From Kurrimine Beach to Innisfail is the Greatest Detour in the North, The Canecutter Way. The drive takes you through small rural communities with lots to see and do. You can cool off in a swimming hole, discover local craft, enjoy a cold beer or explore romantic ruins. Locally grown beef, award-winning meat pies and fresh fruit can be found at shops and fruit stalls along the way.
Starting at Kurrimine Beach, the drive passes through cane and fruit farms with Silkwood, Japoonvale, Mena Creek, South Johnstone and Wangan in between.
The tiny town of Silkwood is the site of Australia’s largest religious and cultural festival, the Feast of the Three Saints, which is held the first Sunday in May. Mass is celebrated in honour of the Saints and the family event includes a parade, feast, live band and great fireworks. Silkwood is where you will find Australia’s only pepper farm or see the smallest National Australia Bank in Australia.
The Queenslander country-hotels are always a good option to call in for a counter meal or burger, or some local entertainment whether it is a trivia night or a game of pool.
If you wish to stay a little longer to fully explore the area, discover life on a farm-stay with a resident bush poet and entertaining working dogs. Other choices include cabins, self contained cottages in spectacular gardens, and a caravan park.
One of The Canecutter Way’s most romantic stories is found at the award winning Paronella Park at Mena Creek. Created in the 1930s by Spanish immigrant José Paronella, his vision included Spanish themed castles and a grand ballroom, powered by his very own hydro electric generator, and framed by magnificent gardens, lakeside tunnels, fountains and bridges.
The heritage of the sugar industry remains visible along the road with many old cane barracks (houses) still standing. As you come into South Johnstone during the cane harvesting season that starts in June you will smell the sweet aroma of sugar being processed at the mill. Cane trains operate down the main street of this quaint town, a must see, with interesting local businesses.
Mena Creek Falls - Photo by Helar Heitur
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