Archer Point, bit windy
We arrived into Cooktown not really knowing what to expect. We were both pleasantly surprised by our first impression of the town. Its an old town, with loads of historic buildings that are in great condition, a couple of old pubs, and just a general really nice feel about the town. It still surprises me that there really are no tourists here at this time of the year.
We checked into the Orchid Caravan Park, which is within walking distance to the main street. The managers are lovely and absolutely love dogs. After just one night with neighbors, the whole caravan park emptied out. So we have the whole place to ourselves!!!
We walked up to the Grassy hill look out, which is where Captain James Cook walked to survey the reef to plan his exit. There is heaps of history in this town, and usually that’s not my cup of tea, but it was very interesting to read of their exploits. There is a lot of info dotted around the town, showing the significant points of interest. The walk was so steep, but well and truly worth the effort to get the lighthouse. The view was just incredible. Jenna and I both said it’s a wonder Captain Cook didn’t just drop anchor right here and set up for good!!! We did this walk a few times just for fitness as it was a real work out especially pushing the pram up it.
The next day, Jenna found out about a place called Trevethan Falls. It’s quite a trip in there, with some really rough tracks, water crossings, and general low range driving. But was it worth it!!!! WOW, is all we could say. It was spectacular. A massive waterfall cascading onto rocks into a plunge pool. By far, my favorite waterfall so far. I know people say If you have seen one waterfall you have seen them all but up in Far North Queensland they are all so spectacular and you could never get sick of them.
We stopped into the Lions Den Hotel on the way home, and conveniently Cedar had fallen asleep about 10 minutes before we arrived. Also conveniently, we parked right next to a table and chairs, so Jenna and I sort of had a hot date. It was really nice, the building is so old, and has been open since around 1870. You just cant imagine it been around that long, I mean, its remote now, let alone 150 years ago!! The building had peoples well wishes and photos scribbled all over the walls and it was quite interesting to read what some people had wrote. We had a couple of drinks and spoke to a few of the locals.
We planned on a rest day for our Saturday, after I stayed up rejoicing that Fremantle Dockers had lost the previous night, so we wandered down to the local markets which are held every Saturday. They were small, but really good and Jenna came home with bags of fruit and veg, and I came home with my standard chutney. I also had to drop in and grab a crab pot and a couple of sneaky lures ready for the cape!!!
We decided to take a drive south and have a look at the free camp sites at Archer Point. You couls easily get the van in there, but at this time of the year, the place gets belted by the south east trade winds. Would be a great spot to set up but, even with the wind. There was a lighthouse up the top of the hill which had views over the entire bay, perfect for a few photos.
We also ventured south to complete the second half of the Bloomfeild track. This section passes thru Cedar Bay National park which is just as stunning as the Daintree rainforests. The road passes the small township of Rossville, and then arrives into Ayton. The track nearing Ayton had bad pot holes. I defiantly wouldn’t be to keen to drive that part with the van on. Its very very scenic around these parts, and we sort of made plans to return on our way back down.
Whilst at cooktown we visited the botanic gardens, a nice walk thru the landscaped gardens, it wasnt the prettiest botanic gardens we have seen but still a nice walk.
The James Cook Museum was another worthwhile stop. Entry was $10 each and at first we were like "What a waste of money" That was until we realised there was an upstairs section. It was really interesting to see all of the artefacts and how the settlers lived back in the day. The building itself was magical with views from the second floor over Cooktown. Even if you dont like history it is a great place to see. The doll section is a little creepy!
The Esplanade walk around the town is a great way to see the sights Cooktown has to offer. It is also a great way to learn some of the history. Of course we couldnt escape the walk without stopping at the play equipment, not only was it for little kids but there was stuff to keep us big kids amused as well.
We restocked our food and booze and will head for Elim Beach.
Cedar Bay national park
Cedar Bay National Park, Bloomfield Track
Cedar Bay National Park
Lionds Den Pub
Lions Den Pub
Cook town Botanic Gardens
James cook Museum creepy Dolls
James Cook Museum
Grassy Hill Lookout
Grassy Hill look out
Grassy hill lookout
Big and small kids play ground
Fishing off the jetty
Captain cook landing and ammo store