this page you have some interesting Cape York facts.
Cape York is
not only little visited and little known for most of Australians, some
facts of Cape York are also different
from the rest of Australia.
Ever since the ancient supercontinent Gondwana broke up, we all know
Australia has been a very isolated continent. But there was in fact one
During the cooler periods in the Earth's history, when the sea levels
decreased (because the increasing ice takes up increasing amounts of
water), land bridges
were created between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea
(at some stages also between PNG and Arnhemland).
That opened up a route
animals, and resulted in an exchange
of both plant and animal species.
It was also the arrival route for the first indigenous people, meaning Cape York has Australia's longest
human history (this could also apply to Arnhemland).
It was the place for the
first white settlement since Captain James
Cook ended up staying long enough (that it was called so) while his
ship was repaired.
And it was the place he
claimed the eastern Australia for England.
On top of all that it was a very busy place during the gold rushes,
with some of the largest
towns at the time in Australia.
And today it is all the
opposite - remote wilderness, with a few small towns and a
Quinkan art near Laura
is some of the best Aboriginal art in Australia. Cooktown has a lot
of James Cook
history. There are camps from some of the most famous land expeditions
such as Kennedy's. And there is plenty of gold mining, WWII, and the
first settlers' history.
is also some interesting geology. The three distinctive geological
regions are Great Dividing Range, Laura Basin and the western plains.
are some impressive rock faces, sand dunes, limestone
caves, red soils,
boulders and bauxite
There are some interesting plants in Cape York, its tropical
and open eucalypt woodlands, mangrove
swamps and freshwater creeks and billabongs. Some of the
plants are also found in Papua New Guinea but nowhere else in Australia.
Some of the wildlife is common elsewhere in Australia, or elsewhere in
north Queensland. There are kangaroos and wallabies, brushtail and
ringtail possums, but there are no koalas or wombats. Some of the birds
and bush turkies.
Some of the animals are found nowhere else in Australia - only on the
Cape York Peninsula and our northern neighbour Papua New Guinea. These
include cuscus and
striped possums, green
tree pythons and
birds like eclectus parrots
cockatoos. Here are some more facts:
When I first
Australia, I lived in Sydney
for two years.
During my uni holidays I travelled in all the mainland states
except Queensland, because I knew I
was going to visit Queensland on a separate
Then I visited north
Queensland, and the following year I left Sydney to live
and never looked back. Rob (being from Victoria), still
stop making jokes
about parking lots that the signs will let you out the most complicated
way, footpaths that suddenly just end as if the concreters left for a
lunch and forgot to come back, and a lot of backwards town planning
(well those towns were obviously planned for a much smaller
us hillbillies and banana benders, but personally I think there is something in
"Queensland - the Smart State" number plate (that Rob
giggles at, too!).
it smart to look a
little bit like a hillbillie, then go and enjoy a backyard of
wilderness with no people, balmy winter nights, and neighbours so
friendly they have become some of your best friends. We want
them to think we are hillbillies, so
we can keep it like this :-)
But let's stop talking and get some Cape York and Queensland facts.
The state of
covers about 1.7 million square kilometres of land.
Queensland is a vague term but most often considered
which is also the largest city this far north, and actually the second
largest city in Queensland.
The area north of Cairns is known as Far
North Queensland, and Cairns
is the largest city this far north. It is a bit larger than half the
York can be vaguely defined, but the 'peninsula proper' is
starting in Cooktown.
According to this definition, it covers about
140,000 square kilometres - which is about the same as the state of
population of Victoria is
more than 5.5 million while in Cape York it is less than 20,000!
Most of the population lives
in a handful of communities and small towns such as Cooktown and Weipa.
It is a beautiful place to visit and live, and a very special corner of
York and Northern Australia
good about Cape York and northern Australia?
love its warm climate.
from the cold northern Europe, I never complain about heat.
I love the tropical
climate and the humidity doesn't worry me.
Rain is not that
bad either when the weather is warm.
Second, I don't like crowds. I think it's way too crowded in
the southern parts of Australia
and I like to be in places where not too many people go. We have a
nice small amount of
people, and also Australia's
longest human history.
and Northern Australia Climate
While in the Northern Hemisphere you go south to go to warmer climate,
down here things are the other way around.
The further north
you go in
Australia the warmer
the climate gets.
Southern parts of the country are quite cool. Tasmanian
summers are cool and winters are snowy. Victoria
is also a snowy place, mainly because of its altitude.
Further north it
gets gradually warmer and northern
Australia has a beautiful tropical
and Northern Australia - No Crowds but Longest History
Australia has been an isolated continent ever since the breakup of
Gondwanaland, except during the cold periods in the Earth's history,
when a lot of water was taken up in the ice, causing sea levels to
and creating a land
bridge between Cape York and Papua New Guinea (at some
stages also to Arnhemland).
This did not only give us a lot of species we share with New Guinea and
not the rest of Australia - it
was also the way the first indigenous people came to Australia
(this could also apply to Arnhemland).
Captain James Cook
also spent a fair bit of his
time here, repairing his ship in what is now Cooktown and
claiming the eastern Australia for England on Possession Island just west
of the tip of Cape York.
But once the first convicts started to arrive, they
came to what is now Sydney,
and started populating the country down south.
South Wales, Victoria, South
Australia and Tasmania started growing first, and as you would know,
much more populated than Western
Australia, Northern Territory, and inland and far north
Queensland. Cape York is
still very little populated and one of Australia's
We Have to Live with but We Still Love Cape York and Northern Australia
And, Cape York is not
cheap. Distances are huge and transport costs more money.
more expensive, fuel price almost doubles, and real estate prices are
sky high. But that's the price we are willing to pay to live
in such a beautiful place.
do they mean by "Cape York frontier"?
said that Cape York is
one of the
frontiers in Australia, but what does it mean?
In Australia, a frontier means unexplored
and unknown land.
So the "last frontier"
refers to the last
explored land, which is generally the Outback - anything
that is away from the country's more populated areas in the south-east,
south, south-west and the coastal Queensland.
Cape York Frontier -
Strait Islander history
on Thursday Island
Rock art near
James Cook monument on Possession Island
Lost Camp 84
Southern Bypass Road
at the Lost
Historically, it refers to the
areas of Australia that were explored
York definitely wasn't the last frontier for indigenous people.
first arrived in Cape York as they crossed the land bridge that existed
at the time between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea.
Neither can you say that about the
early sea explorers,
many of whom approached Australia from the north and
had (between them) sailed all the peninsula's
coasts before the
1700s were out.
But when it comes to the early
who started exploring the country from the south-east, Cape York was
the last areas to be explored.
expedition (1845) was the first one, but they only got up to where
Burke Developmental Road
expedition (1848) was the first one to actually
reach the Tip
of Cape York, even though it was a disaster.
They proceeded far slower than predicted, run out of food and energy,
and Kennedy had to leave some of his men behind near Weymouth Bay, and
later again at the Lost
Camp 84, today along the southern Bypass
Three of the men were left there (and never seen again) when Kennedy
Jackey Jackey took off to the Tip
of Australia where Kennedy was fatally speared in the remote
bush near Escape River, not too far from Ussher
Point and Sadd Point.
Today's Explorers - Travellers
the term Cape York frontier is also used for one of the last areas to
be explored by travellers.
And this is definitely true - while the Cape York frontier is far from inacessible
today, it is still
unexplored by most Australians, and unknown for most
York may look crowded at one stage in the middle of the Dry season, but
considering this is how bad it ever gets, and it only lasts a few
months before the crowds leave until the following year - this is one of Australia's
And that's what makes Cape York frontier such an exciting place to
Something adventurous, something challenging - not what everyone does.
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