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Today's quote:

Friday, March 2, 2018

Dream a little dream with me


Just paraphrasing the Mamas & the Papas as I, mental traveller that I am, go up to Kuranda in tropical North Queensland for another stay at my favourite watering hole, the iconic Kuranda Hotel.

Way back when "Riverbend" seemed to have found a buyer, my thoughts turned immediately to Kuranda and which I immediately visited for an up-close-and-personal look at its real estate. Luckily, I didn't get carried away and never put my money down because "Riverbend" never got sold - and maybe never will - but it's nice to dream a little dream, isn't it?

Coming as far south as Canberra and Nelligen has always seemed like an accident and I've always thought of returning to the tropics. I've lived in Brisbane and Mackay and Townsville and Magnetic Island and Cairns and Mt Isa and even on far-away Thursday Island; the last two okay if you have a job there; the first two too urban and too urbane; and Townsville and Magnetic Island too loaded down with too many personal memories.

Kuranda still retains its magic for me. It's in the tropics just 30 minutes from Cairns but at an elevation of 350 metres which means the nights are nice and cool and the days rarely exceed 31°C even in summer.

And the whole world comes to you by road, by Scenic Railway, and on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, to fill up the cafés and shops from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Once the last train and cable car have gone, this 'Village in the Rainforest' belongs to the koalas and cassowaries and the few locals on their way to the pub. You could fire a shot down the main street and only hit the town drunk - and no big loss that would be!

On a previous trip I inspected a grand lady of a house overlooking the Barron River which afterwards became the Grand Barron Lodge. I have since learned that you don't "invest" in real estate in a tropical climate which requires endless maintenance and where, as soon as a cyclone has dropped the first palm tree, real estate prices drop, too.

Smaller is better and this charming Queenslander at 14 Barang Street is just small enough to be comfortable, and at $339,000 stretches nobody's finances (since relisted at "Buyers over $299,000" - see here). Not that the current owners are laughing at that price: they bought the place in 2008 for $316,000. Fungi grow quicker than that!