Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Our Cape York Trip – Part 7

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 9, 2011

A bit of dust

Old Laura Homestead

Battlecamp Station

Hi Everyone,

It was much cooler this morning and a heavy dew to pack up with too.  The emus and peacocks came to visit again this morning and see us off out the gate from Hann River Roadhouse. We drove down the PDR and turned onto Battlecamp Rd just before Laura.  We turned off to visit the Old Laura Homestead and found a bit of history there too.  The Old Homestead has been restored by volunteers but there is no access to the interior.  There are a few other buildings here too which we wandered

Battle Camp Rd

Battlecamp Range

Isabella Falls

through, marvelling with the kids at the sort of buildings that were used a long time ago.  We got back onto Battlecamp Rd and the first part was soooooo corrugated, then there were the undulations which we called the whoop-dee-doos! We passed the Battlecamp Range and Escarpment on our right and passed through some pretty rainforest as well.  We drove through a creek and saw the sign for Isabella Falls so turned around and stopped for a look.  The falls are just off the road and were just beautiful.  We stopped for a look and a paddle but the water was pretty cold so no swimming today. We also grabbed some lunch and another visit to the falls and then headed off again.  We pulled into the Endeavour

Isabella Falls: Wade paddling

Isabella Falls Complete

Falls Tourist Park and set up camp. The park is very pretty and nearly every tree amongst the sites has an Elkhorn fern on it adding to the rainforest feel of the place.  We walked down to the falls which are lovely but didn’t get too close to the water as there

Massive Elkhorn Ferns

is still a salty loose about the place.  Apparently a guy was camped here, walked down to check his cray pots and never came back.  Daniel and Wade amused themselves with their rope, with Wade pretending to be Houdini and getting Daniel to truss him up in the rope and then he’d try and escape.  He was pretty good at it as I’m sure Dan wasn’t taking it easy on him!:) Daniel also wove the rope between a couple of strong palms and made himself a hammock,

Isabella Falls Crossing

Endeavour Falls

Daniel's homemade hammock

laying his towel on it for a bit more comfort.  I even tried it out and with a pillow it was very comfy. Wade and I headed over to the paddock and talked to the owners as they hand-fed some of the cattle and watched one of the Texas Longhorns scratching himself. Got a rippa of a shot with his

Wade volunteered to be Houdini

Texas Longhorn having a scratch

Nectar collecting

tongue hanging out too! Joel made a yummy Chilli con carne and we got to bed early as tomorrow we are off to do an Aboriginal tour in the morning, which we had booked at the park office.

Up early, breakfasted and off to meet  Nugal-warra Elder, Willie Gordon, of Guurrbi Tours at his front gate just up the road.  This would have to be the best tour regarding Aboriginal culture that we have ever done.  We did the four-hour Rainbow Serpent Tour and it was fantastic. Willie is an absolute gentleman and a bit of a rascal too and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  He describes himself as a story-teller and through the art he tells the story of his people.  Daniel and Wade were the only kids on the

Willie making gumnut whistles

Looking at some Art

tour and he took quite a shine to both of them.  We got to taste the nectar of a flower stalk of a black boy – and that’s what he called them, not grass trees! It tasted very sweet. The kids also got to

Kids painting with Willie

taste the nectar from the yellow “Morgan” grevillea which they said was just like honey and the rainbow lorikeets go nuts for.  He explained the history and stories behind the art which makes more sense when explained than just looking at the art.  He also explained things like walkabout and where the word elder comes from, which really just means teacher.  He was such a lovely bloke, who grew up in the area, became an aluminium welder and is now a mental health nurse trying very hard to help the aboriginal

More Artwork

Adding to the children's gallery

Willie got Wade to give water to a lizard

people in his community.  He showed the kids how to make gumnut whistles which were very effective and after much practicing we then we banned them from being used inside the car! He also stripped an un-pollinated Banksia cone, which felt like velvet and was used in the old ways as a wick in a lantern

Willie teaching Daniel

More Artwork

Do yourself a favour and visit

as they don’t burn, which he demonstrated. Amazing.  As we all walked along, Willie gave us wonderful and easy to understand explanations about their culture and spiritual awareness. It was simply fantastic.  He was very interesting to talk to and didn’t shy away from any questions, political or not. He took us to some sacred areas for his family and got the kids to make a painting of their favourite animals and place it in the kid’s gallery where his father’s spirit watches over them. It was a lovely gesture and only for kids.  He showed how they

Elim Beach coloured sands

Gorgeous Elim Beach

Coloured Sands just gorgeous

make an emollient from some special leaves that when you rub them together with a little water, makes a great skin softener and then again later with different leaves to make a cleanser.  Willie showed Wade how to give some water to a little lizard, on a gum leaf, which was very cool! The tour came to an end and we couldn’t believe how quickly the 4 hours had gone.  We all agreed that we could understand why the tour has won him so many awards.  Willie let us stay on the property to eat our lunch at a shack on the hill with magnificent views all round.  We lunched with Bill and Jane who had done the tour with us as well.  They are an older couple who are travelling around as well. We headed out towards

Kids climbed up the sands

The different colours are amazing

Old bridge - new bridge

Hopevale and stopped in at the local servo to pay our fee for a permit to visit Elim Beach.  It was only $10 and we got a good mud-map as well as some directions on how to get out there.  It didn’t take too long to get out there and we drove out along the beach towards the coloured sands.  They are just amazing.  The sands in the hills are ablaze with vibrant colours ranging from white, yellows, oranges and deep reds.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous place.  The kids couldn’t wait to race up and climb some of the dunes and we all climbed right up to the top of them and took in some of the spectacular scenery.  The sands are just incredible and we had the place all to ourselves.  It looked like it was going to rain for most of the day but when we got to the beach we managed to get some beautiful blue skies.  This would be a great place to camp and you can along the beach further to the east of the sands. We headed back to camp going over a few old bridges and thankfully a few new ones too.  We stopped to look at the old bridges and just shuddered to think of cars driving over them as they were pretty dilapidated.

Till Next time



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