Cairns – Horn Island – Bamaga – Loyalty Beach

16 June 2018: Here we go, the alarm is buzzing and it’s 5am. The car is packed and we head for the airport for our morning flight. The early morning sky is glowing bright pinks, reds and oranges and this a beautiful beginning to our next adventure. We have our car booked in at a secure parking station (Betta) and as usual we don’t research it’s location and eventually have to double back as we discover that it’s not located at the airport J . Louis is so excited and he is priceless as we walk out onto the tarmac, the hostie even puts him in the cockpit with the pilot for a few snap shots. We arrive into Horn Island after view the great barrier reef from above. We are quickly transferred onto a waiting bus and taken to the ferry for Thursday Island. The airport is tiny and something you would see in a movie. It’s basically a large shed. The ferry ride to TI is a lovely one, we are surrounded by beautiful blue waters of the tropic. What an experience so far. We arrive at TI and have a few hours to casually wander around. We visit the gallery first and are pleasantly surprised to find the best eatery; we stop order and enjoy a fantastic meal. After this we slow meander through the main drag visit a few shops and purchase a few items. Funny moment, Julie was getting dressed in this authentic classic shop and the local kids were running around playing hide and seek, this 10 year old just races in while Julie is undressing and hides in the change room. Julies thought this was quite funny, the kid didn’t care at all about her, he just wanted to hide. Kids we ducking in and out of clothes rack etc, it was a real treat, and this took me back to when I was a kid with mum.  We purchased this aboriginal printed shirt for Louis and we were unable to remove it from him, he loved it. Here we wandered to the TI pub for a few drinks as we waited for our 2.15pm boarding time onto the ferry to Sesia at Cape York. At the terminal louis devoured another ice cream while the border patrol wandered the jetty, people lined up and we began our journey to the main through turquoise waters. We dock at the pier, the view is awesome, it’s raw, locals are on the beach with fires going, people spearing and fishing, so cool. It’s steamy and this is winter! Marty (from the lodge) is waiting in the car park and transfers us to the lodge at Bamaga. Very kind considering this is Saturday afternoon, keep in mind we paid for it, but you must keep in mind where we are! This is raw and remote. We check in, pick up the keys to the Land Cruiser and we are off to Loyalty Beach for a roast dinner. The setting is superb, I walk the beach to a ship wreck and return to catch the sunset with Julie and Louis. Dinner takes for ever to arrive 1.5hrs, but any food is good J We drive home dodging the wild horses and stray dogs, welcome to Bamaga. We bunker down in room No21 which is two adjoining room with a kitchenette, it’s probably the biggest room. Louis is in heaven as there is TV.  What a day!

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Josephine Falls is a Must Visit!

3 June 2018: As we are driving along the Bruce Hwy, we see the sign – Josephine Falls, we decide to head in….. WOW what a brilliant decision. We walk through the rain forest to see this amazing blue/green freshwater swimming hole that is fed by this massive waterfall / cascade. It’s even better as we slide down this huge rock face that is a water slide, it’s awesome! Louis and I can not get enough of it. We depart here with massive smiles and then head for Binda Boulders. This is another stunning location, it’s the connection of two fresh water rivers. The water is crisp and clear, we all have another swim, but we don’t last too long as we are still cold from the previous swim. After this, lunch (sausage sambos) are cooked on the camper trailer tail gate, then it’s off to Palm Cove. We arrive at Palm Cove for dusk and set up.

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Paronella Park + Night tour.

2 June 2018: It’s a lazy morning pack up at Mission Beach as it’s only a short drive to Paronella Park. We slowly weave through the cane fields as we head west, the country side is exactly the same but beautiful. We drive through a few country townships that probably have not changed in thirty years, it’s great to see the character still remaining. We arrive at Paronella Park, check in and have the camper set up for lunch time. After a bite to eat we head down for guided tour of the park; this place is truly stunning! On our return we head over to the pub – Mena Creek Hotel for a few beers with a few people we have just met on the tour. At 4.50pm I depart as I’m booked into the Hydro Tour, this man was so ahead of his time, he even built a hydro plant in the 1940’s. We all come together for 6pm to commence the night tour. It’s an hour guided walk it which the guide fills you in on the history as well as seeing the ruins light up. Very spectacular. We end up walk more throughout the park and end the day for about 10pm.

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Cassowray – Aligators nest – Tully

1 June 2018: It’s another early beach beginning for 6.30am to catch a golden sunrise. Our monument is still remaining pride of place for last night. We depart for a day of exploring the region and begin with this little rainforest walk that was a 2km loop track that featured Cassowary’s; it’s located just after South Mission Beach heading back to the Bruce Hwy. We head from here to the Township of Tully (11am) we arrive, have a look and decide to push on for a swim at Aligators Nest. It’s a beautiful drive through the cane and you end up in the mountains / rainforest.  Aligators nest is this stunning intersection of two creeks, the water is pristine clear and fresh; it’s turquoise! We swim here for ages and Louis and push up walking and climbing upstream through the rapids and boulders; truly amazing. After this we decide to walk the entire length of Tully main street and purchase Tully a few gifts from Tully. It’s now 3.30pm and we drive 45min north on the Bruce Hwy (we are mad) to Etty Bay in the hope of seeing a Cassowary. We  meander our way through the cane farms, drive up over the headland and arrive at Etty Bay; it’s stunning. I can’t believe it, just as we pull up, there is a Cassowary walking directly in front of me up from the beach. It’s casually walking through the van park that is situated directly on the main beach front. I end up getting so close to it, it’s stunning and it’s feet and talons are huge! We return back to Mission Beach, head to the beach for an evening fire on the beach.

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