Taroom

The tell-tale sign that you’ve arrived in Taroom is the Steel Wings windmill at the northern entry to town. Manufactured around the turn of the 20th Century, the windmill is a rare commodity, being only one of two known windmills of its type still in working order.

The landmark says a lot about the town. Taroom is steeped in early European history and built on primary industries – first sheep, now cattle and grain.

The region opened up to settlers in the 1840s with the northern exploits of early explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. The good doctor took a liking to the place while camped by the Dawson River, carving his initials and year date – LL 1844 – into the bark of a coolabah tree. The initials long since gone – in somewhat controversial circumstances – the tree still stands pride of place in the main street, which is as it happens, the Leichhardt Highway.

A pleasant walk up the hill takes you to Gilbert’s Lookout, named after Leichhardt’s companion who met a violent end here.

Across town in Yaldwyn Street, Leichhardt Park is the site of Leichhardt’s memorial. The park is dedicated to the region’s native flora with weeping bottle brush, flaxleaf paperbark, lemon scented gum, swamp mahogany and bloodwood found throughout the grounds. The exception is a single Aleppo Pine, seeded from Lone Pine on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

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Yaldwyn Street
Taroom, Banana Area
Queensland
Australia

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Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
From AU$26.30 - 26.30
Featuring spectacular limestone caves, small galleries of Aboriginal rock art, jagged limestone outcrops and an historically significant mining site, this park is rich in natural and cultural heritage.

Forty Mile Scrub National Park

Mount Garnet, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
This park features ancient and recent volcanic flows, open grassy woodland, the headwaters of several creeks, and an island of dry rainforest remnant in a sea of eucalypt woodland. Large bottle trees, along with fig, Burdekin plum and white cedar trees drop their leaves in the dry season but spring to life with summer rain.

Undara Volcanic National Park

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
Free Entry
In the vast open spaces of the savanna, a sea of seasonal grasses conceals the Undara lava tube, one of the Earth's longest flows of lava originating from a single volcano. Ribbons of green remnant rainforest contrast with the surrounding dry savanna landscape, marking the course of sections of the lava tube.

Undara Experience

Mount Surprise, Etheridge Area
From AU$58 - 60
Only three and a half hours from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland's Gulf Savannah lies a land so different in contrasts - the Undara Experience. Undara is a pristine wilderness possessing one of the oldest and best preserved lava tube systems anywhere on Earth.

Chillagoe

Chillagoe, Mareeba Area
Head into the accessible outback west of Cairns and discover the underground wonders of the former mining town of Chillagoe. Just 140 kilometres west of Mareeba along the Wheelbarrow Way, Chillagoe was once an ancient coral reef which has been transformed into spectacular limestone bluffs with a network of some 560 caves, while early volcanic activity has created rich marble and mineral deposits.
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