Kandanga

Arriving in Kandanga, it is easy to imagine the roar of sawmills, the rattle of cream carriers or the chug of trucks carrying pineapples to the station. However, imagination is essential, as these noises echoed through Kandanga in the 1940s and 1950s. Now this quiet township standing on placid hills in the Mary Valley is much different.

Kandanga is about a 20 minute drive from Gympie just off the Mary Valley Highway. Kandanga is one of a string of small towns or villages running through Sunshine Coast hinterland state forests south of Gympie. Although the hustle and bustle of yesteryear might be gone, the town boasts rich pastures and spectacular views of the Mary Valley. As you come into Kandanga from the south, there is a park that offers a tease of what is to come with an old dray, a relic of its historical past, a picnic area and a great view. Picnic spots, swimming holes and scenic lookouts punctuate the forest areas all along the route south from Gympie.

The Kandanga Heritage Railway is a also must see. Here's a bright and colourful station with a shady green park.

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Hope Vale

Hope Vale,
Hope Vale Aboriginal community lies 40 kilometres north of Cooktown. Originally established as a Moravian Lutheran Mission on the east coast near Cape Bedford, the community was later moved to its present location.

Cooktown Botanic Gardens and Gallop Botanic Reserve

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Nature's Powerhouse Visitor Information Centre at the Cooktown Botanic Gardens provides all the information you need to explore this site. Established in 1878 as the Gallop Botanic Reserve, it comprises a formal botanic garden, and a substantial natural forest and ocean frontage.

Cobia Hole Dive Site

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Free Entry
Located just off the shore of Lizard Island north of Cairns, Cobia Hole features a jumble of rocks, no bigger than a tennis court, decorated with marine life. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, this rocky outcrop is home to hovering sweetlips, emperors, cobia, estuary cod and more.

Lizard Island

Lizard Island, Cook Area
Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef.

Mount Cook National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Rising 431 metres above the surrounding landscape, rugged Mount Cook is the scenic backdrop to Cooktown. Lieutenant Phillip Parker King named Mount Cook in June 1819 during his navigation of northern Australia.

Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park

Rossville, Cook Area
Free Entry
Black Mountain, an imposing mountain range of massive granite boulders, is home to unique wildlife and rich in Aboriginal culture. The brooding Black Mountain resembles a pile of huge black granite boulders, some the size of houses, stacked seemingly precariously upon one another.

Cooktown

Cooktown, Cook Area
With bitumen all the way along the 330 kilometre inland Mulligan Highway from Cairns, Cooktown is easy to get to. If you want a more adventurous route, go four wheel-driving along the coastal Bloomfield Track crossing rivers and creeks through World Heritage-listed rainforest and join the highway at the mysterious pile of rocks known as Black Mountain.
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