Warning: Photo overload ahead!
Before I headed off on my little trip away to recharge with family I had a different little trip away. It was a lot littler though, only a day trip.
Destination: Cardwell aka Cardwell by the Sea.
The best part about this little trip away is that I got to hang out with this gorgeous, amazing, smart, funny chick. She just happens to also be my youngest sister, Sis G. (She will hate me for this photo, but she really is gorgeous, inside and out.)
After an excited greeting, it had been far too long, we headed off for a bit of sight seeing. I have been through Cardwell quite a few times, passing from Cairns to Townsville and further south, but haven't really stopped to explore the area unless you count the foreshore and a cafe for breakfast.
We decided on exploring the Cardwell Forest Drive.
Now silly us just happened to choose the hottest, most humid day of Summer to that point to explore and to climb hills. It was hot work.
First stop was the Cardwell lookout. Who knew there was a lookout? We then chose to climb up a bit higher to see the view from further around. Worst and best decision ever. Oh the stairs! It was well worth it though, it was just a bit to hot for that kind of adventuring in our view.
We got to see the breathtaking outlook over the area.
I also got a little obsessive about the grass trees along the way. Love seeing them, they are interesting subjects.
From our higher view point we had a great view of Hinchinbrook Island.
We then hit the road again after making it back down to the car park.
Next stop was a waterfall. Sis G thought going to a waterfall would be a good idea for our day and it just so happened that there was one on the little circuit, just out of town.
Again we did the uphill trek, wanting to know who had thought of this wonderful idea of climbing mountains in hunt of waterfalls. I think we are both to blame but the bantering over it was fun.
We found Attie Creek Falls where Attie Creek drops 25 meters into a deep swimming hole.
Now the information we had said there were 'excellent picnic facilities' so we had decided to change into swimmers when we got to the car park.
It turns out 'excellent picnic facilities' really means 'one random picnic table'.
Once we reached the falls we really wished we'd made the change so we could get in and cool down but instead we did the next best thing and found a shady spot to sit with feet in the water.
We just sat and chatted and relaxed for a while (which translates to photo taking, instagraming and facebooking while chatting).
The sun was hidden by clouds after a while and so we headed back down to the car park.
Then it was on to the next place, Dead Horse Creek, where we decreed that toilets or not we would get changed. Well that was until there was someone else right there. That plan was scrapped.
We decided to head to the next spot with that plan still in mind. We were hot and badly wanted a swim.
Well there were even more people around at the next place. It seems that everyone was out to cool down. So instead we had a look around and made the plan to head back to town for lunch and then come back prepared for a swim.
Doesn't this look cool! This is The Spa Pool.
The minerals in it make it look blue and when it rains, apparently the water fizzes, like a spa.
We weren't expecting the amazing blue water.
The Spa Pool looks deserted in my pics but it just so happens that people got out to go back to their BBQ not long after we got there.
We stuck to the new plan and headed back into town for a great lunch, under a fan, and then got changed in the public toilets and headed back to The Spa Pool for a dip. It was so refreshing. I might share more of that later.
It was then time for us to think about parting ways so back into town we went. If you are thinking we are crazy with all the back a forwarding, it was only a bit over 5km to The Spa Pool from the centre of town.
We found an ice cream and went for a quick walk up the pier, dragging out our time together.
But then it really was time to go. Sister time is lovely and often way too far apart. We had an awesome time together though, and we know for next time to do the swimwear part at the beginning.
I was amazed by what there was to see so close to Cardwell, it wasn't at all what I was expecting and well worth a look.