Sunday, 11 September 2011

Weipa - Bramwell Station - Seisa - Cape York (The Tip) - Thursday Island

Weipa was a lot nicer than expected, we had a really nice grassy campsite on the beach front and the sunsets were lovely. We were also lucky enough to see a dingo that came within 3 mts of our tent.

Weipa is a mining town , Bauxite is mined to produce aluminium. We took a tour of the mine which was quite interesting.

The hospitality in Weipa was interesting ................ we were greeted at the bowls club bar with
 "wadda yers want"
After Weipa we headed to Bramwell Station where we had a nice meal with a bonus as they had satellite TV and Mark got to watch Geelong thrash Collingwood .......... (sorry Michael & Leah, had to mention it) Not long after we left Bramwell Station we came across this large snake on the road. He wasn't happy about us checking him out  and was rearing up at the car.

All through our travels of the Northern Territory there has been controlled burning but we were surprised to see so much burning going on in such isolated areas of FNQ , this photo was taken along the Old Telegraph Track, the fire was vey close to the road.

One of the highlights of the trip was Eliot Falls and Fruit Bat falls, spectacular waterfalls that were safe to swim as the crocs can't climb the rocks to get to those areas.

What a welcome relief this was to wash off some of the dust and cool down, with no showers at this campground we were glad to be able to have this swim.

Seisa was the next stop, a really windy spot, very warm and once again a campground on a lovely beach but it was a no go zone, apparently a large croc patrolled the beach most days.

We were almost there only 35 klms to "The Tip" .

Early the next day we headed off early for the last part of the trek.

We made it !

Before we headed back down we decided to do a trip to Thursday Island........... we had lunch at the most northern pub in Australia and there were some lovely views but it was all a bit underwhelming.

We headed back down the next day ................ it took us ten days to get to  " The Tip " but only two days to get back down !!!
The next couple of days were spent at Wonga beach cleaning red dust from everything.

We will now start heading south along the coast ............Cairns (again - 4th visit ) .......then on to  Bowen.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Cape Tribulation - Bloomfield Track to Cooktown - Archer River

Without power for 2 weeks . I have a bit of catching up to do.
Before we left Wonga Beach we had a visitor that made the rounds of the rubbish bins ........ it gave us quite a fright to stumble across him.

Well, we headed out with great every opportunity we spoke to travellers about the trip to Cape York.......we were getting responses of  "great's a different world up'll love it ".  We now think that the people we spoke to were possibly on drugs or there is something in the water that is making them delusional.
Reflecting on the 1600 klms of  dirt road, bad corrugations and red dust, it's not a trip that we will be doing again ..............but, it is something that we can tick off our bucket list.............We reached "The Tip". 
On one of our pre trip discussions with fellow travellers they were telling us about the 35 klm trip on a narrow bumpy road from Seisa to the tip.............I was thinking to myself  "gosh these people are very environmentally aware to be going to all that trouble to get rid of their rubbish" .............fortunately I didn't say anything as I would have looked like a real dill as they were talking about Cape York , also referred to as "The Tip".........I wasn't on my own, Mark was also thinking along the same line as me.
Our first stop was Cape Tribulation, a lovely caravan park right on the beach (another beautiful beach with lovely warm water that you can't swim at because of the crocs) our first night in the tent..............we are very pleased with our 30 second Oztent really does take only 30 seconds to put it up !

Next stop was Cooktown via the Bloomfield track , a good drive through the rain forest , a few creek crossings and steep mountain climbs. On this road we came across a cyclist who waved us down, he had broken his chain , him and his mate were riding from the southern most point to the northern most point of Australia in 38 days fundraising for prostate cancer. What a gruelling ride, they certainly need to be commended on their dedication...... their blog

On the way there were some nice boardwalks through the rainforests.

Cooktown was smaller than we expected and as we were there on a Sunday most tourist destinations were closed ( tourism in FNQ leaves a lot to be desired ) The James cook Museum was open and we found it very interesting, it is housed in the original mercy convent , a beautiful building that has been restored.

Next destination was Kalpowar crossing via Battlecamp road ..........our first creek crossing took us to Isabella falls a very pretty spot.

The Old Laura Homestead was an interesting stop, living in such isolation must have been tough.

Our camp spot for the night was a national park bush camp, dust and cold showers and lots of little rocket frogs , we were tempted to paddle in the nearby waterway until the rangers came along and told us some horror stories about croc attacks........a cold shower to cool down was a much better choice.
The rangers suggested fishing from behind a tree as it would give you some protection if a croc came at at this location wasn't exactly relaxing !

On our way to the next stop Archer River Roadhouse we came across White Lily Lagoon.

Archer River Roadhouse have a good grassy campground but they let the cattle graze there to keep the grass down so before you can set up the cow pats have to be shovelled from the area ........ahhh the joys of camping.

Archer River

Monday, 22 August 2011

Bramston Beach - Cairns (again) - Wonga Beach

Heading back north again and decided to check out one of Sue's recommendations - Bramston Beach. It would have been a lovely caravan park years past but the land has been sold for a housing development so there has been no maintenance carried out for a long time and it's a free for all,  no rules many of the campers were interesting characters. We were there over a weekend so lots of families with screaming babies that took it in turns to make a racket !
Mark did a bit of fishing but only caught a small brim and a puffer fish......big crabs were eating his bait but would drop off before he could pull them in.
This was the view from our caravan.

 Back to Cairns for a couple of nights and a chance to re stock. We have just arrived back at Wonga Beach .......... the weather is much nicer this time (25c and sunny) , it rained off and on most of the time we were here last 's taken us a while but we have wised up to the fact that if we go unpowered we can get away from the annoying caravan sitting, cackling, grey nomads and its much nicer are not so crowded in. As long as we are getting some sun on the solar panels we don't need to be on a powered site and we can also still have TV.
We are expecting Pip and Liz to arrive tomorrow afternoon ......we will spend a couple of days here then off to the Tip ( Cape York)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Townsville - Charters Towers - Lucinda

We were not impressed with Townsville and found that there was very little to look at. So , when you have time to kill the Museum is generally a good option. There was a large exhibit on the sailing ship "The Pandora" which was sent out from England to find The Bounty hit a coral reef and sunk, the wreck was only discovered in the 70's .
A number of the houses around the city were built into the side of the mountains.

Charters Towers was next and we found North Queensland marketing in overdrive, they certainly like blowing their own trumpet and will endeavour to make a tourist attraction from almost nothing. It is a Gold rush town therefore they have a number of very elaborate buildings. 
This arcade was designed by the architect that designed some of Melbournes famous arcades.

Mark did find something that interested him ...... a fully restored Indian Superchief

We took a tour of the Gold Battery which was very interesting the manual labour that was involved in process must have been backbraking certainly no OH&S in those days.

It is also a town where ghosts apparently reside, a couple showed up for us.

We started to head north so Lucinda was our next destination.
Lucinda has a large sugar mill and the longest jetty in Australia  - 6 klms - sugar was sent along the jetty by conveyor to the transport ships until Cyclone Yasi which damaged the jetty and put it out of alignment , the sugar is now transported by truck until the repairs are undertaken.

Lucinda is a very popular fishing location and most of the old blokes in the caravan park have been coming here for years and most have a boat,  apparently the fishing is not very good this year.

Lucinda is the closest access to Hinchinbrook Island.

Wallaman Falls about 75 klms west of Lucinda is Australia's longest sheer drop waterfall....305 metres........quite spectacular.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


What a lovely location, best caravan park so far , our caravan is about 6 mts from the sand and Mark can fish from the beach close to the fish yet but at least he has been able to get the rod out.
The tide goes out a really long way , we went out looking for bait in the rock pools unfortunately no bait but loads of interesting hermit crabs.

The photo below is just in front of the van , the tide was on the way in and the sun had just gone down.
We drove out to the Paluma Region today..........but we should have known Queensland marketing at work again..........The brochure gives a recommended itinerary which suggests lunch at the Paluma Village .........unfortunately , it was like a ghost town .......not one cafe or shop open.... the smoke from the fires at Townsville meant that there was nothing to see from lookout ...........also two of the main sites to visit were closed ......probably due to cyclone Yasi.
Aside from that there was great scenery of rock formations , gorges and waterholes. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Back to Cairns

Change of plans............... from Wonga Beach we headed back to Cairns for a couple of days, yesterday we had lunch at the waterfront then to the movies to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The peacock at Wonga Beach put on a show for us before we left.
These unusual birds ... Curlews.... were at the caravan park at Cairns nesting ,of all places in the kids playground under one of the climbing towers, the male had the kids totally bluffed , they can be quite aggressive and put on a show with wings flapping when they felt threatened and during the night they make a high pitched wailing.

Due to Tiger Airlines still being grounded unfortunately Rachael wont be joining us, she will travel later in the year to spend time with Kate at Trinity beach. We are meeting Pip and Liz around the 25th August , so rather that just hand around Wonga Beach we thought that we would head to Townsville and Charters Towers then head back north to get ready to head to Cape York.

54 klms north of Townsville is Rollingstone, what a lovely place, our caravan site is beachfront, we put some lines in but nothing......the guy next to us caught a couple , so with the right bait we give it another go tomorrow. The weather has been lovely here today ....about 26c and sunny.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Mossman Gorge

Woke up this morning to find that we had a few visitors, there are about 15 peacocks and hens that roam the caravan park , they don't like to be out in the rain so they often take shelter under the caravan awnings

Mossman Gorge today, really lovely rainforest .
There are huge fig trees with massive root systems in this rainforest