ROAD TRIP DIARIES # 19
We weren’t expecting much from our visit to Mission Beach other than possible cassowary sightings and two nights of camping on the beach. Charles and I were still contemplating whether to do white-water rafting in Tully and otherwise hadn’t really thought much about what to do here.
After doing the Cardwell Forrest Drive, we stopped by at the Tully Tourism Office on our way to Mission Beach. It must have been our lucky day because we found out that the annual Tully Show was on the next day – talk about being at the right place and at the right time. We also found out about the Big Gumboot, which was my first among Australia’s Big Things.
Some locals playing indigenous musical instruments near the Big Gumboot
Out of Curiosity we decided to drop by the town center to check out the gumboot and explore the town a bit. It was amusing to see teens and backpackers walking barefoot on the streets and some strutting in their gumboots like a fashion statement. I also found it quite odd seeing many locals a bit soiled and muddy.
We first thought there was a mining site or farmland nearby and the show had already started which included a race on the mud or something. After further reading, we learned that Tully has large plantations of sugar cane and bananas, which provide seasonal employment attracting droves of young backpackers on working holidays.
Tully takes pride in its reputation as the wettest town in Australia and the 7.9 meter gumboot represents the 9.5 meters of rain it received in 1950. Originally, a rubber boot was awarded to the town with the most rainfall in the past year, and the prize was hotly contested by Tully and the nearby towns of Innisfail and Babinda. We were indeed in the Wet Tropics now!
We had been roughing it out in the past few days so we ended up spending most of the next day just lazing on the beach, editing pictures and catching up on news around the globe. It was already 4 when we left our caravan park and excitedly drove to the Tully Show. This time I was exempted from preparing dinner and we both agreed to feast on greasy food and satisfy our sweet cravings (or perhaps it was just me).
The Biggest, Prettiest and Quirkiest!
Surprisingly , I enjoyed the agricultural show. I love the quirky chickens and roosters on display, the wide array of colorful birds, and impressive collection of huge bananas and other farm produce. I would say it’s an exhibit of the biggest, smallest, quirkiest and the most amusing things. There were also small shows in some corners including an exhibit of different reptiles and snakes.
I call them the lady boy roosters.
And I thought you only groom cats and dogs
Look at those bananas!
The cheery atmosphere reminded me of my hometown’s small carnival when I was a kid, filled with fun rides, magical shows, exciting games and lots of treats. It’s a candy mountain for children but it wasn’t short of entertainment for adults as well. The kamikaze is a must try. It is like the Anchors Away, only it goes all the way over, doing a 360 degree turn. I also enjoyed the artwork display from the local school children, the souvenirs and the free tasting of the goodies and treats.
Some Highlights of the Tully Show
The show started with the performance of the two sisters impressing the crowd with the cracking of their whips and theatrical acts. The main event was the horse riding competition and ended with firework display at 8:30.
Parade of Cattle
The Dancing Sisters with one of the members of the audience
Popping the balloon with her whip, ouch!
My Favorite Part
Pigging out on greasy food and sweets.
Trying out some games
Meeting a fellow kababayan at the fair
Tully lies in the wet tropics where cyclone and monsoon conditions develop at certain times of the year. It is also one of the areas most affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasi – the most powerful cyclone to hit Australia in a century earlier this year. Our deepest sympathy to the victims of Cyclone Yasi. May you all recover from this devastation and get back on your feet soon.
(This is part of our 6-week North Queensland Road Trip Series, which took place July- August 2010)
Australian Road Trip 101: A Vantastic Beginning
Road Trip Diaries # 1 – An Encounter with the Strangest Animal in the World
Road Trip Diaries # 2 – Of Strangler Figs, Leeches and Long Holidays
Road Trip Diaries # 3 - Exploring Finch Hatton Gorge
Road Trip Diaries # 4 – Cape Hillsborough: On Bush Walks Beach Strolls and Star Gazing
Road Trip Diaries # 5 – Cape Hillsborough: Sunrise and Wild Kangaroos
Road Trip Diaries # 6 – Airlie Beach: Beaches Babes and Backpackers
Road Trip Diaries # 7 – Ocean Rafting to the Whitsundays
Road Trip Diaries # 8 – Unexpected Encounters
Road Trip Diaries # 9 – Exploring Bowenwood
Road Trip Diaries # 10 – Townsville: Finding Nemo and the Sunken Pandora
Road Trip Diaries # 11 – A Visit at the Billabong Sanctuary and Castle Hill
Road Trip Diaries # 12 – Magnetic Island: What Captain Cook Missed
Road Trip Diaries # 13 – Paluma Range National Park: A Walk in the Clouds
Road Trip Diaries # 14 – Of Didgeridoo, Exotic Fruits and Why I love Camping in the Bush
Road Trip Diaries # 15 – Jourama Falls: A Gray Nomad Affair
Road Trip Diarues # 16 – The Bird Man of Tyto Wetlands
Road Trip Diaries # 17 – The Quest for Wallaman Falls
Road Trip Diaries # 18 – Hinchinbrook Island: Experiencing the Wilderness