After spending a couple of weeks in the dust and dirt, it was very special to be able to stay at Chili Beach, a beautiful tropical paradise on the east coast of the Cape. It is no wonder that this place is difficult to book as it is hugely popular. We also had the pick of the camp sites, while not in directy view of the beach, it was protected from the wind. Now this is important because I can’t begin to tell you how windy it was, the sound and the constant push of the wind was amazing. I do know that I will never think that an A380 engine is loud, especially when you get to listen to it for three days! Nevertheless, we were able to hangout in the hammocks, walk the beach to collect coconuts, use those said coconuts to capture Brush Turkeys and play card games next to a roaring fire. Pretty good in my opinion.
Class 101 – How to catch a Brush Turkey with Craig the Wilderness Guru!
Recharged and windswept we left Chili Beach and over nighted at Lakefield National Park (again). From here we took the road less travelled, the Battlecamp Road to Cooktown. This took us through other parts of Lakefield National Park and through Wujal Wujal a vibrant Aboriginal Town with an amazing art space. We took the time to stop and view the artists working and ended up buying a beautiful piece of art.
Cooktown was an oasis of civilisation after so long from travelling from Darwin. We checked into a lovely friendly carvan park before exploring the town. We watched the massive Queensland Gropers being fed off the wharf. These things were 170 kilos in weight (estimated of course) and huge but very fast. The guy did warn us not to drop Campbell in as he would have been a tasty morsel for these huge fish. Cooktown also has a wonderful Botanic Garden and art space which we enjoyed. Even more so as we were able to meet up with Uni friends living up this way, Janie and Pete. So awesome to catch up with these guys not once for coffee, but for a home cooked dinner and a beer after work (not us!). The place was alo rich in history, including the Jame Cook Museum, well worth a visit.
With a sad farewell to Cooktown and friends we headed yet again for a road even less travelled, the Bloomfield Track from Cooktown to Cape Tribulation, definately a 4WD track.
The track also had interesting signs indicationg a measly 32% gradient decline. In other words the road was very steep in places and it was hard going with the trailer, but needless to say we made it to Cape Tribulation.
On our last day in Cape Tribulation, we decided to visit the Daintree Discovery Centre. This focuses on the marvels of the rainforst, the trees, plants, animals and heritage of the area, including a dinosaur section. The kids loved the interaction and visual delights of the rainforest. Even Craig had some fun here.
After a fun filled morning with rainforest and dinosaurs, we beelined for Mereeba where we planned to explore and experience the Atherton Tablelands and surrounding region.