Proud enough of its history to paint the walls with it, this quaint country town has a great feeling. Artistic, cultural and well-maintained, Ingham is a farming area, with sugar and dairy thriving in this tropical area.
Let’s start with a coffee, and there were a few choices, but we chose JK’s delicatessen. In Adelaide, that wouldn’t be an unusual name, but way out east it’s very unusal, as the first white settlers were predominantly from the UK and they have ‘milk bars’ and now cafes. A good selection of coffees, teas and vegan sweets and it was very large.
As we travelled, many people told us we had to stop in Ingham, as it had a strong Italian ‘flavour’ and this wasn’t a big draw card, but then we found the Mercer Lane Mosaic.
A project that was co-ordinated by Karen Venables, it involved about 2000 locals and visitors who created mosaics to represent the history and diversity of the Hinchinbrook Shire.
Local artist, Kate Carr, did most of them and they are mosaics because it’s quick to learn and represented a popular artform of Italy, from where the greater percentage of the population come (https://www.hinchinbrookway.com.au/do/mercer-lane). Merceer Lane is 50m of cultural celebration and commemoration. There are even columns with family history, which fascinated me and I thought every town should do it.
We made our way to an economical campsite, on a farm, set up and left the van so that we could explore Wallaman Falls.
It was a beautiful 50km drive through sugar cane and cattle farms to Girringun National Park.
The falls, Australia’s highest single drop waterfall, are impressive and after viewing from the top, we decided to do the walk to the bottom which was steep, but easy on the way down.
Alan clambered over rocks to get as close as possible to the Falls , but I stayed back, unsure of the path he had taken and cautious after seeing a black snake.
The walk back was pretty demanding, nearly all uphill and steep. The falls are about 250km high and all in all we were there about 2 hours, including lunch.
We made it back to our campsite, only to be told that we couldn’t stay because we didn’t have a shower in our van. We had thought self-contained meant having our own toilet, but we were told we had to have a shower, by council regs. and would have to leave. This may be a Queensland thing, but other travellers we spoke to had not heard of it. In fast-approaching dark we were eaten by mozzies as we packed and, in the dark, we headed for the town caravan park, which was very welcoming and had drive-through sites.
The next morning we went to the TYTO wetlands, named after an endangered owl of the area. The wetlands are home to over 200 birds, and we thought we’d get a peaceful walk in before travelling on.
It is a very picturesque park and the paths are lovely and level. However, from the birdwatching gazebo, top right, above, I took a shot of what I thought was a log. As we continued, we saw a sign that said there’d been recent crocodile sightings, and we joked about whether my log was actually a croc, as you do.
Well, every rustle in the grass, interspersed by long tunnels of flattened reeds, had us jumping nervously. We decided to head back to the car and, as we travelled along, I put on my glasses and went through the photos. You’ve probably guessed by now…
Across the river had been no log.
Travel safe, take water, hat and your glasses. Ingham is well worth a visit.