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    • Day24

      3 Island Tour - Roko Island

      August 24, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      About 45mins and a bit of a rough trip, we made it to Roko Island. The jetty itself was wooden, kept afloat by drums, it was very pretty, but wobbly. We met Nigel, a very relaxed fella who told us to grab a drink if we wanted one, then he'd take us for a walk. So we did just that. He showed us around their new facilities and glamping tents, then down to the old stone jetty. Telling us stories about how he often goes crabbing there, for years in fact and one time he went down to check his traps, it was dark and a 3-4m crocodile had made its way into the mangroves to take his bait, said it scared the shit out of him, understandably. He gave us some local history about the island being a former pearl farm and with how labour intensive it is, it just isn't worth it these days. The island itself is only about 900m by 300m at its widest points. We headed back to the bar to relax while Nigel took a second boat group for a walk. A very relaxing spot, but unless you're a keen fisherman, I think we'd get a bit bored just chilling, we like to be on the go on holidays. About 20 minutes on the boat and we were back to Seisia, a bit rough again, they did say that they've have to cancel the tours for the next 2 days due to rough seas. They also said the last few days it's been very windy and overcast, so we picked the right day. On the ride back we saw what we thought was rain in the distance, then it kept getting closer and we could smell smoke. They've been backburning again we assume and we arrived to a very smoky Seisia. Noone seems overly concerned though, so we just went about our business. Back to camp to relax a bit, then we wandered over for to the Kiosk for dinner again, we decided on a pizza and salad to share, which we still couldn't finish. Bloody good though, again very busy in there but they're quick! Showers and the usual before bed.Read more

    • Day24

      3 Island Tour - Thursday Island

      August 24, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      It was a quick trip to Thursday Island, we stopped at a Cafe for people to grab a coffee, juice or snack before our taxi tour, that we didn't know was included, bonus! Our driver was a funny bloke, cracking jokes along the way and very informative. He had jokes with Ben about the AFL and NRL, it was good. Also, he's a NSW supporter and everyone else on our bus were Queenslanders, he heckled them a bit too. We cruised past Border force and through the main street. We stopped at Green Hill Fort and got out for a wander. There were concerns about Russia invading in the 1890s? I think it was, so they were preparing just in case. It was a well maintained piece of history. We were taken past the school and many other community buildings. He did take us through the cemetery and told us about the Torres Strait culture of celebrating life and how they unveil headstones, sometimes years later to ensure the whole family can travel and celebrate. We were dropped at the bowling club which was opened specifically for our group, cheap drinks and lunch, Bill told us earlier that often the other pubs are packed and not as efficient. It's also the only waterfront spot to have a drink and lunch. We had burgers, plain and fish, they were great! We moved quickly, as we wanted to get to the Torres Hotel, the geographically most northern Australian pub. Love these records haha. Just a quick one before heading to the Gab Titui Cultural centre which has had a lot of government money poured into it, a lot of the island has actually. After a browse through we headed back to the wharf to keep moving.Read more

    • Day22

      Alau campground

      August 22, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      On to Alau campgrounds for the night, we bumped into Peter and Ellen earlier who are staying here tonight too. We set up not far from them. A very informal booking system? The lady was lovely though. The rain blew in and out all arvo, so we kept swapping from outside to in. Decided to have a few drinks with the others and some other campers. One couple are from Elermore Vale, small world. There are so many dogs around, none have been aggressive at all, but they just roam everywhere looking for scraps. Barely even acknowledging that you're even there. One of the couples said they'd heard that the campground staff don't actively shoo them away as their presence tends to deter any opportunistic thieves which can be quite common apparently. Then the usual evening plans, cooked up dinner, showers and bed.Read more

    • Day22

      WW2 trail

      August 22, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      We pushed our alarm back an hour today, but Ben was still stirring beforehand. Another cruisy day ahead. We went through our laundry from the day before last, the rain came through before we had a chance to go through it all and put it away properly. Slow packup and headed for Bamaga. We found the Bakery which a lot of people hype up, got ourselves a crocodile pie and a regular sausage roll to share. They were pretty good! We followed the hema to do the ww2 trek today. We found 2 plane wrecks and a fuel dump site which took us a bit to realise was a historic location and not people just dumping a heap of 44 gallon drums. We looped back and headed for Muttee Head. The track kept going to the Jardine River mouth where it flows into the Arafura Sea, so we followed it and found a nice spot to stop and cook up some noodles. Back on the soft, sandy track to Muttee Head and the WW2 radar. We had to put the maxtrax to use for their intended purpose instead of levelling the ute out at campsites. We went through a large, soft patch, I smacked my head on the handle and we got stuck. Ben got us sorted though and we were moving in no time. Good thing he attached the lanyards, he couldn't see the little ones at all. We found the ww2 radar, the only one standing on the mainland. A quick drive by Muttee Head, looks like a lovely camping spot. We headed back via Injinoo, just to have a look. They have construction going on near the beach to create a picnic area, otherwise its very much a local town.Read more

    • Day19

      Nolan's to Punsand

      August 19, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Nolan's (bridge creek) is the last crossing and known to have a very soft, sandy bottom, which claims a lot of vehicles each year apparently, woo! We watched 2 fellas go down who we saw at the Lions Den a few nights ago, the first one had no dramas, good news because that was the line we were planning on taking. His mate though, took a different path and got stuck in the water. Ben ran out to attach the snatch strap while his mate dragged him out. There was a fair bit of water in his car but he seemed pretty good about it. The L and P platers and their families went next, all good. Ben afterwards, also no dramas despite the depth. Peter was much slower but again no issues. We pulled up for a celebratory drink and lunch while watching some other groups come through, a few we've seen along the way. The last car got stuck, same drill, Ben attached the strap and the driver dragged him out. It was a fun, but nervewracking day at times. Less than an hour to the ferry, it's very quick over the Jardine River, it's only about 50m. We said our farewells and headed for our campsite at Punsand Bay after topping up the fuel at Bamaga. We set up and wandered down to the beach bar, such a great spot! We had a seafood pizza and calamari for dinner. Unintentionally a late night, had much to catch up on on the wifi after a few days without. The shower was soooo good, it's been a while! The fresh water swims were great, don't get me wrong, but not comparable to a hot shower.Read more

    • Day3

      Horn Island

      September 8, 2015 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      After the flight Barry from the Cairns office took me for a drive around parts of Horn Island. It's a clear sunny day, probably around 30 or maybe more. Interesting bits to note; don't swim in the water (crocs, sharks and stingers); there is a large dam on Horn Island that provides water via pipe to Thursday island; and the waters around the island are spectacular. Missing you all heaps!Read more

    • Day5

      Northermost tip of Australia

      September 10, 2015 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      Big day of travel today - went down to Cape York on the 12m Steber (or CRV). I am still on the boat heading back, but I managed to set a footprint right on the very northernmost tip of Australia. Another sunny if breezy day, we intercepted a few yachts and I asked the people onboard questions about their yacht, who they were and where they had come from. We had a barbeque for lunch and now we are on our way back to Thursday Island. Quite a few tourists at Cape York and I saw a few sea turtles in the water on the way. Apparently its mating season for the turtles and they stay close to the surface. All in all its been another top day! Love you all.Read more

    • Day33

      Cape York, Queensland

      June 22, 2015 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      WEIPA to CAPE YORK 18/06/15 TO 22/06/15

      FW. After enjoying a couple of days in Weipa we headed off to our ultimate destination for this trip, Cape York.
      We turned off to Batavia Downs about 65 kms out of Weipa and the dirt rd to Batavia Downs was great, like a bitumen rd.
      Back on the Peninsular development rd it was rough with sections of deep, deep corrugations.
      So rough was the road that while my phone was in its cradle it shook the sim card out of its holder.
      We stopped for lunch at the Morton Telegraph station and the only piece of equipment left of the Telegraph station was a concrete slab and one support for the Tower. Apparently we were about 45 years too late to see the station as it was when it operated.
      We stopped overnight at Bramwell Station an operating Cattle station of 540 sq kms.
      There are 4 businesses within the Bramwell Group, the Cattle Station, the Bramwell Roadhouse, Bramwell Contracting who maintain the roads for the Government (it’s a pity they don’t spend some time on their 7k driveway) and the Bramwell Tourist Park and Camping where we stayed overnight. A couple of caravaners staying next to us told us that both their caravans sustained tail end damage from the ferry ramp due to the steepness of the exit ramp, (4 wheel drive low range up the ramp)
      The Jardine River Ferry crossing was interesting. We arrived at 12.30 and the boys were on their designated hard fought for 1 hour lunch break. When we got there I pumped up the air bags and we got on and off with no trouble.
      The road into Bamaga from the Ferry was the worst we had experienced so far with serious corrugations and deep holes and never ending stupid speeding Toyota Landcruiser drivers. We were down to 20km/hr on some sections and driving along a side track on some of the sections where the ruts were too deep to drive over.
      On reaching Siesia I discovered the main electrical cable from the car to the caravan was damaged due to rubbing on the ground. Luckily it didn’t do any damage and was repairable.
      On our trip to Thursday Island we noticed some of the locals had modified cars (Otherwise known as Hoon cars to us Victorians) and they still do some Cruising.
      The 35km road to the Tip is a narrow dirt road that is only wide enough for 1 car so when oncoming traffic is encountered 1 car has to find a place to pull off the road to allow the other to pass.

      HW. Frank’s comments about the roads up this way don’t begin to describe how bad some sections are…. You’d only do this trip for the experience of getting to the top of Australia I’ve decided because it’s certainly trying. I’m amazed the car and caravan have held together after some of the bone-shaking corrugations and potholes we’ve encountered. There are a few sections of bitumen road which are just bliss! Frank has done all the dirt road driving as I just don’t feel at all confident driving in those conditions. The landscape after crossing the Jardine River is mostly flat but with different types of vegetation ranging from heath land to scrub and some sections of rainforest. Because the prevailing wind goes from east to west, all the trees and scrub on the western side of the road is brown from all the dust created from the passing vehicles, while the other side is quite green. I was surprised that we’ve seen so little wildlife on our way. We’ve only spotted a couple of goannas, a snake and a handful of roos as well as the cattle which roam and feed amongst the scrub. There are huge termite mounds everywhere too.

      When we stopped at Bramwell Station for a night we listened to the info session about the cattle station followed by entertainment from a musician who played all the old 60’s music which everyone enjoyed as most were fellow grey nomads. Apparently they have entertainment there every night during the dry season and many tour groups stay the night there in small cabins or tents. They provide meals too.

      After arriving in Seisia which is 40 km south of the Tip we enjoyed a walk along the beach and watched a lovely sunset. The next day we made the ferry crossing to Thursday Island. There are so many islands all around the tip of Cape York and we passed many of them on our way. Once on the island we made our way around on foot, climbing to the top of the hill overlooking the township and the surrounding islands. It was a really beautiful view. The hill still has the cannons and underground bunkers used during WWII to defend the Torres Straight area. We had lunch at one of the many hotels in the town where we enjoyed the stunning view over the bay and islands.

      We returned to Seisia late in the afternoon and while sitting at our caravan pondering on what we would have for dinner, low and behold along came a couple of local aborigines with a car fridge full of live Crayfish. We bought 2 for $10 each and had them for dinner. Another first for me, cutting up and cleaning Crayfish. The next day we drove up to the Tip (minus the caravan) over more bone shattering roads. The road was very narrow and the rainforest grew right up to the edge and above the road so it was a bit like driving through a lush green tunnel in places. After parking, we walked the last 500 metres or so, the final bit over rocks, to reach our ultimate aim, the northern-most point on the Australian continent. It was a bit like Burke St when we got there….. People were waiting their turn to get a photo of themselves with the sign but after waiting a short time most people made their way back and we did the photo thing and also made phone calls to our girls as there is reasonably good phone reception right at the tip which is quite amazing considering it’s really sporadic up this way. That evening back at Seisia we made contact with two other couples who we’d met up with at various stops along the Peninsular. They invited us to share their freshly caught fish with them for dinner which was very delicious and enjoyable. Tomorrow we will begin our journey south…..
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