From Airlie Beach we thought it would be a good idea to go to Eungella National Park to see if we could spot a platypus. Since these are some of the most intriguing creatures on earth I just couldn't let the chance go by to see one and the national park sounded anyways really lovely. The road to it went to endless sugar-canes and finally we saw some "cane trains" in function. it was rather flat until at the very end of the valley when there was suddenly a very steep climb with indeed very sharp corners. There was a little lorry in front of us that did about 10km/hour and still managed to go up. Clearly someone who had done this trip many times. On top of the hill there was a little village and the park. Beautiful vistas of the valley below were available through windows of the very dense rainforest.
About 5 km from the top there was a huge rest-area and a small walk to a platypus platform where one would have the odd chance to see one playing around. Even though it was the right period of the year to see one, it wasn't the right time of the day. Too sunny and bright, a couple of hours later would have been better. Instead we saw a dozen turtoises swimming lazily in the water. Also a very nice sight for someone from far colder climates. We had lunch and unfortunately we couldn't really go for a walk since Marit was still not well and little feverish. Instead we headed back down through the same valley and back to the coast. We discovered later that Nellie Melba was born in one of the small communities along this road and that her husband owned one of the sugar factories that we probably saw.
We stayed the night very near the sea in a little place called Sarina Beach. We asked a couple of locals if there were any caravan parks in the vicinity but they said it would be OK just to spend one night in the middle of "town". In fact from the window of my sleeping place I could see the waves crashing in and during the night the only sound that I could hear was those waves. Really lovely and so quiet and nice!