Far northern Queensland is lush and tropical, bearing a palette of colors far removed from the arid, red Australia of the imagination.
Rolling hills hold field upon field of vibrant green sugar cane, their silvery tassels catching the breeze and the sunlight. Behind the ocean of cane, a near-constant shroud of pearl gray mist blankets dark green mountains and tumbling waterfalls. Not far off to the east, sandy beaches line the edge of the Coral Sea.
Due to usually cool weather there were no vegetables to harvest, and we found ourselves with an unexpected but not unwelcome abundance of time to explore both sides of the highway. It was a leisurely change from our past two months of long drives and endless places to see. Suddenly we had time to stop wherever and for however long we pleased, enjoying the small, out of the way places that are sometimes the most enjoyable.