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The catchcry of Paronella Park is "The dream continues"
At Paronella park you will discover all about the life and dream of one pretty clever (and somewhat crazy) man, José Paronella. José Paronella’s dream was to build a castle. On 5 Hectares beside Mena Creek Falls he built his castle (complete with its own hydroelectric plant), picnic area by the falls, tennis courts, bridges, a tunnel, and wrapped it up in an amazing range of 7,500 tropical plants and trees (now a lush rainforest!). It opened to the public in 1935.
Paronella Park is a great place for kids as it has lots of hidey holes and gardens to run and play in! Make sure you arrive in time to have a look and run around before the tour starts so the kids can feel more settled to listen in to the story. In saying that - we found the tour to be easy to follow and enjoy while the kids played in whatever area we were in. Older children will find the story interesting, and the building fasinating.
While wandering around I had flashbacks to visitng ruined places overseas such as Pompei. You really get a feel for a time like no other - and what this man decided to create was simply magical.
Although there is a small cafe there, take a picnic to enjoy in the grounds old fashioned style! If you are travelling from Cairns, pop into the deli in Innisfail for some cold meats and cheeses to die for!
Your ticket to Paronella Park entitles you to 24 months admission, which is great for locals wanting to take visitors. You also get a tour which explains the whole story, a botanical guide, a souvenier guidebook. The ticket also includes one night of onsite camping which could be worthwhile as the night tour runs at 6:15pm each night and is included in the ticket price as well! There is also a museum on site, which my 4 year old found fascinating!
Make sure you bring your camera - lot of opportunities for some gorgeous family photos!
Paronella Park has received multiple Queensland tourism awards, is State and National Heritage listed and is a National Trust listed property. It is privately owned and operated and Eco accredited. Paronella Park is the site of Queensland’s 1st privately owned hydro electric plant (1933).
Where: 1671 Japoonvale Rd (view map)
When: Open every day of the year (except Christmas day) from 9:00am till 7:30pm
Price: From $38
Website: (visit website)
Author: website and SK
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