Dampier is 21klm west of Karratha overlooking the the ocean…
Paronella Park is 1 hour and 20 mins south of Cairns at Mena Creek on the Canecutter Way Tourist Drive. It was a dream of Jose Paronella to build a castle he built it on 13 acres beside Mena Creek Falls there are picnic tables at the lakeside, tunnels and bridges and a amazing staircase there is a range of 7000 tropical plants and trees. Jose arrived in nearby Innisfail in 1913 having come from Spain he worked hard for 11 years and made his wealth he was engaged at the time to Matilda who was back in Spain when he returned for her she had married another so he wed her sister Margarita and returned to Australia. in 1929 Jose purchased the land and built the staircase and castles all by hand to see the sheer magnitude of this you really have to visit, there was a huge ballroom which was also used as a movie theatre. Jose even built a hydro electric plant to power the site.
There was a tennis court built from crushed termite mounds, a pavilion, refreshment rooms, change rooms and it was very poplualr spot for picnics and swimming by the waterfall. I did the day tour then went back for the night tour. The caravan park was full but I was allowed to stay out on the grassed unpowered area out front along with many other caravans. The admission price of $43 included use of the amenities and access to the park for 24 months. You are greated as you enter by the owner Mark who bought the park in 1993 The staff are great and the guided tours a must. On arriving back from the night tour the owner Mark met us and thanked us for coming to the park and gave us a small present which was a piece of the original castle wall that had been blown over in one of the cyclones.
This is a must see place it is really beautiful and peaceful and the history, dedication and determination of Jose is really inspiring.