Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Our cape York Trip – Part 8

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 9, 2011

Clowning around at Cooktown Wharf

Wade wrestling a croc at the museum

Anchor from The Endeavour

Hi Everyone,

Next day we packed up and headed into Cooktown to stay at the Big4.  The lady at the desk decided to put us out the back in the boon docks but her hubby was guiding us to the site he decided to give us one closer to the toilets and civilisation instead which we were thankful for.  The wind here is un-believable so we camped in amongst the trees for a bit of shelter.  We also decided not to set up the tarp and make use of the 5star camp kitchen here as well.  While we were setting up we ran into Bill and Jane again (from the Guurrbi tour) but they are leaving today and heading south.  We decided to have lunch out and headed down to “The Wharf” to get

a feed of fish and chips only the boys decided they’d like a hotdog with the lot.  We ran into Jeff and Joy, from our 5 beach run near Somerset as they are

Cracking the safe

Finch Bay walk, rocks to climb

Wade is actually hiding in the crevice

in town as well.  It’s funny how we keep running into the same lovely people along the way. We visited the Cooktown Museum and Wade wrestled a croc on the front lawn.  The museum was quite good; lots of history but the kids spent most of their time trying to crack the combination to the safe inside the museum.  They didn’t manage to crack the code so they didn’t get a prize but nice to know they’re not that delinquent! We learnt all about Captain Cooks landing and read excerpts from Sir Joseph Banks’ diaries and about the early settler’s history too. The kids remembered that we

Finch Bay

Ginger plant flowers

Sunset at Grassy Hill

had actually been on the replica of the Endeavour when we were in Sydney at the Maritime Museum. Next stop was the Visitors Centre for a bit more information on things to do and see and a walk through the botanical gardens which is just lovely.  While we were here, we decided to do a walk out to Finch Bay which was about 1.5km return and was very pretty. We thought we’d continue on to do the Cherry Tree section as well which was another 2km return and more like a hike than a walk.  Some of it was quite rocky and hilly and I’m glad we made the choice to put on our hiking shoes.   The bay wasn’t as pretty as Finch Bay so we didn’t stop for too long. We got back to the car, raced into the supermarket for some rolls and made our way up to the Grassy Hill Lookout to watch the sunset and have a BBQ tea.  OMG it was so windy!  It took ages for Joel and Wade to cook the BBQ as the wind kept blowing out the gas.  Unfortunately for Daniel he put his iPod Touch into his

Smoky roads

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

docking station and the wind blew it off the table and smashed the screen to pieces.  We really felt for him as he always looks after it so well and it was just a freak accident.  I was struggling to keep a hold of my tripod as I didn’t want the same thing to happen to my camera. I grabbed some sunset shots which was tricky with all the smoke and still-burning fires down below.  Then we

Black Mountains (granite)

packed up the BBQ and the food and high-tailed it back to the caravan park where we dined at the camp kitchen, out of the breeze.  Tonight’s entertainment was a Bush Poet, who performed while we dined and the kids washed up.  He was quite good and very entertaining, even the kids got most of his humour.  He did a lot of poetry regarding camping and caravanning which was very funny and relevant.  Showers and bedtime as we are all just a bit pooped and poor Daniel is

Trevethan Falls and boys at base

Little Annan River Gorge

Lions Den Hotel

just devastated about his iPod.

Next day saw us top up with bread then head out to the Black Mountains (granite mountains) for a drive,

Cannonball Tree

dodging some more fires along the way.  There is smoke everywhere and I don’t suppose these huge winds are helping matters. We turned off and spotted a few red-tailed, black cockatoos in the trees. Then we went to the Trevethan Falls, which for most part is a gravel road then some good 4WDriving country. It was only about a 200m walk from where we parked the car to the falls and they were absolutely beautiful.  The falls fell into a huge plunge pool so the kids stripped off and went around to jump in.  Wade went first and I swear there was a trampoline under the water because as soon as he jumped in he was straight out again.  It was freezing! Well that was it; no way was Daniel going in after that! We stuck around for a bit while the kids went

Home Rules Falls 3 tiered

HR Falls first 2 tiers

More HR Falls

Dan and Wade atop HR Falls

Cannonball Tree flower

rock climbing and exploring and surprise, surprise I took a few photos just for something different.  Back on track, our next stop was Little Annan River Gorge where we stopped to have some lunch.  We

Small falls downstream of HR Falls

then explored down along the rocks into the gorge and back up again.  The rocks

Captain Cook Memorial

Captain Cook Statue

are quite black and the force of the water rushing through the narrow gap gorge was quite strong. Back on the track again, heading south until we came to the iconic Lion’s Den pub.  It was a nice little place, but pubs aren’t really our scene especially with the kids.  There is a lot of memorabilia on the walls and ceilings of the place and we stopped at least to have a drink and take a good look around.  There was an unusual tree outside in the courtyard of the pub called a cannonball tree. The nuts up in the tree did indeed look like cannon balls and apparently when they drop, they crack open and the sound is like a cannon ball. The flowers on it were just gorgeous too and apparently it’s not a great tree to have in a public area – go

Musical ship on Cooktown Foreshore

figure. We left there and headed down along the Bloomfield track and drove out to Home Rule and on the track we passed Bill and Jane again who said we should definitely do these falls. We left our car near the dams and got some info on the falls walk from the gentleman at Home Rule.  The walk to the falls was about 2.6km return and it took us nearly 40 minutes to negotiate the all uphill goat track.  The track goes through some magnificent rainforest and we were well rewarded with undoubtedly the best falls we have seen to date.  They were a magnificent three-tiered waterfall.  We refueled with snacks and some water and then the kids were off and racing, climbing up the main falls.  I let them go for a while but had to call them back as they were just going higher and higher and starting to really freak me out and Joel too!  We all did some exploring around the falls and the rocks and Daniel and I played

Cairn that marks Cooks landing in 1770

around with some settings on our cameras trying to get the “white waterfall” look.  It was getting late in the afternoon so we decided to head back which was thankfully all downhill and it didn’t take anywhere near as long as getting there did! Back at camp we showered and thought we’d try dinner out at a place called 1770.  The staff were very helpful but in the end we weren’t very

Colourful Tiles

impressed with the meals.   We thought the fish and chips from the cafe out the front was better food and certainly better value for money – and it’s run by the same mob and cooked out of the same kitchen!

Next day we lazed about the caravan park with Wade having a swim in the pool, Joel and Daniel read and I blogged down in the camp kitchen.  We ventured into town for a while and walked along the foreshore checking out the history of the town. There is fantastic musical pirate ship that has all sorts of musical instruments all over it that allows the kids to beat thong drums, xylophones and bells, etc.  There are a series of tiles that have been painted and engraved, showing the history of the town and are very colourful and bright. Daniel and Joel went for a walk up to Grassy Hill from the foreshore while Wade and I went back to prepare dinner.  Wade and I made a yummy stir-fry in the camp kitchen and we ate an ice-cream from the caravan park shop for dessert. We also met up with our German friends Dirk and Sigrid and the kids too as they are also staying in the caravan park.  Seems they had got the vehicle fixed and continued on with their travels and were heading south to the waterfalls the next day.  More chatting with some new neighbours in the kitchen which doubles as a TV lounge as well.

Till Next Time

Ciao`

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