Far North Queensland and Hemingway’s on the Hill..

Far North Queensland: Port Douglas

Canberra is well known for having cold winters (by Australian standards). June to August can be cold, rainy and miserable in Canberra.

Fortunately the temperatures in Far North Queensland are mild and pleasant during these months. Many Australians from the southern states, including our family, go on holiday to Queensland during our winter months.

This year in mid-June, Paul’s much loved mother, at the age of 96, passed away. She had eight children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and will be sadly missed by everyone.

The last few months have been very busy, and at times very sad. However, we had planned a holiday in Far North Queensland and a few weeks ago, we packed our bags, and flew to Cairns.

Despite the overcast view that day, it is always a pleasure to see the coastline as the plane turns to land in Cairns.

We decided to start our holiday with a few quiet days in the Atherton Tablelands, despite it being a little colder than along the coast.

Paul found us a small cottage in the Atherton Tablelands and it was called Hemingway’s on the Hill.

It was quiet, rustic and peaceful, and just what we needed….a break away from everything.

On the way to our cottage we stopped at a pretty country town called Yungaburra and bought pizzas, a bottle of wine, and a few extra food supplies for our first meal at Hemingway’s on the Hill.

The cabin had all kinds of interesting books and magazines. The owner of the cottage lived on a farm nearby. She had packed the fridge and kitchen with fruit, eggs, bacon, butter, jams, honey and yogurt.

Everything we ate there came from local farms.. what a feast!

Paul lit the fire on the first evening and we sat quietly watching the sun going down …..it was cold, but a very pleasant quiet time…there is nothing like a flickering fire for relaxing.

In the morning we had better views of the rolling hills, and farms dotted across the mountains. The Atherton Tablelands provides food for many parts of Australia, with its rich volcanic soil there are an amazing amount of crops grown in this area. (more of that in another post)

The owner of the property had left instructions for everything, but this little note at the back of the folder made me smile….be warned of noises when you are in the countryside in Australia.

We did hear the Curlew birds in the night….my impression is that they have a rather sad cry, and always late at night. However, my cousin, who lives not very far from this area, says she loves coming home and listening to their long song.

A Bush Stone-curlew bird Photo: Birdlife Australia
A regular night time visitor, a possum

We have never had bandicoots in our garden, (thank goodness), but possums are a perennial problem and they bounce across our carport roof quite often in the night, usually looking for fruit and vegetables.

Our three days at Hemingway’s cottage was spent eating good nourishing food, having quiet times by the fire, and reading books…..we slept well, and were completely unaware of any night time activity during our stay.

Before we left for our second holiday house at the coast, I took some photos of the two colourful flowers that were growing in the gardens at Hemingway’s. As with all flowers and shrubs in this part of the world, they are large, bright and cheerful.

There are many interesting parts of Far North Queensland to see and enjoy, and I’ll write a few posts on some very different parts of Queensland.

Many thanks for taking the time to read my post today, and may you have some sunshine where ever you are in the world.

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

19 Replies to “Far North Queensland and Hemingway’s on the Hill..”

  1. I am very sorry for your loss. Even when loved ones live long, productive lives, they are always missed when it is their time. Good memories will keep them close. Beautiful landscape and wonderful history of the cottage. It’s interesting that you travel north to warmer climate, and here we travel south. 🙂

    1. Yes, that is so true Judy, loved ones are missed, and thank goodness Paul and family have lovely memories, and also photos and a video clip of Margaret.
      and thanks for pointing out to me, that we go north for the warmth and you go south! Jason once said how strange it was that I am planting spring flowers when he was planting in autumn.

  2. Yes, I do love call of the curlews – when I have been away and hear their ethereal sound when I get back, I know I am home! I see they have made the list of the ten most loved Aussie sounds in the current ABC competition. I had better vote!

  3. Condolences! Judy is so right. No matter the age of a loved one, they are so missed when they pass.

    And as Judy noted, in this part of the world, when we want cooler weather, we go north.

    What a lovely, lovely place for a vacation! Such a sweet little note about country creatures.

  4. What a fantastic cottage and beautiful area. Looks like my kind of vacation–where relaxation, reading and eating are high on the agenda. And wine, of course.

    A Town Like Alice is one of my favorite books and the 1970s mini-series one of my favorite mini-series. The scenes at Cairns and Green Island always made me want to go to that area if I ever get to Australia. It’s nice to be able to see it through your eyes. Thank you for bringing us along!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Brenda, I never think to focus on Cairns itself, which has so much to offer these days. I must look up the mini series of A Town Like Alice, I loved the book, but it is years ago since I read it.
      Well the lovely part of blogging is being able to see countries through the eyes of people who live there or visit there as you have done in Sweden.
      I’m sure the dogs are happy to have you home, and once you’ve settled in, good luck with all your weaving projects.

      1. The mini-series just recently (finally!) came out on DVD. The cast was phenomenal–Bryan Brown, Helen Morse, Gordon Jackson–and on and on. It is one of my all time favorites.

        1. I found the DVD online today, and It will be available in September…thanks for putting me onto it. I’ll enjoy watching it.

  5. What a wise decision to go off for a holiday after all the sadness and exhaustion of a bereavement. How lovely to have all those luscious things provided for you in the holiday home!
    Sometimes our visitors mention the animal and bird noises during the night which they usually find a little disconcerting. When I stay in a town or city it takes me a while to get used to the traffic noise – and the lights! Many of our visitors can’t stand the pitch-black of our night-time 😀
    I hope you and Paul are feeling refreshed after your winter break.

    1. Many thanks Clare, yes, it was very good to just have some ‘time out’ to relax and sleep, we do feel refreshed.

      I completely agree with you re sleeping in a city, I hear all the noises and the lights, and I always notice how quiet our street is at night, and also how dark. The magpies warble in the early morning which is lovely.

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