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.
Loyalty Beach Bar View
Wild Horses at Loyalty Beach
Loyalty Beach our camp view
Loyalty Beach Drinks
Dinner Loyalty Beach
Tyson at the Tip
Cape York Tip
Cape York Tip
Cape York the tip
Short cut to the tip = bogged
DC3 Plane Wreck
2 separate pythons (we think)
Boat Ride to Thursday Island
Thursday Island view from the Fortes
Fortes on Thursday Island
Fortes on Thursday Island
Girls in the tree
Lunch at the Thursday Island Pub
Old MAte enjoying the View
Our camp for a week in Punsand Bay
, we had the whole place to ourselves
Sight seeing around the tip
Flying Fish Cove
5 Beaches drive, beautiful beaches but full of rubbish
The old resort at the tip is now run down and falling to bits
Fresh Oysters off the rocks
The drive back from the Tip