Archive for January, 2010

Great driving holidays – Mossman to Cooktown (Qld)

January 26th, 2010 Comments off

THE drive from Mossman to Cooktown is brilliant. It isn’t an easy drive, but still it’s really worth the while. Make sure you stock up on everything before you head off and there are plenty of stops along the way including some great photo opportunities.

Cooktown is a place full of wonder and it certainly wasn’t what I expected, that’s for sure! Simply put – it is stunning and there is no other way to describe it. And the history you will see and learn is astounding. I knew so little before going there it was actually embarrassing.

For starters, the lookout will take your breath away and if you are an avid photographer, you will spend hours – even days – taking photos. The Mt Cook lookout is the first port of call to get your bearings and start your adventure of the area. From there we headed back into town to the James Cook Museum. This museum is housed in the old Nunnery, and is even haunted some will tell you! But the exhibits they have there are quite remarkable, especially given how remote Cooktown is. I would say it’s even better than most of the mainstream museums on the east coast!

We stayed at the Big4 Cooktown, and it is so good you won’t need to think about staying anywhere else. They even have a wash down bay for your vehicles, two swimming pools, tonnes of room, huge, lush green sites and the biggest and best camp kitchen ever.

The following day we took a tour – highly recommended – with Guurbi Tours. They will show you sacred Aboriginal sites and “birthing grounds”, which are like nothing you have ever seen. Cooktown itself has all the services for you to stock up including the ANZ bank. If you feel like a day trip, head back south about 90kms and take the turn off to The Lions Den. This is a remote pub and camping ground, but oozing so much hospitality and charm. They have new owners and the place really is a buzz. And if you like a quiet ale, you just have to go to the Top Pub in the main street of Cooktown at sunset – that view will never be beaten, especially with a cold lager in the hand!

The Great Australian Doorstep is coming to Channel 7Two in 2010! Stay tuned! Visit to purchase DVDs and find out more about the show.

Great driving holidays – Cairns to Mossman (Qld)

January 14th, 2010 Comments off

mossman1WHO ever would have thought that a place like Mossman was only a 90-minute drive north of Cairns.

Tucked away in the beautiful hinterland and on the base of the Daintree. Mossman hides one of the most spectacular and entertaining places that is simply unforgettable – The Karnak Playhouse, owned by world famous Diane Cilento! It is so enchanting, I could have stayed there forever. They do world class stage performances and when you throw the setting into the equation, it’s really something out of a story book.

After leaving the Playhouse, we took in the Mossman Gorge. Once again, somewhere you simply do not want to leave after experiencing it. The scenery is so untouched, which is awesome to see, and make sure you take your swimmers as the big swimming hole is fantastic! Best of all, you don’t have to be fit as you can go to the main viewing platform. It’s an easy 250m stroll with only a few stairs.

Once back at the Riverside Caravan Park, the kids wanted another swim and what better way to do it than in an Olympic-sized swimming pool right in the confines of the caravan park. Sure beats swimming with the crocodiles in the nearby river!

Mossman is very small but has all the amenities you will need. It sure has changed a lot in the past 10 years when Sheree was there last. She couldn’t believe it and all for the better too. The corner pub has great meals at affordable prices and you can watch the latest in all sports on their screens (should the caravanning and kids and wife be getting to you!)

The Great Australian Doorstep can be found on the How To Channel on Foxtel. Visit to purchase DVD copies of the TV series.