white water rafting

2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship comes to Tully

Watching all the adrenalin pumping action on the first day of the 2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship on 11 May was certainly a highlight of my five-week house-sitting stint in Tully.

Before visiting Tully, I knew the town of 2390 people and located 140 kilometres south of Cairns in North Queensland was reputed to be the wettest town in Australia.

It has an average annual rainfall of more than 4000 millimetres. The highest ever annual rainfall in a populated area of Australia, 7900 millimetres, was recorded in Tully in 1950.

The Golden Gumboot monument stands as testament to these records. At 7.9 metres tall, the boot represents the town’s record 1950 rainfall. An inside spiral staircase takes you to the top for a view of the town. Tully also holds an annual Golden Gumboot Festival.

What I didn’t know was the nearby Tully River is arguably the best rafting river in Australia.

It’s no wonder Tully was chosen to host this year’s national rafting championship in May, which was a build-up event to the International Rafting Federation’s (IRF) 2019 World Rafting Championship (WRC).

On 11 May I was lucky enough to find a terrific spectator viewing spot to watch the first day of action when some of the world’s best rafters competed in the sprint and head-to-head disciplines.

In just a few hours I learnt a lot about the sport and watched in awe as rafters navigated their way through the Tully River’s rapids, fringed by world heritage tropical rainforest.

However, you don’t have to be the best in the world to experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Tully River throughout the year. 

Thrill seekers of all levels, even beginners, can book half or full day tours though www.wildsideadventures.com.au or www.ragingthunder.com.au.

Follow the link below to buy photos from the first day of the 2018 Pre-World White Water Rafting Championship at Tully. And, don’t forget to mark May 2019 in your diary for next year’s World Rafting Championship.

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9 things to discover at Agnes Water

Agnes Water and Town of 1770 at the southern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have come a long way since I first visited the Discovery Coast, long before the access roads were sealed.  

Back then, generally only Bundaberg and Gladstone locals who were looking for quiet fishing spots, and their relatives like us, braved the rough corrugated dirt roads. 

Since the roads were sealed, however, the area has really come of age and now attracts visitors from throughout Australia and overseas in great numbers. 

At first glance, Agnes Water and Town of 1770 still appear to be sleepy seaside villages but start exploring and you’ll find there are lots of things to do for people of all ages and interests including the Kent Barton gallery and Agnes Water Museum

Below are highlights from my recent stay in Agnes Water while on a short house-sitting stint.

For a full list of attractions and accommodation, visit http://www.visitagnes1770.com.au

Agnes Water and Town of 1770

The stunning beach from Agnes Water to 1770, seen from the Discovery Trail lookout behind the museum.

Agnes Water and 1770

The monument that marks there spot where Lieutenant James Cook and his crew came ashore in 1770.

Agnes Water and Town of 1770

John Richards offers free liquor tasting sessions at the 1770 Distillery at Agnes Water.

agnes water and 1770

Kent Barton’s artworks are displayed among the landscaped gardens of ‘The Lovely Cottages’.

Agnes Water and 1770

Live music can be enjoyed at Discovery Coast Rotary Markets held at the 1770 SES Grounds.

Agnes Water and 1770

Visitors enjoy the natural beauty of the  Paperbark Forest and nearby national parks.

agnes water and 1770

Stand Up Paddling – anyone can do it, even your dog.

Agnes Water and 1770

Day’s end for surfers near Agnes Water.

 

 

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olivetti

Olivetti trumps Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook was swiftly demoted to second rank in my eyes when I discovered a long-lost love, Olivetti, at the Agnes Water Museum.

Despite Captain Cook’s notable achievements in charting Newfoundland and leading discovery expeditions to Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands, I could only think of Olivetti.

My heart skipped a beat as we met for the first time since my high school days when we spent endless hours blissfully crafting words together.

Many years have passed since then yet I remember reciting “a-s-d-f-;-l-k-j” as if it were yesterday. I fondly recall Olivetti patiently forgiving my mishaps and supporting my goals.   

Blinded by a horizontal cardboard bib that made it possible to bond with Olivetti only through touch, we forged a friendship that started a life-long love affair with words.    

The memories came flooding back as I spotted Olivetti sitting on a timber bench at the Agnes Water Museum. It was as though we’d never parted.  In some ways, we haven’t.

Only now do I realise the influence Olivetti has had on my life.  Every day, in some way, I continue to use the skill I learnt with Olivetti so many years ago.

While Olivetti’s family has undergone major changes and computers, tables and smart phones have replaced the old typewriters, my touch typing skill has thrived. Thank you, Olivetti.

Olivetti typewriters and so much more

Aside from the typewriters that piqued my interest, there are many more displays at the Agnes Water Museum to interest people of all ages.

There are informative displays on Captain James Cook’s voyages as well as the origins of the names of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water and other towns that make up the Discovery Coast.

Forming other displays are specimens collected by Joseph Banks and his party on the Endeavour voyage, maritime information of the shire’s coastline and ship wrecks, history on the Bustard Heard Lighthouse and Aboriginal artefacts. Collections also include shells, minerals, fossils, prams and bottles.

The museum is located at 69 Springs Road, Agnes Water Queensland 4677, adjacent to the Library, Visitor Information Centre and Community Centre complex.

For 10 things to do in Agnes Water and Town of 1770 visit my blog post on 10 things to do. Visit the website for more information.  

Olivetti