|Journal for 28-Jul-2003 : Innot Hot Springs|
The day started by climbing to Bromfield swamp. This almost another crater lake, but all the rainforest has been removed to make way for cows. Lots of birds still stop at the swamp, but not that many on our visit.
8km of climbing on dirt roads after the swamp. There was a crossover to the main road, but it was ridiculously steep so we stuck with the dirt.
Went in to Mt Hypipamee to view the Dinner Falls on the upper Barron River, and "The Crater". "The Crater" is a deep hole in the ground formed as a steam vent from a massive volcanic eruption that happened not too long ago (geologically speaking). It was formed in seconds as water that had seeped through porous fractured granite to the magma of the erupting volcano, resulting in one helova bang. The park has a nice picnic area where we met a French family and a local woodland bird which sat patiently on Linda's handlebars waiting to be fed (not by us).
Another hour or so of tough climbing through jungle and then farmland had us at a place signed "Queensland's Highest Road to Queensland's Highest Town". No one can accuse us of doing things the easy way! Elevation of the highest point: 1143m. The downhill to Ravenshoe (pronounced Raven's hoe) was a fair bit of fun, but definitely cruel on cyclists heading the other way. Lots of roller coaster hills that dropped 20m then climbed 10m. We could fly down the slope and carry the next rise, which is rather fun :-).
Major pigout for lunch at Ravenshoe as we scoffed down their excellent cheap (and ripe) avocados. Went past the "Tully Falls" hotel, highest in Queensland at 916m.
More fast rising as we fell of the tablelands. Very different scenery now. No more dairy farms or rainforest, but now dry eucalypt woodlands.
Camped at the rather caravan park at Innot Hot Springs. Had to hunt around for firewood to cook the steak we bought at Ravenshoe. This is the sort of silly thing you do when you shop while hungry. We eventually got to try out the hot spring pools set up by the van park. The source spring produces water at 78C, which is rather a touch warm. The van park have set up a series of swimming pools and spa houses that use water drawn from this spring. It's like getting into a warm bath. However, before getting into the spring fed pools male bathers are required to change in the local amenities block, where (if they think they might get a bit excited by the hot water) there is the opportunity to purchase condoms. It's enough to make you think twice about sticking your head under the water.
There is a large overflow pond near the hot springs. This is the daytime home to thousands of magpie geese. At night they fly off to their favourite trees to roost. The bird's mornings return make quite a sight, with the sky filled with flock after flock of geese flopping back into their favourite water hole.
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