Cape Melville National Park 

Cape Melville national park is a bit off the beaten track.

It is not exactly remote, but it's still far enough from the Peninsula Developmental Road in the west, and Cooktown in the south, that it is less visited.

Most Cape York travellers don't usually get time for it, and it is more popular with long time campers who only come here and stay for weeks.

It is a great place to camp and fish, or go bird watching or mud crabbing.




Most people enter the park from the west, coming either from Musgrave or Laura on the Peninsula Developmental Road, and then driving through Lakefield National Park.

lakefield cape melville
Lakefield - Cape Melville junction. ©cape-york-australia.com

This is a reasonable gravel road, not like a small four wheel drive track.

cape melville lakefield
The road in from Lakefield National Park. ©cape-york-australia.com

Others come from the south via Cooktown, Battlecamp Road and Starcke Wakooka Track


cape melville south
The southern entrance. ©cape-york-australia.com

This road starts off being a reasonable gravel road, but ends up being a slow and narrow four wheel drive track, which is a lot of fun!

starcke cape melville
Cape Melville National Park, southern section. ©cape-york-australia.com

Whatever way you do, you finally get to the northern section's park entrance north of Wakooka.

cape melville national park
The northern section park entrance. ©cape-york-australia.com

Then pass some granite boulders, after which the road is quite rugged all the way to the Cape, and four wheel drive only (even in case you would not use the 4WD gears, you need to travel in a 4WD vehicle just because it's higher).

cape melville road granite boulders
Granite boulders. ©cape-york-australia.com

At Cape Melville, there are camping spots next to the beach that starts on the left hand side of the carpark. In the other end of that beach is a river mouth that is great for fishing and mud crabbing.

cape melville beach
The southern beach. ©cape-york-australia.com

But you can also turn right before the carpark (right as you come in = east), and after a few tracks ... 

cape melville creek
A creek along the drive between the northern and the southern beach. ©cape-york-australia.com

... you will get to the northern beach, from where you can drive along the beach, at the low tide, to the tip of Cape Melville.

cape melville beach
The cape from the northern beach. ©cape-york-australia.com

At the actual cape, there is a monument for the 300+ pearlers who were killed in 1899 in the tropical cyclone Mahina. 

cape melville granite boulders
Cape Melville granite boulders. ©cape-york-australia.com

On the way to and from Cape Melville, about half way to Wakooka, is the turnoff to Ninian Bay. The track is narrow and at times almost overgrown. 

ninian bay road
Road to Ninian Bay. ©cape-york-australia.com

Once at the bay, there is a beautiful beach. In the northern end of the beach is a rocky headland where you can climb to the top of the hill for views over the bay.

ninian bay
Ninian Bay. ©cape-york-australia.com

In the southern end is is a river mouth with mangroves - which, as you would know, means good fishing and mud crabs but also crocodiles.


 


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