Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Our Cape Trip -Part 5

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 3, 2011

Cape York panorama

Loyalty Beach low tide

The Croc Tent

In convoy to The Tip

Hi Everyone,

The next day we waited until about 10am to head up to the Tip! We have been meeting a group of Victorians in Their T-vans along the track as well and heard them head up earlier so thought we’d wait til they’d gone. We headed up the back way from Loyalty Beach heading towards the top and stopped at the “Croc Tent” for some souvenirs and local advice. Man they have everything; we got a few T-shirts, stubby holders and stickers too! The young

Walking along the beach to The Tip

Kids walking to The Tip

Rusted steel

couple who run the business are just lovely and very helpful with information and things to see-and-do in the area. Back on the road we parked up at the beach as far as you can drive and decided to walk along the beach to the Tip of Australia! It was a low tide and we passed a bit of rusted-out steel.  It looked like a plough or scarifier with no discs, still not sure what it was! We climbed up to the headlands and over the rocks to see the sign “You are standing at the Northernmost point of Australia”. Yeah we made it! We had a few

View at The Tip

Family snap at The Tip of Oz

All of us at The Tip

individual shots then some group shots and family shots – the tripod was worth it’s weight in gold today! After basking in the beauty of where we were, we took the walk back along the ridge and down to the car park. Magnificent views all round! I met the young guys from Gunshot Creek again up here on the Tip and they were preparing to travel back down the OTL, north to south this time! Wished them good luck! By this time it was lunch as we were all starving again so we drove out to Punsand Bay where big burgers were the feast of

Punsand Bay

Roko Is Jetty

Roko Pearl Farm

Old stone jetty at Roko Is

the day, with a few fish and chips as well. They have a nice little campground on the beach as well.  They had a pool so after lunch the girls and Wade had a swim while most of the others returned to camp for a quiet afternoon nap. I grabbed Joel and Wade some lamb shanks from Bamaga supermarket on the way home as Kristina was doing a big camp pot of lamb shanks for all (except Daniel and I who are not big fans of lamb). 2 big pots of communal potatoes, mashed and a billy of peas later and dinner was served. I cooked up a packet vanilla cake mix on the fire in a small camp oven because tomorrow is Daniel’s birthday and we always make a cake!  It didn’t cook as well on one side but bless Dan’s heart he said “it’s okay mum. It’ll be great because you made it for me!” God I love my kids! A great night around the fire with great company too! Not too late a night as we are up early for a boat charter to Thursday Island tomorrow. Maz had some left over birthday decorations from

Kicking back on Roko Is

Small Charter Boat

Big Charter Boat

Paul’s birthday so we used them to decorate the tent and tarp for Dan in the morning!
Happy 13th Birthday Daniel!xx  Up early, bought some ice for the eskies on the boats.  The boat charter ended up being one big boat and a smaller one.  Joel, Paul, Wade and Mackenzie decided to go on the smaller boat and the rest of us piled into the bigger one. We had pretty calm waters in the morning and the water was a beautiful blue-green colour. We travelled out to Roko Island first up.  The driver of the smaller boat’s parents have a pearl

Good try Dan

Birthday Boy

Water is still and picturesque

farm on the island which we visited. We learned all about the art of pearl cultivation, with Jarred (?), showing us how he seeds the pearl shells with a mollusk shell bead.  A lot of the mollusc shell beads come from Tahiti as did some of the mother-of-pearl shells.  I bought a beautiful, hand-carved, mother-of-pearl on black shell pendant with a beautiful black pearl in the centre. Daniel also picked out a rather nice masculine piece that had the same colours as mine so he managed to get a present on his actual birthday:) Jared took us on a bit of a look around the

Happy 13th Birthday Daniel

Thursday Island gorgeous

Thursday Is Harbour

island and we walked out through the mangroves onto an old stone jetty and looked out across the pearl beds.  We boarded the boats again and headed out for some trolling and lots of photos and relaxing on the boat. Unfortunately we didn’t get any fish but we met up with the others and they had caught 2 fish. We lazed about like lizards enjoying the sunshine while we headed over to Thursday Island. The water is so beautiful, it’s just like the postcards! We moored at the jetty and took a walk up to the Federal Hotel for lunch and a beverage or two! It

Two customs boats at TI

Dan had a great day out

Bit more chop in pm

was very nice but the beer garden was out the back of the pub so no views of the water. We walked up the main street and checked out some of the pearl shops and also a souvenir shop. We got back to the boat only to be told we had to leave pronto as it needs to go through customs by 4pm. Not happy Jan, they never said anything about that when the boats were booked!:( The ride back was quite different to the trip over as the wind had picked up considerably and Daniel was really good considering how much he does not like being in a boat when it’s

Birthday Decorations

Dan's new party trick

Score Wade!

so rough. There was big swell and everyone was pretty quiet and tired too. We got back in time for the customs officer to meet us at the jetty, ask us if we had anything, then see ya have-a-nice-day! Bloody hell! What a waste of time! The smaller boat didn’t have the same customs restrictions so they were much later getting back.  Wade said they went to a great little spot and did some snorkeling then fished around the corner and lost the fish they had on the line to a shark.  As they were pulling it up, they could see the shark chasing it and the shark

Somerset Memorials

What Crocs

won as they watched him bite the fish and leave a head on the line! Scary part was it wasn’t very far from where they had been snorkeling. Maz, Daniel and I went into the Seisia supermarket for a few last-minute extras for Daniel’s cake tonight then headed back to camp.  We had just got back when we saw the smaller boat go past the front of our camp so we jumped back in the car and went to pick the others up. They had had a ball and a slightly different trip than the rest of us on the bigger boat! Back at camp I made up some icing for Dan’s cake and split the cake, put in some raspberry jam and whipped up some cream for the top! Dinner was chicken carbonara then when everyone was finished their dinners, we all sang happy birthday with candles and all. Daniel then introduced the rest of the crew to the party trick Ann and Eldon had shown him with the maltesers and sticks on a string. It was hilarious! After that it was time for showers and bed as everyone was pretty tuckered out!

Somerset beach panorama

Car bogged on tracks

Lunch on the first beach

Kids rolling down the dunes

Next day we wanted to do the 5-beach run but it would make for another long day so Andy and Amanda and Andy and Karen decided to do Somerset and Bamaga and the rest of us headed up to Somerset and the 5 beaches. We stopped at the croc tent again to pick up a couple of shirts I’d ordered and some info regarding the 5 beaches track. The couple running the croc tent are truly lovely people and full of useful tips too:)
We drove into Somerset and checked out the memorials and grave stones of the Jardine family. We then drove down to Somerset beach and walked along the beach checking out more graves.  Kristina thought we might be able to walk around to some caves

Reef sharks

Crabs on the beach

but it wasn’t low tide and there were lots of thick mangroves so we went back to the beach.  The bay is very protected and we could all se why the early settlers chose this place. It is just gorgeous.  We stood in the water and figured it was so clear that we’d easily see a

Purple and green rocks

croc if there was lurking around! As we were leaving we saw the people from the “drowned Prado” at Nolan’s Brook.  The car was going as he’d managed to dry out the ECU but not very well. They were waiting for the insurance company to decide whether or not to write it off! As it was close to lunchtime, we headed off to Fly Point, the first of the beach tracks, to have lunch. A few kms into the track we came across  a car that was bogged in the soft sand,

Coral spawn

Beautiful Beaches

right in the middle of the track. His mate was trying to winch him out but the bottom of his car was dragging through the sand and pulling the winching patrol forward instead. The guys and Kristina got out to dig out the tyres and Joel got the maxi-tracks off the roof to put under the rear tyres.  They made the guy drop his tyre pressures even more then with much pushing, he finally budged and was off the track.  Another couple (Jeff and Judy) had turned up coming the other way and were unsure whether to continue on the track on their own. We invited them to join us and there was also quite a line-up behind all our vehicles as this guy was stuck for a while. Once all the recovery gear was packed away we headed down to the beach ‘cos we re all starving! We parked up on the beach and gained another couple,

More fire dodging

Lake Wicheura

4WD track to Punsand Bay

Jack and Judy as well.  The kids ran up into the nearest huge sand dunes while Paul cooked on the BBQ.  We spotted several reef sharks and crabs in the shallow waters too.  There was an amazing turquoise green and purple sparkling colour on the sand for long stretches along the coast.  We figured out it was actual coral spawn and once you were used to the smell, it was quite beautiful. We took the kids for a walk along the beach while the guys packed up the BBQ and Kristina and Daniel found a kayak that had washed up with a heap of other

Mutee Heads fishing

Mutee Heads

DC3 Bomber wreck

rubbish.  There was much debate as they wanted to keep it but we just had no room.  Daniel continued to make comments for the entire trip back, like oh there’s a nice lake, oh a kayak would be a good idea-oh that’s right you wouldn’t let me keep it! And on and on and on he went! He was pretty inventive with some of the stuff and kept us amused for the remainder of the drive. The drives themselves were great, not too difficult or soft with the lead and last vehicle spots changing constantly.  We stopped at a perched lake, Lake Wicheura after back-tracking

Beaufort Bomber Wreck "planter"

Fisherman Extraordinaires

Small fish everywhere

and directions from Joy:), which was okay, but looked like croc-lurking heaven so we didn’t stop too long. We turned off at the Croc tent and took an alternate track back to Punsand Bay. It was a fantastic 4WD track and we could see why it would be closed in the wet season, with lots of swampy and washed out areas.  Joel decided to give one of the bog holes a crack and got stuck on the exit, so he had to reverse using the rear diff locks to get us out of the mud! We said bye to Jeff and Joy who are staying at Punsand Bay and got back to camp

Wreck in Seisia Harbour

Huge catch Wade

What a monster daniel

around 5:30pm. A yummy dinner of chicken schnitzel, mash and peas and a delicious golden syrup dumplings for dessert that Karen made! a few beers around the fire before bed as the Winging It Crew are leaving tomorrow.
We bid fond farewells to the Winging It mob with much swapping of email addresses to send around photos and videos of the trip! It was very quiet around the camp once they’d gone. We caught up on some washing, the kids diaries and picked up some delicious fresh baguettes at Seisia supermarket.  We

Spoilt with sunsets

Sawing wood

took  a drive out to Mutee Heads and had fresh rolls for lunch on the beach.  We tried our luck fishing again but still no luck and the wind was back onshore again too. Wade lost his favorite lure but I wasn’t swimming out to get it in those waters:)) We drove along a back road to Bamaga and stopped to check out a DC3 bomber wreck from WW 2. It has been fenced off but you could still see heaps, the wings had been ripped off on impact by the looks of things. We drove around the track and saw hundreds of rusted out fuel drums and stopped to look at another wreck of a Beaufort Bomber.  There was a pandanus palm growing out through some of the wreckage and it wasn’t in quite as good a nick as the DC3 wreck. We refilled the gas bottle and decided to treat ourselves to  dinner out at the “restaurant”. It was a fun night and the sunset was very colorful due to all the smoke still bout the place.
The next day we tried our luck fishing off the Seisia jetty.  The kids caught some little fish, mostly

Dan axing some wood

Cooling off again

through side-hooking but it kept them amused for a while. We met The Germans here again and they were off to Mutee Heads that day. We picked up some more supplies and spent the arvo chatting with some bikers that were camped near us. Jeff and Joy had come to camp at Loyalty Beach and stopped in to say hi.  The sunset was absolutely gorgeous tonight, the best for the whole time we’d been here. Yep, just adding to the hundreds of photos I have already taken:))
Packed up camp, grabbed some fresh rolls and headed back down the track to the Jardine Ferry. No waiting again and we were off and racing back to Eliot Falls. We found a good stash of wood for a fire or two as we’ll probably have a roast here. The kids were busily axing and sawing the wood, I tried catching up on the blog then we all went off to swim at the saucepan for the rest of the arvo. After dinner  all sat around and watched Night at the Museum 2 on my iPad around the fire. It was magic with the stars too!
Till next time


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