Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tully Gorge National Park

The day dawned perfect and we decided to back track a little way and visit Tully Gorge. Most days the range is cloaked in a cloud of mist but today looked clear. The enjoyable drive was under 80 km through sugar cane and banana plantations of immense size. At the base of the range is a wide strip of forest that is still recovering from Cyclone Yasi of 2011. All the tall trees are either stripped of foliage or broken off at mid height. The scene looks like a giant brush cutter went through the forest.

The Tully River runs through the gorge and is renowned internationally for White Water Rafting. Championship Events are held here as the river flow can be modified by the release of water as required through the Hydro Power Station.

There are many entry points to the river for the Rafters along the gorge but they all exit the river at The Tully Gorge National Park Picnic and Camp Ground. The Camp Ground is quite open and capable of taking moderate sized caravans or motorhomes.

The Power Sub Station below the Hydro Generator.

First sight of the Tully River below the Power Sub Station.

This is the upper most rafting entry to the river.

Rafts are lowered from the road above via a Flying Fox apparatus to this receival table. As we were following the walking track back to the road Jude was leading the way until a large Python fell from a tree onto the path immediately in front of her. I don't know who was startled the most, Jude or the Python.

Ulysses Butterflies abound in the Wet Tropics of this area. This was the best photo I could get as they were constantly on the wing and you only see the blue as they are flying. This one was nearly 100 mm across. We also saw a Bird Wing Butterfly that was about 200 mm across.

The very quiet exit point from the Tully River at the Gorge Camp Ground.

A couple of rafts almost at the end of their experience. The exit point is about 100 m from this point.

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