Category Archives: Travel Blog

Blog of the 2016 big trip.

Weipa, Janie Creek and Stone Crossing


We arrived in Weipa dirty, smelly and in need of a good dry out. The carpet in the Mav was still wet from my puddle crossing attempt and both camper and car were covered in mud and dust. We were fast running out of clean clothes and eating the last of the food in the fridge.

I also had to work out a plan for the next stage of our trip.

The problem was we were now bang smack in the middle of the school holidays. The busiest time to travel in Cape Yoke.The grey nomads had been replaced with family’s and children. Which was great for Alec. He had a ball playing with all the other kids in the caravan park. But not so good for travellers who don’t like to plan too far in advance. I definitely didn’t want to be up at the tip of Cape York during this period.

Over the next couple of days I worked out a plan. I decided to stay in Weipa a week. Instead of doing it on the way down. Then spend the next couple of weeks exploring and slowing making our way to the tip. Timing our arrival out of the school the holiday period.

While in Weipa I got a repair done to the Mav, gave the car and camper a good check over, greased the camper trailer, removed everything from the car and and gave it a good dry out and a clean, restocked food, did multiply loads of washing, had plenty of hot showers, ate out a lot and Alec filled up on baby chino’s. Ready to go bush again.


Sunset over the beach in front of the Weipa caravan park.


Alec enjoying the sunset.


One of the ore trains that carries the bauxite from the mine site to the ship loading facility. Weipa is a mining town and is one of the largest bauxite mines in the world.The main ingredient for Aluminum production. I wanted to do a mine tour so Alec could see the big trucks but there is a age restriction for OH&S reasons.


We did a day trip out to Mapoon while staying in Weipa. Not a bad spot to spread the picnic blanket and have lunch.


Even had a swing.

Our next camp was beach rather than bush. We headed north  along the coast to the Aboriginal lands of Mapoon. Here we found a beach camp at the mouth of Janie creek. This was great spot except for the mosquitoes that invaded as soon as the sun set.


On the way down to Janie Creek we drove the inland track instead of the beach. It was high tide.


Janie Creek.


Not far from our camp was a closed down turtle rescue centre. When open in ran wilderness camps. The guests helped with the turtle conservation work.


Did I mention the sunsets.


We were able to drive down the beach on the way out from Janie Creek. Much easier and quicker than the inland track.

After a 2 night stay at Janie creek, I was keen to find a camp away from the mosquitoes. I figure getting away from the coast would be our best chance. We drove back towards Weipa and found a amazing spot on the Wenlock river called Stone Crossing. Here we stayed 4 nights.


We did some exploring on the way to Stone Crossing. There wasn’t much of a track sometimes.


We found some very well set up camps on the river. These are set up by the traditional owners. This one even had a jetty.


Morning picture of the Wenlock river.


And another


Our first fire with just Alec and myself. I haven’t been bothered with fires because Alec was a little to young and I was concern about safety. With Alec older now I thought I would give I go.


Stone Crossing. I had been told this is a back way onto the Telegraph Road. However there seems to be some contention over if you are allowed to use it. The map above shows the road but other maps I have don’t. This part of the river is tidal. This photo is at low tide. At high tide the rapids reverse.

Janie Creek Mosquitoes

Wow. I have never experience anything like it.

When we arrived at Janie creek we were warned by fellow campers that the mosquitoes were bad. They were leaving early than expected because of them. While having lunch I pondered what to do. I almost back tracked to find somewhere else, I decided to try one night at least.

My plan was to get dinner and baths done early and spend the night in the tent. Which we did successfully. Not a single bite on Alec or myself.

We got up the next morning and I didn’t realise there were still some mozzies hanging around which immediately decided Alec had the better blood and he got multiply bites. Bugger!!

The next night we did the same. However I decided I would have a wash down myself before heading in side. It was fast getting dark and here I was naked outside with a swarm of mozzies about to hit. I have never had such a quick bath. As I was finishing my bath the mozzies started attacking. It can only be described as a swarm. I must of look like I was doing some weird redneck country slapping dance as I tried in vain to stop this little vampires from sucking me dry.

With another night in the tent listening to the buzzing of mozzies and watching them sitting on the fly screens. I decided to move on the next morning.

Cooktown to Weipa


I didn’t put the exact location of our Archer river camp. I am keeping that a secret. The tent symbol in at the Archer river road house. Where most people camp.

The day we left Cooktown I had no idea where our next camp would be. All I knew it would be somewhere north and somewhere away from the wind and rain that we were getting in Cooktown.

We ended up at Musgrave station. A roadhouse with fuel, food and accommodation, including camping.We got there via Battle Camp Road and Lakefieid National Park. With the recent rain parts of road was very slippery and slow going.


One of the better sections of Battle Camp road.


The Nifold Plains in Lakefield National Park. It’s a flat grassy expanse dotted with ant hills.


Musgrave Station. 


In case you need to you were you are while at Musgrave station.

We stayed for 2 nights at Musgrave and this is when we meet the Nolan Family from Bellingen. Small world hey.

Matt, Norbette and there two boys Sonny and Benji were also on a extended trip away. The 3 boys got along really well and we were keen to let the kids have some social time. So we decided to travel together.


Alec with his new found friends. This dam was right next to the camp ground. You can feed the turtles bread. The resident fresh water crocodile also liked to check out whats going on.

The next day we found ourselves in a bush camp on the the Archer river. A mate of Matt’s had told him about this spot. The directions were a bit vague but between us we managed to find the spot.

We set up camp above the river with a great swimming hole perfect for the kids right below us. We stayed 3 nights here. The kids enjoying playing together. I enjoying the company as well.


Following the Nolans. The camper has been called the Octopod. It’s a reference to the children’s show the Octonauts. Lots of road works on the Peninsula Developmental road. 


Out bush camp on the Archer river.


One of the many rock pools in this section of the river.


Alec and I having some fun in the river. Thanks to the Nolan’s for the photo.


Alec enjoying another ice cup. It frozen fruit juice in a small cup. The boys pretty much lived on them for the days we were together.

We left our great little bush camp and headed into Iron Range National Park with the hope of snaring a camping spot at Chili Beach.

The drive in was a little slow. All the river and creek crossing had water in them and the road was the worst I have ever seen it. Not corrugated just lot of pot holes and constantly having to slow down for all the dips which often had water in them.Which made it hard to pick how deep or rough they were.


One of the many small creek crossings.


As you get closer to the coast the rainforest take over from the dry bushland. We caught up to 3 truck carting gravel. There were being very cautious with the wet roads.

We stopped at the Ranger station to try our luck at getting a camp spot. The best we could do is a night in one of the rainforest sites then the following night on Chili Beach. It wasn’t ideal but we didn’t have a choice.


The boys loved playing in the puddles left by the retreating tide.


Collecting star fish. 


Showing off the collection.


Some bike riding fun.

After our night at Chille Beach our new friends and us parted ways. The Nolan’s were travelling a little faster than us and were keen to get to the tip. I decided to try and find another camp in the area before continuing north.

On a Cape York map that I have. There is a camping symbol at the aboriginal town of Lockhart river. We went into Lockhart river with the Nolan’s when we first arrived in the area, and drove down to the beach to have a look. Quintel Beach is a couple kilometres out of town and has a jetty where the supply barge comes in. To the north of the jetty looked like a bit of a camping spot. Perfect, All I had to do is get permission to camp somehow. Continue to bottom of post to read about how I got permission.


Most of the town of Lockhart river.

We stayed on Quintel beach 3 nights. It was wet and windy. But it was free, quite and a had the beach to ourselves.


I think that’s clear.


Quintel Beach. The barge about to land.


Our beach camp.

After 10 days on the road, much of it bush camping. We need of a restock and a cleanup. We left the east coast and headed to the west coast for the first time this trip. To the mining town of Weipa.

Quintet Beach camping approval

On our first visit to Quintel beach with the Nolan family, I explored the possibility of camping. When driving down to the beach the road ends right at the jetty. To the south is just beach and mangroves. To the left of the jetty is the main beach area. A dirt road follows the beach a hundred metres or so. On the beach are couple of basic shelters made from roughly cut poles and corrugated iron. At the end of the track was a turn around area with a large covered picnic area which with a good wind would fall over.

I ask a elderly couple in one of the tin shelter’s who I need to speak to to get permission to camp. They told me ask the guy driving the bus in town.

When I returned after the stay at Chili beach, I realised there were a number of buses in town. So I figure the council building might be a good start. I walked into the building to find not a single person in the place.

The next stop was the local shop which seemed to be the hot spot in town. Obliviously the council building isn’t. I asking a couple of lads outside the shop. They told me I need to talk to the mayor of the town. Then pointed to a Landcruiser driving past and said “thats him.”

So I quickly jumped back in the car and proceeded to drive in the direction of the Landcruiser. Round the block I drove back to the council building and sure enough they was the Landcruiser parked in the car park. The only car in the car park. In front of the building was three people talking. I assumed one was the mayor. I waited till the conversation was over and introduced myself to the sole remaining person left in front of the building. Luckily he was the mayor and he didn’t have a problem with us camping down the beach.

I later found out that the guy in the bus was one of the elder’s.

The award for the dumbest decision made while driving a four wheel of the year goes to,

Me. Yes thats right. I have done some pretty dumb stuff in my life. This would be up in the top 5.

While at at our Archer river bush camp. We all decided to do some exploring. We got in our vehicles and followed a track up the river. We came the end of the track and got out and went for a walk. Once back from our walk we all piled back into the vehicles to headed back to camp. Matt in his Hilux performed a nice and safe 3 point turn on the track. Me on the other hand had a brain snap and decided that it was to much effort to do a three point turn. I figured the easiest way was to loop around and drive though a little puddle then back onto the track.

And that my friends is when it all went wrong. This puddle wasn’t so little. In fact it was deep. Deep enough for the mav to get stuck and start taking in water. It toke multiple attempts to snatch me out. The shame of being recovered by a Toyota will ever leave me.


I hate that sinking feeling.

Elim Beach

IMG_0267We left Cooktown for a great spot called Elim Beach or more precisely Eddie’s camp. Elim beach is only a 80 km trip from Cooktown and is located in the Aboriginal shire of Hope Vale. The camp is a basic setup run by a Aboriginal elder Eddie. This is a wonderful place.

Peta and I had one of those rare unplanned great days together on Elim Beach in 2011.

On our 2011 Cape York trip we stopped at Eddie’s camp. It was going to be a overnight stay, however we woke up to the sound of rain on the canvas. It was agreed with our fellow travelers to stay another day instead of packing up in the rain.

By midmorning the rain had disappeared and it turned into a gorgeous day. In the afternoon Peta and I decided to go for a walk. Heading south along the beach. Exploring the abandoned beach huts and enjoying the slower pace of a day off from traveling. As we got closer to the headland we figured we might try and see if we could get there. We left the beach and started following a vehicle track heading in the direction of the headland. We walked for a good while until we were forced to turn around. It was getting late and tide was on the way up. We alway’s talked about finishing the walk and bemused ourselves about what was at the end of the track.

So now it was up to Alec and myself to finish the walk and get to the headland. The headland is actually Cape Bedford. The track that Peta and myself followed takes you between two headlands, Cape Bedford and South Cape Bedford.


Green is the walk section. Blue is the drive section. The flag is Eddie’s camp.

The plan was to spilt the walk in two. It was just to far for me to carry Alec. The first part we walked along the beach to roughly where you would start heading inland to find the vehicle track.

This we did no problem. A total of 3 kilometres up the beach. That doesn’t sound far but remember I still have to walk back to camp. I have 15 kilo’s of Alec on my back and walking in sand.


On our walk in 2011 Peta and I found this swing. This photo of Peta on the swing is a favorite of ours. In fact a canvass print of this picture hangs on the wall at home.


Oh course, I went looking for that swing. However not surprisingly it’s no longer. We did find another swing on the same beach. This is Alec in 2016 having a swing at Elim beach.

The next day we got in the mav and drove to a point that we would start walking. But before we could get to that point I got stuck going up a sandy hill. This requiring me to dig my self out. It was my fault really. I hadn’t aired down my tires. I don’t remember the track being that soft. In fact I don’t even remember the hill.


The coastal dunes we drove though. Cape Bedford is in the distant.

We got the area that we were going to walk from, by this stage it was a little later than expected and a very hot day. So I got lazy and decided to drive the rest of the way. This turned out to be a adventure. We had a couple of swampy sections to get though. One requiring me to winch out. We also toke some wrong turns. This requiring some interesting multipoint turns on the narrow track.


Such a lovely looking bog hole.


Oh no.

Once at our destination I was amazed. Certainty worth the effort. I deliberately didn’t find out about or look at pictures of Cape Bedford. I wanted it to be a surprise,  just as if Peta and I had finished the walk so many years ago.


Alec and myself Cape Bedford 2016.


Alec in 2016 at Cape Bedford overlooking Elim Beach and the colored sands.

We spent 5 days at Elim Beach. Not doing a lot. Alec spent a lot of time playing on the beach, we went for walks, relaxed and caught up on some sleep after a busy few weeks.


A slice of paradise.


Fellow travelers made a dam from a small fresh water creek running out to sea. Alec loved playing in it. After every high tide it had to be rebuilt.


Did someone say beautiful sunset.


This residence has been built north of Eddie’s camp. Set back into the dunes, water tanks have been used for rooms and living spaces. The couple that built the place run kite surfing safari’s.


This is a cool place. It is completely self sufficient and is cut off at high tide. 

We headed back to Cooktown once we left Elim beach for a restock and do washing. We were fortunate to be in town for the Discovery festival.


The re enactment off Cooks landing in progress.


There were plenty of thing on over the weekend. Like billy cart racers.

Bad timing of the week but quick thinking by dad of the week

We rode into town and to see the re enactment of the cooks landing. We only got half way into the show when some firearms were fired as part of the act. Now Alec is not good with noises and this was just to much for him. He freaked out. So we left and went and had morning tea at a coffee shop across the road from the main park.

We were sitting having yummy’s when I notice the re enactment had finished and people starting to crowd around the Caption Cook monument.

We had finished our yummy’s and rode across the road and past the crowd. As we did I heard someone cry “FIRE IN THE HOLD” . Then I saw a puff of white smoke . In that split second I realized what was about to happen. I stopped the bike and as I put my hands over Alec’s ears a loud “BANG” come from a cannon in the centre of the crowd.

Even with my hands over Alec ears he still got a little concerned. However he recovered quickly.

Oh so close. Father of the year award contender I reckon.


 Everyone likes a big cannon going off. Except Alec.

Safety and Being Prepared

Our next part of our trip we will be traveling into the Cape York Peninsula. Although Cape York is getting increasingly civilized. It is still a rugged and remote area of Australia and traveling in this area should not be taken lightly.

So to reassure everyone that I am not completely crazy and putting Alec and myself at risk, I will give a run down of our preparations for this part of the trip.

When I prepare for a trip such as we are doing, my philosophy is expect things to go wrong, but be prepared to deal with them when it does. Having said that I do put a lot of effort into making sure things don’t go wrong.


The car and camper are the most vital pieces of equipment we have. It is our way of travel and our home. Everything that we need to survive is either carried in or part of the car and camper.

So as you might imagine a lot of time and effort has been put into these two items for this trip. A fair chuck was covered in the Mav and camper trailer pages in this website.  So I won’t go into much detail in this blog post.

The maintenance of the car and camper is vital to make them reliable and I don’t skimp on this. If either needs repairing. I do it using the best quality parts available and in some cases upgrading to a better stronger part. Performing regular checks as you travel is also vital.

Anyone that has owned a mechanical device will know that no matter how well it maintained it will let you done at some point. To help in this situation I carry a range of spare parts and tools to suit my vehicle.


This is constantly getting added to.

I have gone over all the usual breakdowns and made sure I have the tools and the parts to get me out of trouble. In some cases I  had to do a particular repair at home. So I used only the tools that I carry in the car to do the job. If I found a tool that was needed to do the job it got added to the kit.


I carry tyre pliers and levers and a repair kit. With these I am able to remove a tyre off the rim and perform a permanent repair to a professional workshop standard. I can do a temporarily repair using plugs as well. 

A vehicle breakdown is not always the reason you come to a stop. Getting stuck in mud, sand or a combination of these is a real possibility when travelling off road.

To help in this some time embarrassing situation I have a full recovery setup. Which includes a electric winch, straps, long handle shovel and a set of maxtrax’s ( sand ladders ).


Yes I did deliberately buy black Maxtrax’s to match the mav.


Communication is one area that I upgraded for this trip. I have three forms of communication to the outside world available to me.

The first being a UHF radio. In my case it is permanently mounted in the car. The UHF radio has a very limited range. Depending on the terrain it can be as little as a couple of Kilometre’s. I used this to talk to fellow travellers when travelling together and if on channel 40 listen and communicated with truck drivers. It can be helpful when over taking  trucks especially large road train or in dusty conditions.

On some forestry and outback roads there is a call point system in place. When a truck enters a section of road the driver with announce over the radio he is in the area. This to warn on coming vehicles and is much better than meeting a 120 ton road train by surprise on a tight corner.

In a emergency a UHF radio is very limited. However you just never know who else is in the area.

A mobile phone of coarse is the next form of communication. However this obviously has it limitations to. Phone reception is constantly improving. But still cannot be relied on in remote locations. To get that little bit better coverage. I fitted a car kit with a large antenna on the bull bar. Generally speaking this increases the signal strength by one bar. Which may be just enough to get out of trouble.


The phone antenna is on the left the UHF is on the right.

The third item of communication is a Spot device, which is used in a emergency when nothing else works. It’s a tracker, locator and message device in one unit.

The Spot works on the satellite network and allows you to send 3 different pre-programmed messages and GPS coordinates to up to ten contacts with a push of a button.

The device also has a SOS function, when activated local authority’s are notified to send help. This is only be used in life threatening situations. As the local authorities are not going to happy if you get them out because you stubbed you little pinky.

This device travels with me everywhere and is my get out of jail card if something goes pear shaped.


This is a great alternative to a expensive sat phone.

First Aid

I have two first aid kits. A large one that lives in the car and a smaller one that lives in my back pack. The back pack is carried with me whenever we are out and about. The back pack also contains a snake bite kit and of course the Spot device.IMG_2254

Food and Water

If I don’t have plenty of food and water then most likely I will be using one of the above items.

Food and water are always keep well stocked. A lot of time this determines where we travel and how long we stay in a place.

I carry approximately enough water to camp for a week with out refilling.  Approximately 120 litres. This does depend on how many baths Alec and I have during that period. In a emergency situation we would be able to last much longer than a week.

If water was readily available than food wouldn’t be a issue for a long time in a emergency. I carry a full panty of food including rice, flour, pasta and a variety of canned items.

Whenever Alec and I goes for a bush walk I always take some form of food. Depending on the length of the walk and the area which we are walking in.


I transfer everything from the back pack to the child carrier when going for large walks. No wonder I am tired after our walks.

I hope this gives everyone some piece of mind. Even though I have gone to a lot of trouble with all the things above. A good dose of commonsense goes a long way.


IMG_0264The third and final week with the family was spent in Cooktown. Our travelling companions changed again. Peta’s parents left and my brother joined us.

The reason behind moving to Cooktown is to give my parents a little taste of Cape York. The hire car that was used for the last few weeks was swapped for a large SUV. Much better suited to travel unsealed roads.

The plan was to travel to Cooktown via the Bloomfield track. This is a four wheel drive only road that followers the coast though the Daintree national park.

However the recent rains changed this plan. Yes I know, should of expected it. I think I might change the name of this blog to

                                         Travel plans with the Kethel boys.

                                                     Making plans then changing them.

I did a short reconnaissance drive to the first creek crossing when we were at Cape Tribulation. The road conditions were good but the first creek crossing wasn’t that great. The water from the recent rain had gouged out a section on the exit. The mav didn’t have a problem, however the hire car with it’s relative low clearance would find it difficult. So we made the decision to travel the bitumen way around to Cooktown.


Which way to go? Right looks like fun.


We stopped for a lunch break at a look out along the way.

Once in Cooktown and settled into our new digs. For Alec and I it was the same digs just different place. We worked out a plan for the following week. At least the weather had cleared up.

The first day we stayed in town and visited the lookout and the botanic gardens. Mum, Dad and David went to the James Cook Museum. I decided to give it a miss. I have been before and Alec was due for a nap. Actually so was I.


The famous Endeavour River where Caption Cook repaired his tinnie.


Alec looking out over Cooktown.


We all had a play on the musical ship. This is located along the foreshore in Cooktown.


Alec and David making music…I think.


Alec and Uncle David learning all about the local plants.

The second day we planned to drive to Lakefield National Park. Driving a loop via Battle Camp Road, then on to Laure and back by the Peninsula Developmental Road. However, yes you guess it, this did not happen. Either I didn’t read the road report correctly or the Cook Shire changed it the last minute. We got a couple kilometre’s north of Isabella Falls and had to turn around. So we decided to go have a look at the Bloomfield Falls instead. The drive to the Bloomfield Falls is the top half of the Bloomfield track. Over the last couple years the road has been sealed all the way to the falls.


My mother being over protective of Alec as usual. Nothing wrong with water falls. I fall down them all the time.


The causeway at Isabella Falls. The falls are behind me. Hard to get a photo unless you climb down. No easy way to do this.


The famous Lion Den Hotel on the Bloomfield track.


The inside of the lions Den Hotel. Some cupboards would be handy. 


The Bloomfield falls were amazing with all the recent rain.


Peta and I at the Bloomfield falls in 2011. I wanted to get a pic of Alec in front of the falls. But with the amount of water flowing down it was to dangerous to get close enough for a good picture.


We stopped at the unique Black mountain. 


It hard to get a good photo that really shows how awesome Black Mountain is. I don’t think the Toyoto in the photo helps. 

The 3rd day was a rest day. Which Alec and I really needed. When I say rest day, I really mean doing three loads of washing.

The fourth day we drove to Lakefield National Park. Going around to Laure via the Peninsula Developmental Road. It is now sealed all the way to Laura. Cape York is slowly becoming civilised.


We all piled in the rental car. I got to sit in the back seat. It was good not having to drive.


We visited the Split Rock Aboriginal art near Laura.

New Pictures 505-2

Peta in 2009.


The Red Lily Lagoon. Unfortunately they weren’t in flower.

With our travel companions leaving us. It was now time for Alec and myself to prepare for our time up in the remote Cape York. Cannot wait.

Oh bugger moment of the week.

We were travelling on dirt road for about 5mins for the first time with my Parents and David, who were traveling behind us in the rental car. Another four wheel drive came past and “crack” a stone hit my windscreen and made a small chip.

Once at Isabeela falls I found out the hire car received the same treatment. But the result much worse. Over the next couple of days the crack would spread half way across the windscreen.

In the two previous trips to Cape York, I never once got a cracked windscreen. I guess that sums up Cape York. Any thing can happen and it most likely will. Welcome to  Australian’s last frontier.IMG_2208

Port Douglas

IMG_0263After a week in Cairns it was time to move on. Port Douglas was our next stop, again staying for a week. Our travel companions changed a little. Aunty Megan went home and my parents arrived.

On the travel day to Port Douglas the weather changed from light showers to heavy showers. I had the wettest camper set up I have ever done.


Alec stayed in the car till I had nearly finished. Then asked if he could get out and help.

The weather didn’t improve for number of days. Some areas receiving up 300mm in a 24 hour period. Cooktown a little further north had the wettest May in history. The camper became unliveable, only using it for sleeping. All cooking was done in the caravan park camp kitchen and spent a lot time with the grandparents. They were staying in a hotel.


I picked the worst spot in the park. At least Alec had fun.


Plenty of puddles for Alec to play in.


Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas. I am sure it’s a great beach in good weather.

Once the weather cleared we got out and about and explored some of the local attractions. We visited the wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas.


The wildlife habitat was really good. So many animal to see. I have only ever seen ducks sit like this in books.


Alec having a look at a Cassowary.


The grandparents have a good look at a Cassowary. Good thing they did. They didn’t see any wild ones.


If I had a memory, I would tell you what type of bird this is and everyone would think I was really smart. But I don’t have a memory. So you get, a bird standing on one leg


A lovely picture of Alec and his grandparents.


Thats one angry looking Owl. If you wake me up one more time, I will stick that camera somewhere where the flash will all ways be needed.


These fresh water Crocodiles are harmless apparently.


Alec if you see any Crocodiles in the wild. Run!!


Oh no Alec is getting eaten by a Crocodile… wait why are you a frozen Chicken?


A lovely photo of Alec

Went on a day trip into the Daintree.


Looking south over the Daintree river entrance.


Alec is a little obsessed with his diggers and tractor. Here he is playing with them on Cape Tribulation Beach.


Cape Tribulation beach. Just one of the many amazing beach’s in the Daintree Area. Just don’t go for a swim.

And went on a river boat wildlife cruise on the Daintree River.


The is the dominate male in the area. He has numerous females in his territory. I am amazed how many crocs are in the area. We saw four in about one kilometer of river.


Our fellow passenges for the wildlife tour up the Daintree River. The boat was power by electric motor and was able to get close to the crocs and other wildlife.


I hope he doesn’t try this with a real one.

Wildlife spotting failure of the week

Alec and I were following the grandparents in the hire car though the Daintree on our way to Cape Tribulation, admiring the rainforest as we went.

We came across a car stopped in the left hand lane with the hazards lights flashing. The grandparents drove slowly around them and continued on. Me being a good Samaritan, stopped to make sure everything was alright. I slowly drove up to the vehicle and wound down the left hand window. As I was asking the couple in the car “ is everything ok “ I notice both were holding camera’s. “There is cassowary” the couple replied as they pointed though my car to the right hand side of the road. I turn my head and sure enough their was a real live wild cassowary with a chick. I quickly apologised for blocking their view and drove on.

It turns out none of the grandparents saw the Cassowary as they drove past and well I can’t really say I did much better. However, thanks to the random traveler’s that stop in the middle of the road I got to see my first wild cassowary.


IMG_0262We left Lucinda refreshed and ready for a busy time with the family. The next 3 weeks we have family members flying up to spend some time with Alec and myself. Actually mostly Alec. I am fully aware who is the favourite. We will be playing tourist’s as we visit a lot of the attractions around Cairns and as far north as Cooktown.


Hinchinbrook island in the distant. Photo taken from a road side look out.


Our lunch spot in Innisfail. Alec getting looked after again. No need to stop playing to have lunch.

Alec’s grandparents and Peta’s sister joined us for the first week in Cairns. While in Cairns we basically did the big four draw cards to the area. A trip out to the reef, the Kuranda Scenic Railway ,the sky rail and a day exploring the Atherton tablelands.

I am not going to bore you with details except that Peta and I have done a few of the attractions together and was a trip down memory lane for me. Which is really nothing unusual, as that is what the trip is all about. But this was the first time I had some company other than Alec with me. Which I found a little different, especial so as the company was Peta’s parents and sister. I am glad they were able to experience some of the places the me and Peta enjoyed together.

The first activity was the trip out to the reef. Although a expensive day out. It’s well worth it. Even with the poor weather that we had. I guess we will just have do a again sometime when the weather is better.


Ready for our big day.


Just a little cute.


Aunty Megan cuddling a cute baby seal. Oh wait, thats Alec.


Everyone enjoyed watching the fish with out getting wet.


The main snorkelling area.


The platoon seating area.


This is a professional photo of me with a local.


Megan and I paid extra and went on a snorkel safari. You get taken out to the edge of the reef and slowly make your back to the platoon. You are guided by a marine expert and are taught all about the reef as you go. You are in the water for around a hour.


Auntie Megan and Alec playing in the children area.


A pic taken with the action camera.

The second and third activity was done together. We rode the Kuranda Scenic railway up to Kuranda and rode the sky rail down. We spent some time in Kuranda looking though the markets having some lunch and visiting the buttery fly house.


Alec being patient waiting for the train.


A pic of the train as we cross a curved bridge.


Grandad and Alec enjoying the train ride.


Peta at the look out over Barron falls in 2011.


Alec and myself in 2016.


Peta and myself on the train 2011.


Alec and myself 2016.


Kuranda railway station.



Alec keeping Autie Megan company in the butter fly house.




The sky rail over the rainforest.



Peta on the sky rail 2011.


Alec and myself 2016


The sky rail crossing the Kennedy highway.


When ever we went over the rollers at each pole, the gondola would make a noise as we rattled across them. Alec thought this was hilarious.


Selfie shot.


The forth activity was a drive up to the Atherton Tablelands. Again we had poor weather and spent most the day driving or sitting around eating and drinking coffee. We did see the wind turbines near Ravenshoe and visited the Ravenshoe steam railway. When running it travels from Ravenshoe to the town of Tumoulin the highest railway station in Queensland.


Having a break at the Coffee works in Mareeba.


A little chilly and windy at the wind farm.


Alec and I checking out the train.


Peta and myself with good friend Mick and Ange waiting for the train in 2011.


Alec and myself waiting for train in 2016.

New Pictures 178-2

Peta at Malanda falls 2009.


Alec and myself 2016.


Alec having his usual at the Gallo dairy. This time with sprinkles.


Yes dad is tired and no I don’t want you jam on my face.


Peta at the Gallo dairy 2011.


Peta’s sister Megan in 2016.


Alec and myself in 2016.


Inappropriate moment of the week

We were warned by the boat crew that is was going to be a rough trip out to the reef. As the boat was getting ready to leave the safety of the harbour, most of the passengers were busy taken pills and preparing for the rough trip.

I knew I would be fine, I have never been sea sick. But I wasn’t sure how Alec would cope.

As the boat got out into the unprotected waters it got very rough. A lot of the passengers suffered during the trip. All around us our fellow passengers were depositing there breakfast is brown plastic bags and looking quite ill .

It turned out Alec was not bothered at all. Almost as if he didn’t even notice the rocking and banging of the boat. He was happy playing with his diggers or being super cute for his grandparents.
Alec decided he wanted to sit on my lap at one stage. He seemed a little bored. We started to play wee whoops as the boat went up and down with the waves. When the hull crashed into a wave will loud bag. I would point out to Alec that was a big one. We had a ball.
I not sure our fellow passengers appreciated our enthusiasm for the rough weather. Oh well, maybe they need to harden up a touch.

Townsville and Lucinda

IMG_0260After a relaxing couple of days at Molongle creek our next stop was Townsville. However, I had a little bit of a dilemma. I only needed to stop in Townsville for one night. I wanted to take Alec up to castle hill and that would only take one afternoon. And I never like caravan parks in large towns or city’s. They are often cramped, on a major road or full of dodgy permanent residents.

So I decided we would live it up for a night and stay in a hotel. A night out of the camper would do us good. I found a place on the strand. The strand being the foreshore area not far from the centre of town. The area has parks, swimming areas, cafes and restaurants. It’s the place to be in Townsville.


The view from our hotel room.


The view from the hall way in front of our room . The camper didn’t talk to me for a couple of days. Thats Castle hill in the background

Arriving early we made our selves at home in our new digs. Then went exploring. We had a walk along the foreshore and a play in the park and on the beach. Then drove up to Castle hill to watch the sunset.
Castle hill is a 286 metre high granite monolith in the heart of Townsville. From the top you get great views of Townsville and the surround areas. It is also a very popular spot for locals to lose those un-wanted kilo’s.

It is a bit of a favourite spot of mine. Peta and I visiting Castle hill on the way home on both our Cape York trips. The first time we had dinner at the top, we went all fancy and brought takeaway chicken and chips. We ate this as we watched the sun set. A lot of the walkers and runners that had just made it to the top gave us some very hungry looks and the occasional funny comment.


Alec and myself in 2016


Peta in 2011


One of the many views from Castle hill. This one looking over the water. Our hotel is the big white building on the right.

As you might already know we are not very good at sticking to plans. So why would Townsville be any different. It turned out that Peta’s sister Megan was in town for work. So plans were changed and we stayed a another day so we could catch up. Megan had to work the following day so Alec And I had a day to fill in. We went and had a look at the aquarium.IMG_7075IMG_7074IMG_7073IMG_7076

Megan and I were both keen to try and walk up Castle hill. We organised to meet up after she was finished at work and have a go. I wasn’t sure if I would make it. I had to carry Alec. Following the road up it was a 3 km to the top. I was surprised how well I did but was sore the next day.


Auntie Megan and Alec.


Hooray I made it. Alec isn’t getting any lighter.


Townsville at night. 

After our expensive but good stay in Townsville we had approximately a week to get to Cairns. The plan was to slowly travel north and explore some of the area between Townsville and Cairns.
We left Townsville and made good time. By lunch time we found ourselves in Ingham and started looking for a camp. North east of Ingham I found a caravan park in the coastal town of Lucinda. IMG_0261
This was lovely place and because I couldn’t decide where to go next we stayed the entire week. Lucinda had everything we needed. A clean and tidy caravan park with a pool, a playground only 20 metres away from our camp, a fish and chip shop 50 metres away and had ocean views.


We spent a bit of time here.


Alec made some new friends. We meet the Skinner family who are on a 2 year trip. You can follow they travellers here.


We even had a small markets in the park next to camp. 

Lucinda not only has a good caravan park and play ground but it also has a really cool jetty. It has the longest service jetty in the southern hemisphere. The jetty is for loading sugar and is 5.76 Kilometres long.IMG_7116


The sugar travels along the covered conveyor to the ship loader. It take 22 minutes to travel the length.

We had a really relaxing time in Lucinda. Alec’s Grandparents even stopped in for a night, as they made they way up to Cairns. With Alec and myself rested we are now ready the massive couple of weeks ahead.

Lesson learned of the week.

It is always wise to warm up and warm down after doing exercise, like carrying a 15 kilo Alec up a hill. I really suffered the couple days after our walk up Castle Hill. My legs and feet were really sore and tight after the walk. I actually had trouble walking.

Do you think I got any sympathy from Megan. No, she just laughed at my silly walking.

Eungella and Molongle Creek

After our rest we were ready for some more adventures. As we continued travelling north our next stop was almost the complete opposite to Clairview. We headed in to the mountains chasing the shy and elusive platypus.IMG_0258

Eungella national park is 80km west of Mackay and is famous for the platypus population that lives in the creeks. We got away from Clairview early and made good time. Bypassing Mackay completely, and taking some back roads. Traveling past rows of sugar cane ready to be cut.


As we got closer to Mackay the sugar cane started to appear.

Eungella national park is is part of the Clarke range, rising up to a height of around 1200 metres above see level. The drive up is very steep with a lot of corners, and for us very slow. The Mav doesn’t like hills especially when pulling a 2 ton camper trailer. But it did gives us time to take in the amazing view.


I do love a good warning sign. 


One of the many corners on the climb up.


If you ever wondered how the mav goes up a steep hills with camper on. Well this will give you a clue. Slowly.

We stayed two days and camped in the national park campground, located only a short walk to the platypus viewing area.


Our camp. There is a small dairy farm behind us.


The elusive Platypus. We actually saw a few over our stay.


The not so elusive turtle. Alec loves these little fellows.


We did a small bush walk.


It was little chilly. Had to break out the winter clothes.


This is the view from the Eungella chalet. Well worth a  stop for the view alone. The scones weren’t bad either.


Yes you did see a ramp in the last picture. Any one care to strap on some wings and have a go.

When it was time to leave we headed back to the coast and traveled north again. I original wanted to travel inland a little more and do a wide arch to Townsville. But I was low on food, water and nappies so decided to do the safe option a stay on the coast. I am glad we did. Our next stop was only meant to be a over nighter but ended up staying 2 nights.IMG_0259

Molongle creek caravan park was our next stop. We really only found this place by random chance. I had no idea where we would be stopping between Eungella and Townsville. I just knew we wouldn’t make it in one day.

After a couple hours of driving we stopped for lunch and I did some research on what our options were for the night. I found Molongle caravan park in a camping app I have on my phone. It was only 40km away and it didn’t get any bad reviews. Perfect.

What we found was a amazing little place with a interesting story behind it. The Molongle Creek Caravan Park in owned and run by the Molongle creek boat club. The club has been operating for over 50 years. The remarkable part is that over the the years the club has had to do major earth works and dredging to keep boat access open. A channel was developed in recent times to try and gain all tide access. This access point is vital for the residents of Cape upstart. Even though it is part on the main land is only assessable by boat. This has been done with very little financial help from government.


The end of the channel with the boat ramp. 


Molongle creek on the left the channel on the right. The channel has to be dredged regularly to keep it open.


One of the pieces equipment used for the dredging.


Not many boat clubs own a Bulldozer.


A resident trying to catch some prawns. I say trying, because he didn’t get any.

After a relaxing couple of days we headed to Townsville, where we did something a little different.

Caretakers of the week.

Many  caravan parks are run by caretakers. Molongle caravan park has Paul and Claire as caretakers. From the time we arrived to the time we left Paul and Claire made us feel welcome. They especially toke to Alec. Thank you for making our stay great.


Alec got spoilt. A popper, biscuit and the telly on. I only went to the office to pay for another days stay.


Alec got a play on Pauls mower. 

Rockhampton and Clairview

IMG_0255After such a long stay in Emerald I was keen to hit the road again. I think Alec was as well. Instead of heading north we traveled east. All the way back to the coast. Emerald is as far west as we will travel until later on in the year. Rockhampton was our next stop

I am fairly familiar with Rockhampton. A few years ago I was traveling to Rockhampton for work regularly. Staying 2-3 weeks at a time.

There is plenty to see and do around the area and I was planning on staying in Rockhamption for a number of days. But two things changed that. First one, we were running a little bit behind schedule. I didn’t want to leave our selves short for our run up to Cairns. The second thing, Alec picked up a runny nose and a cough from daycare and I was starting to feel a bit under the weather myself.


We stayed at a caravan park that is across the river from the centre of town. It’s a bit noisy but I like the view at night.

In the end we only stayed 2 days. The day we arrived we had dinner at the hotel I u to stay at when working in Rockhampton. I got to know the owners well and it was good to catch up. The next day we went to Rockhampton Zoo. By the time we had finished at the zoo, I was well and truly in man flu mode and Alec in snotty 2 year old mode. For the rest of the day and the next we spent wiping noises, coughing and general feeling crappy.


If you are looking for a place to stay or a  feed in Rockhampton than don’t go past the Cattle Inn and the Blue Heeler Restaurant.


Alec getting up and close to some wildlife.


Our first crocodile sighting for the trip. Glad it was behind a fence.

We left Rockhampton is search of a quite camp so we could rest and recover. I decided we needed so fresh sea air and made our way north up the coast to Clairview.IMG_0257
Clairview’s claim to fame is, that if traveling north it the first time the coast is visible from the highway since the gold coast 900km away. The highway runs only 300 metres away from the coast.

Clairview is not really a town. It is one street about 2km long. Running parallel with the coast. The highway and train line on one side and a single row of houses on the other side. It has a park with a craft shop and a caravan park, the BarraCrab.


The craft and second hand nick nack shop.


The home made biscuits weren’t bad. Our treat when on our bike ride. 

The BarraCrab was a little rough but nice. The un-power sites had a amazing view, and there is a bar and meals are available. Which we did take advantage of once. We stayed 3 days. Not doing much, playing and walking on the beach, a bike ride and not much else. Just what the doctor ordered.


The view from our camp.


The view just as good the other direction.


The beach in front of the camp ground.


Alec playing in the rock pools.


One of the many trains that pass though Clairview. We could here the trains from camp but not enough to bother us.

Dad joke of the week.


Geez. I not sure about the bike lanes up this way. Seems a bit dangerous.