Granite Gorge Nature Park
Located near Mareeba , Granite Gorge is one of the most interesting things to do on the Atherton Tablelands, especially for wildlife and nature lovers.
Granite Gorge is an important part of our Perentie Tours which often takes in the neighboring attractions of the Mareeba Golf course with its resident Eastern Grey Kangaroo mob and the Mareeba Heritage Museum.
How Granite Gorge was formed
Granite is igneous (it solidified from a fluid state) and plutonic (it did so in a large, deeply buried body). It began life as magma deep under the earth’s surface over 600 million years ago and is found in formations up to 100 square kilometers where the earth’s crust has been deeply eroded. Granite is nearly always massive (lacking internal structures), hard and tough, and therefore, it has gained widespread use as a construction stone. The word “granite” comes from the Latin granum, and refers to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystalline rock.
Granite always consists of the minerals quartz and feldspar, with or without a wide variety of other minerals. The quartz and feldspar generally give granite a light colour, ranging from pinkish to white. But that light background colour is punctuated by the darker accessory minerals. Therefore, classic granite has a “salt-and-pepper” look. The most common accessory minerals are the black mica. When you look closely at the granite at Granite Gorge, these different elements can be easily seen. Try to examine rock that has recently broken away so there are no algae camouflaging the surface you are inspecting.
Granite and Tin
Tin mining is often mentioned on Perentie Tours on the ‘Cairns Outback Tours’ as tin deposits are typically associated with granite. Primary deposits can occur within the granite or within dyke like rocks associated with the granite.
Granite Gorge and the Mareeba Rock Wallaby
The hard and boulderous surface is the perfect environment for the Mareeba Rock Wallaby that have become renowned for their friendly attitude towards humans. The Granite Gorge Nature Park is privately owned and there is a small fee to walk through the gorge and feed the wallabies. Many are happy to just sit and observe the wallabies while they forage on the huge slabs of Granite.
More information can be found at http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g499671-d1590526-Reviews-Granite_Gorge_Nature_Park-Mareeba_Queensland.html
or have a look at the Perentie Tours home page