A Travellerspoint blog

Cullen Point

28th April - 1st May 2013

sunny

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Awesome Sunset Cullen Point

Cullen Point

Cullen Point is north of Weipa, and just past the town of Mapoon. Mapoon has heaps of history, and not all of it good how the Europeans treated the Aboriginals. Back in the day, the white people thought it would be easier to manage the Aboriginals by just shutting down the town and moving it up the cape closer to other settlements. It didn’t matter to them, that this was where people were born and raised.

The people in Mapoon town where we obtained the permit and paid our camping fees were great. We received some great advice, and off we went to the camping grounds out at Cullen Point. There were heaps of wild horses which was great for Cedar to see.

We arrived to the South easterly absolutely howling, but as usual we made the most of it and settled into a secluded bush camp just behind the dunes. We were only about 100m from the waters edge, and fairly sheltered from the wind.

Our days were mostly spent exploring the area or having a fish from the beach where we pulled up about 12 sharks of varying sizes, as well as a heap of bust offs!!! (All released)

We also drove down to Pennefather River mouth, where we had been told was great camping but really soft sand entry. I’m glad I didn’t drag the van in, because it was really soft entering the area, but the beach itself was no worries at all. The beach was completely protected from the wind, and it was so calm and clear water. Really inviting except for the lizards!

One thing we did notice here was all the rubbish on the beach. There were hundreds of plastic bottles and thongs etc washed up on the shore. The majority of them had Asian Writing on them. Some of the smaller plastic bottles has teeth marks and bites from turtles and fish and its sad to think that millions of creatures die every year from ingesting the pollution that we are feeding them.
Jenna did her bit although relatively small and picked up 3 large garbage bags of rubbish from the shores.

We stayed 3 nights at Cullen Point and then headed back to Weipa to wait out the Cyclone that was developing of PNG. The cyclone never eventuated, but it gave us a chance to clean up, wash the clothes and prepare for the tip.

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Teeth marks from fish/turtle on some of the rubbish collected
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Some of the bags of rubbish collected off the beach washed up on shore.

Posted by Jenaben 05:41 Archived in Australia Tagged fishing beach sunsets cullen_point wild_horses north_queensland Comments (0)

Weipa

23rd April- 28th April

sunny 30 °C

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Weipa

We departed Home rule still not knowing exactly what the road conditions of the Peninsula Development Road would be like, as Cooktown Shire Office was still advising that the road was closed. But we decided we would take a punt and have a look for ourselves. We arrived into Laura with the first of many road works crews right at the start of the gravel section, but a quick chat to the man holding the sign and he advised we would have no problems at all.

And he was right! The road was great, although there was water in nearly every dip, meaning we would slow down to almost a stop before crossing. But that is part of the adventure of heading up the cape early I guess. We must have passed about 10 grading crews on the way to Weipa, but we still took it pretty easy, averaging about 60 to 70 km per hour.

We stopped overnight at Musgrave roadhouse, which were nice grassy camp areas. We even had a quick dip in the local creek after been advised to by the owner of the roadhouse that there were no crocs. Cedar loved it, although I defiantly had one eye out for the crocs!

We continued on and passed Archer River Roadhouse, which unbelievably 4 days before had 1.8m of water running over the spillway. We passed with water just lapping at the edge.

We arrived into Weipa, again not knowing what to expect, but we both liked what we saw almost immediately. It’s a mining town, but they have done the place well, with nice gardens all the way in. The Weipa Camping Ground is great, with massive trees and grassed areas, right on the beach, perfect really.

We had a clean up straight away, as the van and car were covered in dust, so we hosed both of and then got stuck into cleaning the car, which somehow filled up with dust.

The next day we went out for a explore, looking around the town, looking for potential fishing spots, which we found. We went for a fish down by the one-way bridge, which is kind of freaky to cross. It’s about 500m long, and its first in best dressed, so if you drive on and a car or truck is already on, then your reversing out!!! You almost need binoculars to see over the other side!

We found a couple of nice fishing and bait spots under the bridges where we caught fresh mullet and prawns with the throw net, however besides` a few sharks, catfish and other undersize fish there wasn’t much biting.

It was also a good opportunity to stock up at the Woolies, and also the tackle shop.

Beautiful sunsets at the beach out the front of the caravan park made this stop most memorable.

All in all, Weipa was really nice for a mining town, and coming from WA we have seen a few!!!

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Posted by Jenaben 04:57 Archived in Australia Tagged fishing mining weipa cape_york Comments (0)

Home Rule North Queensland

21st April -22nd April 2013

sunny 35 °C

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Home rule waterfall

Home Rule

After a brief stopover back at Cooktown after Elim, we headed for a small spot Jenna found on the net called Home Rule. It’s a small campground near the tiny settlement of Rossville. It’s right at the end of a one-way road with an incredible rainforest creek bordering 3 sides of the property. It seemed a bit bizarre, as the owners were away, and the neighbor who was really nice, just said make yourselves at home!!!

So we found a spot, where I could get TV range of course, and we settled in. It was quite warm during the middle of the day, so we just relaxed and listened to the jungle all around us.

In the afternoon, we thought we would walk up to the waterfall that Jenna had read about on the Internet. Now we weren’t expecting much as its quite an out of the way place. So of we went, sort of guessing our way, as there were no signs, then we met a fella who had just done the walk, and he advised us where to go.

The instructions were to cross over the middle of the dams, and follow the PVC piping up the hill. About half way up we started to hear the roar. That’s right, half way into a 5 km walk and we could HEAR the roar of the waterfall.

It continued to get louder and louder and it just absolutely blew us away as to how big it was. It was MASSIVE!!! A cascading waterfall about 100ft high, with a pool and rapids below. Just spectacular. It was so good we returned the next day to complete the walk and revisit the waterfall.

The river at the bottom of the property is a bright aqua colour and you are able to swim in it, (apparantly no crocs, so we were told) Tyso took advantage and had an afternoon swim in the water which he has been dieing to do as of course most water bodies up here have crocs in them.

The 3 horses on the property are very friendly and will come up to you for a pat especially if you have a couple of spare carrots for them

I would highly recommend visiting this out of the way place. It’s the little finds like this that have made this trip so good. We would never have found this if it we were coming to town with set ideas in mind.

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Dams on the way to waterfall (can swim in here)
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Homerule Waterfall
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Cedar posing at the waterfall
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Home rule waterfall
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Chilling at the falls
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Walk to the falls
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Walk to the falls
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Friendly horses
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nosey neighbours
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Tyson swimming and happy
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Camp spot at home rule, whole place to ourselves
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walking in the rainforrest

Posted by Jenaben 03:58 Archived in Australia Tagged rainforest beautiful waterfall swimming cooktown homerule Comments (0)

Elim Beach

16th April-19th April 2013

sunny 28 °C

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Elim Beach

We departed Cooktown and headed for Elim Beach. We were a bit undecided on what the road in was going to be like, but a quick chat with Leon, who is the site owners son, advised us we would be fine. We passed the Endeavor Falls on the way and stopped in for a quick look. The falls were really nice, and they gave Cedar a chance to stretch her legs and burn some energy up. We ducked into the store to buy an ice cream, and the fella who works there let us feed his pet Barramundi. It was so funny, Jenna held the prawn and the speed of the Barra was just incredible.

We then passed thru Hope vale, which to be brutally honest is a really run down Aboriginal Community. We didn’t even feel safe stopping for the permit. It was very intimidating. None the less we journeyed on and with the help from the lady at the service station we found the track out to Elim Beach.

The track is was roughly 80km’s, and was in fairly good condition. There was pot holes in sections, but nothing really to worry about. There was also a few water crossings, but they were all hard bottom, and gave the 200 no worries at all.

We rolled into Eddie’s camp and were struck with how perfect the location is. Its completely north facing, with beautiful shady trees. Eddie had dropped into town, so we just pulled out of the way and had some lunch while Cedar had a sleep. Some how I managed to sneak satellite reception thru the tree canopy, but that made it even better as we were in a shady spot right on the waters edge. The best thing was, there was only one other family camped near by!!!

We met Eddie when he arrived back, and what a lovely man he is. He is 86 years old, and was born just up from where he now lives. He has a had a very interesting working life, traveled all over Australia working for some of the major builders, as well as been a cattle rustler, and many other fascinating jobs. I could listen to his stories all day long. We became quite friendly with Eddie, and he came down and visited us most days.

We put the crab pot out the first day we were there, which is just a matter of walking out at low tide, tying it up to a tree, and waiting. The next morning we checked the pot and to our surprise there were 4 crabs in there. Sadly though, 3 were under size and the 4th, which was well and truly legal, was a female full of eggs so back she went.

I also had a fish from the shore that night, and had a massive run, then broke off right near the shore. Later on I caught a shark, so it probably would have been one of them. Still it was very enjoyable and relaxing sitting on the deck chairs watching the sunset over the colored sands.

On the Wednesday we drove out to the bays West of Elim Bay. It reminded us a bit of WA's coastline, rocky, treed with nice white sand. It was really pretty but we were blown away by the amount of rubbish that was on the shores. It was obvious that it had washed up from the ocean as it was all bottles, broken plastics, ropes and other pieces of sea junk. It was really quite sad to see all this rubbish washing in on the shores, it makes you stop and wonder how much rubbish is getting tossed into our oceans.

We only came across one couple who had come in to the area for the day. We had to laugh as he told us "This is the best beaches you will ever see." The beaches were definately really pretty but I guess he has never seen WAs coastline. The best bit is you can swim in WA. I figure I would rather take my chances with the sharks rather than the crocodiles and stingers!

We walked from our camp to the coloured sands. The Sand cliffs which lead onto the beach were made up of all different coloured sands from Red, Yellows,Whites and blacks. Worth a look and once again another beautiful bay. If you continue to drive past the coloured sands, you will arrive at a few shack made out of rainwater tanks on the beach. A few Kite Surfers have made this there home. I wouldnt drive any further than this shack as Eddie told us quite a few cars have sunk as the sand turns to quicksand. You can actually see the difference in the beach sand and the quicksand.

We departed Elim and said our good byes to Eddie. Our plan was to see if the Battlecamp track was open, but on arrival we found out there was no chance. Still some friendly advice from the roadwork’s crew that we should defiantly check out Isabella Falls before we headed back to Cooktown. So we dove on thru the massive raod works crew, and it was well worth the small trip in. Cedar had an absolute ball playing in the water by the spill way, and old mate Tyson had a swim also.

We headed back into Cooktown, which usually I would never visit the same town twice, but we decided on a night to clean up and wash everything down.

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Tyson at Elim Sunset
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Mudcrabbing, none were size to keep so all released
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elim Beach Swinging Rope
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Our camp
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Coloured Sands
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Coloured Sands Beach
Baby genius writing in the sand, next to conquor german

Baby genius writing in the sand, next to conquor german


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Another Bay near Elim
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Another tough day
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Bath Time
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Endeavor falls
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Endeavor Falls
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Isabella Falls

Posted by Jenaben 05:26 Archived in Australia Tagged elim_beach eddies_camp hopevale coloured_sands Comments (0)

Cooktown

8 th - 15th April 2013

sunny 30 °C

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Archer Point, bit windy

Cooktown

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.

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Trevethon falls
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Cedar Bay national park
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Cedar Bay National Park, Bloomfield Track
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Cedar Bay National Park
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Lionds Den Pub
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Lions Den Pub
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Cook town Botanic Gardens
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James cook Museum creepy Dolls
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James Cook Museum
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Archer Point
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Archer Point
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Grassy Hill Lookout
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Grassy Hill look out
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Grassy hill lookout
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Big and small kids play ground
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Playtime
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Fishing off the jetty
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Esplanade walk
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Esplanade walk
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Captain cook landing and ammo store

Posted by Jenaben 19:19 Archived in Australia Tagged captain_cook bloomfield_track rainforrest cooktown archer_point lions_den_hotel cedar_bay Comments (2)

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