Paronella Park the Castle in the Rainforest

Tucked away in the rainforest beside Mena Creek Falls, you’ll discover the magical Paronella Park. The Spanish Castle in the Rainforest. Spread over 5 Hectares, Jose Paronella began construction of his labour of love in the early 1930s. With his own two hands, he managed to build a castle, grand ballroom, tennis court, refreshment rooms, grand staircase and even a working hydroelectric plant. He planted 7,500 tropical plants and trees to surround his masterpiece. Which is now grown to be a lush tropical rainforest.

History of Paronella Park

Jose Paronella arrived in Australia from Spain in 1913. He spent the next 11 years working the sugar cane fields. Eventually, he returned to Spain to marry Margarita. When they came back to Australia, Jose purchased the land in 1929.

The Grand Staircase was the earliest structure to be built. Carrying river sand to make the concrete was a vital function. After creating a cottage to live in, Jose started work on the castle. And so the construction continued until the park opened up to the public in 1935.

One of the most popular areas was the Grand Ballroom. On Saturday nights it would turn into a movie theatre. The hall was a favourite venue for dances and parties with a huge mirror ball covered with 1270 tiny mirrors suspended from the ceiling.

Every corner you turn in Paronella Park, there’s something new to discover. From the tunnel with its stonework balconies to a hidden waterfall, tennis courts, a pool, picnic area – the list goes on and on. And to think it was all hand-made by Jose, really makes you marvel at this impressive castle and grounds.

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