Mena Creek, Far North Queensland,
Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF 28-135m f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
f/8, 1/125s, ISO 400
RAW. Saturation increase and manual ‘Orton-style’ effect applied to background in PS.
The “Spanish Castle” in the grounds of Paronella Park was the dream of a Catalan immigrant Jose Paronella who made his fortune in Far North Queensland by buying and refurbishing cane fields and selling them for profit.
Once he made his fortune, he set about realizing his dream of building a pleasure grounds where people could come to picnic, play tennis, go to the cinema or even dance in the ballroom.
All of the buildings, stairways, paths and park furniture was made from hand-made bricks with mud quarried from the property itself. You can still see the finger marks in the cladding.
Apparently the “castle” came about more as a business move than anything else. He had made a return to Spain and on his entrance back to Australia he was detained for not paying his taxes. In the future, as a remedy for his tax problems, he decided to name his building as a castle – and so avoid paying taxes for life on the property!
Paronella Park is definitely worth a visit to anyone in Cairns or the Innisfail area. It’s a truly remarkable sight and a photographer’s dream.
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