A Travellerspoint blog

Hideaway Bay and Airlie Beach

31st May - 5th June 2013

sunny 29 °C

Hideaway Bay and Airlie Beach

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Hideaway BAy Beach

We pulled into Hideaway Bay after having it been recommended by our friends from Sydney. There’s only the one caravan park just set back from the beach but its really nice and there still wasn’t many people there at all.

As we pulled in we noticed another Bushtracker, so we met Geoff and Annett and hit it off straight away. We also met our other new neighbors Kevin and Joy, and they all fell in love with my little terror Cedar Mai.

This is really the first place we were able to swim in clear blue water with sandy beaches, so needless to say we made the most of it. The bay itself is completely protected from the southerly, and we returned back to the bay many times. We also took a bike ride over to Dingo beach from the caravan park, which was great. Both places are well and truly worthy of a visit. We made friends with another couple, who invited me out on his dinghy, so one of the days we hit the sea and spent the morning on the water. Not too much action but never the less it was still a great day.

We heard there was live music at the resort in Hideaway Bay on the Sunday, so we went on over, sat and listened to some tunes and enjoyed a few cocktails in the afternoon. We also met some younger crew at the caravan park who spent afternoons with sinking a few cold ones (sounds like we are alcoholics.)

We also drove into Airlie Beach on the Saturday morning to have a look at the local markets. They were great, even though there weren’t huge amounts of fruit and veg, which is what Jenna usually hunts for. All the stalls had variety, and I left with my standard issue chutney from the granny holding her own stall. The whole main street of Airlie beach is been developed at the moment, so it looks like a bomb hit it, but it will be all worth it once its done.

We also dropped into the town of Proserpine for a look, and we were both stunned at how big it was. This is our first realization of how developed the east coast is compared to the west coast. It’s a pretty town, with an excellent coffee roasting company just back towards Hideaway Bay. Now I love my coffee, so I made the most and actually returned on our way back south when we left.

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Hydeaway Bay Beach
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Hydeaway Bay Beach
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One of the many fruit stalls on the side of the road on the way to Airlie Beach
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Airlie Beach
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Airlie Beach MArkets
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Coffee Roaster worth a trip if you like coffee
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Hideaway bay
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Hideaway Bay
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Live Music at Hideaway bay Resort

Posted by Jenaben 03:14 Archived in Australia Tagged markets airlie_beach hideaway_bay dingo_beach Comments (0)

Paluma Falls, Townsville and Bowen

28th May - 31st May 2013

sunny 25 °C

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Paluma Falls, Townsville and Bowen

We left Cairns with very heavy hearts as we were now with out our old mate Tyson. Ill be completely honest, it just feels weird not to have him there, but onwards we go.

Once again we had no plan at all where we were going to stop for the night, we would just decide when we’ve had enough. So we near the town of Ingham, and we stopped and stocked up at one of the best street fruit and veg stalls we have ever seen. It was run by an old Italian fella, and we instantly bonded with him, we struck up a conversation about curing hams and making sauces. The produce he had was excellent and for the grand sum of $26 we left with 3 shopping bags full of goods. The best thing we bought of him were white egg plants which neither of us tried before. They were amazing, crumbed and cooked in the pan with olive oil!!!

A bit of advice from the old market gardener, and we pulled into Paluma NP for the night. Again this was with a heavy heart as we were not used to pulling into National Parks as we have always had Tyson, but the camp ground was great, shady trees with nice lawns. We arrived late in the arvo, so we saved the waterfall walk till the morning.

Well, did we underestimate the waterfall!!! It was a stunning walk up to a massive cascading waterfall, and honestly after all the waterfalls I’ve seen in the last few months, this would have to be the most spectacular!!!

After Paluma, we arrived into Townsville where we had to sort out a problem I was having with my batteries. The city surprised us with how big it was, as we were driving in to check into the Rowe’s Bay Caravan Park. We got all our running around done within 2 days, as well as driving up Castle Hill and having a look at the excellent view over the town and towards Magnetic Island. We walked the esplanade which was a nice walk and great for Cedar to have a scoot and play.

The caravan park was nice but the caretaker was a bit of a knob. We would have stayed longer if it wasn’t for him. Not going to whine, just pointing it out.

We departed Townsville and headed for Bowen where we dropped into see Jenna’s aunty Norma. It was great catching up and having a cuppa and admiring her view from her house over the bay of Bowen. She has a great location and a view you could never ever get sick of. We both secretly wanted to steal one of her dogs, it looked like Tyson just a little bigger, They were both big softys.

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Paluma Falls, National Park
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Paluma Falls
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Castle Hill Lookout Townsville
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Castle Hill Lookout
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Castle Hill
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Townsville Esplanade walk

Posted by Jenaben 03:05 Archived in Australia Tagged bowen castle_hill townsville paluma_national_park Comments (0)

Mossman/Port Douglas/Cairns again, Saying Goodbye to Tyson

18th May 28th May 2013

sunny 28 °C

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Heading South Again. Mossman, Port Douglas and Cairns and saying goodbye to Tyson.

So the tip was done and dusted, ticked of the list. Now it was time to clean. A few phone calls while on the road, and Jenna had the car booked in to be repaired, and I had the van booked in for new curtains and new lounge covers. A full Renovation!!!

We pulled into Mossman, and I took the car straight down to the Port Douglas Carwash and gave it a massive clean. I was at the carwash for about 3 hours, but it was worth it. The next morning, I dropped Jenna and Cedar into Port Douglas town, and I went and spent 3 hours washing the van at the same Carwash!!!

There was a food festival on at Port Douglas, but we were lucky enough to snag a spot in the van park where we stayed on the way up. We were tired, so we just chilled out, and continued cleaning! Its not that easy having a big clean out while your on the road, but overall, everything scrubbed up pretty good.

We continued on the next day to Cairns, where we intended to stay at a caravan park, but Dave and Carly wouldn’t have a bar of it, so up the van went again onto their front Lawn.

The van was renovated completely, with a new vinyl floor with timber beading, new curtains and pelmets, and new lounge covers. It came up great.

Jenna and Carly finally got to tackle Walsh’s Pyramid, a 6km hike up the side of a steep mountain. In places you have to actually use your hands to climb up the rock faces and the views from the top are amazing. Definitely one to cross off the bucket list. I gave this one a miss as it would have been near on impossible with 14kg of baby strapped to your back, so I let the wifey go while I looked after Cedar. We did also did the Smithfield track and our good old mate Earl Hill.

On the Sunday Carly, Davo, Jenna Cedar and myself we went on the Skyrail over the forrest to Kuranda. The carts are suspended hundreds of metres in the sky and the view is incredible. Even Dave who isnt too fond of heights enjoyed himself once he got past the initial scare. The carts stopped at 2 stops along the way where we got off and went for a walk thru the rainforest to take in the scenary. We had lunch at the pub but no-one wanted an alcoholic beverage as there were a few sore heads from the night before. The journey home was on the Kuranda railroad it was very pleasant sitting in the old train carts which meandered thru the mountains taking us home.

Unfortunately, this is where the Living the dream turns bad, and our beloved old mate Tyson started getting sicker and sicker by the day. By the end of the week, we had to let him go, and it was just devastating for us both. He was part of our family, and we have shared so much with him ver the last 13 years. We just really struggle to imagine a life without him, because he is always with us!!! On the good side, he got to see the tip with us, not to mention having an absolute ball the last 8 months with us. I loved him to bits, and so did Jenna and we will miss him terribly.

We had him cremated, and he will finish the journey with us, then we will spread his ashes around the dam on our block, which was his absolute favorite place to swim.

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Cleaning the car and van on the way to port douglas in a seed spray removal unit
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Keeping the baby busy
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Renovating the van
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Dinner at Yorkys
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Kuranda Skyrail
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Daves a little nervous but fantastic views in the skyrail
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Skyrail
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1 0f the walks that you get off the skyrail to do if you want
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Missing 1 family member
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Amazing views
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Running for the train
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On the train
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Happy travellers
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Kuranda Railway
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Goodbye to our beloved Family member, the trip isnt gonna be the same without you. Miss you more than words can explain. xxx

Posted by Jenaben 04:31 Archived in Australia Tagged cairns port_douglas mossman walsh's_pyramid smithfield_track Comments (1)

Loyalty Beach - Punsand Bay - Cape York - Bamaga

4th May-18th May 2013

sunny 28 °C

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Cedar, Zoe and Sammy at Loyalty Beach

Loyalty Beach and Punsand Bay Cape York

After paying the Ferry $138 dollars for a 5 min barge ride, (the 5 min includes loading and unloading) we continued up towards the tip, where we would set up camp at Loyalty Beach Camp Ground. We passed through the settlements of Injinoo, Umagico and then Bamaga and New Mapoon, before arriving at the turn of to Loyalty Beach. The section after the ferry was probably the most corrugated of the whole Peninsula Development road, but overall the road was excellent.

Loyalty Beach is really nice, with plenty of shade and a few huts set up by regular visitors. We set up next to Josh and Megan, and it was the night before Megan’s birthday, so Jenna and the girls made her a surprise birthday cake ready for the big day.

I sent Megan and Josh of for a hot date, so the girls could make the cake, and we joined them once it was out of the oven. The Loyalty beach bar is amazing, just totally unexpected for a middle of nowhere bar. Nice shady trees with party lights, raked sand and fresh fish and chips. It was a very enjoyable night, with excitement building for our visit to the very tip the next day.

Josh had promised Megan a champas at the tip, so we woke and set of with a visit to Punsand bay on the way. Of course we felt obliged to have a beer, so the girls could have a swim in the pool, so we did. Why….. Because we can!!! A few beers and a swim later, we took the 4WD short cut to the tip (honestly I don’t know why I did this) where I became stuck in a bog hole, probably because Josh stired it all up first!!!!

To visit the very northern tip of Australia was a really special experience, even though I wasn’t expecting all that much after seeing hundreds of photos and videos of it. But I can assure you; it was really awesome, with the seas meeting, the islands offshore all shared with my beautiful family and some great friends.

We also visited Thursday Island for the day, the brand new ferry ride was great, and Cedar really enjoyed it. We were picked up by Dirk, who took us on a tour of the island where we stopped first at the famous pie shop, where we ate Chili Crayfish Pies. We then went onto the old fort at the top of the hill overlooking the entire island, where there was a small museum.

It was an enjoyable day, finished off with a pub lunch and a few beers at the most Northern Pub in Australia. The pub was called The Torres, and it was a great, once again enjoyed together with good friends.

We visited The DC3 crash sites which was really interesting, plane wrecks from WW2 laid scattered in the bush. We also explored Seisha and surrounds. Josh got talking to the the local priest who took us out fishing on his boat in the arvo.

After Loyalty beach, we said our Goodbyes to our Sydney friends, as they headed of back to their van. We went on further, and decided to stay at Punsand Bay. The track in was no problem at all, and we settled in on our grassy site with the ocean on our doorstep. We planned on staying 2 or 3 nights, but as is the norm for Jenna and I, we stayed about 8 I think.

The new managers at Punsand bay were so nice, which really was why we extended our stay, that and the fact we had the whole place to ourselves!!! Our days consisted of morning walks, getting Cedar back into a sleep routine, and sunsets fishing 15m away from our van door. What a magic place. Jenna especially had a real connection with Punsand Bay, and could probably have stayed longer.

While at Punsand bay, we explored the surrounding area including Somerset Beach, the 5 Beaches drive, and also the tip at Albany Island. These tracks were fairly overgrown, but well worth the effort. One common theme for all these southeast facing beaches was not only the beauty, but the amount of drift rubbish that washes onto the beach. It was just everywhere, a lot of it been Indonesian water bottles. Once again Jenna did her bit and picked up bags of rubbish off the beach in an attempt to try and clean it up a little.

We finally departed the cape york area, and stopped into the Bamaga shop, which surprisingly had heaps of fresh fruit and veg, and stocked up ready for our journey south. Many warned us that the shop was so expensive, but really we found it to be fine with all the things you could possibly need plus more.
Bamaga has plenty of stray dogs and horses on the street so make sure you keep your eyes peeled as they just sleep on the road. Poor Tyso donated some of his food to the underfed boney dogs with Jenna Sneaking food to them without being to obvious. As sad it was to see the condition of some of the dogs, they probably live better lives roaming the streets than some poor backyard suburban dogs who are locked behind a fence 24 hours a day.

We worked our way back down, crossed the ferry back over the Jardine River, and this is where things got interesting for all the wrong reasons. A heap of rain started falling, and we slowed down to about 40 to 60 km per hour. There was water everywhere.

Approaching the turn off to Captain Billy’s Landing, we just started sliding in the car and van with a 90-degree bend straight ahead, the heart was pumping. It was fine though, we just overshot the corner. About 5 minutes after this , a car came around the corner ahead of us, and he was completely out of control!!! I had to swerve down the embankment, car and van, and then back up onto the road. I absolutely shat myself, and so did Jenna. The bloke didn’t even stop to see if all was ok!!! THEN, 5 minutes after that, we went down a side track, decided not to go any further, so started to turn the car and van around, when I reversed into a tree!!! I smashed the rear taillight of the car, and thankfully that was the 3 things that could go wrong!!!

We continued on, still pouring with rain, and we pulled into the Bramwell station for the night, where we had a couple of quiet beers, and a surf and turf from the newly renovated bar at the station. The girl that runs the place there is very friendly and helpful.

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Loyalty Beach Bar View
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Wild Horses at Loyalty Beach
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Loyalty Beach our camp view
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Loyalty Beach Drinks
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Dinner Loyalty Beach
Exploring
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Megans Birthday
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Tyson at the Tip
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Cape York Tip
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Cape York Tip
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Cape York the tip

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Short cut to the tip = bogged
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Bogged
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Croc Tent
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DC3 Plane Wreck
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Plane Wrecks
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Stealing Coconuts
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2 separate pythons (we think)
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Thursday Island
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Fortes on Thursday Island
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Fortes on Thursday Island
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Girls in the tree
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Lunch at the Thursday Island Pub
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Old MAte enjoying the View
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Our camp for a week in Punsand BayIMG_4683.jpg
IMG_4686.jpgIMG_4689.jpgIMG_4684.jpg, we had the whole place to ourselves
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Flying Fish Cove
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5 Beaches drive, beautiful beaches but full of rubbish
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The old resort at the tip is now run down and falling to bits
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Punsand Bay
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Fresh Oysters off the rocks
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The drive back from the Tip
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Bramwell Station

Posted by Jenaben 19:13 Archived in Australia Tagged cape_york jardine_river punsand_bay loyalty_beach the_tip siesa thursday_island bamaga Comments (1)

Bramwell Station/Fruit Bat Falls/Eliot Falls/Telegraph trak

2nd May-3rd MAy 2013

30 °C

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Bramwell Station and the Old telegraph Track

We were on our way further north and pretty much in the middle of nowhere, when we saw a bloke waving us down from the side of the road. Turns out he had been “pigging” about 5 km’s from where we were, and his vehicle had become stuck and he was walking to get help from the nearby Moreton Station. We are always reluctant to pick people up, especially when they have a dirty big knife hanging off their shorts however after we looked at him, it was very apparent he was in trouble.

So we dropped him off, and I couldn’t resist flicking a lure from the bridge that is over the Wenlock River. This is where we met the Scheffer Family. My introduction to josh was a quote that was to be repeated many times over the next week. “coz you can”

The Scheffer family which consisted of Josh and Megan with their daughters Zoe and Sammy were also traveling around our great country, from Sydney all the way round. We had a quick chat and said we would meet up at Bramwell Station for the night.

We pulled into Bramwell Junction roadhouse, and started chatting and getting to know our new mates from Sydney. It was apparent immediately that we would all get along, especially Cedar with “her Girls” Zoe and Sammy. We had a few Gold cans, followed by a few White cans then we set up for the night in the camp grounds. The grounds were nice, with grassed areas and fire pits ready to go.

We spent the night chatting and watching the fire, telling stories and sort of planning our next day together, which was to visit Fruit Bat Falls and Eliot Falls.

After a quick pack up and refuel, we departed and made the easy drive up to Fruit Bat Falls. We got the van into the parking area no worries, even though there were a few other families from Weipa there. The Falls are great, and they just scream out to jump in and wash some of the red dust away. The other families left, and we had the whole place to ourselves, a very rare occurrence for Fruit Bat Falls!!

After visiting Fruit Bat Falls, we made our way to Eliot Falls, a little hesitant as we had heard the road was pretty rough. We arrived at the water crossing, and a quick check with Josh we made it thru easy as. Our confidence was sky high!!!

Eliot Falls, which is spelt the same way as my last name, which is really unusual with one L and one T, was stunning. A quick look at the main Falls area, then over to Canal Creek for a swim under the curtain waterfall.

Because the track was so good, we decided to keep heading North along the Old Telegraph Track, and pop out onto the Hwy near Mistake Creek. Well what a mistake that was. Josh basically gave me the call if we would attempt it, as i had the van behind, and he didn't. So off we went, we arrived at the first crossing, and basically after reaching the water, we were already 100% committed as i was never going to make it back up that first hill. So it was with a audience of near by campers we started this long and extremely stressful part of the northern Old telegraph Track, with the van on!!!

It took us roughly 4 hours to do about 20 or so kilometres, but we have stories to tell for the rest of our lives, and a massive tick of the bucket list. The car and van performed amazingly, with only a slight bit of damage to our annexe, where i rubbed against a tree. But most of all, we made friends for life with Josh and Megan and their 2 daughter Zoe and Sammy. we arrived back on the highway and literally kissed the ground.

Because the track took so long, we arrived late for the Jardine River Ferry, so we set up camp at the camp grounds, tired sore and well and truly needing a beer or 3!!! We settled in and Jenna cooked a spag bog for everyone, then we all crashed super early, ready to hit the tip the following day.

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Bramwell Station
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Bramwell Station
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Fruit Bat Falls
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Fruitbat falls
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Fruitbat Falls
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Eliot Falls
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Eliot Falls
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Eliot Falls
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Domestic animals prohibited ahhh nooooo!!!!
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Cedar and her Girls Zoe and Sammy
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The Old Telegraph track with a caravan
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Time for the winch
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The old Telegraph track and van
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Testing the water depth for crossing
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Cedar, Sammy and Zoe at Jardine camp grounds

Posted by Jenaben 18:52 Archived in Australia Tagged cape_york fruit_bat_falls eliot_falls jardine_river bramwell_station Comments (1)

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