Mena Creek is located about 110km south of Cairns on Canecutter Way (Innisvale-Japoonvale Rd). This charming little town amidst sugarcane country is home to Paronella Park, an intriguing castle built beside Mena Creek Falls in the early 1900’s by a Spaniard named Jose Paronella. His dream, inspiring story and memory still live on here today and the popular attraction has been voted Queensland’s number 1 must do.
The 13 acre property set amongst lush forest with beautiful gardens features a remarkable hand built castle
with a ballroom, tunnels, bridges and Queensland’s first privately owned hydro-electricity plant. This State and National Heritage Listed property is also National Trust Listed and has received several Queensland Tourism Awards. The Paronella Park experience is very unique and guided tours leave every half hour between 9.30am-4.30pm daily. Night tours leave daily at 6.15pm where you can view the grounds in a different light. Tours last for about 45 minutes and to truly appreciate the property the owners suggest a 2 hour visit, as you can wander around at your own leisure after the tour.
Entry to the park includes a 12 month pass should you wish to return, both day and night guided tours and 1 night free camping at the adjacent camp ground (advance bookings are recommended and pets are permitted in the camp ground only). There are also 6 basic cabins available for hire at $80 per night. Entry fees are$38 per adult and $19 per child. Family passes at discounted rates are also available.
Take note there is also a fabulous free camp 29km southwest of Innisfail
, beside Upper Liverpool Creek at Japoonvale, via South Johnstone. Space is limited so first in best dressed. Scenery, grass, shade, swimming, toilets and dogs allowed, what more could you ask for in a freebie.
As far as meals go, the Paronella Park Café
serves light lunches daily, or alternatively, take your own picnic basket and enjoy it on the grounds by the stunning waterfall or amongst the beautiful plantlife. The Mena Creek Hotel
just down the road also serves lunch and dinner daily.
So if you’re interested in this “dream which became reality” and in the area on your travels, take a drive along Canecutter Way and discover this fairytale property and learn the touching story of Jose Paronella, his dream and his family.
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Destinations in Queensland
Daintree National Park
Tin Can Bay
Undara Volcanic National Park
Return from Mena Creek to Queensland