Paronella Park is one of my favourite places in North Queensland. Something about the epic struggle between man and nature that’s been raging there for the last eighty years makes me all soft and sentimental. Jose Paronella spent most of his adult life carving his slice of paradise out of the wilderness around Mena Creek. Not content with taming the trees and the scrub he harnessed the creek to build North Queensland’s first privately owned hydroelectric plant.
Today the rebuilding of that is complete and, when the creek flows with the wet season, it will be producing enough electricity to put power back into the grid! Hydroelectric is not used widely in Australia as a source of power, though there are several schemes in North Queensland including ones on the Tully and Barron Rivers. Small schemes like this show what can be achieved with vision and determination.