Cooktown to Chilli Beach

With the foursome cape trippers, in Cooktown it was time to do the final equipment and stores checks and then we headed to Elim Beach to commence our trip north. For Joanne and myself this was a pleasant second visit to Eddie’s campground.

Unlike our previous trip  to Eddie’s campground, we arrived this time without the caravan, which remained safe in storage back in Cooktown. After one-night, Richard and Geoff decided to return to Cooktown for some last-minute checkups and additional purchases. So we had time for another 4WD trip out to Cape Bedford, this time we were lucky to be accompanied by our new friends from Western Australia, Jim and his adorable daughter. We had a fantastic time exploring new tracks including South Bedford. Thanks guys we really enjoyed meeting you, and also Kaye all the best on your further travels #downdogacrossoz.

When Richard and Geoff re-joined us at Elim Beach, we moved onto Lakefield National Park for our first bush camp at 7 Mile Waterhole Campsite (Not Beach). The next bush camp was at the very pleasant “The  Bend” just 2km north of the township of Coen. A great spot right on the bank of a very pleasant creek (no crocs). There was a lot of humorous comments about the Pub back in Coen someone had edited, graffiti the sign above the  Exchange Hotel. The word Sex had been added to the sign.

The next day we moved onto Chilli Beach Campsite. Now some might say, this place is very windy in the month of August and a strong odour due to the algae bloom is on the nose. While this might be true, the benefits of visiting this region are certainly worth the trouble. We also had the honour of assisting in a small way with the massive beach litter clean-up. The week after we were there, Clean Coast Collective removed a massive 7,001 kgs of marine debris from the 6.7km of beach. Well done guys!

Our team; Joanne, Chris, Geoff and Richard visited the community of Lockhart River, including the world-renowned Lockhart River Indigenous Art Centre. We then called into to have a look at the historic Iron Range Airfield, which played a key role in the defence of Australia during WWII. It is still operational but now has a more peaceful key role in serving the Iron Range region as the domestic airfield. When we there we had a chance to chatted to a RFDS medical team waiting for a flight back to Cairns.

Portland Roads Beach Shack, was one of the best seafood medley lunches – great camping tucker. Also had some time to look upon Restoration Island which is less than 800 metres from the mainland. This is one place that has a remarkable history even to this day.

“On 29 May 1789, after the mutiny on the Bounty, Captain Bligh and the men who remained loyal to him arrived on the island in the ship’s boat that they had been cast adrift in some 26 days and over 2500Nm west in the Pacific. This was the first Australian island they came to, and he named it Restoration Island because the food they found (oysters and native fruits) greatly restored their spirits and because that date was the anniversary of the restoration of King Charles II (in 1660). Today; one third of the island is leased to David Glasheen, a former Sydney stockbroker who moved to the island in 1997, and turned into a true life island castaway.”

I think in a few years I might come back and visit this island.

Our next adventure was the Frenchman’s Track which is another story.

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