Park is a different attraction in Australia.
It tends to interest Australians more than European visitors, because
is a European castle.
That said it's great and defintely worth a visit
if you are travelling in the area.
It is in a beautiful place surrounded by tropical rainforests between
Townsville and Cairns in north Queensland.
exactly along the
- the inland
road from Innisfail to Silkwood through South Johnstone, Mena Creek and
The castle was built by Jose
- a Spanish immigrant who, like many others in north Queensland, was a
sugar cane cutter. His dream was to build a castle and he did it in a
strange way - out of poured concrete and old railway tracks.
He obviously didn't only build a castle but also created beautiful gardens
around it. There is a beautiful fish pond next to a picnic area reached
by the Grand Staircase. There are a few different buildings and walking
tracks between them. There are also tracks to a love tunnel,
and bridges and waterfalls. In one section there are thousands of tall
trees planted by the family in 1933. There are even tennis courts, a
suspension bridge over Mena Creek Falls and an hydroelectric plant
that was used as
the power source (from 1933 and the first privately owned one in
There is a museum
the story, in the house where the family lived. After 13 years as a
cane cutter Jose apparently returned to Spain for a year, and came back
to Australia with his new wife Margarita. Together they chose the
location near the 45 foot Mena Creek Falls, and started building the
house and the castle.
But even better is to join one of the guided tours. Your admission
ticket includes the tours anyway. The day
takes you around in the park and tells about the different buildings
such as the movie theatre, hall, ballroom, icecream parlour, and what
was happening in each - the place was already open to the public in
1935, and was instantly loved by visitors.
The night tour
is even better
and offers some great photo opportunities. The ticket also includes a
free night's camping in the adjacent caravan park. There are nowadays
even cabins available.
There is also an eatery and a souvenir shop. Paronella Park is open 9am
7.30pm every day except Christmas Day. And you can return with the same
ticket any time within a year from your first visit.
This site uses
British English, which is the English we use in Australia. You will
find words like "traveller", "harbour" and "realise", and they are all
correct in the language used in Australia.
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