Paronella Park, North Queensland, Australia

Adrian Paul

Coffs Harbour, Australia

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Artist's Description

201 views as at 16 September 2012

Paronella Park at Mena Creek in North Queensland, came about because of the dream of an eccentric Spaniard, José Paronella who came to Australia in 1913 and for 13 years worked as a a cane cutter.

He then returned to Spain, married and came back to Australia, bought land at Mena Creek and started to make his dream of building a Spanish style castle become a reality. On five hectares beside Mena Creek Falls he built by hand his castle, a picnic area by the falls, tennis courts, bridges, a tunnel, and wrapped it up in an amazing range of 7,500 tropical plants and trees. He even harnessed the waterfall for his electricity. Paronella Park opened to the public in 1935.

In 1933, Paronella installed a hydro-electric plant, the first (privately owned) in Queensland, on the waterfall (see photo) in the park. He used it to supply power for the park’s lighting, pumps, refrigeration and cinema. The town of Mena Creek also used some of the electricity. The plant was eventually decommissioned. However, in 2009 the park completed a restoration of the plant, and now runs entirely off hydro-electric power. Some of the excess electricity is fed back into the local grid.

For more information on Paronella Park, please visit Paronella Park

Camera – Nikon D80; Lens – Tamron 28 – 300 VC

Three bracketed RAW photos, processed in Photomatix Pro 4.0, with finishing touches in Photoshop Elements 6.0

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