Reef Lodge Backpackers Townsville

Sunday 7 February 2016

Last of the "Wild Fronteer" Chillago a real outback Australian experience. Only 215 klms west of Cairns.

Once Chillagoe was a thriving mining town but is now reduced to a zinc mine and  marble a quarry.  Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park is just outside of Chillagoe and it is thought to be between 600 to 1000 limestone caves in the area.
Marble outcrop Chillagoe
One of the residence of the caves

Hello Mr. Frill Neck.
Marble quarry Chillagoe

Up until 1943 the smelter had operated for 40+ years and 1025 million tons or or had passed through the plant. During this time some 5 tons of gold, 181 tons of silver, 181 tons of lead and 60,000 tons of copper had been pulled out of the region.

Chillagoe smelter

During this flourishing period the mines, smelter and railway employed some 1000 people with the   Mining Company and Chillagoe Railway were equipped with the most up-to-date machinery of its time.

A relic from the past an abandoned Ore-cart

In 1950 the state owned smelter was sold off with the the equipment and buildings being auctioned off.

Locomotive no. 3 of the Chillagoe Railway was the first engine on the Etheridge line.

Chillago is also remembered for the royal commission of 1922. When two state politicians who had 25% stakes each in the mine and it was sold to the Queensland state government at grossly inflated prices. This was to be known as "The Mungana Affair.

Town of Chillagoe

Today Cillago is still home to approximately 200+ people and is more well know these days for the lime stone caverns and 600+ caves in the Chillagoe Mungana National park. One interesting fact was it has been stated by Professor Ian Plimer that the region boasts the worlds most geologically diverse region in the world.

Beautiful Limestone creations.

Departs Cairns at 6.30am every Wednesday is a classic 1960’s Rail-motor Savannahlander

Chillagoe Savannahlander
Thank you to "Chillagoe Cabins" for allowing permission to use some of their images in this Blog. For more information on Chillgoe and what to do go to

Might be worth a look. For more about the caves got to:

Wednesday 3 February 2016

"Jesus" is not there but you will see the "12 Apostles" on "Great Ocean Road"

Bay of Islands

One of the most spectacular places to see, the most amazing coastline in the world would have to be the "The Great Ocean Road!" Situated in Victoria on Australia's southeastern coast. From the surfing town of Torquay to Warrembool. With attractions such as the "Loch Ard Gorge" "The Arch" "London Bridge" and not to forget the magnificent "Twelve Apostles" With the fantastically sculpted coast and cliffs that make up the shore line from millions of years of wind, rain and waves, this is a must if you are visiting the southern reaches of Australia.

Undoubtedly the most spectacular way to see these in all their glory would have to be by air, as can be seen in some of the pictures shared by Apollo Bay Aviation.

Other points of interest include the resort town of Lorne as well Otway National park for lovers of hiking trails beautiful rain forests stunning eucalyptus forest as well waterfalls.

Apollo Bay Local

Apollo bay


Flight Time: approx 10 Minutes
Cost: $80.00 per person (minimum two passengers)

Twelve Apostles and Bay of Islands

The "Twelve Apostles" by Apollo Bay Aviation.


Flight Time: approx. 70 Minutes
Cost: $595.00 per person (minimum two passengers)

If you are interested in taking a trip to the "Great Ocean Road" check out these guys and budget for at least the $80-00 flight.

Monday 1 February 2016

Just a little taste of Broome and why you should visit W.A. on your Australian adventure.

Broome is a booming tourist town in the southern Kimberley region of Western Australia. With its endless white sands and beautiful turquoise ocean along Cable Beach, which was named after  laying the Java- to-Australia telegraph. Cablw beach now boasts Camel rides as one of its major attractions. The beach is also home to Australia’s most famous nudist beach.

Cable Beach Broome W.A.

Broome was once the pearl capital of the world and its pearling industry was started in the 1880’s using “Black birded slaves. In the beginning these were generally Aboriginal and islanders with the preference for pregnant females, as it was thought they had better lung capacity and could stay down longer. 

If your into Pearls then Broome will not disappoint.

After the abolition of slavery many Asian and Islanders were paid to dive the oyster beds and the advent of diving suits was bought in. Many people lost their lives diving on the oyster beds and as an indication, the Japanese cemetery is the final resting place for well over 900 Japanese divers.

Early Pearl Divers in Broome

Today Broome is home to approximately 14000+ people and has Australia 20th busiest airport. Some of the things you can do while in Broome are take a look at the Dinosaur footprints, dated back to the early Cretaceous period some 130 million years ago. Check out “Pearl Luggers” and “learn about the hazards of the sea, find out why the pearl diver’s life was so perilous.

Dinosaur footprints tour.

For more information on Broome try Pearl Luggers website @

 and Thank you to Wikipedia where you can find some interesting information on the region.