The Tully River starts its long journey from Koombaloomba Dam in the southwestern corner of the Atherton Tablelands.
It follows Tully Gorge northwards from the dam before U-turning south again to pass Tully township and cycle into the pacific.
Tully Falls used to be an extraordinary natural sight and classified as one of Australia’s most spectacular waterfalls. Thunderous waters dropped 293 meters from the cliff face into Tully River below, which carved out an oversized Tully Gorge.
Nowadays, only a mere trickle of water drops over the edge, if any. After World War ll, the electricity needs of North Queensland increased and the Tully River was selected to provide hydro-electric power. Not only once, but twice. Koombalooma Dam was constructed in the 1950’s and after completion, another hydro-electric power station was built on the bottom of Tully Falls. The water gets diverted shortly before the natural drop-off zone for an ecological power source. As green as this power is, it left Tully Falls to extinction.
A little creek next to the carpark cascades gradually to the valley below. Again, the diversity of flora around this creek is plentiful on either side of the bridge.
Ferns reflect in calm waters, moss is clinging on to granite rocks and subtropical trees flourish all along.
I have seen similar creeks many times.
But it’s always different, yet spectacular.
Just so much colour and life.
The walking track leads to Tully Falls upper ridges.
I was fascinated by the variety of trees and scrubs along this gentle walk. Different greens in different shapes.
Moss covered logs gave bizarre statues. Let your imagination run wild.
Even the wood had a face painting.
The trail ends on what used to be the Tully Riverbank. Stagnant pools covered in algae are dotted all along the dry river bed. Walking along the smooth drop-off zone, one can only feel and imagine the force these falls used to have.
Carved out holes filled with stagnant waters reflect clouds and sky over the very impressive Tully Gorge Escarpment.
The tiniest amount of water still flows through a narrow channel. It was a sad look comparing what it used to be. Well, hydro-electric won this power struggle. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be standing here, enjoying this peaceful moment.
The various colours of iron and other metallic segments lighting up this slippery area.
This is not where you want to slip and fall. Lucky I didn’t.
The view over the escarpment was gorgeous. It takes a lot of force to carve through granite this deep. And it shows up here as well.
It looks like an angry alien with its mouth wide open.
The trail back was just as enjoyable as it was earlier. The shadows casted by the setting sun added more depth. And imaginations.
I can make out a ’fluffy dog’s head’ on this print.
Plants were growing in all sizes, colours and even directions. I felt like my friend ‘atten-pro’!
This side of the Atherton Tablelands is little populated.
With the falls withdrawn from the ‘sightseeing’ circuit, not many visitors come this way anymore.
But this shows how little impact from humans makes a big difference in nature. All along this scenic drive were pristine mountain creeks, covered in lush flora.
The green is almost fluorescence. One can see how this forest flourishes.
Even from under the bridge.
Over the bridge, some tall ferns grew comfortably. And that’s how I felt.