The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Mosaic wall, Ingham Queensland


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Ingham – La Dolce Vita

Ingham embodies ‘the sweet life’ in more ways than one! It’s a thriving sugar town in FNQ (Far North Queensland) and is the service centre for many sugarcane plantations. Victoria Sugar Mill, the largest sugar mill in Australia and one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, is located close to the township of Ingham (Approx. 6km).

 

 

It also celebrates it’s Italian heritage originating back in the 1890’s when Italian migrants came here to work on the sugar plantations.

The Australian-Italian Festival is held in Ingham the first weekend in August each year and is one of the most popular events in the region, with thousands of people attending the event. The festival celebrates Ingham’s cultural background, dating from the 1890s, when the first Italian immigrants came to the region. More than half the population of the town are of Italian descent. The town is known as “Little Italy”. Wikipedia

I’ve been lucky enough to be in Ingham for this years Italian Festival, a celebration of good food, good music and good fun enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.

There was something for all the family and it did indeed have a wonderful family atmosphere…. lovely to see young teenagers being ‘kids’ rather than playing the bored young adult. One of the challenges was a Slippery Pole competition, the first to reach the top a young, very agile, girl. Some participants never made it off the mat. I decided it would need a lot of upper body strength and as mine isn’t at its peak I gave this activity a miss. Fun to watch though!

The Gondola Races also proved popular – and chaotic – but once again a lot of laughs.

Along with spaghetti eating competitions, cooking demonstrations, fabulous food and wonderful singers crooning everything from Volare to opera it truly was a feast for all the senses.

The first time I was in Ingham, on my way north to a Christmas in July celebration in Mareeba, I had a wander around town and discovered this fabulous laneway of mosaics and murals telling the story of Ingham. I’ve put them together in this slide show with some of the explanations for the panels to ‘put you in the picture’, so to speak.

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The Italians who came to Australia so long ago to chase opportunities for a better life for themselves and their families have certainly built a wonderful culture in Ingham.

La Dolce Vita – The Sweet Life………………………………………………… Perhaps not always ……

Ingham, North Queensland

The Canecutter’s Lament

 

 

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Curtain Fig Tree, Yungaburra, Queensland


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It’s curtains in Yungaburra!

Yungaburra is situated in tropical north Queensland on the Atherton Tablelands.

Yungaburra

The majestic Curtain Fig Tree drew me to Yungaburra but when I got there I discovered so much more to see!

The large fig tree found in this park is unique because the extensive aerial roots, that drop 15m to the forest floor, have formed a ‘curtain’. Starting from a seed dropped high in the canopy, this strangler fig grew vertical roots, which gradually became thicker and interwoven. Over hundreds of years these roots have strangled the host causing it to fall into a neighbouring tree—a stage unique to the development of this fig. Vertical fig roots then formed a curtain-like appearance and the host trees rotted away, leaving the freestanding fig tree. The tree is thought to be nearly 50m tall, with a trunk circumference of 39m, and is estimated to be over 500 years old.

An elevated boardwalk protects the tree while allowing visitors uninterrupted views of the fig from all angles.

 

The village of Yungaburra is known as a Heritage Village with the old timber Yungaburra Hotel dominating the streetscape as you enter the town. There are old-fashioned buildings that house coffee and craft shops and it’s a pleasant walk around town with flowering baskets hanging in the streets adding to the tropical feel.

 

What was a surprising discovery was the Avenue of Honour for our troops that served in Afghanistan. It’s only a short drive out of Yungaburra on the shores of Lake Tinaroo and is an emotional tribute.

The Afghanistan Avenue of Honour is a living memorial dedicated to the memory of all who served in the fight against terror in Afghanistan and to those brave and selfless Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom and liberty.

The Avenue symbolises the final journey home of the fallen, and preserves forever the gratitude and respect the nation bestows on all those to whom we owe a debt… that can never be repaid.

The Avenue follows the path of fallen Commando Ben Chuck’s Gun Carriage, July 1st 2010, and symbolises the ‘final journey home’ of the Fallen.

A plaque representing each fallen soldier is placed on an ‘Honour Board’ in close proximity to the Memorial. The landscape surrounds give visitors the opportunity to pause and reflect and a place to pay their respects. The emphasis of the Avenue is directed to the living, natural, free, open aspects of the trees, stunning location, pristine water views and the enhancement of the existing picturesque environment.

Unfortunately my timing wasn’t right to see a platypus from the special viewing platform but I guess that’s a good reason to return to Yungaburra and enjoy this heritage village on another occasion.

PS: On my way back to Atherton I called in to Gallo Cheese and Chocolate for a taste or two…. well worth the short detour and I came away with a tasty gorgonzola and a couple of lovely choccies as a treat.