Last week, in the first part of the series, Marc Talloen began his story about how a Tesla Model S travelled 9,000kms through regional Queensland without a super-charger network. This is the second part of the series.
Area 3: From Rockhampton to Ayr, Townsville and Ingham:
Area 3 was more like a transit area to reach our next holiday place. When driving from Proserpine to Bowen and Townsville I realised how the drought had affected this area . In the interest of farming and employment wouldn’t it be feasible to exploit the current competitiveness of renewable energy to pump more water via extra pipelines from areas such as the Cassowary Coast to farming areas that are frequently stricken by drought? Higher points along the pipeline may have potential for energy buffering with dams. From technological viewpoint it’s absolutely feasible.
The Ayr showground (below) may have great potential for the QLD Electric Highway plan. It has 2 transformers of 500 kVA each, powerful enough to charge multiple EVs simultaneously.
Behind the car (above left) you can see my favourite local 5 star restaurant and luxurious office facilities with scenic outlook (photo right). Behind it to the right there is a power cabin and transformers. I enjoyed “Ecotourism” at the bathrooms: creepy fauna showing off their survival skills hiding in the latrines’ crevices and sending shivers down your spine with their surprising screams while you’re in full action!
At my first trip North I only had a small battery top-up in Ayr given that I was expected to charge at Horan & Bird Company, designer / installer of PV systems in Townsville. However, “Murphy’s law” spoiled that idea as contrary to our expectations we didn’t find a 3 phase power socket but only one ChargePoint charger and without a J1172 cable adapter charging was impossible! An alternative solution shown below was demoed for fun but at sunset time it definitely lacked the grunt to charge a Tesla MS.
Horan & Bird staff frantically looked for some other building in the area with a 3 phase 5 pin socket but the next place we went to only had a 3 phase 4 pin socket. Talking to some neighbours in the industrial zone we unbelievably stumbled (good karma?) upon someone who knew the owner of the only Tesla MS in Townsville who wholeheartedly offered me to charge at his place so I could continue my trip North towards Innisfail and Cairns.
Further north from Townsville the scenery slowly started to look greener with the Paluma Range National Park bordering the highway. We made a short stop at Balgal Beach for the kids to release the nerves.
On the return trip we stayed overnight in Ingham where we charged the car at Lathinen Electrical, local designer / installer of solar energy systems. As you can see below, Daniel quickly modified the 3 phase power socket to serve our needs. Lathinen Electrical is also very motivated to install a Tesla Destination Charger to help out Tesla drivers.
From Ingham we visited Cardwell Beach and made a trip to the magnificent Wallaman Waterfall, more than 50km inland, partly on unsealed roads. I can assure you that we saw a few jaws dropping when we arrived with the Tesla at the parking close to the platform for viewing the top of the falls! The Wallaman Waterfall initially cascades 50 meters before it freely drops another 268 m and is listed in Australia’s top 10 waterfalls. We made the 3h descend + ascend trek to the bottom of the falls and enjoyed a cool dip in one of the pools.
Another waterfall that we visited was the Jourama Falls, 6km inland from the Bruce Highway into the Paluma Range National Park but there was only a trickle of water due to extreme drought.
About halfway between Townsville and Ingham you can make a stop at Frosty Mango eatery, specializing in ice creams, sorbets and deserts made with local and tropical fruits. Their premises feature a large PV installation and they also have 3 phase power. In the future electric vehicles passing there will be able to charge and the owners are super motivated to get some Tesla Destination Chargers.
Area 4: From Ingham to Innisfail
Here we charged at 2 private places with solar energy, 1 caravan park, Paronella Park, 1 tourist resort and 1 showground in Innisfail. Especially for Mission Beach and Tully Heads where we stayed for a longer time the Tesla UMC proved to be very handy.
In Part 1 I wrote “N-Queensland has very strong tourism ace cards and beyond the beaten tourist tracks, this area really offers some magic and fun!” For areas 3 & 4 we can split up the ace cards into:
Beaches and hinterland:
Swimming Holes, Rivers, Water Falls:
Local “Fauna & Flora”:
If on one of your walks in area 4 you can see this fresh- and older droppings resulting in germinating seeds you can be sure you’re in Cassowary territory and there is probably a specimen in the neighbourhood with a healthy digestion system! You better respect this endangered animal and keep a safe distance.
Cassowaries can also be seen quite regularly on the Etty Bay Beach
Paronella Park is another magnificent ace card for the Northern Queensland tourism. One can enjoy the mix of the wet tropics nature, the Mena Creek Falls, and a local history with Spanish influenced culture. It’s easy to spend a few hours to visit the place and EV drivers are welcomed by the owners to top-up their car batteries using renewable hydro-energy produced next to the water fall (see air bubbling in front of the falls to the right side). Mark, one of the owners of the park was very impressed learning about the Tesla and expressed a strong motivation to install two 3-phase sockets for EV charging and if possible at least one Tesla destination charger!
To round off Part 2, let me reiterate that in case you consider buying a Tesla Model S and my report helped you to make a decision….please note that Tesla is currently running a “Tesla Motors Referral Program” offering discounts. When designing and buying your Tesla, please feel free to use my referral link which is http://ts.la/marc4161