A Spanish castle hand-built in the north Queensland rainforest in the 1930s has been revived as a tourist attraction.

Story By Terri Cowley

In the 1930s, José Paronella, a Spanish immigrant hand-builta castle in the lush forest alongside Mena Creek Falls, near Innisfail.
The 7000 trees José planted are now encroaching upon his castle and the tunnels, paths and bridges that he carved out of the earth. Visitors flock to the heritage-listed, eco-certified Paronella Park to immerse themselves in another world, including a 47-step grand staircase, a picnic area by the falls and an avenue of stunning kauri trees that tower like cathedral spires. The five-hectare site takes you back in time in so many ways – close your eyes inside the tumbledown ballroom and you can imagine the swishing of gowns in the 1940s. Walk along Lovers Lane and picture the servicemen that it was created for, strolling with their sweethearts in wartime.

This story excerpt is from Issue #93

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2014