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TRIP REPORT: NORTH QUEENSLAND AND LILYBANK BED AND BREAKFAST ETC

TRIP REPORT: NORTH QUEENSLAND AND LILYBANK BED AND BREAKFAST ETC

Jun 28th, 2005, 12:36 AM
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TRIP REPORT: NORTH QUEENSLAND AND LILYBANK BED AND BREAKFAST ETC

Thought that I would just give you an Aussie's view of my trip to North Qld to date and my stay at the famous Lilybank Bed and Breakfast with two of its stars, namely Pat and Mike, although I hasten to add that there are many stars at Pat's place, not least of which is the bra loving, querky poodle. The latter brings me to ask every Fodorian's help, if you intend to stay at Lilybank ( and why wouldn't you) then do try and find an old bra to save Pat from getting Cooper's droop in the near future!
Lilybank B&B was built in about 1890 and is an old Queenslander - which means that it is something rather special in its own right. The rooms are large and spacious, the breakfast are fantastic and nothing seems to faze our Pat. Mike on the other hand does a rather good job of tending to the garden and the breakfast fiddlies and is the epitome of the genial host.
The poodles as I mentioned before are what you would expect from poodles brought up in North Queensland - gone crazy in the tropics!
Then of course there is Chook the Galah and the whole household is now set!
I must admit that I was more than interested in inspecting the famous Boris S........ honeymoon suite and was not disappointed. I stand by my comments about Boris at the time as the suite was cosy, spacious and very clean.
If you are wanting an Australian experience, in a special Queensland home then this is for you. If on the other hand you want the trimmings of the Hilton then go to the Hilton as you are not going to get that at Pat and Mike's place. If you need to relax, unwind with two characters then Lilybank is for you and if you want the absolute best in information about what is available around then Pat is the one with the information.
I had the pleasure of spending last night with Mike and Pat eating the best fish and chips/ fisherman's basket and salad that I have ever had topped off with the absolute best in a hamburger. We went to Dinale's (spelling??? ) at Freshwater who made the most wonderful dinner which we washed down with some southern wine. The dinner and the company could not be bettered!
Had a fantastic day on the reef with Ectasea ( again the spelling ) which is a sailing yacht that takes people to really quiet spots on the reef where the snorkling and diving is fantastic. The crew were fantastic and it was just the most wonderful day. When going to the GBR don't just go for the big boats with heaps and heaps of people on them, get on one of these smaller more personal boats for the time of your life. The big ones get the backing of the big hotels and the resorts and the little guys do it better but have to struggle against the big operators. The trip out to the reef was really special and I got to try and overturn the boat myself! - I am joking!
However for the price it cannot be beaten and for the price and location neither can the B&B and the dinner from the fish and chip shop - if you go do try the super big LOT as that stands about 10 inches high and is a challange in itself.
May I take the opportunity to thank Mike and Pat for their wonderful hospitality and for my great stay. You will take out the prize each and every time Pat 'n Mike. Love to all and the whole family there
Liz and Jake ( Jake is my Grandson who no knows what a great breakfast is)


lizF is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 12:37 AM
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P.S. please pardon the spelling mistakes.
Liz
lizF is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Well, you've convinced me, Liz! Now all I have to do is figure out how to get there...

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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Further to my trip up north here I have had a lovely day on Hinchinbrook Island - still is the pick of all the islands as far as I am concerned and one day there is only to touch the surface of the place. Probably the best way to get there is to drive down - via Mission Beach - to Cardwell and get the launch over from there. Hinchinbrook is a large island as far as the islands go and is a National Park. You can find your own little area of paradise and never see another person all day or you can join in the many activities on offer.
I went over to Magnetic Island to see if that is worth a visit but in my opinion it is not. It is too much like a mainland place for my liking with all the trappings and is only really nice in comparison to Townsville which is still a boring city in my opinion. There were few people in the mall and some shops had closed so that gave it a run down feel about it. Not vibrant or alive and being in a dry belt - not tropical either.
I am heading back to Cairns today via the Atherton Tablelands and am looking forward to that. The weather is beautiful and the people friendly and warm.
to be continued.
lizF is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 12:16 AM
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Lee Ann
How to get there....
wellllll.....
you fly into Cairns, and ask any taxi driver!
margo_oz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 02:23 PM
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LOL - true, Margo - it's coming up with the money for airline tickets, etc. that's the challenge at the moment!

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 12:19 AM
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Before I go on - it is Davini's in Freshwater, that is Davini's Fish and Chip shop and Hamburger Heaven. I know this as I had yet another memorable hamburger last night there.
The trip up the Tablelands was really nice, weather was wonderful and the scenery was lovely as it always is. I enjoyed Milla Milla falls, Tinnaroo Dam and surrounds the little towns and the lovely crater lakes. Had the best ever coffee at the Mareeba coffee place which sells its own coffee and a lot of other ones as well and bought some to bring home with me.
Yesterday I drove from Cairns to Port Douglas and called into Palm Cove for a look-see. I can truthfully say that the trip from Cairns to Port is the best sea-view trip in Australia with the beautiful waters of the GBR at every bend, the islands off shore and the green land meeting the sea. For me it tops the GOR by a long shot and what is even better is that you get to come back that way as well! If you want a trip along water which you can surf in then the road south from Bryon Bay is beautiful especially if you go up the lighthouse first to see the view, followed by a trip down the east coast of Tasmania overlooking Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay. They are the three top drives in my book, not that I have been everywhere but you have to go a long way to go past Cairns to Port and back on a nice day. Port Douglas is a nice place to stay and so is Palm Cove if you want to veg out for a while but you know I love Cairns, where in the World do you have a clean, safe city ( al beit small city) which has all the facilities for tourists yet retains its own flavour which is mainly that of a small country town which lives off the earnings of tourism and sugar-cane? Some say its "touristy" but what is that? Sure it has big hotels, back-packer accommodation, restaurants, Hotel/Casino, bars, nightclubs etc but so has every other tourist destination in the world. It is more central for seeing the whole of the area than anywhere else. I would love to know if anyone has stayed at the Cairns Hotel which looks a bit like a small "Raffles" and that really appealed to me. I had the misfortune of staying at the 3 1/2 star Club Crocodile on Lake Street the last night - would have stayed at Pat's but she was 1/ booked out and 2/ I had to get up for my flight home at 4AM ....urgh! How CC gets 3.5 stars is beyond me as its little more than a back-packers place and just as noisy. I would rate it at 2 stars even if it is only $65 Au for double.
I could have quite happily stayed another week as I seem to be able to find 2 weeks of things to see and do even if I have been there about 15 times. I still havn't explored some of the hinterland that I would love to see and some of the areas around the Lava tubes as well. But there is always a next time thank heaven.
If you are going to the GBR then do what the locals do and go "troppo", relax and take things easy, don't rush around as its better to leave seeing things than to see everything and need a holiday afterwards.
lizF is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 06:05 PM
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Well liz, I'm not surprised you enjoyed Pat and Mike's menage. I'm glad you had a good visit. After all this could have been like the "Clash of the (fodor's) Titans" lizf meets pat and mike.

cheers
after staying at Lilybank , i agree w/ th Boris assesment
AndrewDavid is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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Hi AD, What do you mean, clash of the Titans indeed, I am all of 5'2" and built like a teddy bear and you know Pat and Mike. When I was there Mike was buried under 2 ton of T-tree bark and Pat was trying to rescue bras from her poodle with a fetish for women's bras and I might add she was not succeeding either - some race of Titans.
Did you get to find the fish and chip shop too? You could never look at a big Mac after having one of their hamburgers, let alone the succulent fish done whichever way you want. We had Dory that particular night and a Fisherman's basket with all the goodies. The Dory has been grilled that we test tried but Pat had hers done in batter which she drooled over. Now tell me where you would get a fresh seafood feast for 4 people for the equivalent of $20US?
Another tip for visitors to Pat and Mike's place - Pat and Mike are lovers of wine and a bottle of nice Chardoney would go done very well indeed. There is a lovely verandah upstairs on which you can drink to your heart's content or perhaps around the pool. I particularly like the dining setup for breakfast, nice and casual in the fresh air.
lizF is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 07:28 PM
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Please Liz, No glass at the pool!. Now that we have inundated India w/ kidstuff perhaps Alan can organize a "Bras for Poodles" drive on Pat's behalf. Unfortunately no one in Santa Fe wears them any longer.

AndrewDavid
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Jul 7th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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I see plenty of straps hanging out of people's clothes in Albuquerque, AD - perhaps the "Playtex for Poodles" drive should start here.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 01:38 PM
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AndrewDavid: Absolutely no glass at the pool - what is wrong with drinking it out of the bottle? We Queenslanders don't stand on ceremony where booze is concerned!
I'm more concerned that Pat hasn't actually planted Mike amongst the T-tree bark and he is sprouting now. Just as long as he is watered now and again and that watering is a nice white.
Heard tell that Mike has some trouble with Canadian guests while Pat was in hospital - seems that some people don't realize that others have a life and sometimes that life does not go quite to plan, either that or they were too precious for words and uncaring of the situation going on.
Having been a B&B owner it is hard to please all of the people all of the time but that lot does try harder than most to do it and generally are successful at it too.
Whats with the no bras in Santa Fe? Have they got the pattern from the Kiwis for fur nipple warmers now?
lizF is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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Lee Ann this is a good idea, but no one I know here wears them.

Liz, WHat's Pat in hospital for. Is she OK?

As a former B&B owner, we kept a tight rein on guests and as we were giving them beautiful surroundings, award winning food and a friendly environment, we didn't let them ruin our lives!

A/D
AndrewDavid is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 06:33 PM
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I think that Pat had to have some oral surgery and NO it was not because Mike biffed her on the jaw and she needed it wired up.
You are absolutely right about not letter people run or ruin your lives but sometimes when you are preoccupied with impending births of one's offspring's baby when all around said mother-to-be is flooded and the birth was by caesar ( I have no idea what the American spelling of that is), surgery on wives or husband's and all those little trying things in our lives that we get worried about, things don't just go right and what would normally be dismissed with a laugh and a smile is thought of in a different light. I think that Mike would have gone out of his way to have everything organized for when Pat was away but sometimes you cannot give more than the 100%.
lizF is offline  
Jul 8th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Thanks so much to both of you, Liz and AndrewDavid, 5 star guests. Thanks for your concern, just a few dental implants, but here they give a full general anaesthetic for the process which leaves you a bit groggy for the rest of the day. Liz's was bit of a flying visit as she was combining business with holiday, but she met some nice parrots and supplied their owner with a most attractive "parrot" headdress, which is most becoming. Apart from parrot hats Liz has a wonderful line in children's clothes and the baby things are the nicest I've seen anywhere in the world.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jul 9th, 2005, 09:05 AM
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>>Lee Ann this is a good idea, but no one I know here wears them.<<

My fil is remarrying in Santa Fe in a few weeks - guess I'll have to view this phenomenon myself!

Maybe someone can go to NZ's bra fence and pick up a few extras for Pat's Playtex-Preferring Poodle Program.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jul 9th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Hi, lizF,
Was pleased to see your report on Cairns and Lilybank B & B. Haven't stayed with Pat yet, but our thoughts about Cairns are the same. I too loved the coffee at Mareeba Coffee Works, and bought a large quantity of packets to bring back to NZ with me! (Just one pack left in the freezer now but alas we will not be over this year, well not to Cairns anyway.) The Tablelands are fascinating, with such contrasts in scenery and flora. Interesting, too, that we also share the same opinions about Magnetic Island and Townsville. In fact, there was nothing about the places you mentioned that we have visited that I have opposite opinions on. We haven't been to Hinchinbrook Island, the Great Ocean Road, or Tasmania - yet. Great reports.
Dot
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Jul 9th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Elendilpickle I love the Pat's Playtex-Preferring Poodle Program. I had been trying to come up with something clever like that and couldn't so 'tops off to you'
Hi Dotty - What! you are not coming over this year! Shame. You obviously have done the trip from Cairns to Port and back on a nice day, well before you do the GOR then drive around the coast between Byron Bay and Ballina - sure they are not as long as the GOR but they are 5 star trips. The one in Tassie is particularly nice too and the view of Wineglass Bay is spectacular.
Thank you too Dotty for saying what I have always said about Townsville and Magnetic Island. I feel that if someone is spending the money to come to Australia then pointing them in the direction of places which are really ordinery is not going to leave people with a sense of wonder about Australia. I might add too that Australia has many areas that are not just boring but are just about as boring as you can get and as one Fodorian says " as boring as batshit". I try to look at places not through rose tinted glasses, but with the thought that "is this an International destination"? I hope that other people will do this too because it is better to be truthful than to have one person not be happy with their trip to Australia.
lizF is offline  
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