Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Our Cape York Trip – The last leg

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 9, 2011

Cape Tribulation Panorama

Bloomfield River

Bloomfield Track

Wujul Wujul (Bloomfield) Falls

Hi Everyone,

We left Cooktown quite early and headed off down the Bloomfield Track once again.  We stopped alongside the Bloomfield River trying to see some crocodiles when Bill and Jane pulled up as well, looking for the elusive crocs too.  The river was very still and the reflections were just beautiful. We continued on to the Wujul Wujul (Bloomfield) Falls and met up with Bill and Jane again.  The falls are only a short walk along a rocky riverbed and the falls are quite beautiful.  We stayed for a little while walking around the rocky areas then headed back on the track south to Cape Tribulation passing through the most gorgeous rainforest areas.  The overhead canopies are very thick with rainforest and there are only a few spots where you can catch glimpses of the beautiful beaches through the thick forest.  The Bloomfield Track tends to run very close to the coast for the most part into Cape

Wade exploring at Wujul Wujul Falls

Myall Beach

Tribulation.  We stopped at a picnic area at Myall Beach and walked in to have a picnic lunch.  After lunch we went for a walk along the beach even though the weather is still cloudy we haven’t had any rain yet – touch wood! We saw a couple of blue kingfishers just on the sand that were just brilliant.

Blue Kingfisher

There was a myriad of things to see and explore in the rock pools on the beach too. On our way back to the car we walked through the Myall Beach Reserve and we passed a funny looking bird that on closer inspection was a baby cassowary.  It wasn’t a chick but the neck had only started to colour up and was green instead of the brilliant blue.  We were just amazed as we have seen heaps of the cassowary crossing signs but we are yet to see one in the wild – Malcolm Douglas Zoo doesn’t count).  The young cassowary

Exploring the rock pools

Baby Cassowary

Baby cassowary not scared of us

stayed around for ages and didn’t seemed fazed by us being nearby, although I kept my eyes open as I didn’t think dad would be far away.  The cassowary is quite a striking bird, with the males having a brilliant blue neck with a couple of vivid red jowls and black wings.  The males are also left to sit the eggs and raise the chicks while the female goes off to find a new mate….Mmmmm…….. Luckily for us dad never did surface and we watched the chick for ages.  We booked into Cape

Cape Tribulation Lookout

Cape Trib Camp

Walk to Cape Trib

Tribulation Camping ground and set up camp on a nice grassy patch in front of the toilet block as it was the only flat, grassed area left.  We set up our tarp as well as the weather doesn’t look too promising. We visited the Tourist centre at Mason’s Cafe and booked in to do Jungle Surfing tomorrow, which the kids have been bugging us to do all day long. The lady at the Visitor Centre is from Karratha and Port Hedland so we had a great chat.  We headed back to camp and made use of the very nice camp kitchen here as well.  We dined on a lovely red-Thai, chicken curry and rice which was very yummy.  Early to bed as we are flying through the air on flying foxes tomorrow – god help us what have the kids got us into!

Cape Trib panorama

Turtle at Cape Trib

Coconut hunting

More sand spaghetti

Dan all geared up

Wade all geared up

All of us on a platform

View from flying fox

The Bus for Jungle Surfing picked us up then after a few more stops we wound our way up to some private property and dis-embarked.  The driver, Jarred, is one of our guides as is Sarah and Gordo and they are all a little bit crazy but it all helps.  We have all filled out our paperwork on the bus so it’s just a matter of getting fitted into a harness and a helmet that fits!  All the helmets have some sort of cartoon name on them and we end up with Joel as King Kong, Daniel as Yoda, Wade as Captain Jack Sparrow and me as Electra.  There were only 11 in our group and once all decked out we headed off down the path towards the first platform.  Here they explained the flying fox system and we would be travelling in pairs for the most part and only on one part be on our own, which is when we would be upside down, WTF? Mmmm too late to back out now as we are up in the air on a platform in the trees.  It was just gorgeous up here!  The guides are all fully trained and all have knowledge of the trees and other interesting facts about the place.  The platforms ranged in heights from 3 to 20m above the ground and along one of the drops, you stop and are suspended over a river, which darts underground so you are just sitting there, dangling in the rainforest. It was just awesome.  The sections build up form the highest, longest, etc until the last one where we now go

Two at a time

Upside down Daniel

Upside down Wade

Upside down Joel

Big fern at Daintree Discovery Centre

Daniel impersonating a cassowary

The elusive Ulysses Butterfly

Big fan palms

singularly on the fastest one: UPSIDE DOWN! No wonder they asked me about my high blood pressure tablets!! Okay, Gordo goes first and shows us how it’s all done, this from an ex-circ-de-solei performer!! It wasn’t as hard as I thought and we all managed to drop our hands, swing our legs up and around the lines and hang upside down as we raced down to the last platform.  You do get up a bit of speed as well as your face going very red with all the blood rushing to it!  What an absolute buzz the whole trip was.  The guides are just brilliant and they really love their work and it shows in their dealings with us the public.  They are exuberant and totally over the top but very safety conscious as well.  We all thought it was the absolute best thing we’ve done and wanted to go again.  It was $90 per person with no concession for kids but it was so worth it.  We headed back to camp for toasted sandwiches for lunch then took a great walk along the beach up to Cape Tribulation.  We walked out to the rocks and climbed up. The views were just magnificent and we actually had phone reception as there is none down on the ground because of the thick rainforest. While we were high up on the rocks we saw a huge turtle surfacing and diving for food. It was brilliant and very cool! Back to camp where I spent the afternoon writing up more of our trip blog notes, Joel made some more chilli con carne and the kids did their diaries and read.  We met Bill and Jane in the camp kitchen as they are staying here too but in the powered section – such a small

Lots of rainforest

Daintree Discovery Centre

Fixing roads to Daintree

world! The rain has started falling, lightly at first then it just rained solidly for the rest of the night.

Next morning we packed up, tried to dry the tent as best we could and headed off south towards the Daintree.  We stopped at a place called Florvilla which makes homemade ice creams.  We tried a few different flavours and all agreed it was the best tasting ice-cream we’ve ever eaten.  The place is for sale and the kids are trying hard to get us to buy the placeJ  We drove a little further through the rainforest and stopped in at the Daintree Discovery Centre.  It was a bit pricey but if you are staying in the area the ticket lasts for 7 days so it’s not bad value if you can use it like that.  There is an aerial walkway and a central canopy tower which takes

Daintree River Ferry

Crocodile on Daintree River Cruise

Orchids in bloom in the trees

you through all the different sections of the rainforest. In the centre of the tower is an interpretive display centre and all throughout the walks there are numerous display boards with information about the flora and fauna of the rainforest.  The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest continuous rainforest on earth and is one of the most ecological regions in the world. We have been through a lot of forest and rainforest lately so the kids were able to pick out a lot of the birds and animals and even some of the trees too. I actually got a picture of the blue Ulysses butterfly too – admittedly it was dead and pinned to a board but I got one!:)  Back on the Bloomfield track we stopped at the Alexandra Range Lookout but were disappointed with the view as there is too

The Daintree River

Another crocodile

Pink ginger flower just gorgeous

much smoke and clouds around to really see anything.  It would be spectacular when the skies are clear though but it’s just not today unfortunately.  The Bloomfield Track is mostly gravel, some parts okay and others you definitely need a 4WD for.  The road south from Cape Tribulation though is all bituminised so no more 4WDriving.  We made it to the Daintree Ferry which is still the only way to cross the Daintree River and it was a similar setup to the Jardine Ferry with a large pontoon/barge pulled across the river by cables with a motor.  We drove into the Daintree Village looking for a cafe that my cousin Tanya’s cousin Kelly runs.  We found the cafe and decided to have lunch there and catch up with Kelly again and meet her hubby-to-be Rick.  The meal was

Wade the croc spotter

View from Daintree Camp balcony

Brekky dining at Daintree

very delicious and they are doing a fine job running the cafe and the chef is brilliant.  The cafe is called The Croc Eye and we’d recommend it to anyone for some great food.  Next adventure for the afternoon was a trip down the Daintree River on Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruises.  We managed to snag a spot on the 1:30pm trip and set off with complimentary binoculars.  The guide knew a lot about the river and the fact that there were 35 different types of mangrove trees and all of them growing along the river.  There were heaps of birds and we saw lots of crocodiles too, thanks to Wade’s eagle eyes as some of them were just littlies but he spotted them so the guide could stop the boat and everyone get a good look. Then we watched two little boy

Getting ready to go

Go Wade Go!

500 year old cycad

crocs having a turf war, very funny. The price of the one hour tour also included free tea/coffee and free slushies for the kids too.  There is a gift and souvenir shop in which we found a gorgeous metal wall hanging but it was huge so I thought nah can’t get it as nowhere to store it in the van. But Bruce’s wife overheard me and suggested that we could post it back home so before I knew it we had purchased it and she would send it to Joel’s mum and dad’s place.  She said she’d email me the postage costs and I could just pay her online, which was fantastic.  She said she’d never had no-one not pay yet! What an amazing service. We headed back into the Daintree Village and decided to treat ourselves and stay in a cabin tonight across the road from the cafe at the Daintree River Lodge and Campground.   We managed to snag the last cabin with a queen and bunks beds and after unpacking our bags we sat out on the balcony upstairs with a beer and a vodka and watched the sun

Argo 8x8 Daintree River view

What a view!

set over the beautiful Daintree River.  We met a few of the other guests and chatted before dining across the road at the Croc Eye again for dinner.  We had different meals to lunch and they were all superb and so very tasty.  The caravan park is owned and run by Peter and Sally and apparently the place had been let go before they got their hands on it and have turned it into a

Crazy driver at the wheel

great going concern.  They have some fantastic ideas for the place and we wished them all the best.  Peter also does the Argo 8×8 Rainforest tours.  Wade had seen the brochures and pleaded with us to do it and after hearing some great things about it, we booked in for a tour in the morning.  We all slept pretty well tonight as there was no cooking or setting up to do and no packing down in the morning either – yeah!!!  Next morning we followed Peter and another couple

Mossman Gorge

Two blue butterflies

we’d met last night on the balcony, out to Peter and Sally’s 350 acre cattle property to pick up the Argo 8×8 and start the tour.  The Argo 8×8 is an 8 wheeled, all terrain, amphibious vehicle which will go just about anywhere.  Wade was so excited and once all aboard we headed off up some interesting tracks that I’m not sure even our car would’ve made.  Peter even let Wade drive it through the gates a few times which Wade just loved!  Part of their property is also Heritage Listed Rainforest which they cannot do anything to or with, but they still have to pay rates for, which we all agreed sucks big time! Peter showed us all around the property and through the rainforest and up to a high cleared area where the views were just phenomenal.  We even got to see a cycad that was over 1500 years old which was pretty amazing and heaps of the “wait-a-while” which is a vicious, barbed fern that just grows over everything in the rainforest canopy.

The tour went for about 1hour and 45mins which was huge seeing as it’s only supposed to be an hour.  We thanked him heaps and headed back into the Village to have burgers for lunch at the Barra Cafe.  We headed on further south to Mossman Gorge where we stopped to do the

The water is crystal clear

board-walks out along the gorge.  We saw a few of the Ulysses butterflies and the kids and went rock climbing again as the water was a bit too chilly for swimming.  It’s a beautiful place and a very popular tourist place too.  As we headed back to the car we met up with Bill and Jane again.  We drove inland from Mossman through Julatten and back along the highway to Mount Carbine where our van is being stored for us.  We tried to give Rob some money for taking care of our van for so long but he wouldn’t hear of it.  Then we reminded him that Daniel was now 13 and we needed to pay a whole $5 extra a night for him and he wouldn’t let us do that either.  So we booked for 2 nights, knowing full well we were only staying one and moved the van to a powered site where we aired it out and started to unpack the car.  We went back to the Mt Carbine pub for tea that night then back for an early night as we are off to Cairns in the morning. We have loved all the people we have met along this trip and the many new friends we have made as well who have shared our adventure with us.

Till Next time,

Ciao`

2 Responses to “Our Cape York Trip – The last leg”

  1. Marge Hynoski said

    I loved the whole Cape York trip. Mind you, I still have dozens of posts I haven’t read yet and I’m starting t o stress. If we ever do it, there is NO WAY I’m ever doing the OTL…Our Pajero is probably too low for the river crossings.

    • Hi Marge,
      Oh don’t get put off from what I wrote! The tracks change from year to year and the waters are lower in July and August like when we did them. We went with the idea that we would look at each one and if we were at all unsure, we had no worries about turning around and getting back onto the By-pass Rd. Some people just come in to do smaller sections of it, which is great too. At least they get to experience some of the OTL as it is quite lovely! Hope you are all well,
      Love Michelle and Co

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