Day 44 Wednesday, 22/6/2016, Rollingstone, Steamy 29 degrees
It’s an easy 57km drive north to Ingham through pineapple and mango farms and sugar cane fields. We try to vote at the polling booth in Ingham but every grey nomad in the district is waiting their turn to be called, we decide on a coffee instead. Ingham is renowned for its Italian food and has a classic Italian deli as well as a good butcher and an exceptionally good fishmonger called Wild Local Prawns.
Wallaman Falls is 50kms behind Ingham at the top of the Great Dividing Range. We drive through cane fields and the crisscross of cane train lines. Beyond the cane fields there is bushland complete with grazing cows and their accompanying cattle egrets. The cows wander the roadsides and even sit on the bitumen, lazing cows. The last 20kms up the range is almost vertical, or is that just the ice box full of Ingham produce weighing us down.
As we enter the National Park the road climbs steeply. Halfway up there are stunning views to the farmland and as far east as the islands. Then the rainforest begins. Almost prehistoric, beech forest, umbrella trees, palms. Monsteras climb the trees and vines hang down to the roadway. Fallen trees are suspended high above the road by the thick vegetation. The falls can be heard before they are seen. 268 metres in a single drop, the highest in Australia, they plummet into the gorge with a shuddering roar. Spray billows through the gorge creating its own rainbow. Large butterflies flit through the air.
We arrive back at camp to find that a strange family have moved in next door. A rather pedantic the father takes two hours to peg down two small nylon tents. The mother does everything else. I think we’re in for some entertainment.
2021 Note: We now know that one musn’t drive through Ingham without visiting Wild Local Prawn as their daily specials are mouth wateringly delicious. And Wallaman Falls, they really should get more publicity but the whole Ingham area is underrated.