Photo of the day: Finch Hatton Gorge

My brother just woke up one day and decided he’d had enough of living close-by to family. Maybe we were dropping around cakes too often. Or he didn’t see the point in having a journalist sister who was really quite useless to him. Perhaps if my car wasn’t permanently needing repairs, and he wasn’t a mechanic, things may have been different.

Or maybe Rob was sick of our other brother, Nick, living so close and constantly pestering him to play cards and bringing around beers. Or Nick might have cuts his lawns a little closely

It could have been mum and dad, with their cheery disposition, that pushed him over the limit. Or living so close to the beach.

All I know is that he trotted off to Mackay leaving me with just one brother, one beach house and no mechanic.

Secretly and occasionally in a gossip-ish tone to my mother, I wondered whether Mackay was such a great idea.

If we would all be forking out for airfares, why not shoot for Airlie Beach, or Cairns. That would be, well, cool. But hot, of course. At least the reef was close by. And I’ve heard great things about the Daintree. And Port Douglas.

But ever since my brother decided the way to get out of a “pantsing” when he lost cards to our older brother was to don about 18 pairs of shorts, so Big Bro could never get to his junk, I just knew Robbie would have a clever idea tucked away in his plans.

Here it is. Finch Hatton Gorge, less than an hour from the steamy, industrial machine that calls itself Mackay.

Oh yeah, Mackay: the town is teeming with coin. People are Making Money in Mackay. Mining, sugar, anything you tough will turn to gold in that place. Except the mudflats at low tide, they are a recipe for brown, slime-coated legs.

So back to the picture. A little adventure through the cane fields takes you to a tucked-away National Park which is home to this stunning water hole.

It’s a crunchy, winding bushwalk, about 20 minutes, to get to this sweet little spot. Apparently there are other spots further on, but not everyone thinks a full-blown hike in the mountains is as fun as doing the equivalent distance in the mall.

However, this spot has everything you need. The water is exceptionally crisp and those rocks are a perfect height to jump off.

“That’s nothing,” I’d scoff at the people on top of the rocks, bracing themselves for a huge leap. “It’s not the bloody Harbour Bridge,” I think, quietly and to myself as the suckers quietly shat themselves at the top. Hesitating helps no-one.

Then you get up there and you may as well be leaping into a pool of alligators. It’s terrifying. And exhilirating.

So, Rob’s move to Mackay. I’m cool about it now. He did buy a house with a pool and a spa. And I figured out it ain’t so far from the reef.

I’ve moved on and found a new mechanic.

Oh yeah, and he has proved there are real adventures on his new doorstep.