Rather than just drive straight to the beach, we decided to leave bright and early and mosey along at our leisure, stopping wherever took our fancy.
In the small town of Beaudesert, Queensland we decided it was high time for a coffee break and found the perfect spot at Central Perk Coffee.
Run by a very cheery man, Central Perk Coffee was a tidy spot featuring a shiny glass case filled with all manner of tempting goodies. We perused the offerings and finally settled on Sticky Date Cake with Caramel Sauce for my friend…
…and a moist and tender slice of banana bread for me. Warm and topped with cream cheese frosting and melted butter, it was a marvelous addition to my morning.
One of my favorite things to drink in Australia is iced coffee. None of this plain coffee with ice cubes business, it is a decadent confection of coffee, milk, ice cream, whipped cream and syrup that makes me swoon every time.
After our lovely break we continued on our merry way, only deviating from our path when I saw a sign for a historical point of interest called the Laheys Canungra Tramway Tunnel. I couldn’t resist such a title and we simply had to stop.
The tunnel is located a short five minute walk from the road down a path that meanders through the forest. We were serenaded by thousands of cicadas as we walked. I couldn’t see a single one but they made a deafening chorus that made you feel like your brain was buzzing.
The Laheys Canungra Tramway Tunnel is part of a large scale, privately constructed and operated tramway constructed in 1900 by the Lahey brothers, immigrants from Ireland. It was used as part of the tramway to transport timber from the valleys in the south up and down the very steep hills to their mill in Canungra. The total length of track laid amounted to 26½ km and in 1915 alone, 15,000 tons of logs were hauled to the mill.
Belts of native vegetation were preserved alongside the tram tracks, and the route was known for its beauty as it curved among waterfalls, ferns and thick scrub. Locals used it for their everyday transportation needs. Some folks simply sat atop the logs, while children used the tramway for rides to school and picnickers hitched rides to their destinations.
Laheys Canungra Tramway Tunnel operated from the early 1900’s until about 1930. The tunnel was later used as a munitions dump during World War II.
The tunnel is empty now, large, dark, and wonderfully cool with a lovely breeze blowing through. It’s a nice respite on a blazing hot day. The ground is fairly level and safe for exploring, though you’ll want to watch out for the occasional puddle hiding in the darkness.
Laheys Canungra Tramway Tunnel
Head out of Canungra along Beaudesert Nerang Road.
Watch for a sign and pull into the parking area off to the right.
Follow the path down to the tunnel and a small picnic area.
What is your favorite dessert to have on a coffee break?