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5th Edition








Cape Yorker Magazine

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From the Editor


Get with the times!!

have to admit that I am an ‘outdoor geek’ I love the great outdoors and can’t stand to be sitting still for extended periods of time. However, I also love the technology that we have at our finger tips. In today’s society, you are almost considered strange if you don’t have all the latest gear like an iphone, ipad, or any of the growing variety of electronic gizmos out there. Having said that, I am also hesitant of this growing technological era. This has been so with past editions of this magazine, however, I have decided to make the change and move away from the printed media and go online with the Cape Yorker magazine. While there may be some negatives with this move, I feel the positives will far outweigh this. Take the fact that the magazine is now reaching a worldwide readership instantly, which is great for tourism and showcasing what our country can offer. It also means that you can keep your copy of the Cape Yorker on any number of computers, USB devices, or CD’s and share it amongst your friends and family knowing that it won’t go missing!!! And, for those who must have a paper copy, you can either take the option of ‘print on demand’ or simply print out your own copy to take and read whereever you are. To also add to this ‘new’ era, we have also uploaded a stack of video footage to You Tube which covers certain aspects

of Cape York. This section will be added to as time goes on, so be sure to visit the Creative Croc channel on You Tube to have a look yourself. One of the popular videos there at present covers a trip I was involved in last year where we fished a section of the Wenlock River while in flood. This was an absolutely amazing experience as we spent six days in total isolation, floating downstream and camping for the whole time. While there was an element of danger, the fishing and the wildlife well and truly made up for any hesitations. Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading through your copy of the new Cape Yorker online magazine and I look forward to any feedback you may have. Until next edition, keep safe and enjoy the Cape. Anthony Gomes

Our new Cape Yorker website is packed with heaps of info on the area so make sure you check it out at:


Publisher: Creative Croc Industries Pty Ltd Editor: Anthony Gomes Artwork: Anthony Gomes Cover Photography: Anthony Gomes Contributors: Steve Dew, Anthony Gomes, Geoff Young, Les Williams.

Fishing is just one of the activities we feature on our YouTube channel.

Editorial Enquiries: Ph: 08 8979 5569 Mobile: 0429 701323 Advertising & Distribution Enquiries: Creative Croc Industries Pty Ltd Ph: 08 8979 5569 Mobile: 0429 701323 Subscriptions: Ph: 08 8979 5569 Mobile: 0429 701323 Published By: Creative Croc Industries Pty Ltd ABN 66128372912 PMB 67, Winnellie, NT, 0822 Ph: 08 8979 5569 Mobile: 0429 701323

© Editorial and photographic material published in Cape Yorker Magazine is copyright and may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher or owner.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this publication may contain images of deceased persons.


Laura Dance Festival


or a once in a lifetime experience, visitors to Cape York can witness an explosion of traditional aboriginal culture at the biennial Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival. Held recently in June 2011, the festival celebrates the indigenous culture of Cape York with 3 days of dancing, music and art amongst the beauty of the ancient Laura landscape, 4 hours north west of Cairns.

A truly unique event, indigenous communities from all over the Cape attend with their families and supporters to compete for the coveted Laura Dance Shield, which this year was won by the Lockhart River dancers. The Festival is about passing on culture across the generations, along with showcasing the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people. The Festival is open to visitors who can camp on site at the traditional Bora ground for the three days. Don’t miss the magic that makes the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival such a unique experience – go to www.lauradancefestival. com for information on dates in 2013.

He’s not fishing, so what’s he doing? You know your local area and you know what looks or sounds suspicious. So if something doesn’t add up, call Customs now. 8

Help us to better protect Australia.

Twitching the Cape

Twitching for the Yellow Oriole By Steve Dew Last time I was in the Cape, I nearly ended up with a case of sunburn of the roof of my mouth. You see I have always had a passing interest in our feathered friends, now when I did the 2008 trip I was only mildly interested in bird-watching, by my 2009 trip (yeah I wish there had been a 2010 trip and it’s not looking good for 2011 either) I was developing symptoms of a severe twitcher.


ell I had heard this bird before, in the rainforests around Mackay and many times on my earlier venture to the Cape, this time was different, I had to see it and identify it. The first time I heard him was in Lucinda where we had camped for the night and again on the banks of the Bloomfield River on the track of the same name. Again on our second night while we set up camp in a camping ground near Ayton and this time I was lucky enough to spot the little blighter but he was really high up a tree and I only got an average shot of him. (See Figure 1) Now you hard-core twitchers will be scream10

ing his name, (you probably ID’d him from the sound file) but you have to remember I’m new to the game and was non-the-wiser at this stage. Now night 3 was spent in the camping ground of the Archer River Roadhouse and sure enough that familiar sound haunted me soon after we arrived but I couldn’t lay my eyes on the little bugger.

Our next camp was in the caravan park in Weipa and true to form my nemesis had me wandering around the park with the neck at a ninety degree angle to the rest of my body, camera in hand, binoculars hanging around my neck, I must have walked into a few campsites, wandered in front of a handful of cars, tripped over someone’s tent rope but no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get a good look at

him.....although I did get a pretty good shot of his bum. Early next morning he sat up in a tall tree and sang his heart out, by this time I had a hunch this was an Oriole but do you think I could get close enough to get a good photo of him, although I was lucky enough to get a look at (and another poor photo of ) the female as well. Next stop was the Pennefather River and for 4


Yes he was the camping ground, in the Lockerbie Scrub, Seisa, Bamaga, Somerset Beach, everywhere we went the noisy fellow was sure to go, but still no close-up look at him. Finally on the final day before heading home my brother lost his favourite hunting knife, well being the good brother I am, I offered to take a wander around and have a bit of a look for it, of course I would take my camera, just in case. Wouldn’t you know it, only about 20 metres from the camp, a beautiful Yellow Oriole flew down and landed in a bush right in front of me, well I got one shot of him, not award winning stuff mind you, but finally I had an ID and a reasonable photo of a bird whose song will always remind me of the Cape.

a few days, although I heard the little bugger I didn’t see him at all until the day we left, I had developed this habit of simply wandering off into the bush with my camera, one of my mates had a portable GPS with him and he insisted I take it with me when I wandered off, this particular model also doubled as a portable UHF so I could be in contact with the main group which was also very handy. Anyway on the final day at Pennefather I had done my trick of wandering off into the bush into the direction of the way out, with the plan of being picked up by the main group on their way out, they had been held up by the tongue and I thought I’d take advantage, maybe find something photogenic. Sure enough my old friend starts up his song, it takes a while but I track him down, once again high up a tree and 12

When he isn’t holding his camera, Steve is also fond of a spot of fishing in Cape York. Here he is pictured with a saratoga taken from one of the many billabongs scattered through Cape York.

once again I snap a very average shot of him, now you have to remember I’m a couple of thousand k’s from my computer and although I’m building up a collection of photos of this bird, none of them are prize-winning shots and none of which are really good enough for a positive ID, sure I could review the photos on the 3” screen on the camera but battery time is premium in the Cape and I was getting frustrated with this fellow. The next couple of days were spent on the banks of the Wenlock River and sure enough my little mate was there from dawn to dusk, but not once did I see the little blighter. It was then that we pointed the Prado towards “The Tip” and after the usual photo opportunity with the Tip sign, we headed for Punsand Bay and set up camp there for a couple of days.


Reconciliation as we know it in Cooktown, FNQ


By Vanessa Gillen

id you know that the first recorded reconciliation between Europeans and Indigenous Australian’s took place in Queensland in July 1770? Today with a 50/50 population of Indigenous and European residents, Cooktown continues to lead the way in how reconciliation should be managed. Recently, The Cooktown Re-enactment Association held a Symposium and Major expose’ into the 48 days that Captain Cook and his 86 crew spent at the Endeavour River in Cooktown, Far North Queensland in 1770. Sharing the stage were historians, botanists and local indigenous descendants of the Guugu Yimithirr people that Cook encountered, who acknowledge Cooktown’s unique joint history and its importance to the modern Australia. Local Guugu Yimithirr woman, Ms Alberta Hornsby presented an insightful observation into some of the 156 words of the Guugu Yimithirr language which were recorded in the journals of James Cook, Joseph Banks and Sydney Parkinson during the six times the two peoples came together at the Endeavour River in 1770. The Deeral Family – Traditional Guugu Yimithirr Owners, who are descendants of the Aboriginal people who met with Cook here at the Endeavour River in 1770, spoke about the history of this region from the Indigenous perspective. John Neylon Molony, Emeritus Professor of History, Australian National University present14

Vanessa Gillen photos ed a keynote address on “Cook at Botany Bay and the Endeavour River in 1770”. Dr Darren Crayn, Director of the Australian Tropical Herbarium at the James Cook University in Cairns and well known North Queensland botanist, presented an informative insight into Joseph Banks, and his botanical exploits “We believe recognition of the shared history and cultures of both Guugu Yimithirr and European residents, will have a positive influence on the outcomes of the conference, on the future social welfare of our people and the sustainability of the whole region” Symposium organiser, Mrs Loretta Sullivan, concluded.


A different perspective

With A Thong and a Crutch By Les Williams

On arrival at our destination I would get out of the truck in my thong, hop around to the back of the truck and grab my crutch. It was much easier to get around if I was wearing my thong, even easier once I’d grabbed my crutch.


ut hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself, perhaps a little explanation may clear up any misunderstandings.

We were participating in the Inaugural Croc Crew Tag-Along tour of Cape York in October 2009, and were at the end of our first week (actually 1½ weeks into our 5 week trip). It was the morning we were to leave Pennefather River and I was determined not to be the only one to have not caught a fish. I got up not long after sunrise, picked up my baitcaster and a handful of lures, slipped into my favourite pair of yellow Croc’s, and headed down to the river to spin the beach before breaking camp. Those who have been to the area at the mouth of the river will know of the small outcrop of rocks just a short distance up river from the rangers residence, a very slippery outcrop of rocks. It was on these rocks that I had a solid 16

Relaxing at Seisia with a camera and tripod is just one way to spend your time in Cape York while your ankle is in plaster, pictured here sharing the moment proudly with Borghini, the trip mascot.

hook up with a yet to be identified fish while spinning with a nice little Halco popper, and it was also when I found out just how slippery these rocks really were. The fish ran along the front of the rocks, I turned and took a step to follow and immediately my right foot slipped and I headed to the ground, hearing a loud cracking noise as I fell.

There I was, laying on the rocks, left arm holding the fishing rod high while keeping weight on the line, knowing my leg was broken, and the only thought I had was “bugga, how am I going to land this f#@$&%# fish now?”. I slowly and carefully got to my feet and tested my right leg to see if it would support my considerable weight, and was surprised to find

that it would, sorta. I then continued to play the fish and successfully landed it. Having landed my catch it was time to more closely examine the leg. It was about this time that shock decided to make an appearance, so I figured I had better sit down and wait for it to pass before I once again fell to the rocks. 4


There I was, sitting on those slippery rocks, back to the water, waiting for the shock to pass, when another thought crossed my mind. I knew, without doubt, that there were at least 3 salties in the immediate area, having seen them the day before, and that my current position, incapacitated with my back to the water, was not ideal. Broken leg or not, it was time to move. I could stand, which was good, now, could I walk? Hobble would be a more accurate description, so I gathered my catch, lures and rod and started on the long (about 1km though at the time it seemed like 10km) and uncomfortable ‘walk’ along the uneven beach. It took quite a while to return to camp, I did experience a degree of pain on that walk and was forced to stop a number of times. Most at the camp knew I was out fishing, but unfortunately my fall was seen by none.

In fact I was almost back to my tent before people started to notice I was experiencing some difficulty. To be fair, everyone was intent on breaking camp for an earlyish start to our next destination, they gave little notice to someone walking past their camp, and I’m too proud (stubborn) to ask for help. As soon as I got to my camp I gratefully fell into a chair. Karen, one of our crew, was quickly on the scene with an ice pack and wrapped it round my right ankle which immediately made the leg feel better. I will never underestimate the benefits of ice on a damaged joint again, the relief the ice gave was almost immediate. After it was determined the icepack had done all it could, my ankle was strapped, and with the aid of an extendable bush walking stick, I was able to get around in relative comfort. I had pretty much convinced myself, and everyone else, that I had twisted my ankle and that Cape York from a different perspective. Leaving the beach from Seisia for a scenic flight can still be done while your foot is in plaster. Hmmmm, so that is what the campsite looks like from the air..........

The ‘flip flop’ straps are made from 4mm elastic cord, the other sandals were bought while at Weipa, the red electrical tape was used with extra Velcro strap to extend the sandals strap lengths, so as to fit over the cast.


the cracking noise I had heard must have been my yellow crocs slapping on the rocks, or perhaps my rod had touched the rocks when I fell. Besides, I really wanted to check out our next camp site, it sounded too good to miss. We broke camp, slowly, and headed to our next stop, a remote bush camp a few hours away. This camp was on uneven sand, which meant moving around camp was very uncomfortable and required me to take special care. In fact, it was part of the river bed that would be covered by a fast and wide flowing torrent of water when the river was in flood. As we were camping in the river bed itself, our bush toilet had to be set up some distance from the rivers edge, making a visit to this facility something I had to plan well in advance. It was on waking in the morning that I decided a visit to the emergency department at

Weipa hospital might be a good idea. I told the others of my decision and that we would catch them up in a day or two. Two or three members of our group decided to return to Weipa with us to do some sight-seeing. Driving our Patrol was not an issue most of the time, it was my right leg that was injured so using the clutch was not a problem. Driving really only became uncomfortable when forced to break suddenly or when the corrugations of the roads vibrated through the floor, which of course means most of the trip to Weipa was a little uncomfortable. It was only on arrival at Weipa hospital that we discovered it was Sunday, and that the emergency department is only open for road and mine accidents on Sunday’s, so off to Weipa campground to set camp for the night. I have to admit, setting up camp was not as quick and easy as it had been before I caught4


that fish. One of the great things we had bought earlier that year however was something called a ‘Tent Cot’, made by a mob named Kamp-Rite. We bought it with the intention of using it for overnight stops, and our 4 man dome tent to be used for stays of 2 nights or more. The Tent Cot is literally a stretcher with a dome tent fixed to the top. The model we have is a double bed, you open it like a standard stretcher, fold out the legs, insert two fibreglass rods into the roof, and hey presto, your bed and tent are up. You are sleeping about 30cm off the ground which makes getting up of a morning soooooo much easier than trying to get off the ground, with a broken leg that is. Anyway, back to the hospital. We returned to emergency at 9 o’clock the next morning and left 4 hours later with my right leg sporting a ‘back slab’ and strapping to

allow the swelling to go down before a plaster cast could be applied. The staff and doctors at Weipa hospital were extremely pleasant and helpful, the radiologist was very good and took great delight in telling me that it was only a ‘girly’ break, while at the same time telling me that if she were to push lightly on my right ankle just here I would scream, and neither of us wanted that. I had broken the fibula of my right leg, it was a clean break about 3cm above the ankle. Even though I argued that I had been driving and walking for the past 2 days, a valid argument in my opinion, and didn’t need a cast they were adamant that I needed to have the leg in plaster or risk an operation and months of rehabilitation should the bones displace. Further, while wearing the back slab I could not drive or put any weight on the leg, otherwise risk breaking the temporary cast and undoing all that

they had done. I advised the doctor and nurse we would not be staying in Weipa, and in fact we were only in town now because of my leg, to which they said the cast could be applied at Bamaga hospital in a weeks time. I left the hospital with a CD containing a copy of the x-ray of my broken leg and a pair of hired hospital crutches. Well, I could tell this was going to alter the focus of what was left of our trip. BUGGA. I had mentioned to the hospital staff that we would not be returning to Weipa and offered to buy the crutches. They advised they could not sell me the crutches and that, being a remote area hospital, they definitely needed them to be returned. They rang the chemist to see if he had any available, fortunately they did and I was offered a pair of ex-hire crutches for $30, bargain, so I headed there to collect them before return-

Are you serious about your lure fishing? • • • • • • •

ing the hospital pair. Everyone was happy, except possibly the bloke with the broken leg. Fortunately my wife was able to take over driving duties for the next few days, and so we headed to Seisia for some R&R at the holiday park. We met with the rest of the tag-along group at Bramwell Junction and told them of our new plans, and that we would be at Seisia waiting for their arrival. I have to say, the staff at Bamaga hospital are equally as nice and helpful as those at Weipa. They work long hours, under trying conditions, with insufficient staff and limited equipment but always have a smile and are keen to share a joke. I went to Bamaga hospital 5 days after my Weipa visit (that’s close enough to a week) to have the cast applied. At first I thought I would be turned away, come back in 2 days please, but fortunately the swelling had gone down 4 Bluewater Sportsfishing across the tip of Cape York

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enough to satisfy the doctor, so the plaster was applied. I told the doctor I intended to take over driving duties once the cast was on so could she please make sure it was thick enough to take the punishment, which she did. I was really looking forward to putting some weight on that leg, and get back behind the wheel of the vehicle, so was a little disappointed to be told I had to wait 24hrs, at a minimum, to allow the plaster to harden. I’ve got to be honest here, travelling around Cape York with a broken leg, set in a plaster cast, is not as much fun as it sounds. You are always aware of sand getting between your foot and the plaster, and I soon realised that ants, not just the green ones, can be a nuisance at times. Also, walking around on concrete and bitumen in a plaster cast soon starts to wear the

plaster down. I know, I’ll buy a pair of sandals big enough to go over the plaster, that will protect it. Do you have any idea how expensive footware is in Bamaga & Seisia? It’s expensive. Fortunately, while on a sightseeing trip to Albany Passage, I found an old right flip flop type thong. With a bit of elastic cord and a small amount of ingenuity I was able to make a sandal which served me well until we returned to Weipa, but that’s another story. The home made ‘flip flop’ sandal cushioned my foot when getting around, and surprisingly, it made ‘walking’ much more comfortable, something I didn’t expect to notice through the cast. The broken leg did slow me down, and did alter the focus of what was left of our holiday. 4


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I didn’t do any more fishing, swimming at Twin Falls was out, walking to the tip didn’t happen, I considered the few days at Vrilya would be more trouble than it would be worth, so missed out on that also. But I was still able to go on our helicopter flight, I did sit and relax a lot, I was still able to drive, I could still set camp, and pull it down in the morning. I was on holiday and I was going to enjoy it, damn it. The thought of quitting and heading south to home never crossed my mind, I would much rather sit on the beach at Seisia watching the locals fishing, or the barge coming in to port, than sit at home in front of the television. How long did it take for me to get over the break? Well, in total, the leg was strapped and/ or in plaster for approximately 6 weeks.

Once the cast had been removed it took about another 6 weeks for the swelling to go down enough for me to be able to wear shoes. I’m typing this in mid June 2010 and I can see that the ankle is still slightly swollen, the doctor in Brisbane said it could take up to 12 months for the ankle to completely recover. Oh, and the fish, it was a small Trevally. OK, it was a very small Trevally, but it was the nicest tasting fish I’ve ever eaten, revenge really is sweet. Oh yeah, I’d also advise against wearing Croc’s on slippery rocks, no matter how good a fashion statement they are. Enjoy your holiday, make the most of a bad situation, and keep smiling. Not to be scared off from the event, Nedly is again planning the next tag a long trip to Cape York, and rest assured, his crutches will be there just in case - Ed.


SINCE 1887


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• Fuel • Accommodation • Meals • Drinks • Camping (Hot Showers) • EFTPOS • Alcohol • Block Ice • Souvenirs Cooktown Laura Lakeland

Back at home and the cast is finally removed. Note the pair of yellow crocs are still being worn and are still considered favoured footwear.



Phone: 4060 3229

If you, or anyone you know, are intent on breaking a leg while on a trip to Cape York, the following may be of some help..... • The doctor on duty at the time, the nurses and clerical staff at Bamaga hospital are very friendly and are competent, though resources are limited. • The facilities at Weipa campground are user friendly, however there is much more room in the handicapped shower. • You’ll get a lot of help and sympathy from the staff and guests at Weipa Bowling Club. • The Chemist shop at Weipa is remarkably well stocked. • Seisia Holiday Park is easy to get around on crutches, however if you camp on the beach front, the steps to the amenities can be a little trying, depending on the block used. • Some of the surfaces around Bamaga and Seisia are loose and, if you’re not careful when using crutches, you will end up flat on your back (I speak from experience here). • If you have them, take your own crutches. • Ice is your friend. • The amenities at Eliot Falls camping area are user friendly, though I would suggest selecting one of the closer camp sites. • Bush toilets are not the easiest things to use with a broken leg. • Getting up off the ground is not easy. • Bramwell Station facilities are user friendly, especially if you use the ‘bush toilet’. • The facilities at Musgrave are user friendly, use the handicapped shower. • The amenities block (ensuite style) at Cooktown Holiday Park is very good. • Your vehicle is un-insured if you drive with a broken leg. • Make sure you keep weight on the line while working out if you can stand or not. • Don’t break a leg. • The amenities blocks at Kalpower Crossing (Lakefield National Park) are user friendly, though I didn’t try the showers. • Carry some green garbage bags for when you have a shower. • Those red Australia Post rubber bands are good to use to seal the garbage bag while in the shower.

• Crutches are easier to use after a few beers. • Your travel companions will be of immense help and quick to offer assistance, they are also a great source of humour, though at your expense. • Your frustration at times will make you a less than desirable travelling companion for those close to you. • You can still do a crawl through under your vehicle with a broken leg, though in truth it’s more of a drag through. • A CD holding a copy of your x-ray can be created in Weipa hospital, it can be read in Weipa and Bamaga hospitals. It’s my experience the same CD cannot be read in Brisbane hospitals or by your doctor. You will however be able to read the CD on your home computer. • Treat it as just another holiday experience, adapt, and get on with it.

Nedly at the ‘scene of the crime’. Leaning on the makeshift walking stick, rod in hand, and the offending trevally at his feet.


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a l u t c i t i o r


History in the Cape

Shipwrecked at Somerset

Left: Early aerial photograph of Somerset. Below right: Standing in front of the present day cannons of Somerset, this is what the view would have looked like in the late 1800’s.

By Geoff Young

Of all the settlements established during Australia’s colonial era, none could surpass the harshness and isolation of Somerset. Its very existence was necessitated by the constant threat of shipwreck and a required “safe harbour” for castaways.


or over 20 years during the 1800’s the issue of a Government presence at the top of Australia was discussed but nothing was ever done about it. On the 10th of December 1859, Queensland seceded from New South Wales and became an independent state. With the loss of 16 men from the shipwreck “Sapphire” in the Torres Straits still fresh on their minds, the Queensland Government was jolted into doing something positive about the issue of a Government presence at the tip of Cape York. Queensland’s Governor at the time, George Furgurson Bowen, believed that a settlement at Cape York would provide a refuge for castaways, as well as a coaling station for steamers and a trading post that would eventually become the Singapore of Australia. 28

As Queensland could not afford to establish an outpost, the British Government came to the rescue with a donation of 5000 pounds towards its cost and to protect the new settlement they would send a detachment of Royal Marines and a naval doctor. On the 29th of July 1864, “HMS Salamander”, a British Navy steam sloop, arrived at Albany Pass with 20 British marines aboard. The following day, the barque “Golden Eagle” arrived. On board were 96 sheep and the prefabricated buildings to be erected by the marines. A small band of civilians were aboard including the Police Magistrate of the new settlement “John Jardine” and his 17 year old son. Also aboard were the Works Foreman “J. Halpin” with a carpenter and the Surveyor “WCB Wilson” with 2 chainmen.

The site originally chosen was the bay known as Port Albany on Albany Island. However John Jardine preferred a much better site across the pass on the mainland, where there was an abundance of fresh water continually seeping from the fringing rainforest onto the beach at the southern end of the bay. The sheep were landed on Albany Island and the 20 marines under the command of Lieutenant Pascoe landed on the mainland at the new settlement site. It was named “Somerset” after the Duke of Somerset, First Lord of the British Admiralty. The rainforest was cleared and the military establishment erected on the northern end of the bay, known as Somerset Hill or Point. The Police Magistrates residence was built on a rise overlooking Albany Pass and several hundred metres south of the marine’s camp on Somerset Hill. At a later date a hospital was erected near the barracks. To follow was the construction of married men’s quarters, surgeon’s quarters and armoury. In the centre of the bay a slipway and boat shed was built. On the 21st of August 1864, Somerset was officially proclaimed a settlement and a harbour of refuge.

While the marines were still busy clearing the scrub and erecting buildings, the entire area was being surveyed for building lots by Surveyor Wilson and his chainmen. A total of 152 town lots were surveyed and in a bid to attract settlers to this new Singapore, 70 lots were sold by auction on the 4th of April 1865 at Martins Auction Rooms in Brisbane. A further 82 lots were sold by auction on the 2nd of May 1866 by the same auctioneers. John Jardine’s reign as Police Magistrate is short. Before travelling back south, his son Frank Jardine becomes Inspector of Police at Somerset on the 27th of January 1868 and then Police Magistrate on the 1st of June 1868. On the 3rd of January 1869, Frank Jardine ap- 4


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plies for leave and is relieved by Henry Chester. Frank Jardine returned to Somerset on the 23rd of August 1870 to resume duties as Police Magistrate. Somerset was fraught with many problems during its time, the main being poor anchorage for sailing and steam ships. Because of this, the Queensland Government shifted its presence in 1887 from Somerset to Thursday Island. Henry Chester was appointed Police Magistrate of the new settlement on Thursday Island on the 17th September 1887.

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Cape York Profile

One of my Favourite Places Words & photos by Nedly (Les Williams)

All of us who have been fortunate enough to visit Cape York have a favourite place, or places, we endeavour to re-visit as often as possible. Those places that have that intangible something that always beckons your return.


hether it’s the fishing, the scenery or the people, it’s a place that makes any Cape trip complete. They are places that live long in our memories, long after we leave, for whatever the reason. One of my must go to destinations whenever I visit the Cape is Bramwell Station. I’m talking Why? about the staIt’s that feeling you have tion homewhen you call in to see an old stead, not mate, I’m always totally at ease the Bramwell Termite mound ‘Sentinels’ great you as you there, it fits me. The people are Junction enter the campground. a big part of this property, and Roadhouse, are a big influence in my categorising this one which is located at the southern junction of the of my favourite places. Overland Telegraph Line (OTL) track and the 34

southern bypass road. The roadhouse is part of the property and does offer camping sites and all the facilities a traveller needs. In addition to fuel (diesel & unleaded) you are able to purchase drinks, take away meals and Open Verandah Kitchen and Bar. souvenirs. Bramwell Station is quite a large property, Cape York, and the most northern in Australia though possibly not the largest on the Cape, it for that matter. The property is bounded to the is the most northern working cattle station on west by the Telegraph Road & OTL track, to the


north by Heathlands Resources Reserve, to the east to within 12km of the coast and with the southern boundary about 22km north of Moreton Telegraph Station. It has a land area of approximately 330,000 acres (520 sq. Miles), with the property boundary being fenced for approximately 50% of its length. There are a number of stock yards scattered throughout the property, and are identified by names such as Butter Tin, Scorpion and Spring as examples. These names were given by the Heinemann family and have been retained to this day. The property was originally offered to Frank Monigan in the 1930’s, by the government of the day, and was managed and operated by Jack & Rose Kennedy. In the 1940’s the property was taken over by Roderick & Theresa Heinemann.

Theresa Heinemann saw the potential that tourism presented and, in the 1980’s, started to promote Bramwell Station as a tourist destination. Theresa passed away in January 2008, and is now resting peacefully alongside Roderick in the properties small cemetery, in company with Frederick Heinemann & Rosemary Kennedy. In 2002 the property was purchased by Wendy Kozicka, who runs the property in partnership with Vince Bowyer. They are both true Cape Yorkians, having lived in the Cape since childhood. They both have a strong background in the cattle industry, which is complimented by Vince’s earthmoving experience and Wendy’s experience in small business and tourism. Tourism however is only a small part of the property interests. As I said at the beginning, it is a working cattle property, supporting a pop-

Cape Yorks Tallest Termite Mound?


ulation of Brahman Cross cattle, so be alert on the station tracks. The property is also heavily involved with road maintenance in the area, having a broad range of earth moving equipment to call upon. While it appears to be paradise to the visitor, it is still a working property, and consideration must be given to the residents and station hands. Please keep noise and traffic movement to a minimum and respect the privacy of the residents by keeping away from the homestead itself. While the property is geared to cater for the tourists, in truth there is not much around the homestead itself to hold your normal ‘run of the mill’ traveller for more than a day or two. Having said that, accommodation offered includes very clean and tidy ‘dongas’ (it’s best to book these in advance as they are popular with some tour operators), and flat, grassy camp sites, most of which are shaded by trees along with a couple of newly constructed camp shelters. There is a very clean communal amenities block which has ensuite style showers/toilets, as well as a laundry and separate male toilet. Additional to the amenities block are a couple of ‘bush toilets’ which have hot showers and flushing toilets. From the camp kitchen you can share a delicious home cooked meal with the station hands, and other visitors, while knocking back a couple of coldies, or wine. Alternatively, you could enjoy a quiet meal with your significant other half away from the crowd. The homestead has 4 separate entrances, 2 from the north off the Southern Bypass track (Bamaga Road), 1 from the south off the Telegraph Road (these 3 tracks are sign posted for 4WD vehicles) and the main entrance, also off the Telegraph Road. The main entrance is known as the ‘Ridge Road’, and is located approximately 6 kms south

Princess Butterfly.

of Bramwell Junction. This entrance is clearly sign posted and is open to all travellers looking to get to the homestead. It is only 6 km to the homestead should you take the main entrance, a nice short driveway. The other tracks to the homestead campground vary in length, up to 10 km. The main entrance is the easiest and best maintained of the homestead access tracks. If towing a van this is the track I would use and seek advice on the suitability of the other tracks on reaching the homestead. You should also be aware that the tracks are mostly single lane so make sure you look out for oncoming traffic. Activities on Bramwell Station include bush walking, bird watching, fishing, relaxing while watching the ‘yard’ animals wonder about and Below: Bush Toilet.

is perfectly located to use as a base while you explore the OTL. 2011 looks to be a very exciting year for tourism at Bramwell Station with a new four-wheeldrive ring-road being developed. If all goes to plan, and weather permitting, from midway through the 2011 tourist season visitors will be able to enjoy eco-tourism selfdrive day trips on this new ring-road where they’ll be able to explore and enjoy some of the beautiful and exotic remote locations on the property that have never before been open to the public. Visitors will, for a fee which will include a second nights camping, be supplied with interpretive maps of the new route with GPS coordinates marked indicating places of interest. The new four-wheel-drive ring-road will greatly expand the visitors access for bird watching and bush walking, as well as allowing access to rarely fished sections of waterways.

While you sit and relax around the homestead, Princess Butterfly may sidle over to say hello if you’re lucky. Feral Freddie, Grasshopper and Noodles may be close by, but aren’t as outgoing as Princess, and may prefer to stand quietly to one side and just listen, as will Pollyanna and Pale Face Adios. Confused, I was when I first heard these names, they are all Brahman cross cows, yard pets that wonder freely around the camping area, and are generally very friendly. Cheyenne used to come over for a chat as well, though he generally did so while you were enjoying a quiet one at the open verandah bar area, just to find out what was happening. Unfortunately Cheyenne has passed away and will be sadly missed by all who knew this wonderful stockhorse. One of the station dogs will make sure you know she’s around, her name is Jeanie Little (I don’t know how she got that name), so take the

Cycus Yorkiana.


Yard Pet with Open Verandah Camp Kitchen in background.

time to say hello to her. As you drive through take good care of you. On a final note, please and around this property you will notice in-nu- remember, as with any station property, leave merable termite mounds, like everywhere else the gates as you find them. up there, but if you are alert enough you’ll see what is possibly the tallest termite mound on the Cape, just off the Telegraph Road, perhaps only 100m beyond the fence line. Termites are industrious creatures, there is a mound at the front of the covered bar area that • Cape York • Thursday Is • Cooktown was accidently flattened in 2006, by 2009 it had 4WD Camping Safaris ‘regrown’ to about 2.4m high. And for the botanists amongst us, I’m told Bramwell Station is home to a large population of Cycas Yorkiana, a rare cycad plant which is endemic to this area of the Cape. 07 4094 2000 So, when next you’re on a Cape trip and looking for somewhere to spend a night or two, I have no hesitation in recommending Bramwell Station to you. The camping is good, as are the facilities. The covered bar/dining area is a perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal, and the people are great. For me, a trip to the Cape isn’t a trip to the Cape if I don’t stop at Bramwell Station. Dick and Kaleena are looking after the tourism side of things so give them a call on (07) 4060 3300 and let them know you’re coming, I know they’ll welcome you with a smile and


Cooking Seafood

Ingredients 6 large cherabin (or a dozen small ones) - about a kilo total weight Couple of tablespoons of butter or margarine for frying 1 cup water Salt and pepper 1 cup milk & ½ cup cream (UHT long life is fine when camping) one medium potato, diced finely (optional) Clean this bit as one would a crab. Couple of pinches of finely chopped chives (fresh at home, dried in the bush) A tablespoon of cornflower, stirred into a half cup of water till there are no lumps. Method Put the cherabin on ice for a few minutes to kill them. Remove the tails and peel and de-vein them. Don’t throw the heads away yet! Cut the tail meat into fairly large bite sized chunks; say two to six chunks per tail depending on the size. Put into a bowl and refrigerate. Take each head in turn and separate the top carapace or shell from the “bunch of legs” section. OK that sounds a bit gross, but cherabin have outsized heads and we don’t want to waste all that flavour. Dispose of the carapaces. Wash the innards out of the remaining section, rubbing off the gills as one does when cleaning a crab. Cut the long claws into three or four sections with pliers or poultry shears. Cut the “leg bunch” in half lengthways with a heavy sharp knife. Refrigerate. Melt the butter in a camp oven or large saucepan at a low to medium heat. Add the tail chunks and cook gently for a few minutes, watching and turning constantly until they are cooked through and just starting to colour. Remove the tail chunks from the saucepan and return to refrigeration in a clean bowl. Add the cleaned head bits and claw sections to the pan. Add the water, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully remove all the bits of shell. Take out the big bits and pour the liquid through a strainer if you like; I’m usually too lazy to be that fussy! This is when we add the diced potato if you want a heartier chowder. Increase the heat to medium, stirring constantly until the potato is cooked and the liquid has reduced by about half. This is our stock. Return the pan of stock to a low heat. . Add the chunks of tail meat and simmer covered for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cream, milk and salt and pepper to taste and heat until almost simmering. Do not boil or the milk will curdle. Add the cornflour/water mix little by little till the chowder is thick enough for your tastes. Keep warm until ready to serve, the longer you wait the better the chowder will be. Sprinkle a pinch of chives on top of each bowl of chowder before serving.

Cherabin Chowder


here are several species of long clawed Macrobrachium (Latin for “big arms”) shrimps in Queensland tropical freshwaters, the two biggest are usually referred to as Cherabin, although in my youth most people in the north called them “yabbies” or “Mitchell River crayfish”. Of course they are giant freshwater prawns, not crayfish.

They can be found in almost any tropical Queensland waterway but numbers are greatest in the relatively eel free western flowing streams like the Mitchell and the Walsh, the big long finned eels of the eastern streams are a devastating predator of cherabin and redclaw crawfish. I once caught a 6 kilo long finned eel that was full of large, freshly bitten off mudcrab legs! Male cherabin have a very long pair of claws which are “double jointed’ and can reach around to nip and draw blood from the careless handler. They are aggressive, territorial and cannibalistic; dominance is established by claw size. This means that if you catch a big cherabin it’s worth continually resetting the trap in the same spot, you will then get the next smallest and so on. In clear water the beam of a torch will often show a big cherabin on the bait with a group of smaller specimens circled around, too frightened to enter the trap. You can get more than one female or juvenile in the trap, of course, but the big males grow up to 320mm in body length and can weigh almost half a kilo, definitely the best choice for eating! I have actually hooked and landed cherabin on a line when trying to catch baitfish with tiny hooks, but the most productive technique is to use “opera house” folding traps at night, checking every couple of hours as recommended above. To be legal in Queensland these traps must have “turtle excluding” wire rings of no more than 100mm diameter built into the entrance funnels. Cherabin are carnivorous, so meat or fish is the best bait. One trick is to use very small tins or foil sachets of cat food, pierced with several holes so the smell can waft out into the water. The cat food needs no refrigeration till opened, lasts for at least 24 hours without going rotten, and has limited appeal to eels, turtles and crocodiles that might wreck your trap. Like all prawns cherabin are delicious boiled in salted water and served chilled, or simply grilled on the BBQ hotplate, they do need a little more salt than their marine cousins. This recipe makes maximum use of a modest catch of cherabin so that the whole camp gets a taste. It also works with large saltwater prawns, redclaw crayfish or yabbies. The quantities given make a soup course for 4 to 6 people.



d Sun ea an

S d urs of Queensland Seafoo Flavo ooking g and C Catchin

yours: s. ble to ted recipe our ta d and tes Frompages of trie

48 Over


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By Ant


The correct way to hold a large cherabin.

The above recipe has been printed here from the Nationally distributed “Flavours of Sea and Sun - Catching and Cooking Queensland Seafood” which features both entree’s and main meals, all using seafood that is readily accessible by the average angler. Recipes include; BBQ Butter Pipis, Cherabin Chowder, Spicy Thai Mackerel, Chilli Mudcrab, Baked Barra in Sour Cream and Chives and Smoked Queenfish with Juddrah to name just a few. This is the ideal cooks companion for those contemplating a trip to the Cape. Author, Anthony Davies has compiled an excellent range of meals and presents them in this book in both a simple and entertaining way. Be sure to get a copy for yourself by visiting the website: 41

Going fishing in Cape York?

Cape Yorker Website

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Travelling to the Tip

Important information to know when travelling Cape York Peninsula


he Cape York Peninsula landscape covers 137,000 square kms. Larger than England and nearly the size of the state of Victoria it is one of the world’s last accessible wilderness areas. This was the first part of Australia to be mentioned in written history. After recorded visits in the 1600s by Dutch and Spanish explorers, in 1770 Lt James Cook spent 48 days on the banks of the Endeavour River repairing his ship after it was holed on a reef off Cape Tribulation. Despite its head start in history, the tropical Cape York Peninsula remains a land of few people and prolific wildlife living in rugged mountains, eucalypt, mangrove and rainforests, heathlands, grasslands, swamps and mighty rivers. Its 11 million hectares extend 1000 km north of Cairns to the tip of Cape York Peninsula. Beyond Cooktown, most residents live in Aboriginal and cattle station communities and in small mining towns dotted among enormous national parks. The Peninsula is home to Aboriginal and Islander communities and there are many opportunities to gain a fascinating insight into Indigenous culture through tours and cultural centres. The small settlement at Laura offers tours of ancestral paintings in natural rock galleries and every two years holds a festival of Aboriginal dance and culture. The Tropical Cape York Peninsula begins at Cooktown, which is easily accessible by sealed road, air or sea from Cairns. Cooktown was founded as the port for the Palmer River goldfields more than a century ago. Every June the town celebrates its status as Australia’s first European settlement at the Endeavour Festival which includes a colourful re-enactment of Cook’s landing. Explore the frontier town’s rich history by visiting its museums and monuments. For all its isolation, the Tropical Cape York Peninsula presents a holiday choice of a challenging adventure or comfortable sightseeing. There is a diverse range of accommodation ranging from upmarket lodges to motels and caravan parks - with plenty of remote bush camping opportunities. Access to this region is via road, sea or airplane. Day, overnight and extended land safaris, air tours and transfers, ferry excursions and cruises offer a choice of Cape York experiences including the East Coast islands and reefs. If you’ve a desire to explore, take advantage of one of the many guided safari and off-road expeditions which you can join in your own vehicle. Experienced off-road drivers can camp by billabongs and waterfalls, Ford Rivers, fish for barramundi – while keeping a lookout for crocodiles. Cape York Peninsula is the trip of a lifetime for adventurous travellers, naturalists and everyday Australians, providing an unforgettable glimpse of the nation’s ancient Aboriginal culture, early colonial history and contemporary remote Australian lifestyles.

General Road Conditions

May to October is the optimum time for your journey to Cape York. Many roads and most tracks can become impassable for extended periods during the hotter wet season months between late November and April. Away from the main roads leading to Cooktown and Weipa, road conditions generally deteriorate. Distances are measured in time rather than kilometres. Intervening distances between centres should always be noted, as there are very few options for assistance if needed. Plenty of allowance should be made to ensure travel is both safe and comfortable on all Peninsula roads. For updated Road conditions visit: or Queensland Parks and Wildlife: National Park Campsite bookings: Phone: 13 13 04 NOTE: The Mulligan Highway between Mareeba and Cooktown is now completely sealed.


Weather on Cape York Peninsula is usually divided into the Wet and Dry Seasons. From December to March the area can be deluged by heavy monsoonal rains and cyclones are possible. Some roads become impassable for extended periods and rivers spread so far they occasionally join with others to form vast inland seas. Communities are still accessible by air and sea, but road networks are unreliable. By contrast, the Dry contributes less than 20% of the annual rainfall. Towards the end of the year lagoons and swamps dry up, rivers stop flowing and bushfires become a dominant feature of the parched plains and open woodland. Extremes of climatic and seasonal variations prevail. Winter temperatures of less than 10 degrees Celsius can occur - particularly in the inland, and summer temperatures can soar beyond 40 degrees Celsius. However the humidity factor is always high


Air Temp Max (°C) / (°F)

Air Temp Min (°C) / (°F)

Humidity (%)

Surface Water Temp (°C) / (°F)


31.5 / 88.7

23.6 / 74.48


29.0 / 84.2


31.1 / 87.98

23.7 / 74.6


28.8 / 83.8


30.5 / 86.9

23.0 / 73.4


28.3 / 82.9


29.2 / 84.56

21.5 / 70.7


27.3 / 81.1


27.5 / 81.5

19.9 / 67.82


25.9 / 78.6


25.8 / 78.44

17.6 / 63.6


25.5 / 77.9


25.6 / 78

17.0 / 62.6


25.1 / 77.1

26.5 / 79.7

17.5 / 63.5


24.7 / 76.4

27.8 / 82

18.6 / 65.4


24.9 / 76.8

29.4 / 84.92

20.5 / 68.9


25.4 / 77.7

August September October Tracks can be a quite muddy early in the season and care should be taken.


30.6 / 87

22.2 / 71.9


27.0 / 80.6


31.4 / 88.52

23.3 / 73.94


27.8 / 82

• Some Aboriginal lands, private and special purpose leases and pastoral properties require an application to be made to pass through or camp on that property. Permits can take time to process. • Alcohol is restricted in many Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Communities. For more information and restriction details visit: Website: www. or Phone: 1300 789 000. • Dogs, cats and firearms are PROHIBITED in Queensland National Parks and most properties and communities. • Travellers are urged to respect quarantine regulations and warnings. Movement of all plants and plant materials is restricted north of Coen. Check FM 88 on your car radio for up-to-date advice. • Property owners along the way are not prepared to assist travellers except in cases of DIRE EMERGENCY. Always leave gates as you find them. Do not take animals onto pastoral properties. • For fishing information contact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority Phone: (07) 4750 0700 and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Phone: 132 523. • For general safety tips contact Website: WARNING: CROCODILES INHABIT MOST RIVERS, LAGOONS AND WATERHOLES, AND THEY ALSO SWIM OUT TO SEA. DO NOT CAMP CLOSE TO RIVERBANKS AND WATERHOLES. TAKE CARE WHEN FISHING OR ENTERING WATER.

Please Travel Responsibly In Cape York Peninsula

Enjoy your journey by respecting the land and its people. Rubbish must be disposed of in designated dumps along the way. Please bring a plastic container to carry rubbish securely between dumps.  Litter attracts pigs and dingoes, disturbs natural feeding patterns and creates a disease and safety hazard for wildlife and humans. Toilet waste is a major bush camping problem in Cape York.  Please burn your toilet paper or put it in the rubbish.  Solid human waste and paper should be buried 15-30cm below the surface (where it decomposes best) and well away from camp and at least 100 metres from any watercourse.   Creeks and Rivers are fragile natural habitats. No soap or detergent please, keep sunblock to a minimum (use hats and shirts) and fix any vehicle oil or fuel leaks.  Wash at least 50 metres from the creek. There are many organic products available which are safer to use in this environment. Firewood should be collected along the way, as campsites rarely have any nearby.  Avoid choosing hollow logs that are potential wildlife homes, and use hard timber – as little as possible please!  Make sure your fire is out before you leave. Enjoy the wildlife but please don’t feed any birds or animals.  Many will develop health problems and pester visitors with even limited human feeding. Drive to preserve animal and human life!  Slow down when passing oncoming vehicles, stay left where you can and beware limited visibility around corners.  There are too many single vehicle accidents and head-on collisions in Cape York Peninsula – take care! Learn about Cape York.  You’ll appreciate the natural wonders and human stories much more if you read some reference books before you go and use the interpretive signs and local information along the way. Finally – please help us to make Cape York Peninsula an even better place to visit.  Pick up some litter and leave fireplaces tidy.  Talk to locals about roads and access.  Slow down, take only memories and leave only footprints ….. and you’ll have a wonderful trip.

Food And Supplies

Food and grocery supplies are available in townships on the Peninsula. However take appropriate amounts of water, fuel and food when travelling between towns, National Parks or isolated areas. Fuel is available at convenient intervals at roadhouses along the way. LPG gas is available in Cairns, Mareeba and Cooktown. (See the Fuel Chart in this guide.) LPG gas for bottles is also available at Weipa Mitre 10 and two service stations, one at Rocky Point and the other at Evans Landing. In Coen, you can get gas bottles refilled at the shop next to the pub.

Always carry emergency food and supplies.


EFTPOS and credit card facilities are available in the majority of townships on Cape York Peninsula. Travellers’ cheques in Australian Dollars or fuel cards (for petrol purchases) may also be used. Fuel cards are an ideal way to overcome the problem of carrying large amounts of cash or trying to find banking facilities in remote areas. Check with your local major fuel distributors for available cards and their use in the Peninsula.Generally Visa and MasterCard are most commonly accepted in the Cape York region.

Medical Services

There is a doctor’s surgery and pharmacy at Cooktown and Weipa. Cooktown, Bamaga, Coen and Weipa have hospitals for non-serious medical needs. Whilst most communities have their own clinics, they are only really equipped to service the needs of the community – though they may be a useful first point of call for first aid or an emergency. Always carry appropriate amounts of prescription and non-prescricption medication which meets your personal requirements. For contact details on Medical Centre/Clinics/Hospitals: Website: Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Medical Chests are kept at some pastoral homesteads and they have contact with the RFDS by telephone or radio. Vehicles equipped with an HF radio can maintain radio communication with the RFDS which is useful in an emergency. The contact details for the RFDS are as follows: VJN Cairns on the following frequencies: 5145, 2020, 2260, 7465. Phone: (07) 4053 1952 It is essential that you take a first aid kit with you as well as a first aid manual. Make sure you are well stocked with any required medications, antibiotics etc. Always take precautions and remember that this is a wilderness area and medical attention may be hours away. St Johns Ambulance can supply first aid kits at a cost. Phone: 1300 360 455 email: Web: It is important to respect the environment. Certain flora and fauna may not appreciate their territory being invaded. Swimming is not advised unless on a patrolled beach or at a designated swimming location. Seek information from locals.

Telephone Coverage

Hand Held Telstra Next G Standard Handset: Lakeland, Laura, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Coen, Aurukun, Cooktown, Hopevale, Weipa, Lockhart River, Bamaga and Wujal Wujal. Telstra Next G Bluetick Approved Handset: Lakeland, Laura, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Coen, Aurukun, Cooktown, Hopevale, Weipa, Lockhart River and Bamaga. Works on many outer community boundaries.


Aboriginal Information Satellite Phone network: Covers the entire Cape York and Thursday Island region.

Private Holdings

Many Cape York Peninsula roads cross properties which are private holdings. These are not available for public access without prior permission from the relevant landholders. This may be indicated by gates or signs (but is not always the case). Be aware and respect private holdings.

Fishing Permits

For information on fishing areas and permits contact the Great Barrier Reef Marine Parks Authority Fishing permit section which is located in Townsville. Phone: (07) 4750 0700 Website: Email: Fish Numbers, Sizes and Area Closures Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries Phone: 132 523 Website:

Visitor Information Centres Cairns Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre 51 The Esplanade, Cairns Phone: (07) 4051 3588 Fax: (07) 4051 7509 Email: Website: Laura Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre Peninsula Development Road Phone: (07) 4060 3457 Fax: (07) 4060 3470 Email: Website: Cooktown Cook Shire Council Phone: (07) 4069 5444 Web: Cooktown Interpretive Centre: Nature’s Powerhouse Cooktown Botanic Gardens PO Box 75, Cooktown, QLD, 4871 Phone: (07) 4069 6004 or 1800 174 895 Email:

Coen Information & Inspection CentreOperated by DPI, Fisheries, AQS Peninsula Development Road Phone: (07) 4060 1135 Email: Web: Weipa Weipa Town Office Hibberd Centre, Rocky Point PO Box 420, Weipa, QLD, 4874 Phone: (07) 4030 9400 Fax: (07) 4069 9800 Email: Web: Weipa Campgrounds & Caravan Park Colin and Maree Johnson PO Box 652, Weipa, QLD, 4874 Phone: (07) 4069 7871 Fax: (07) 4069 8211



Ang Gnarra (Laura)

(07) 4060 3214

(07) 4060 3231

Alcohol is restricted in many Cape York Peninsula Indigenous Communities. For details on limits / restrictions: Phone: (1800) 789 000 Website: or Always adhere to alcohol rules as substantial fines have been issued.

Aurukun Shire

(07) 4060 6800

(07) 4060 3231


(07) 4069 3121

(07) 4069 3264

Cook Shire Council (Coen)

(07) 4069 5444

(07) 4069 5423

Hope Vale

(07) 4060 9133

(07) 4060 9331

Community Contact Details:


(07) 4069 3252

(07) 4069 3253


(07) 4083 7100

(07) 4060 5124


(07) 4060 7144

(07) 4060 7139

Old Mapoon

(07) 4090 9124

(07) 4090 9128

New Mapoon

(07) 4069 3277

(07) 4069 3107


(07) 4060 4600

(07) 4060 4653


(07) 4069 3133

(07) 4069 3180

Torres Strait Council

(07) 4069 1336

(07) 4069 1845


(07) 4069 3266

(07) 4069 3115


(07) 4069 7855

(07) 4069 7445

Wujal Wujal

(07) 4060 8155

(07) 4060 8250

Alcohol Restrictions

Access through lands under Aboriginal management is generally restricted to the main roads, which connect various community centres. Some Aboriginal land is not available for public access without prior permission from the relevant landholders. This situation may be (but is not always) indicated by gates or signs and should be respected at all times. If you intend to travel through Aboriginal land, permits can take time to process and it is suggested you contact the relevant Shire/ Council or Corporation before you begin your travels. Contact phone numbers are listed to right. Website:

Transport Access - Cape York and Torres Strait (TI) Sea Vessels Company


Phone numbers

Sea Swift

Passenger, vehicle and cargo Cairns to Thursday Island and Seisia

FreeCall (1800) 424 422

Gulf Freight Services

Car/freight only Karumba to Weipa – Nhulunbuy (NT) Groote Is - Mornington Is. - Bentnick Is. - Sweers Is.

FreeCall (1800) 640 079 Cairns (07) 4051 3411 Weipa (07) 4069 7309

Endeavour Shipping (company) Pacific Discovery (barge)

Cape York National Park Information Queensland Parks and Wildlife: National Park Campsite bookings: Phone: 131304 Cape York Peninsula is a region of immense beauty and wilderness with its great rivers, rich forests and wetlands and vast coastline. Inhabited by a fascinating collection of rare life forms, it is quite different from the rest of tropical north Queensland. The national parks on Cape York Peninsula each offer a different experience and this is largely influenced by the nature of the landscape. Situated on the far north-east coast is Iron Range National Park. This park conserves the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Australia. Inland and south of Iron Range is the vast wilderness of Mungkan Kandju National Park. Further south is Lakefield National Park which lies in the Laura Basin and is renowned for its extensive river systems, spectacular wetlands and marine plain. Located adjacent to Bathurst Bay is the remote coastal park of Cape Melville. Together these parks make up a total area of approximately 1.6 million hectares. Offshore are a number of island national parks including Flinders Island, Lizard Island, Two and Three Islands and Hope Island. CAIRNS OFFICE 5B Sheridan Street, Cairns QPWS Phone: (07) 4046 6601 EPA Phone: (07) 4046 6602 Fax: (07) 4046 6606 COOKTOWN 5 Webber Esplanade, Cooktown Phone: (07) 4069 5777 Fax: (07) 4069 5574 WEIPA SUB DISTRICT OFFICE Memorial Square, Weipa Telephone: (07) 4069 7908 Fax: (07) 4069 7739 IRON RANGE - KING PARK, LOCKHART RIVER CMB 52, (Portland Roads) Cairns Mail Centre 4870 Phone: (07) 4060 7170 Fax: (07) 4060 7328 after 1pm

LAKEFIELD NATIONAL PARK PMB 29, Cairns Mail Centre 4870 Phone: (07) 4060 3271 Fax: (07) 4060 3262 NEW LAURA - LAKEFIELD NATIONAL PARK PMB 79, Cairns Mail Centre 4870 Phone: (07) 4060 3260 Fax: (07) 4060 3260 MUNGKAN KAANJU NATIONAL PARK Coleman Close, Coen Phone: (07) 4060 1137 Fax: (07) 4060 1117 HEATHLANDS RESOURCES RESERVE PMB 76, Cairns Mail Centre 4870 Phone: (07) 4060 3241 Fax: (07) 4060 3314 7-11am/5-9pm only (on generator power)

PLEASE NOTE: Dogs, cats, other pets/animals and firearms are PROHIBITED in Queensland National Parks.



Northbound – departing Fri – Arriving Bamaga Sunday - Weipa Monday Southbound – departing Sunday via Weipa to Cairns – arriving Tue/Wed From Bamaga to Weipa – no passenger service All cars travel inside a shipping container

P: (07) 4035 1664

Ferries From Cape York To Thursday And Horn Island

Ferry services (passenger) are available from Punsand Bay or Seisia to Horn Island and Thursday Island. Travel time is approximately 1 hour. Company


Phone numbers

Peddell’s Ferry & Tour Bus Service

Transfers from Seisia to Thursday Island

(07) 4069 1551 Email: info@peddellsferry. Website:

McDonald’s Water Taxi

Transfers from Seisia to Thursday Island

Phone: 1300 664 875

Air Services Company


Phone numbers


Cairns to Horn Island

13 13 13


Cairns to Cooktown, Lockhart River, Coen, Aurukun and Karumba

(07) 4046 2462 Freecall (1800) 818 405 E: Web:


Day trip helicopter rides from Cairns to Cooktown

Phone: (07) 4099 3666 W:

Cape York Air Service

Charter service

(07) 4035 9399

Daintree Air Services

Day trips and Tours to Cape York

(07) 4034 9300 Freecall: 1800 246 206 W:

Flights from Torres Strait Islands, Bamaga and Cairns

(07) 4040 1400 W:

Day trips/ Scenic flights/ Camping transfers

M: 0434 848 232 P/F: (07) 4069 5232

Regional Pacific Airlines

Ahoy! Plane-Sailing Seaplanes


Your Vehicle

Make sure your vehicle is well serviced before setting off on your trek and have a fully equipped tool kit and spare parts. Please note that LPG gas for cars is only available in Cairns, Mareeba and Cooktown. Make sure your load is light - an overloaded vehicle can cause suspension damage and instability. If you have any extra gear, store it (see contact details below). Although conventional vehicles can drive to Cooktown via the inland road which is a sealed road (as of February 2006) all year round and to Weipa during the dry season, a 4WD vehicle will better handle all likely conditions. It is the only transport recommended for reliable travel away from main roads or to the tip of Cape York. It is imperative that vehicles carry adequate supplies of equipment for mechanical repairs. Only specially designed trailer/ caravans should be used for travel in Cape York. Before departing Cairns on your journey to Cape York it is recommended that you contact the RACQ to check on road conditions:

RACQ Cairns

Shop 50 - 537 Mulgrave Road, Earlville 4870 (near Stockland Shopping Centre) Cairns office Phone: (07) 4033 6433 Recorded Road Information Line: 1300 130 595 Breakdown Service Phone: 13 11 11 Help Line Phone: 13 1905 Website: Email:

Basic Items to Include

In preparing for your adventure to the Cape York region there are plenty of reference books, maps and information available to help you organise your itinerary and route, vehicle tools and rigging, fuel and food provisions, cooking and camping equipment, first-aid supplies and adequate clothing. It is recommended that you take the appropriate amount of any prescription medication needed for the journey. (You may also want to consider some creature comforts!)

Caravan and Trailer Storage

Cairns First City Caravilla, Phone: (07) 4054 1403 Cairns Coconut Caravan Resort, Phone: (07) 4054 6644 Cool Waters Holiday Park, Phone: (07) 4034 1949 BIG4 Cairns Crystal Cascades Holiday Park, Phone: (07) 40391 036 Lake Placid Tourist Park Cairns, Phone: (07) 40392 509


Port Douglas Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park: Phone: (07) 4098 5922 Lakeland Lakeland Caravan Park, Phone: (07) 4060 2033 Cooktown Endeavour Falls Tourist Park, Phone: (07) 4069 5431 Weipa Weipa Camping Ground, Phone: (07) 4069 7871 A/h: 4069 7643

Getting There

The main access route to Cape York Peninsula is by the newly sealed and named Mulligan Highway north from Mareeba. This road is sealed and of a good standard for the first 175 km to Lakeland. Following this, the Peninsula Development Road has generally well formed, mostly gravel surfaces between Lakeland and Weipa (560km). Dust, corrugations, unfenced cattle and wildlife are potential driving hazards which may be encountered en route. Many creek crossings don’t have bridges and should be approached slowly, even when dry. “Dip” signs (where present) provide some advance warning. The final 300 km to the northernmost tip of Cape York can be more challenging as it is less well maintained. There are two road options you can take: the Bypass Tracks and the Telegraph Track – sections of which can challenge the most experienced four-wheel driver. The Telegraph Track that follows the route of the now dismantled telegraph line is less regularly maintained and can feature washouts on the roads and at creek crossings, which could necessitate some backtracking. For advice on particular stretches of track it is important to ask a local, refer to your guidebooks and ask other travellers en route. The Southern Bypass Track starts at Bramwell Junction about 40 km north of the Wenlock River crossing. When travelling on the Southern or Northern Bypass Tracks it is important to drive according to prevailing conditions. Corrugations, sandy stretches, blind corners and excessive speed have all led to accidents in these sections. Major road access points to Cape York Peninsula are: • Inland Road: Sealed - Mulligan Highway (Mareeba to Cooktown) • Peninsula Developmental Road: Dirt (Lakeland to Weipa) • Coast Road: ‘Bloomfield Track’ via Cape Tribulation to Cooktown is recommended for 4WD vehicles only, not suitable for caravans or trailers.

Travelling to the Tip via the Peninsula Development Road and Moreton Telegraph Road The following is a brief outline of travelling from Cairns along the Mulligan Highway and Peninsula Development Road. There are several “crossroads” with suggested detours to Cooktown and Weipa.

Heading North

Mount Carbine 70 km from Mareeba or 136 km from Cairns. All sealed roads. 178 km from Mount Carbine - Laura. Accommodation: Mt Carbine Caravan Park Phone: (07) 4094 3160 Email: Website: Facilities: 30 powered van sites, 10 camping sites, 4 holiday units, 1 holiday house, 2 hour tour for guests staying in-house, Tennis/ basket ball court. **Caravan Storage** Mt Carbine Hotel/Motel Phone: (07) 4094 3108 Email: Facilities: 3 Motel Units, Dining Room, Bar, Pool Room. Mt Carbine Roadhouse Phone: (07) 4094 3043 Email: Facilities: 8 units, Restaurant BYO, Petrol Station, LPG available, General Store Country Mail Centre. Activities: Bird watching (160 species), Bushwalking, Fishing. Events: Annual Music festival Palmer River 80 km north of Mount Carbine on sealed road. Palmer River is an historic area with a fascinating background stretching back to the time when thousands of prospectors came from far and wide in search of gold. Remnants of the gold rush era can be found around the area. Louis Komasic who built and owns the roadhouse has put together a museum of his experiences at the Palmer River Goldfields. Palmer River Goldfields Roadhouse Mulligan Highway - Palmer River Goldfields Phone: (07) 4060 2020 Email: au Facilities/Services: Palmer River Café/ Licensed bar, Petrol station, Caravan park, 4 Cabins (no en suites). Lakeland 32 km north of Palmer River on sealed road. Lakeland is a small community that serves the surrounding farming industry and has extensive coffee and peanut plantations. Accommodation: Lakeland Caravan Park Phone: (07) 4060 2033 Facilities: Powered Sites, Unpowered Sites, Showers/Toilets, Gas BBQ, Single Accommodation, Storage for Vans (Powered & Unpowered)

Lakeland Downs Hotel Motel Peninsula Development Road Lakeland Phone: (07) 4060 2142, Fax: (07) 4060 2114 Email: Facilities: 19 air-conditioned rooms, TV, Licensed hotel Town Services: Petrol Station/Roadhouse: Lakeland Roadhouse Ph: (07) 4060 2188 Lakeland Coffee House and General Store: Phone: (07) 4060 2040 We b s i t e : w w w. u s e r s. b i g p o n d. c o m / coffeehouse Split Rock- Allow for 45min walk. Crossroad - Lakeland To Cooktown Lakeland is at the junction of the Peninsula Development Road that heads north to Cape York, and the Mulligan Highway that heads east to the frontier town of Cooktown. Cooktown 82 km from Lakeland on sealed road The township of Cooktown was first established as a port for the goldfields on the Palmer River in 1872, although the site had been visited some 100 years earlier when Lt James Cook made his historic journey along the east coast of Australia. Cooktown is the site where he repaired this ship, the Endeavour, after striking the Great Barrier Reef. Cooktown is approximately 330 km from Cairns along the Mulligan Highway and is sealed and suitable for conventional vehicles. (If you are renting a vehicle it pays to check the company’s policy before travelling in Cape York Peninsula.) Cooktown can also be accessed along the coastal road (approximately 240 km north from Cairns) which passes through Mossman and Bloomfield. The road is sealed until Cape Tribulation, when the road becomes a rough track which is best navigated by 4WD due to river crossings and steep inclines. Sections of the road are subject to flash flooding and tidal influences. Cooktown is the last major centre on the journey to Cape York. All supplies and mechanical needs are available. Town Services: Police: Webber Esplanade Phone: (07) 4069 5688 Medical: Hospital, Hope Street Phone: (07) 4030 0100 Cooktown Medical Centre, Helen St (07) 4069 5211 Mechanic Repairs: Cape York Tyres, Cnr Charlotte & Furneau st, Phone: (07) 4069 5233 Cooktown Mechanical & Towing- Ferrari StPhone: (07) 4069 6990

Post Office: 11 Charlotte Street Cooktown Phone: (07) 4069 5347 Banks: Westpac ATM, Post Office, 11 Charlotte Street & ANZ bank ATM Charlotte st. For additional Town Service contact details read the town’s excellent “Cooktown Rediscovered” booklet. What to do in Cooktown: From Cooktown, tours can be arranged to a variety of destinations including Lakefield National Park, Quinkan Rock Art, Hopevale, Archer Point, Black Mountain and the Heritage Trust listed Lion’s Den Hotel. Aboriginal tours, historic tours, fishing trips, river cruises and reef cruises are also available. Nature’s Powerhouse: Interpretive Centre and Botanic Gardens. Native botanical gardens which although small in size, has some very large specimens. Two walking trails lead through the gardens to the local beaches which are an excellent setting for a picnic. Website: www. Open daily, except some public holidays. (9am-5pm) Museum (10am-4pm) Vera’s in Garden Cafe’ Visitor Information Centre located next to Interpretive Centre. Continued over...


Travelling to the Tip What To Do In Cooktown (cont): James Cook Historical Museum Open daily from 9:30am – 4:00pm One of North Queensland’s most popular attractions is the awards winning James Cook Museum, which features information on James Cook’s incredible journey along the eastern coastline, with displays that include one of the HM Bark Endeavour cannons and main Anchor along with journal entries made by Cook and his crew. Artefacts, documents and displays tell stories of the establishment of the convent and school run by the ‘Sisters of Mercy’ which now is the James Cook Museum, aspects of life in Cooktown and on the Palmer River Goldfields, the role of the Chinese during that period and an exhibition of Aboriginal stories and artefacts from the region. One of the highlights in the spectacular Endeavour Gallery which is the extraordinary ‘first hand account’ of Guugu Yimithirr Bama who are Cooktown’s traditional inhabitants and their interaction with Cook and his men during their extended stay. Grassy Hill Lighthouse Tours available to the lighthouse, which offers panoramic views across the reef. Contact Cooktown VIC on (07) 4069 5444 for road conditions. Cooktown Discovery Festival The town hosts a festival every June and welcomes thousands of people for this event. The highlight being the re-enactment of Captain Cook’s landing. Cooktowns Old Bank Home to a unique collection of Cooktown’s past. Phone: (07) 4069 5888 E: Accommodation: Cooktown Orchid Travellers Park Cnr Charlotte & Walker Sts, Cooktown Phone: (07) 4069 6400 Email: Facilities: 3 onsite Caravans, 24 Powered sites, electric/wood fired barbecues, Camp kitchen, Communal refrigerator, Coin laundry, Open fireplace, Outdoor swimming pool and Cafe/Coffee shop. Located in the centre of Cooktown. Sovereign Resort Hotel Cnr Green & Charlotte Street, Cooktown Phone: (07) 4069 5400, Fax: (07) 4069 5582 Website: Email: Facilities: Luxurious Resort Hotel, 4-star airconditioned resort rooms and two bedroom apartments, A la carte restaurant & Cafe bar, Internet access, Liquor store, specialty shops including TAB, Hairdresser,Takeaways. Milkwood Lodge Phone: (07) 4069 5007


Email: Web: Facilities: Self contained Pole Cabins in bush settings and gardens, BBQ and Pool Area with 4WD hire and free pickup. Mungumby Lodge A unique and boutique accommodation experience. Mungumby Road, Helenvale via Cooktown Phone: (07) 4060 3185, Fax: (07) 4060 3159 Email: Website: Facilities: 10 spacious wooden bungalows with en suite bathrooms and private patios. A large spacious main building with wide-open living areas right on the edge the beautiful Mungumby Creek. For meals, reading or just plain relaxing by the pool, which is surrounded by large tropical gardens. Cooktown Caravan Park 14-15 Hope Street, Cooktown Phone: (07) 4069 5536 Fax: (070 4069 5592 Email: Web: A quiet park in a bush land setting on the main road into town. There are many other accommodation options for Cooktown which are listed in the Cooktown Rediscovered Magazine which is available from the Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre in Cairns or Cooktown Visitor Information Centre. Reef Trips: Reefsport Cruises Lot 86 Railway Ave Phone: (07) 4069 5815 Mobile: 0428 695 815 Email: Website: The vessel ‘MV Reefmaster’ takes a maximum of 12 passengers, ensuring personalised service. The inner reef is a short 45 minute cruise, or travel to the clear water of the outer and ribbon reefs in less than two hours. Includes: Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Fishing, Personalised charters. Scuba equipment available for hire. FaDETA Travel: Phone: (07) 4069 0511 Email: Website: Offers fishing and diving expeditions in Tropical Australia for keen fishermen and experienced. divers Tours: Barts Bush Adventures Phone: (07) 4069 6229 Go exploring Cooktown and Cape York

Peninsula on personalized small group 4WD tours and private charters with Bart’s Bush Adventures. Renown for their friendly local knowledge and a love for everything that makes Cape York Peninsula so very special, you’ll discover our own ‘Cape York’. Discover Cape York’s Peninsula’s fascinating pioneering, pastoral, mining and maritime history, the colourful characters who live here, the strong , living Aboriginal and Islander cultures and incredible natural wonders spread out over its wide open spaces, on the tour of a lifetime! Guurrbi Tours Phone: (07) 4069 6259/4069 6043 Email: Web: On these magical, award-winning tours Nugal-warra Elder Willie Gordon takes you to his ancestral rock art sites and explains the stories within the paintings. Mungumby Tours & Safaris Phone: (07) 4060 3185 Email: Web: Personalised expeditions, safaris with private transfers to and from Cairns. Tours from the Cooktown region include Quinkan Rock Art, Bloomfield, Cape Tribulation, Cooktown Tours, Bird Watching, Animal Spotting, Plant Identification and Tree Kangaroos. Laura 62 km north of Lakeland, there is about 35 km of dirt between Lakeland and Laura. The district surrounding Laura is known as Quinkan country and extends to the coastline of Princess Charlotte Bay to cover 600 square km. The area is renowned for its ancient Aboriginal rock art. ‘Split Rock’ is the most prominent site in the area, however there are hundreds of painted rock shelters in the district. Permits and/or permission must be sought to gain access to these areas. For more information contact the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre Phone: (07) 4060 3457. Accommodation: Quinkan Hotel Terminus St, Laura 4871 Phone: (07) 4060 3393 Facilities: Camping, powered and unpowered camp site, licensed hotel, meals, TV AngGnarra Aboriginal Corp Caravan Park Phone: (07) 4060 3419 Terminus Street, Laura 4871 Facilities: 4 air-conditioned rooms, powered and unpowered caravan sites, camping, camp fire facilities. Laura Roadhouse Phone: (07) 4060 3419 Facilities: Café, groceries supplies, BP Fuel,

ATM, Eftpos facilities, 2x3 bed air-conditioned rooms. Jowalbinna Rock Art Safari Camp Phone: (07) 4035 4488 or (07) 4060 3435 Email: Amazing rock art and natural beauty, fun activities and comfortable accommodation make for a great experience. Facilities: Twin Cabins available, fully screened with linen shared shower and toilet facilities, camping sites also available with nearby hot showers and toilets, Tents, 4WD campervans and camper trailers are welcome. No powered sites. Town Services: Post Office: Terminus Street, (07) 4060 3235 Police Station: Terminus Street, (07) 4060 3244 Café General Store, Commonwealth Agency: 4060 3238 Laura Community Health Centre: (07) 4060 3320 Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre Peninsula Developmental Road Phone (07) 4060 3457 Fax: (07) 4060 3470 Events: The annual Laura Races and Rodeo are held around the first weekend in July. The Laura Dance Festival is held every odd numbered year (the next is in 2011). NOTE: No fuel 76km north of Laura Hann River Roadhouse 76 km north of Laura on unsealed road A picturesque site offering breathtaking sunrises and is a great spot for birdwatchers. Accommodation: Hann River Roadhouse Peninsula Development Road, Hann River Phone: (07) 4060 3242 Facilities: powered and unpowered camping and caravan sites, amenities, Café, Bar, Public phone, Ice, Fuel, Workshop basic repairs Musgrave 62 km north of Hann River on unsealed road. Musgrave is the site of the Telegraph Station opened on the 23rd of December 1886 to provide communication to many of the Stations over the Peninsula. The Telegraph Station closed in 1928 and became a Station Homestead. Very few changes have occurred, preserving it for its historical value. Accommodation: Musgrave Roadhouse Phone: (07) 4060 3229 Email: au Facilities: Motel accommodation and camping, souvenirs and information, Café/ Licensed Bar, General Store, Public Telephone. Fuel, Workshop basic repairs (Parts obtained from Mareeba twice weekly). Coen 109 km north of Musgrave on unsealed road.

Coen is the regional centre for the district’s cattle industry with the Coen River snaking past 2km north of the town. Coen is situated on the old telegraph line that ran from Laura to Bamaga on the tip of Cape York. Accommodation: Armbrust & Co Regent Street, Coen Phone: (07) 4060 1134 Fax: (07) 4060 1128 Facilities: Camping, Powered sites, Showers, BBQ, Shop, Gas, Ice The Homestead Regent Street, Coen Phone: (07) 4060 1157 Fax: (07) 4060 1158 Facilities: Homestyle Guest House with Bed & Breakfast, 11 Rooms Exchange Hotel Regent Street, Coen Phone: (07) 4060 1133 Fax: (07) 4060 1180 Facilities: 14 Air-conditioned rooms (some have shared facilities), Meals, Licensed hotel, ATM and Eftpos. Town Services: Police: Shepard Street Phone: (07) 4060 1150 Coen Primary Health Care Centre: Armbrust Street Phone: (07) 4060 1166 General Store/Post Office: Armbrust & Co Regent Street Phone: (07) 4060 1134 (Commonwealth/Westpac Agencies) Mechanical Repairs: BP Coen basic repairs Phone: (07) 4061 1144 Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service: Phone: (07) 4060 1135 SkyTrans Air Services: Phone: (07) 4060 1134 Public Telephone, Public Toilets & Rest Rooms opposite BP Coen Store. Coen Cape York Wunthulpu Visitor Centre: Website: Community1.htm Archer River 66 km north of Coen on unsealed road A popular stopover is where the Archer and Coen rivers meet in nearby Rokeby and Archer Bend National Parks. The surrounding lagoons and swamps have an abundance of wildlife. Of interest is a memorial dedicated to Toots Holzheimer, legendary female truckie of Cape York. Accommodation: Archer River Roadhouse Famous for the “Archer Burger” Peninsula Developmental Road Phone: (07) 4060 3266 Email: Facilities: Campground, 4 cabins, amenities, Bar, Café, Public telephone, groceries, laundry facilities, Eftpos, ice, fuel, workshop basic repairs. NOTE: Archer River provides the last fuel stop en route to the Bramwell Junction (approx. 170km) and Jardine River

(approx. 360km). If travelling west, fuel can obtained at Weipa (approx. 197km). Crossroad: Archer River To Weipa Weipa 197 km from Archer River on unsealed road. From Archer River the Peninsula Development Road veers west towards Weipa on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria and joins the Moreton Telegraph Road that heads north to the tip of Australia. Weipa is the largest town on Cape York Peninsula and home to the Comalco bauxite mine. Weipa offers a wide range of services and facilities for the traveller. There are some great spots to camp north of Weipa at Stones Crossing on the Wenlock River and on the Pennefather River (permission is needed to access both these areas). Old Mapoon is another popular spot but you will need to get a permit before you leave Weipa. Festivals And Events The Crocfest is held in Weipa and Thursday Island in alternative years. The 2010 Crocfest will be in Weipa. Thursday Island Crocfest will be in 2011. Accommodation: Albatross Bay Resort 10 Duyfken Crescent Phone: (07) 4090 6666 Fax: (07) 4069 7130 Email: Web: Facilities: motel rooms, village rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, 3 bars, gambling facilities, Eftpos and credit card facilities, ATMs, bottleshop. Weipa Camping Ground PO Box 652, Weipa Phone: (07) 4069 7871 Website: Facilities: units, beachfront lodge, swimming pool, mine tours, boat hire, trailer hire, credit card facilities, ice and bait, Agent for fishing trips, travellers tips and information. Heritage Resort Weipa Phone: (07) 4069 8000 Fax: (07) 4069 8011 Website: Facilities: en suite hotel rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, Eftpos and credit card. Ash’s Palms at Weipa 2/3 Alstonia Drive, Weipa Phone: (07) 4069 9860 Fax: (07) 4069 9713 Website: Facilities: two bedroom en suite apartments with kitchen , swimming pool, Eftpos and credit card facilities. Laundry on site, broadband internet, TV, DVD, Phone. The Weipa Multi Purpose facility Indigenous accommodation and meeting centre Phone: (07) 40906807 Fax: (07) 40699522 Open to Visitors at any time Continued over...


Travelling to the Tip Town Services: Police Station: Weipa Central Avenue Phone: (07) 4069 9119 Hospital: Central Avenue Phone: (07) 4090 6222 Ambulance: Phone: (07) 4069 9196 Fire: Phone: (07) 4069 8444 Fuel/Mechanical repairs: Weipa Service Centre, Boundary Rd Phone: (07) 4069 7277 Banking facilities: Qld Country Credit Union and Commonwealth Bank Agency at Post Office Other Services /Facilities: Travel centre, TAB, Courthouse, Golf Clubhouse - Gym and other sporting facilities, fishing tours, camping grounds, petrol stations For Additional information on Weipa: Website: Website: Cape York Turtle Rescue- Turtle Conservation Western Cape York It is no secret that the survival of marine turtles on the Australian coastline is looking increasingly tenuous, due to a combination of natural and man-made causes. This unique project based on one of North Australia’s most remote beaches aims to create a stronghold for our most iconic and enigmatic marine dwellers. Chiravee Turtle Camp Booking Office Gillian Foster Phone (07) 40699978 Mobile 0412756295 Email: Postal Address P.O. Box 3352 Bangor NSW 223 Crossroad: Archer River To Wenlock Wenlock 33 km north of Archer River on unsealed road. The Wenlock ruins are all that remains of a frontier station and border State Forest reserve that leads into the Iron Range National Park. The area is a popular spot to camp. Iron Range National Park 96 km north east of Wenlock ruins on unsealed road. The Iron Range National Park is a wilderness area containing the largest remaining area of lowland rainforest in Australia offering spectacular coastal scenery and unusual wildlife. Located on the southern tip of the National Park is Lockhart River Aboriginal Community. Continuing North..................... Moreton Telegraph Station 123 km north from Archer River or 204 km returning from Weipa on the Peninsula Developmental Road (unsealed roads). The Moreton Telegraph Road snakes its way


north to the tip of Australia. The station is an isolated place scattered with the relics of pioneers and natural wonders including the Jardine River National Park. Accommodation: Bush Camp - Camping and Caravan Sites Phone: (07) 4060 3360 Email: Accommodation: Safari Lodge: 22 x twin share safari tents, Camping: 5 acres of lush green grass and 100 year old shady mango trees. Services: Updated track information and general information, public telephone, airstrip and hot showers. General Store: Drinks, snacks, ice creams and souvenirs. Activities: Eco Spotlighting Tours, Birdwatching, Fishing and Bushwalking. Mechanical Repairs: Emergency repairs (limited). Bramwell Junction and Roadhouse 40km north of Moreton Telegraph Station on unsealed road. Cabin accommodation, fuel, campground, ice and meals. Here the road divides into the new Bypass Road and the Old Telegraph Road. The Old Telegraph Road has several difficult creek crossings and should not be used by inexperienced drivers or single vehicle parties. The Bypass Road is 40km longer and still provides a fantastic 4WD experience for both novice and accomplished drivers. Accommodation: Bramwell Station Tourist Park 30 kms north of Moreton. Homestead camping ground, 15 cabins, licensed bar, meals, the most northerly working cattle station in the country. Phone: (07) 4060 3237 Heathlands 50 km north of Bramwell Junction on unsealed road. Heathlands is an access point for national park rangers who can provide permits to camp and explore natural wonders such as Elliott Falls and the Jardine River National Park. Accommodation: Heathlands Resources Reserve Bush Camping, Phone: (07) 4060 3241 Northern Peninsula Area 112 km north of Heathlands on unsealed road. The Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) lies north of the Jardine River, where a ferry fee of $88.00 for a single car, and $99.00 for a car carrying a trailer is payable in cash only, provides the local communities with resources to maintain roads and other visitor facilities.

There are five different campgrounds and a number of accommodation options in the NPA. Jardine River Ferry (07) 4069 1369 Fax: (07) 40692808 Bamaga Bamaga is the tip’s main service town. Most of its 700 residents are Torres Strait Islanders. The other main islander community on the Cape is Seisia, about 5km from Bamaga via sealed road on the western side of the peninsula. There also are three Aboriginal communities: Injinoo, Umagico and New Mapoon, about halfway between Seisia and Bamaga. Camping and fishing at the top sites of Umagico, Loyalty Beach and Seisia are highly recommended. Accommodation: Resort Bamaga Phone: (07) 4069 3050 Email: Website: Facilities: Three-star rooms, air-conditioned, private bathroom, TV, phone, licensed restaurant, pool, BBQ, conference facilities, budget accommodation also available nearby. Town Services: Police: Sagaukaz Street. Phone: (07)4069 3156 Hospital: Phone: (07) 4069 3166 Post Office: Phone:(07) 4069 3126 Mechanic: Cape York Spares & Repairs Lui Street Phone: (07) 4069 3507 Post Office: Phone: (07) 4069 3126 Other Facilities/Services: Public telephone, general store, licensed bar, service station, maintenance, resort, hotel, sporting facilities. Seisia Accommodation: Seisia Holiday Park PO Box 81, Bamaga, 4876 Freecall: 1800 653 243 Phone: (07) 4069 3243 Email: Facilities: Cabins, Lodge - Twin / Single Rooms, fridge, BBQ Area, BYO restaurant, breakfast & dinner, snacks, bar, 7am - 8pm, campground, powered sites, toilets and showers, cooking area, ferry trips to Thursday Island, tour bookings. Town Services: Medical: Seisia Primary Health Care Centre Phone: (07) 4069 3271 Mechanical Repairs: Top End Motors Phone: (07) 4069 3182 Tours: Peddell’s Ferry and Tour Bus Services Phone: (07) 4063 1551 Punsand Bay Punsand Bay Safari & Fishing Lodge Phone: (07) 4069 1722

Email: Facilities: Air-conditioned cabins, fixed tents, beachfront campground, EFTPOS, showers, pool, laundry, licensed open-air restaurant, organised tours - fishing, Cape, Somerset, boat to Thursday Island and Horn Island. Loyalty Beach Accommodation: Loyalty Beach Campground and Fishing Lodge c/- Post Office, Bamaga, Q 4876 Phone: (07) 4069 3372 Fax: (07) 4069 3370 Email: Facilities: 7 Twin, 1 Double, 2 Single Air-Conditioned Rooms, fridge, BBQ, meals, campground, toilet and shower facilities, kiosk, ice, gas refills. Tours John Charlton’s Cape York Adventures Phone: (07) 4069 3302 Email: Web: Tropical Boating Adventures Phone: 0429 388 780 / 4069 1395 Email: Web: Umagico Camping Ground c/- Post Office, Bamaga, Q 4876 Phone: (07) 4069 3273 Fax: (07) 4069 3108 Facilities: BBQ, laundry, toilet and shower facilities. NOTE: Pajinka Lodge is no longer open, however the Lodge’s walkway still provides access to the tip. Continuing North to the Torres Strait Islands The Torres Strait Islands are a unique part of Australia and unlike any other part of this vast country. It is an archipelago of small islands between Cape York, the northern point of the Queensland land mass and the south coast of Papua New Guinea, stretching about 120 km from north to south and around 150 km north eastwards to the northern outliers of the Great Barrier Reef. The islands range in size from Prince of Wales Island (Muralag), with a diameter of roughly 23 km to tiny coral sand islets less than a hectare in area. The larger islands have permanent inhabitants, the mainly Melanesian Torres Strait Islanders, a people related to the inhabitants of nearby Papua New Guinea, with whom they share many cultural traits. An exception is the Kaurareg people of Muralag (Prince of Wales) Island, Hammond and Horn Island who share certain cultural traits and identify with the Aboriginal groups of nearby Cape York. The traditional language spoken: Kala Lagaw Ya in the bottom western Island of Badu, Moa, Mabaiug and also in the central islands of Poruma (Coconut I.), Warraber, Iama (Yam I.) and Masig (York I.). The Kuarareg people also spkea Kala Lagaw Ya through intermar-

riages with the Torres Strait Islanders. English based island Creole (sometimes called “Broken”) is the Lingua Franca in all the islands and, of course, English is taught in the school and understood by all. Thursday Island Thursday Island is one of Australia’s historic defence outposts. In 1880, Thursday Island acted as the defence centre for Australia and evidence still exists in the cannons remaining in place. It is located 1233km north of Cairns and 35 km north-west of the tip of Cape York. The population of Thursday Island and the Torres Strait Islands is 7000 and the majority of residents are involved in some way with the Islands’ three major industries: pearling, cray-fishing and trochus shells. Events: April On 25 April, ANZAC Day is celebrated at a traditional and inspirational dawn service at the Green Hill Fort, as the sun comes up over the islands. The community converges on local beer gardens for a hearty barbecue breakfast followed by an ANZAC Day service in the park. June Island of Origin Rugby League Match is held each year on Thursday Island or Badu Island, usually over Queens’ Birthday long weekend in June. July The Coming of the Light Ceremony celebrates the arrival of Christianity to Torres Strait on 1st July 1871. The occasion is marked each year on July 1st with a street parade, ceremonial singing, dancing and feasting at the local church. Croc Fest Held on Thursday Island every second year. This Festival is the sister event of the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge - part of the Global Rock Challenge event which engages young people in five countries around the world using dance to reinforce health and education messages in a 100 per cent tobacco, alcohol and other drug free environment. The main evening concert, performed in front of thousands is an inspiring event. For more information: www.crocfestival. September Torres Strait Cultural Festival is held on Thursday Island from the 14th- 20th of September. November: Torres Strait Cup (Football) Takes place on Thursday Island – Proposed for Mid November For more information on events and activities in the Torres Strait visit: au

Accommodation: The Jardine Motel & Lodge Cnr Normandy St & Victoria Pde Phone: (07) 4069 1555 Email: Web: Facilities: 37 rooms, guest laundry, internet facilities. Jardine’s Lodge has 24 rooms. Restaurant, swimming pool. Federal Hotel Victoria Pde Phone: (07) 4069 1569 Facilities: 25 new motel style rooms, restaurant, counter meals, Eftpos, games rooms, big screen TV. Grand Hotel Victoria Parade Phone: (07) 4069 1557 Facilities: 26 rooms including 2 spa rooms, fully air-conditioned, laundry Torres Strait Hotel Douglas Street Phone: (07) 4069 1141 Facilities: Counter meals, drive through bottle shop, pokies & TAB. Royal Hotel Douglas St Phone: (07) 4069 1537 Town Services: Police Phone: (07) 4069 1520 Hospital Phone: (07) 4069 0200 Coastguard: Phone:0428 692 004 Mechanic Repairs: RnR Motors, Douglas Street, Phone: (07) 4069 2900/(07) 4069 2101 Post Office: Douglas Street, Phone: 131 318 Banks: National Australia, Cnr Douglas Street and Hasting Street Phone: 13 22 65 Commonwealth Bank, Douglas Street

Gunshot - OTL.


Travelling to the Tip Attractions: Gab Titui Cultural Centre – Torres Strait In 2004 a dream became a reality with the opening of Gab Titui Cultural Centre: a facility to strengthen cultural identity, recognise Torres Strait artists and safeguard ‘Ailan’ culture for future generations. Gab Titui is a place for both Torres Strait Islander people and visitors; a place for elders to reminisce as well as share their knowledge; a place for younger generations of Torres Strait Islanders to be inspired; and for tourists, it’s a place of warm welcomes, enlightenment and cultural appreciation. Throughout the year the Centre showcases local and touring exhibitions and runs hands-on workshops in local arts and crafts. Certainly one of the highlights to your visit will be the fascinating tour with one of Gab Titui’s Indigenous guides, opening a window into a world rarely seen by most Australians. Best days to visit are between Monday and Saturday as the Centre opens for limited hours on Sunday. The Gab Titui Café, set amidst a garden courtyard is also the perfect rest stop for travellers. The Gab Titui Gift Shop has an authentic range of hand crafted gifts to suit all travellers and can arrange postal delivery to your home. Visit the Torres Strait Regional Authority website: or (07) 4090 2130. Torres Strait Museum at the Green Hill Fort The fort was built in 1898 when it was thought the Russians were about to invade. Fortunately it did not happen, the fort’s 6” breach loading gun lies in silence. The fort’s underground tunnels and rooms that once housed ammunition and soldiers now hold the Torres Strait Museum with displays of pearling, shipping and military history. The museum contains Torres Strait historical artefacts. See Peddells Tours for more information. Mona’s Bazaar – located in the main street, Douglas Street, the bazaar offers a broad selection of island clothing and souvenirs. Saranealis House – Pearl Merchant and Art Gallery. Kazu Pearls are cultured on Friday Island. Visits to the pearl farm operate daily. 62 Douglas Street Phone: (07) 4069 2401, Fax: (07) 4069 2406 Email: Web: Tour Options: Peddells Thursday Island Tours Phone: (07) 4069 1551 Email: Website: Rebel Marine and Torres Strait Tours Phone: (07) 4069 1586


Alcohol Management Plans Email: Tony’s Island Adventures Phone: (07) 4069 1965, Mobile: 0427 691 965 Web: Horn Island Horn Island has a population of 650 island residents; its 53 square km land mass encompasses the islander village feel along with many modern facilities. The traditional land owners are the Kaurareg people who call the island Nguruapai. In 1802 Matthew Flinders gave the island the English name of Horn, when he advanced on the island in his ship the “Investigator”. In 1894 gold was discovered by John Smyth and 6000 ounces of gold were extracted over the next 20 years. An open cut gold mine was established in 1988, however it closed after two years. This island was an operational airbase during World War 2, and approximately 5000 servicemen and women were stationed on the island between 1940-1945. The island was bombed eight times by the Japanese and had constant air surveillance over the island during this time. Torres Strait Heritage Museum & Art Gallery A must to see is the privately owned and funded Torres Strait Heritage Museum and Art Gallery. It contains a multitude of wartime artefacts including 400 veteran’s photographs with maps, personal items, wartime articles, diagrams, sketches and private diaries. Not to be missed !!! You can also take a step back in time with displays on the pearl diving industry featuring pearl lugger models, original diving helmets and equipment. Then immerse yourself in the traditional island culture with indigenous art, artefacts, religion, myths and legends. There is also a collection of historical films which illustrate the pearling industry, World War Two and Torres Strait Islander culture. Accommodation: Gateway Torres Strait Resort 24 Outie Street, Ph: (07) 4069 2222, Fax: (07) 4069 2211 Email: 22 self contained, air conditioned rooms, salt water swimming pool, outdoor entertainment area complete with juke box, pool tables and dart board, Torres Strait history, the Torres Strait Heritage Museum, licensed restaurant and bar. Elikiam Holiday Park 1 Miskin Street Phone: (07) 4069 2222 Web: Email: 28 Budget Cabins, air-conditioned, TV,

cooking facilities. Wongai Hotel Motel 2 Wees Street Phone: (07) 4069 1683 Facilities: 17 self contained cabins, Dining room, TAB, poker machines. Scenic And Daily Flights: Horn Island Airport is accessible from Thursday Island and Seisia by regular ferry services. The following regional airlines fly to the majority of outer islands. Those without airstrips are accessed by ferry from nearby islands. Aero Tropics Air Services Horn Island Airport Phone: 1300 656 110 Email: Web: Regional Pacific CNR Bush Pilots Avenue & Tom McDonald Drive Aeroglen, Cairns Phone: (07) 4040 1400 Fax: (07) 4034 9258 Email: Web: Cape York Helicopters Horn Island Airport Phone: (07) 4069 2233 Email: Website: Cape Air Transport Best rates in the strait. Single and Twin Engine, all weather service. Torres Strait Islands, the Cape and PNG. Passenger and freight service. Phone: 1300 136 811 Land Tours: Forgotten Isle Tour of Horn Island Phone: (07) 4069 2222 Email: Website: Town Services Police: Phone: (07) 4069 1377 Medical: Horn Island Primary Health Centre Phone: (07) 4069 1140 Websites for more information

Nothing beats camping out under the stars.

Travelling North – Alcohol restrictions for travellers Travelling north? Don’t get confused by the legislation or by what you may hear from others. Read on to get the latest on the Alcohol Management Plans in Cape York. As always, be sure to check all the latest updates on the website: Most importantly, have a great time while you are in Cape York.


ndigenous communities in Far North Queensland and Cape York are working with the Queensland Government to improve the health and wellbeing of the people living in remote regions. The reforms were established in 2003 to address health and social issues affecting both adults and children living in Queensland’s remote centres, particularly in the State’s far north. One aspect that has come under review is the use of alcohol in these communities and the associated detrimental effect it is has had on families in the region. The health strategies can also affect visitors to the region, especially in communities which may have in place restrictions on the amount of alcohol that can be brought into them, if it can be brought in at all. Holiday makers and others travelling through Queensland far northern regions should take some time to familiarise themselves with the various restrictions in operations across the Cape, or indeed other remote regions. Alcohol restrictions are in place in remote Aboriginal and mainland Torres Strait Islander communities across Queensland. Each community has different restrictions in place. In some communities no alcohol is allowed while others allow limited alcohol consumption or possession. These restrictions are in place in 16 Cape York and Gulf communities: Aurukun, Bamaga, Doomadgee, Hope Vale, Injinoo, Kowanyama, Lockhart River, Mapoon, Mornington Island, Napranum, New Mapoon, Pormpuraaw, Seisia, Umagico and Wujal Wujal, as well as Yarrabah south of Cairns. Fines and penalties A resident or traveller is breaking the law if they enter a restricted area with an amount of alcohol that’s above the set limit and risks fines or jail if the restriction is broken. The maximum penalties for breaching the alcohol limit are: • first offence: 500 penalty units ($37,500) • second offence: 700 penalty units ($52,500) and/or 6 months’ prison • third or later offence: 1000 penalty units ($75,000) and/or 18 months’ prison. Bona fide traveller exemption A ‘bona fide’ traveller is someone who can prove they’re passing through an alcohol restricted community on their way to another destination. They will be allowed to drive on some roads and use some public facilities while carrying alcohol over the set limit, but only if their ‘bona fide’ conditions can be proved. The alcohol must have been obtained outside the restricted area and must:

• not be removed from the vehicle • not be visible from outside the vehicle; and • be locked in the vehicle if unattended. A ‘bona fide’ traveller’s vehicle may stop only: • to use a ‘prescribed public facility’ (currently only the Doomadgee Road-House and the Bloomfield Falls car park are ‘prescribed public facilities’) • if ordered by police • in an emergency. To ensure bona fide traveller designation, travellers should carry some proof of destination, such as a camping permit or accommodation booking receipt. A licence confirming the traveller’s address is in another state or elsewhere in Queensland could also be used as proof. Roads are part of the restricted areas and alcohol above the limit can be transported on certain roads only by bona fide travellers. The roads where bona fide traveller exemption applies are: • The Savannah Way (within Doomadgee shire) • Bloomfield Track, Douglas Street and Rossville-Bloomfield Road (within Wujal Wujal) • the road, within the community area of the Wujal Wujal Shire Council, directly connecting the road known as Douglas Street and the Bloomfield Falls (excluding the service road) • Portland Roads Road and Frenchmen’s Road (within Lockhart River shire). Police powers Police can stop and search any vehicle in or coming into a Restricted Area. Police can take all alcohol where alcohol restrictions are being breached. They can also seize a vehicle (including a car, a boat or a plane) used to bring alcohol into a Restricted Area. Police can take a vehicle if they believe it is necessary to stop the vehicle being used again to break alcohol laws. Recent changes to support the intention of the alcohol restrictions allow police to: • search a person without a warrant if they suspect they are carrying illicit alcohol • enter and search a house without a warrant if they suspect there is illicit alcohol in that house • stop and search a vehicle attempting to enter a Restricted Area with illicit alcohol. More information To obtain up-to-date information on individual communities’ alcohol carriage limits, visit and follow the link to “Alcohol restrictions for travellers”. You can also call the alcohol limits information line on 1300 789 000.


The Great Tropical Drive

Travelling to the Tip Poruma Island The award winning Poruma Island Resort is located between Australia and Papua New Guinea within the Torres Strait Archipelago, in the central group of islands. A 30 minute flight from Horn Island, Poruma is a coral cay approximately 1.4 km long and 400 metres wide, with a community of 200 islander residents. The thatched huts cleverly combine the original Island style with modern comforts, with stunning effect. Each open-plan beach suite includes a master bedroom that leads, via a plunge pool and bath garden, to your lounge room on the edge of the beach. They are situated on the western end of the island, the best location for beautiful sunsets. Islanders call this end ‘gaigalkuth’ which means ‘sunset end’. You can swim or fish in front of the beach suites on any tide

and enjoy the reef, corals and marine life. The fishing around Poruma Island is a oncein-a-lifetime experience – an underwater maze of channels, sand flats, reefs and bomboras are home to spanish mackerel, sailfish, marlin, trevally, coral trout, rays, sharks, dugongs, jewfish and much more. Rich in culture you can experience buildings, churches, hand crafted artefacts and Poruma’s early trading history, or even weave your own straw hats with the locals. Phone: (07) 4090 0170 Fax: (07) 4069 4280 Email: Website: Yorke Island - Masig Lowatta Lodge Masig, also known as Yorke Island, is located in central Torres Strait not far from Poruma and is accessible from Horn Island by air or on a direct flight from Cairns. Lowatta’s comfortably appointed cabins are not far

from the water on the distinctive tear-drop shaped coral cay. The island was featured in the SBS television series RAN: Remote Area Nurse, which was screened in January 2006. The main lodge building is set among the trees in the middle of the island (a short walk from the beach) and was designed by the same architects responsible for the striking Gab Titui Cultural Centre, across the Torres Strait on Thursday Island. It features a single and double room with large separate shared living area and kitchen and four private cabins with twin and double configurations. The Masig Island Council manages the lodge and bookings can be made by contacting the Council. Phone: (07) 4069 4128, Fax: (07) 4069 4135 Website: www. Email:

Fuel stops for Cape York TOWN






Archer River Ampol Peninsula Developmental Rd


7.30am-9.30pm 7 days



Bramwell Junction Ampol Telegraph Rd


7.00am-6.00pm 7 Days



Coen Regent St


8.00am-5.00pm Mon-Fri 8.00am12.00 Sat



Cooktown Caltex Cnr Hope & Howard Streets


5.00am-11.00pm 7 Days



Hann River Ampol Peninsular Dev Rd


7.00am-10.00pm 7 Days



Injinoo Ampol Cnr Pablo St and Ropeyarn H’Way


8.00am-5.00pm Mon-Fri 8.00-12.00 Sat



Jardine Ampol Telegraph Rd


Only Open in Tourist Season



Laura Ampol Terminus St


7.30am-6.00pm 7 Days



Laura BP Roadhouse


6.00am-8.00pm 7 Days



Mossman Caltex 67 Alchera Drive


6.00am-7.30pm Mon-Sat 6.30am5.30pm Sun



Musgrave Ampol Peninsula Dev. Rd


7.30am-10.00pm 7 Days



Palmer River Peninsular Dev. Rd


6.00am-10.30pm 7 Days



Weipa Service Centre Boundary Rd & Evans Landing


7.00am-5.00pm Mon-Fri






WORK SHOP Tyre repairs

The Great Tropical Drive is a new 1500km self-drive loop launched in April 2006 to celebrate the great diversity and accessibility of Tropical Australia. The Drive provides visitors with the opportunity to start their day on the Great Barrier Reef, spend the morning in World Heritage listed rainforest and sleep under a thousand stars in the Outback. A dozen smaller Discovery Trails offer diversions from the main Great Tropical Drive from easy one-day drives to week long 4WD and campervan adventures. You can explore the Great Tropical Drive and its Discovery Trails for months and still not see everything. Find out more about these experiences and plan your itinerary at the website The website provides everything you need to plan your trip. For detailed information or answers to your questions, email: While planning your itinerary, keep in mind that there are no high-speed highways - and besides - you’re on holidays - take your time and soak up the spectacular sights!


One of the great attractions of visiting Tropical Australia is that it’s warm all year round. There are two distinct seasons - the wet season from November to March and the dry season from April to October. During the wet, humidity is often over 90 per cent and temperatures are usually in the low to mid 30s during the day and upper 20s at night. Travelling during the wet season means no crowds, cheaper prices and the opportunity to witness waterfalls and scenery at its best. However, some roads may be inaccessible after heavy rain, so check with the RACQ for the latest information. During the dry season from April to October the temperature and humidity are lower. Daytime temperatures are in the mid to upper 20s. Temperatures are much lower on the Atherton Tablelands and other high altitude areas. The coldest months are July and August when you should subtract 5-7 degrees from the usual dry season temperatures. For weather information, visit the Bureau of Meteorology’s website:

Getting here

Driving If you’re towing a caravan, driving a motorhome or just love to cruise the open highway you’re not on your own. Popular routes used to reach Tropical Australia include:



X Puncture, Welding

• the Savannah Way (3501 km from Broome in WA through to Cairns) • the Great Inland Way (1860 km from western Queensland to Cairns) • the Bruce Highway (1200 km Brisbane to Townsville) • Overlanders Way (1081 km from the Northern Territory border to Townsville) • Matilda Highway (2000 km from Cunnamulla to the Gulf of Carpentaria)

Flying The quickest way to start your Great Tropical Drive is to fly here. North Queensland is served by major airports at Townsville and Cairns which have frequent daily connections from most major eastern cities including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. For flight schedules and links to airlines visit Cairns Port Authority and Townsville Airport websites ( and www. Commercial airlines also operate regular services to regional centres. All the major car, 4WD and campervan rental companies provide airport transfers or pickups. What you choose is not just a matter of comfort and style, it will also determine where you can go: • Two-wheel drive car (simple, easy and the most inexpensive way to get around, but usually restricted to sealed roads) • Campervan (like an apartment on wheels, but make sure you check with your rental company before driving on unsealed roads) • 4WD hire (great visibility and access to remote areas - particularly Cape York and the Gulf Savannah).

Getting Around

Once you arrive, there are plenty of regional visitor centres to provide you with all the information you’ll need to help plan your itinerary and make bookings. Look for visitor centres displaying the official yellow symbol, which will assure you a high standard of service and professionalism. These centres are staffed mostly by local volunteers who are knowledgeable and passionate about their local areas Continued over...




Week days only


Great Tropical Drive Accommodation Public camping areas in national parks and reserves cost $4 per person per night or $14 per family per night. Most camping areas have a self-serve registration hut where you register and pay for a camping permit when you arrive. Payments can be made by cash, cheque or credit card. Honesty pays - campers who don’t register are liable for a $30 on-the-spot fine. A maximum stay of two weeks applies at most camping areas. At busy times such as school holidays and during the dry season from April to September, you may need to book a campsite at a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service office or online at au/environment/park/. If campsites are full, don’t be tempted to camp illegally in a side road or other public area. With growing numbers of people on the road, it is no longer safe or hygienic. Instead, opt for one of the many commercial campgrounds or accommodation in nearby towns. You can take a break from the rigours of the road throughout the Great Tropical Drive with accommodation ranging from five-star spa resorts to cosy B&B’s.

Supplies The Great Tropical Drive passes through plenty of regional centres where you can restock food supplies buy a newspaper and fill up on petrol. You’ll also find services like mechanical repairs and medical centres. However, there may be hundreds of kilometres between major centres, so keep an eye on the petrol gauge and always carry spare supplies in case you spend an unplanned night under the stars. Visiting Remote Areas Travelling along remote roads is rewarding, but it can also be risky if you’re unprepared. Sudden and extreme rainfall events can swell creeks into torrents and wash out roads. Before you set out, find out from a ranger or experienced local what items you might want to have on hand to make your journey more comfortable and to protect your safety. You might need rain gear, extra batteries or torches, a first aid kit, maps, a compass, or perhaps some extra containers of petrol. Don’t feel any question is stupid - be prepared and you’ll have a much more enjoyable time. Mobile phones will work in most populated areas, but will be less reliable in remote areas. You may want to consider

staying in contact by UHF radio, satellite phone or even carrying an Emergency Positioning Beacon (EPIRB). Remote road conditions • Most of the Great Tropical Drive is sealed bitumen road, except for a 60km stretch of 4WD track from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown. • Remote roads may be a narrow strip of bitumen or gravel, so take care on narrow stretches and soft edges. When another vehicle approaches, slow down to reduce the dust and the risk of a stone damaging your windscreen. Pull over to the edge of the road to allow plenty of room for vehicles to pass. • Cattle and wildlife often feed on the green grass growing beside roads. Be especially careful at sunrise, sunset and at night. • Check conditions with the RACQ or local council before travelling along unsealed roads. • Tropical downpours can make rivers rise and fall rapidly. Don’t cross flooded bridges or causeways unless you’re sure of the depth and the road condition. Don’t cross a river if the water is fast-flowing or deeper than the middle of your vehicle’s wheels.

Regional Discovery Trails The Great Tropical Drive has been divided into five regions to help you get around and to provide detailed Discovery Trail itineraries of local attractions. They’re introduced briefly below, with more detailed descriptions available on the website: Northern region Follow the scenic Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns to Port Douglas and the Daintree coast. Further north lies the rugged 4WD Bloomfield Track to the northern frontier town of Cooktown. Alternatively, the all-weather sealed Mulligan Highway from Mareeba to Cooktown is now suitable for 2WD vehicles. On the way, visit the world’s largest collection of prehistoric rock art in the Laura area. (Gravel road from Lakeland to Laura) Daintree Explorer Trail (417 km) Mossman - Bloomfield Track- Cooktown Mossman. Explore the rugged landscape beyond the Daintree coast. Immerse yourself in Rainforest Aboriginal culture, spot a croc or two, and discover the legacy of Captain James Cook and the north’s great goldrush. Cooktown Discovery Trail (279 km) Cooktown - Laura - Cooktown. Explore deep into the past from the present on a journey that explores the colour of the varied landscape of Cape York Peninsula, ancient Aboriginal culture, early colonial history and contemporary remote Australia lifestyles.


Central region Retreat from the heat of the coast and climb 1000m to the cool highlands behind Cairns. You can easily spend a week touring around the Tablelands visiting volcanic crater lakes, waterfalls and rainforest giants like the Curtain Fig and the twin Kauri Pines. Reef to Rainforest Discovery Trail (261 km) Cairns - Port Douglas - Yungaburra - Cairns. Experience one of the most beautiful ocean drives in the world, where reef and rainforest lie side by side, as you cruise the highway to Port Douglas. Then drive up Rex Range and spend a few days tasting the speciality foods of tropical Australia. Waterfalls Discovery Trail (326 km) Cairns - Malanda - Cairns. Cruise through fields of sugar cane before climbing the coastal range to the Highlands, a true mountain retreat, where farming communities share the tablelands with some of region’s most impressive natural habitats. Western region Strike a rich vein of history in the western region of the Great Tropical Drive. Here you can get off the beaten track and explore deserted goldfields - a ghostly reminder of the sacrifices made by men and women

seeking their fortune 200 years ago. Try your hand at fossicking or simply enjoy the region’s superb natural attractions such as Chillagoe’s limestone caves and Undara’s lava tubes. Chillagoe Discovery Trail (559 km) Mareeba - Chillagoe - Undara - Mareeba. This trail is a true adventure drive that will take you from lush rainforests across the golden savannah - where you will disappear underground to explore the limestone caves of Chillagoe and Undara lava tubes. 4WD vehicle recommended. Georgetown Discovery Trail (489 km) Ravenshoe - Undara - The Lynd Junction. Descend from the Tablelands to the base of the Great Dividing Range where the grasslands of the Gulf Savannah reveal the remains of 160 extinct volcanoes in the McBride Volcanic Province. Great Green Way The Great Green Way stretches 470 km between Cairns and Townsville, following the Bruce Highway as it meanders through mill towns surrounded by cane fields, fruit farms and isolated beaches. These coastal towns are the wettest in Australia receiving as much as four metres of rain each year.

The high rainfall produces special features which attract visitors to the region - beautiful waterfalls, whitewater rapids and luxuriously green forests. Canecutter Heritage (162km) Innisfail Silkwood Innisfail This relaxing, scenic 3-day drive takes you from the Art Deco architecture of Innisfail, to the crumbling ruins of a former grandiose Spanish style home, passing through lush sugarcane fields and rainforest. This drive gives you a real ‘taste’ of the tropics – including sampling tropical fruit wines and fresh exotic fruits. Tully to Mission Beach (218km) Tully - Mission Beach - Tully Be exposed to the scenic wonders of the tropical north – lush rainforests, golden beaches and the elusive cassowary. Marvel at the traditions and culture of the local Indigenous people and experience unlimited adventure opportunities.

Hinchinbrook (462km) Ingham - Lucinda - Hidden Valley - Ingham Starting from Ingham, visitors can experience the delights of beaches, rivers, valleys, a dormant volcano, wetlands, sugarcane and Australia’s highest single drop waterfall; Wallaman Falls. Paluma (279km) Townsville Paluma - Townsville Drive from Townsville (some areas require 4WD vehicles) to this picturesque region of contrasts. You can find beaches, cool mountain ranges, villages, rivers, lookouts, World Heritage rainforest, outback and grazing country. Explore this photogenic section of the Great Green Way region. Southern Region The southern region encompasses a diverse range of truly Australian tourism experiences. Rivers, mountain ranges, geological formations and an abundance of flora and fauna are a special delight for any visitor, while the

small rural communities offer agricultural history, culture and a great story or two. Western Heritage (412km) Townsville - Charters Towers - Townsville This tour includes the heritage goldmining town of Charters Towers, the outback and wetlands. Encompassing a range of Australian experiences, the southern region includes rivers, mountain ranges, geological formations and an abundance of flora and fauna, The small rural communities offer the visitor agricultural history, culture and great stories. Liquid Gold (350km) Townsville Ayr Townsville Spend a relaxing 2-day drive viewing National Parks, sugarcane fields and meeting the locals. Observe an abundance of wildlife particularly birds. Learn about the local history including legendary ghost stories in historic Ravenswood. Visit Plantation Park to climb and take a photo of Gubulla Munda, the totem of the local indigenous group.

Visitor Information Centres Cairns Tourism Tropical North Queensland Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre 51 The Esplanade, Cairns Phone: (07) 4051 3588 Email: Website: Tablelands Mareeba Heritage Museum and Tourist Information Centre 345 Byrnes Street, Mareeba Phone/Fax: (07) 4092 5674 Email: au Website: www.mareebaheritagecentre. Atherton Tableland Information Centre Corner Silo Road and Main Street, Atherton Phone: (07) 4091 4222 Email: Website: Ravenshoe Visitor Centre 24 Moore Street, Ravenshoe Phone/Fax: (07) 4097 7700 Email: au Website: www.ravenshoevisitorcentre.

Chillagoe Chillagoe Hub Information Centre PO Box 40, Chillagoe 4871 Phone: (07) 4094 7111 Email: Website: Georgetown Terrestrial – Georgetown Low Street, Georgetown 4871 Phone: (07) 4062 1485 Email: terrestrialgeorgetown@bigpond. com Croydon Croydon Information Centre PO Box 17, Croydon 4871 Phone: (07) 4745 6125 Email: Website: Cooktown Nature’s Powerhouse - Cooktown Botanic Gardens, Walker Street Cooktown Phone: (07) 4069 6004 Email: Townsville Townsville Visitor Information PO Box 1043 Townsville 4810 Freecall: (1800) 801 902 Email: Website:

Charters Towers Charters Towers Visitor Info Centre 74 Mosman St, Charters Towers 4820 Phone: (07) 4752 0314 Email: Website: Innisfail Innisfail Visitor Information Centre 24 Bruce Highway, Mourilyan 4858 Phone: (07) 4063 2655 Email: Website: Ingham Ingham Visitor Information Centre PO Box 366, Ingham 4850 Phone: (07) 4776 5211 Email: Website: Babinda Babinda Visitor Information Centre Corner Bruce Highway and Munro Street Phone: (07) 4067 1008 Email: Tully Tully Visitor & Heritage Centre PO Box 738 Bruce Hwy, Tully Phone (07) 40682288 Email:

DISCLAIMER: The information available in this section is provided by Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) and is intended to be used as a guide only. Whilst every effort has been made to provide up to date information, phone numbers are prone to change, businesses close, and information is updated. TTNQ and Cape Yorker Magazine take no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or individual interpretation of the Information Guide. TTNQ and Cape Yorker Magazine disclaim all responsibility and all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs incurred as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way, and for any reason.


Thursday Island

Horn Island

Injinoo, New 34 Mapoon, Seisia, 47 Umagico, Bamaga

Old Te



Vrilya Point

Jardine River Nat. Park 11 1


h Road legrap


Cpt. Billy Landing



Bramwell Junction sp

s ce Ac


i nd





Minor Road Town (Distance

Coral Sea

108 66 . Rd Dev sula

in Pen





Port Stewart

Princess Charlotte Bay

Cape Melville

Cape Melville Nat. Park Lizard Island



Lakefield Nat. Park

Hann River Roadhouse76

Kowanyama 102

Cape Flattery

De v. R d


Starcke Nat. Park Hopevale 44 Cooktown




Palmer River Goldfields

Staaten River Nat. Park

Black Mt. Lakeland Nat. Park




sealed unsealed

Track (4WD)

Archer River Roadhouse

Lotus Bird Lodge

Gulf of Carpentaria



Munghan Kaanju Nat. Park

Cape Keerweer


Major Road

Lockhart River



Palmer River Roadhouse 168

Mount Carbine Mossman 30 32 Port Douglas Mount Molloy 65

Quinkan Reserve

Mt. Mulligan 42

Mareeba 142






Karumba 71


Major Highway

Iron Range Nat. Park

Telegraph Station

8 10


Bramwell Station

40 Moreton

Weipa Pera Head


86 Duyfken Point



Prince of Wales Is.



Mount Garnet





Georgetown 92

Mount Surprise

Note: Map is not to scale and should be used as a rough guide only. For more detailed information of this region check out the great range of Hema topographic maps.


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