Paronella park, was abandoned but has now been turned into a park

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I’ve been here (my parents live closeby), and i vaguely recall the story. A man who was in an arranged marriage in Spain left for Australia to make his fortune in 1913. He came over, worked and saved up money chopping up sugarcane. When he returned to Spain to see his betrothed again, she assumed he’d run away so she married someone else. But her younger sister took up the offer and they married and moved back here. They bought the property for cheap and decided to build a castle on it using poured concrete and old railway tracks.
It was a pleasure garden for the community as well as a house for themselves, with a theatre for movies, a dance hall, Tea gardens, and had a nice riverside setup for swimming and picnics.
The place eventually sold in the 70’s and i think the place was damaged pretty badly by a fire, and even a flood at some point. But the property was purchased by someone in the community who decided to restore it. Now its a tourism spot.

Funny story though, the tickets are crazy expensive ($42!!) so I convinced my mum to sneak in with me (surprisingly easy, the tour guide totally knew but didnt give a fuck) and we just followed the tourgroup around. I remember there was this tunnel that ran under a hill, and it’s kinda falling apart so they only let you enter part of the way, and theres bats on the ceilings and stuff. good times 🙂

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