Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cape York, Cassowaries and Cooktown

Ok, during my first break I'd headed north to Cobbold Gorge and the Gulf of Carpentaria. The second was north-west to Lawn Hill, near the Northern Territory border. It was a while since I'd seen the sea, so for the third trip, I decided to head up Cape York before turning east towards Cooktown. Steeped in history, Cooktown's a place I'd always wanted to check out.

Windfarm at Windy Hill, near Ravenshoe

A cassowary stalking tourists (me!) at Mt Hypipamee National Park. A cassowary is essentially a Velociraptor with feathers and a bad temper.

For future reference, this is much, much too close!

Balloons over the Barron River, Mareeba. 

I drove as far north as the township of Laura, and Lakefields NP, before turning east. A few hours later, I popped out on the coast at Elim Beach, famous for its coloured sand hills.

Elim Beach. This was as far north as I've been up Cape York.

Cooktown's only an hour south of Elim Beach. It's a pretty and surprisingly well-developed wee town, and I stayed there two nights. If you go there, the restaurant on the pier has blue cheese icecream. Sounds weird, tastes wonderful.

The lighthouse on lookout hill. Captain Cook was stranded here in 1770 after damaging the Endeavour on the Great Barrier Reef. While the ship was being repaired, he would climb the hill to watch the weather and work out a route through the reef.

Sunset from Lookout Hill

  Cooktown after dark

I took the coastal Bloomfield Track south from Cooktown. This is supposed to be for 4WDs only, but in the dry season a 2WD car would be able to get through, I think.

 Bloomfield Track

The Daintree forest 

 One of the beaches along the Bloomfield Track

I camped the next night at Wonga Beach, before continuing south down the coast.

At Port Douglas I stopped for a coffee and to visit the wildlife sanctuary. I'd seen enough 'roos, wallabies, crocodiles and cassowaries in the wild, but some of the birds and lizards were charming.


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