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“One man’s dream......amazing ”
Review of Paronella Park

Paronella Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Everyone has a dream. Jose Paronella’s dream became a reality. On 5 Hectares beside Mena Creek Falls he built his castle, 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. It opened to the public in 1935.Today, visitors to the park marvel at the achievements of one man. Admission to Paronella Park is valid for 24 months and covers all of the tours (a 45 minute guided walk that explains this extraordinary story & takes you through the highlights,the stunning Darkness Falls Tour where the castles and waterfall are flood-lit to allow for amazing photo opportunities, and the hydro tour, giving you an in-depth look at the hydro electricity system that harnesses the power of the waterfall to provide the electricity for the whole Park). Admission also includes a souvenir guide book, fish food for feeding our resident fish and turtles, a bookmark, as well as a site for one night in the adjacent van park.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed 28 June 2018 via mobile

Last time we visited was 1985 ... the park looked abandoned and overgrown- disappointing for my husband who went there as a child in 1969. So we decided to visit this time in our travels!

What a difference... the current owners are working hard to preserve this piece of history...one man’s dream!

It was a rainy day but the staff handle it well- plenty of umbrellas and an enthusiastic parking attendant!

We chose to do a guided tour with Ben - this was great. All the highlights were covered with a great commentary- plenty of time after tour to revisit areas. Tour gives you a greater understanding of the park and the dream!

Mobility impaired are catered for...they don’t miss out!

Nice gift shop. Great book on the history of the park. Cafe had lovely fresh food and a good variety - I had the most delicious fresh roast beef with beetroot marmalade and salad sandwich - it was so yummy. Coffee was excellent.

We even got a gift when we left—- a piece of the ballroom wall which fell during a cyclone. Very special with an inspirational quote inside!

Very impressed. Would recommend you visit and don’t let wet weather put you off

1  Thank Deborah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"night tour"
in 348 reviews
"guided tour"
in 184 reviews
"current owners"
in 50 reviews
"jose paronella"
in 173 reviews
"entry fee"
in 82 reviews
"fish food"
in 30 reviews
"feed the fish"
in 33 reviews
"interesting history"
in 27 reviews
"atherton tablelands"
in 44 reviews
"free camping"
in 30 reviews
"per adult"
in 25 reviews
"spanish castle"
in 73 reviews
"suspension bridge"
in 27 reviews
"josephine falls"
in 26 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 24 reviews
"scones"
in 22 reviews
"mission beach"
in 23 reviews
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177 - 181 of 2 361 reviews

Reviewed 26 June 2018

Mark & Judy Evans are doing a wonderful job of honouring the achievements of one man who built his dream castle & pleasure gardens in the middle of the rainforest, 15kms west of Innisfail. We stayed overnight in our caravan (all inclusive cost)so that we could make the most of visiting this unique place. The day tours leave on the half hour throughout the day & we also did the 6.15pm night tour, where the site takes on a magical glow, still powered by the hydro electric generator which Jose Paronella built 83 years ago!

1  Thank AustraliaJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2018 via mobile

Absolutely amazing return visit and exceeded our expectations again. Even dogsat our Benson while we went in. Day tour with Mandy - so informative and friendly. Don’t miss this place.
Free night in the van behind the Mena Creek Pub and a great feed - now for the night tour

1  Thank swadlingfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2018 via mobile

Have always intended to visit Paronella Park. Being >2hrs drive from Cairns it was always a bit of a drive when on holiday in Palm Cove. Who wants to be in a car for 5hrs when on holiday in FNQ? You get what I mean? It’s about beaches, rainforest and reef up here. Not bitumen.

This time we decided to go to Mission Beach and take in Paronella on the way.

I’ll let you look up the history on Google. In essence, a Spanish migrant sugar cane farmer made his fortune and built a pleasure park here in the 1930s. It’s been flooded and torn apart by cyclones over th decades and fell into disrepair in the early 1970s. Ruins in a rainforest.

A couple bought it about 10 years ago and have gone about resurrecting it as a tropical garden.

As a garden it has huge potential. Could do with more signage. It is very much a work in progress but worth a visit.

My main gripe is the price. It is $45 per adult. That’s a lot for an out-of-the-way garden with some weird 1930s ruins. (I know the upkeep will be expensive).

Some really nice tearooms wouldn’t go amiss either. There is a small cafe but given the likely clientele they could do better.

Am I glad I went? Not sure! If you never make it, I wouldn’t stress.

2  Thank heracles2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 June 2018

Paranello park well worth seeing amazing what it must have been the grounds are extensive set in a true Spanish style a beautiful waterfall is just near the boundary of the property

Thank Beryl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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