are some great places to discover north of Cooktown.
Cape York travellers head right to the
Tip along the Peninsula
Developmental Road through Lakeland
and Laura, this
is an alternative
I always recommend to do
this area on your way back
- when you've been to the Tip and now have more patience, can better
see how much time you have left, and more than anything because this area opens later.
For early and sometimes
even mid season travellers this area often is still closed.
It is a beautiful
country with the coastal areas well known for their
and the inland bits covered in beautiful and quite remote
Places to See North of Cooktown
There are a
few good four
wheel drive tracks, and some great
Bathurst Bay and Princess Charlotte Bay.
Although the area north of Cooktown is on the east coast, there are no
rainforests in this
area, so most of the vegetation is open
- where there is plenty of good birdlife
and great chances to spot a lot of species, including
Australia's largest waders brolgas
The road north of Cooktown passes by the town's Airport, the small
Marton and a Endeavour
River National Park; then crosses a tributary of
River twice before it comes to the Aboriginal
community Hopevale, where you get the permit to Coloured
Sands and Elim Beach.
It is a beautiful drive from Hope Vale to the coast - the road
crosses some huge white sand dunes.
In the end of the road you
can turn left to Coloured
which are spectacular; or right to Elim
Beach, and continue to some further 4WD tracks to Cape
South Cape Bedford.
of the Cape Bedford area is Cape Flattery, reached from the Starcke
Wakooka Track by 15km to the beach and then a 20km beach drive along
the beach - like on other beach drives you have to watch the tides.
drive past a silica mine with a jetty on the beach.
north of Cooktown and Hope Vale but nowadays you have to enter
it from Battlecamp
It passes by the border of Starcke National Park, then crosses Starcke
and Jeannie Rivers, and enters the southern section of Cape Melville
NP before coming to Wakooka.
Wakooka is on the crossroads
the Starcke - Wakooka Track in the south, Lakefield - Wakooka Road in
west, and the road to the northern section of Cape Melville
National Park in the north.
It is on Aboriginal land and there is
but ruins of
an old outstation.
Melville National Park
is a beautiful national park with a southern section that covers parts
of the Starcke-Wakooka Track, and a northern section with Ninian Bay,
as well as beaches around Cape Melville itself.
There is some
with some beautiful views over
While Cape Melville
is in the eastern end of Bathurst Bay, Bathurst Head is in the
western end, and west of it is Princess Charlotte Bay.
The road in is
beautiful with changing vegetation and views; and on the coast there
are a few different small bays to fish, mud-crab
largest national park in Queensland, Lakefield covers the whole area
west of Starcke and Cape Melville National Parks with the exception of
Kalpower and Wakooka Aboriginal land.
A good gravel road connects
Bathurst and Cape Melville to Kalpower in
Lakefield National Park.
This good gravel road goes to the north west of Cooktown and
and finally enters the southern end of Lakefield National Park.
the park ends you can turn left to Laura,
or right to the northern
parts of Lakefield NP.
River national park is north of Cooktown.
protects the Endeavour
River and the area around it, a lot of which consists of mangrove
habitat. There are
woodlands, heathlands, freshwater wetlands, melaleuca swamps and
coastal sand dunes.
There is no camping or
bushwalking in this national park.
way to enjoy and
explore it is to go for
a boat ride.
one boat ramp
in Marton (Stonewall, Slaughteryard Road), and another one in Cooktown
(Webber Esplanade, not far from the wharf).
It's a lot of fun, and you may even see a crocodile
is basically a heap of interesting ruins.
It is the
ruins of an old outstation
from the pioneering days, which is quite interesting to explore.
It is on the crossroad of the Starcke
Track to the south, Cape Melville and Ninian Bay the the
Kalpower in Lakefield
National Park in the west.
So you will drive past here whatever way you go to Cape Melville.
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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