Loyalty Beach and the Tip of Cape York

We made it.

Link to a few pictures here:

Having limped into Loyalty Beach, had a good feed, a cold beer and watched another glorious sunset we slept pretty well after our long day on the track. We were blessed with yet another wonderful sunrise and started to plan our next steps now that we had almost arrived at the top of Cape York.

Sunset at Loyalty Beach

We knew we had to wait a day or two for spares to be flown in to repair the truck but we were mobile and as long as we avoided any serious off-road 4WD destinations in the next day or two we should be able to get about and do some sightseeing. We did spend a few hours getting some “expert” mechanical opinions on Michael’s Prado but then did the only sensible thing and planned a day trip up to the very tip of Cape York and take the pictures to prove we made it.

Loyalty Beach

We also managed a quick trip to Seisa Jetty, famous for it’s fishing over a good number of years but apart from a few small bait fish we managed to catch nothing 😊. But the setting is incredible and we watched the sun set over the ocean hoping for that elusive fish, amazing again.

One of the major drawcards for making the journey is to get all the way to the very tip of the Cape York Peninsula which is also the northern most point on mainland Australia. So next day, we drove our slightly battered 4WDs up the track to the tip, passing through some final patches of rainforest and savannah woodland along the way.

There is a pretty unremarkable car park at the end of the track with a 15-minute walk over a rocky headland to the very tip. The views as you crest the last little rise though, are remarkable, and the feeling of accomplishment as you hug the sign, get your picture taken are something you need to experience for yourselves. We took a heap of pictures and hopefully they can help tell the story and your imagination can do the rest.

Shortly afterwards we left the very tip of Cape York and amazingly it felt like the start of the end of our journey, we were definitely heading south from this point but it was more than that, hard to describe but it seemed we were heading home towards Melbourne from this point on. ☹.

Over the next couple of days at Bamaga and Seisa, I got the truck fixed, caught a few fish off the rocks at Loyalty Beach, we fished the jetty at Seisa and failed miserably again then enjoyed a pretty relaxed few days around our campsite.

We managed a day trip to Somerset and to drive the Five Beaches track over on the eastern side of the peninsula. And in a moment of recklessness we booked a splash of luxury with an overnight glamping tour to Roko island just off-shore from Punsand Bay at the tip of Cape York.

Glamping on Roko Island

We were spoiled rotten for a day or so, with a glamorous Eco-Tent, one of only 4 on the island, were fed amazing food with lots of freshly caught fish by some anglers on their fishing adventures, and lazed around in the hammocks and fishing from the floating homemade jetty or the shoreline around this small island.

What a fantastic place, a brilliant little escape from our travels around Australia 😊

It was over all too soon and we were returned to the mainland and had to set up our less glamourous tent again and cook for ourselves, after 36 hours of luxury we had almost forgotten what to do.

home made floating jetty

We continued our stay at Loyalty Beach, sampled their world-famous fish and chips on Sunday evening, and discussed our plans for returning down towards Cairns. Although our truck was now fixed, Michael’s Prado was still in need of some repair work and after much discussion it was determined the best option would be to drive slowly and safely down the main PDR and unfortunately by-pass a number of places we intended to visit on the route south including Fruit Bat Falls, Elliot Falls ☹, we would also have to miss the Ironbound Range National Park and Chilli Beach but we could add them to our list of places to visit the next time we ventured up to Cape York.

Early next morning we were up and packed ready for the journey back down the development road to the Jardine Ferry, then off to Bramwell Station to collect a camper trailer and then head as far south as possible. On the drive down, we had a side trip to take a look at Nolan’s Brook at the end of the Tele Track while Vicki, Katie and Michael continued on to Bramwell to start the job of re-packing the camper and 4wd after spending a couple of weeks in a small tent.

Nolan’s Brook was a quick bit of fun, we watched a few people cross, Zoe had a good swim and we imagined doing the crossing ourselves with the trailer in tow, then thought better of it and headed off to Bramwell.

We caught up with our friends at Bramwell Station, and after a quick lunch stop headed off towards our overnight destination, Moreton Telegraph Station. We had stopped in on the way north and thought it would be great to camp under their huge old mango trees and green green grass.

We were quickly set up, all of girls headed off to collect some firewood for a camp fire and a bunch of cattle wandered around eating the un-ripe fallen mangos lying around the campgrounds 😊. I never knew cattle had a penchant for mango but we watched them all evening and again in the morning and they devoured any fallen fruit. I think we were all wondering if they would taste like mango? A “Big MangoMac” maybe?

The Wenlock River runs by Moreton Telegraph Station and there had been recent reports of barramundi being caught locally, so Michael and I thought it would be a good idea to get up at 6am and go down to try our luck. It was still just about dark as Michael & I got up and prepped our fishing gear, a short walk down a forest track saw us arrive at the optimistically named “Barra Pool”, the river was pretty low but there were a few likely looking spots to try and we cast our lures as the sunlight was making its way through the forest canopy.

Aptly named "barra pool" on the Wenlock River

I was the first to hook and land a small barra – a great feeling after seeing the fish rise (and miss) to a previous cast, and then Michael landed his first wild caught barra – awesome. The fish went back and we returned empty handed, as usual, to help pack the trailers and then start the days drive back towards Cooktown and Cairns.

The road was a mix of corrugations, dirt and bits of tarmac and at the end of the day we finished up at Hann River Roadhouse having driven past all the places we were hoping to visit on the journey south ….. next time for sure.

After an uneventful overnight camp, we set off again on the last day of our joint Cape York travels, Michael, Vicki and Katie heading to Cairns to get the car looked at by another set of mechanics and we turned eastward towards Cooktown to retrace our steps back though to Cape Tribulation over the next few days. With final farewell messages over the UHF Radio we went our separate way, as we stopped to buy a locally grown water melon, our Cape York adventure was done.

Regards Roy, Helen, Sophie and Zoe

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