Travel

North of the Jardine River is picture perfect

Green-fringed rock pools offer relaxation for people who have travelled hundreds of kilometres.
Green-fringed rock pools offer relaxation for people who have travelled hundreds of kilometres. Contributed

NORTH of the Jardine River are pretty beaches with campsites, Second World War wreckage, day trips by ferry to Thursday Island and luxuriant rainforest to explore.

Some of the bush tracks are for small 4WDs whose owners are not fussy about paintwork but the alternative is bush walks rambling through rare vegetation where the striking blue ulysses butterfly flutters by.

A trip to Thursday Island costs about $125 full fare; half price on concession. Tours of Thursday and nearby Horn Island are about $200. You learn it is not advisable to go if it's windy but the east-south-east trade winds blow steadily through winter when tourists arrive. Bamaga sells a lot of seasick pills.

Ferries leave from Seisa, where one of the prettiest campsites waves palm fronds in spectacular sunsets about 7km west of Bamaga. Thursday Island has fascinating history dating back to Captain Bligh, meals at historic hotels and a neat cafe offering Affogato after a night out (pictured below left).

Campsite fees around the tip range from $14 a person a night on an unpowered site at Punsand Bay, Australia's most northern beach camp, to nothing at little Somerset Beach and Mutee Head.

Mutee Head has a concrete slab on a hill and a few piles in the sea, the last evidence of a wartime radar station and a busy US naval base. Nearby Jacky Jacky airport has two well preserved plane wrecks, lots of rusting fuel drum stacks and ghosts of airmen, soldiers and sailors in tropics-issue uniforms who sweated to contain the Japanese.

We continued to be super impressed with the airtight-watertight design capabilities of Isabel's yachtie designers who ensure no dust entered her innards.

Heading south we bobbed in and out of the Telegraph Track to camp and watch the fun at some crossings. Notorious Gunshot had four options. Two were terrifying, one was challenging and the other relatively easy at a slow crawl around the side of the hill.

We learned the toughest crossings were at the top and bottom ends of the Old Telegraph Track, a fun 4WD adventure that changes every year because the road is no longer maintained.

Family groups with two or three children came through regularly; at Sam Creek on the northern part of the track we were amused to see the rocky descent and crossing washout negotiated with a baby sound asleep in its seat.

Free camping sites are scattered along the Old Telegraph Track and National Parks have one with basic facilities at Eliot Falls.

You have to book online or by phone and that can be a challenge when you are unsure of your schedule - the unexpected always happens - and in a region where service is tricky outside Bamaga.

Where the northern bypass starts you can drive north about 7km along the Old Telegraph Track fairly easily - although a high clearance vehicle is needed - to spectacular Eliot Falls and Twin Falls.

Closer to the intersection is the stunning swimming spot at Fruit Bat Falls.

White water tumbles over green-fringed red rock into crystal pools, marred only by splashing bodies - lean, large, white, pink, brown - in various stages of undress. Despite the human factor, the view is a picture postcard of the grandeur of Australia.

Topics:  grey nomads travel



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Severe heat, thunderstorms on way for Bundy

KEEP COOL: It's going to be hot and then wet in Bundy.

Rainfall to fuel hot, humid conditions

Landlord's nightmare: Maggots, faeces and garbage

Amanda Rehbein and Greg Snell were left devastated after they say tenants left rubbish strewn through their home and property.

Couple left with massive clean-up

CCTV shows toddlers opening pool gate

LUCKY ESCAPE: Juscinta Lewis is glad her children Zhii, 3, and Ziva, 5, are safe after they broke into the pool area on Thursday.

Granville mum shares her terrifying ordeal.

Local Partners

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Nicole Kidman squirms through questions on Keith

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

'God, you guys are personal ... that’s for him to talk about'

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Bundy hotel on the market for a cool $8.5m

FOR SALE: The Burnett Riverside Motel has gone on the market, with a price guide of more than $8 million.

Premier hotel up for sale for more than $8m

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!