In 1913 José Paronella arrived in Australia from his home town of Catalina in Spain. He worked tirelessly for 11 years before returning to Spain where he met and married Margarita. Their honeymoon was their trip back to Australia.
In 1929 José purchased thirteen acres of virgin scrub along Mena Creek where he commenced to build a pleasure gardens and reception centre for the enjoyment of the public.
The Grand Staircase was built first so that they could carry river sand from the creek to make concrete, followed by construction of the house and finally the Castle. All concrete structures were reinforced with old railway track.
The Park was opened, to the public, in 1935 and pictures were shown in the theatre every Saturday night.
While it is now largely in ruin it is still a fascinating place to visit
and only about an hours drive from Cairns.
When commissioned, in 1933, the Hydro Electric generating plant was the first electricity system in Far North Queensland and supplied power to the entire Park. Parts of the water canals were still operating during our visit.
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