Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

10-May-2005
   

We have left the caravan at Cape Tribulation and headed north up the Bloomfield Track for a mini adventure to Cooktown. The track is strictly for 4WD vehicles as it has numerous creek crossings and some very steep sections. This track is totally impassable when it is wet and as it had been raining all night we weren't sure how far we would get. As we had left the van behind we were all set for using our tent for the first time so we were well equipped for all eventualities. The track ran through the Daintree National Park, which is the northernmost section of the Wet Tropics. It took us through the jungle past creeks and picturesque waterfalls. The steep sections were wet and some were muddy with slopes of 30% so it required 2nd gear in low ratio to get up some of them. The creek crossings were deepish with the water up to door level and quite an uneven rocky bottom, the water wasn't flowing too fast though.

Crossing a creek on the Bloomfield Track

Crossing a creek on the Bloomfield Track
Crossing the causeway over the Bloomfield River

Eventually we got to the Bloomfield River, which had a causeway across it, and as the tide was low, it wasn't too much of a problem to get across.

Crossing the causeway over the Bloomfield River

Not far from the causeway were the Bloomfield Falls, which were quite spectacular. This is where the water comes from that was flowing across the causeway.

The Bloomfield Falls

The Bloomfield Falls
The Lions Den

We set up camp behind the oldest pub in Queensland - the 'Lions Den'. This place is 120 years old and made out of corrugated iron and wood and I think some of the original locals are still sat at the bar. It was only 20mins from Cooktown and at just $14/night much better than anything that Cooktown had to offer.

The Lions Den

We found a nice spot to camp behind the pub alongside a river with a nice swimming hole and no crocs (we were assured!). This was the first time we had stayed in a tent for about 18 years!

Camping behind the Lions Den

Camping behind the Lions Den
Checking for crocs in the creek Here is Ali checking for crocs and making sure its safe for me to go in the creek.
When Captain Cook passed this way in 1770 he ran aground on the reef not far from here and put a hole in his ship 'The Endeavour'. A lot of the places he named reflected his mood at the time: Weary Bay, Mount Misery, and Cape Tribulation. After dumping a load of gear, he managed to get off the reef and sail into an inlet where he beached the ship to repair it. The place where this happened is Cooktown and the river is 'The Endeavour River'. Later Cooktown became a busy place when gold was discovered inland so the place has a lot of history surrounding it. Cooktown
Cooktown and the Endeavour River Cooktown is at the bottom of the hill and the crocodile infested Endeavour River stretches away in the distance. A sign in a café by the river advised parents to keep their children out of the water as a large Stonefish had been caught there recently!