What a delightful experience being with these rare little indigenous Mareeba rock wallabies. The Granite Gorge Nature park is home to this mob and they are free to go where they please.
Whatever you do please do not feed them human food the kiosk at reception offers the visitor bags of food costing $1 so you can hand feed them,watch out though because they can hop up to another wallaby and bump them out of the way quite physically to get fed...because they hop straight toward you at an alarming speed they may give you a bit of a scare. Sit down on a rock or log and they will come to you,remember these creatures are wild and this is not a zoo.
As you go on the walks throughout the boulders you will see them sleeping in the shade under the rock ledges or under the native trees.
Please make sure you wear strong walking shoes as the boulders can be slippery due to the dry sand in the area. A hat and water is also suggested even though the walks are not long they can be quite tiring. This is not suitable for Wheelchairs or prams...there is an area near the reception/kiosk where people with disabilities or for those who may not like walking over the boulders can feed the wallabies too.
This area also has large cages that house birds and other wildlife.
So if you are in Far North QLD and want an up close and personal experience with wildlife then this is the place.
Don't forget your camera.
If you want to see something unique then I suggest you take a trip to Granite Gorge Nature Park 12 klm west of Mareeba, Far North Queensland.
What a gem to find on the Cairns Tablelands and you will honestly be transported into a magical landscape and a world apart from anywhere else I have visited in this area.
The shape of the huge boulders need to be seen to be believed and your imagination will come up with all kinds of names for them,though some of them are self explanatory like 'Whale rock' and 'Split rock'.
When you stand on some of these boulders they stretch out as far as you can see and the vista across the Mareeba valley is stunning. Of course you must be careful rock hopping as they can be slippery due to the sand rather than being wet as Mareeba is usually dry all year round.
This Park offers 3 different walks approx 1klm each but remember these walks are not flat so you need to be fit to get up and down them. The volcanic terrain has creek beds and native trees throughout and Granite Creek and the weir offers lots of safe swimming spots which are crocodile free.The wildlife is incredible.
The last 5klm is a dirt road but is suitable for caravans and conventional cars.
There is a small entry fee $7.50 per person.
Because there is so much to share about this incredible place I need to break my reviews into segments so please take a look at my following pages which will include camping and cabin facilities etc.
Please note..the boulder treks are unsuitable for wheelchairs/prams but there are good areas around the park entrance where the wild animals often come.
If you want to keep fit then park your car at one end of the main street in Mareeba and walk the full length and back.This is a real workout because it is a very very long street that goes from one end of the town to the other end.
I must admit it would be a bit tougher to walk in the summer time.
Mareeba,not only is it the gateway to Cape York Peninsular it is a diverse area to explore the Queensland outback.The Mareeba Heritage Museum and information centre is a great place to find out what is on and how the early pioneers lived.The exhibitions are interactive and is one of the best country museums I have been to.You will be surprised at the history of Mareeba from the first train ambulance, tobacco fields etc but what really interested me was the early white settlers on Aboriginal lands.
Some of the displays had digeridoos but I have been told (from indigenous people) that digeridoos are from the Northern Territory not Queensland,so some of this particular history is not accurate.
If you really want to see a great museum I recommend this one. Have fun with the interactive statues,they will talk to you when you go near them.
It is a free museum although they do have a donation box if you choose to donate.Reading the visitors book is interesting too.
Wow!!!!I reckon this place is very special indeed.
If you are interested in CD's and also DVD's I recommend to stop off in Mareeba just to go and visit Colly Dolly.
She has a rare collection of Indigenous & Australian Artists singing country and also Reggae & world music.If she hasn't got the one you want in stock she will get it for you,no probs.
If you want to get a fair dinkum feel for the Australian outback then I suggest listen to some of the country songs from these aussie country singers.
The shop is such a treasure trove and you will get a warm aussie welcome.
I could have stayed for longer ---- great atmosphere.
Sorry I haven't got a pic but I will get one next time I visit Mareeba.
Fantastic, in a word.
I visited on July 16th 2005.
Cost us AU$20 for a days pass. It does last two days so you can buy passes for both, camping is included in the price, they have shower blocks. It is cheaper if you come after 4pm.
There's beer tents, lots of food stalls, I had curry and rice for AU$5, I bought a t-shirt, kids one for AU$7. There's plenty of soft drinks too.
You can wander around the edges of the arena, go and look at the guys getting ready. There's barrel racing, bare back riding, bucking broncos, kids competitions, ladies competitions, car racing and a parade at the end of the day.
This year (2007) it's on 14-15 July.
We wanted to get out of the rodeo for a bit so headed into the sleepy town and saw signs for a coffee plantation, this was lovely, they had a huge range of coffee they would grind for you, a mini coffee museum about the history of coffee in Australia and in general.
A lovely cafe serving fantastic hot and cold coffees and snacks.