 10 altogether.

We went to Michaelmas Cay, after a morning tea of tea and bikkies. We went into shore by outboard and some swam. It’s only very small, being all sand and no trees, only a bird colony. There were hundreds of sooty terms and the place was covered with their eggs. We went walking around it and found lots of nice shells. We also saw lots of big clams and a blue starfish. We went snorkelling around the reef, though Sue and I were too scared to swim over the reef itself. There were lots of coral, sponges, sea anemones etc. and colourful fish. We then went back to the boat and moved further out to sea and anchored to fish. There were about 10 fish caught - Joe caught 3 (coral cod, Moses perch, yellow tail) and Stick caught 1. Millsey caught a little grey nurse shark. When it was cut open, we found 4 baby sharks.

On the way home it was very rough and three-quarters of the people were throwing up. Sue and I were very proud of ourselves as we were not sick. We went back to camp in Stan’s car. We had nice hot showers and then went to bed. Tonight a prowler came around our tents.

Cairns (Ellis Beach) - Wednesday 10th August 1977

Today we had a free day. We were supposed to have gone on to Cooktown, but everyone was sick of driving. After writing letters, I went for a walk along the beach, past the groin. On the way to the kiosk, we found a waterfall. We walked up it a bit and decided to buy some lunch and eat it there. After staying there a couple of hours we went back to the truck and had some more lunch. Stan, Sue, Stick, Johnno, Mrs. Usher etc. went to Hartley Creeks Crocodile Farm. We saw "Charlie", the largest crocodile held in captivity in Australia. It was really fat and slow and ugly. We then saw other crocs, deer, wallabies, lizards, snakes, a 3 legged cow, scissor jawed crocodile, birds and cassowaries. The guide threw apples into them and they swallow them whole. It looked really revolting. Outside of the zoo, we were touching sensitive plants, as they close up when you touch them. We were all sitting on the ground, looking like fools, touching these plants. We then tried to climb some of the palm trees - Bruce climbed the highest. We got back and went for a swim. Someone had got a whole lot of coconuts and we ate some. Tonight the prowler came around again and some guys tried to catch him, but were unsuccessful. Then Sue and I had to sleep in Cronk’s truck.

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Australia

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