Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lakefield National Park

Two nights in Cooktown allowed us to see the mouth of the Annan River. The first night was spent at The Peninsular Caravan Park. Here we hired a cabin for the night in order to let the camper dry out! Don chose to stay in his tent at the campsite.

Next day we packed up and went to explore some of Cooktown. We were late getting started so only managed to see a small number of the sitesb andnexperiences available.

The view from Mount Cook is magnificent. You are able to see the coral cays, sandy breaches and shallow water areas that Cook would have had to navigate through as he came in to the port with the Endeavour to attempt repairs to it.

We had been given some instructions by Nat Jaques to reach the Annan River mouth, where he said there were great camping spots.

A very narrow track leading through scrubland and forest eventually ended on a long sandy beach. Not a soul around!!! A right hand turn led to the Annan River.

Here we found a group of young people paraskiing on the mouth of the river. They had driven their vehicles onto the sandy peninsular out into the river mouth and were skiing the area just inside this spit.

We had already seen the biggest crocodile over over five meters further up the Annan River so felt this perhaps was foolhardy. However we thought they must be locals and therefore know which croc resided where. The water was quite shallow and they were flying up and down it!

On arrival at the Cooktown camp grounds for our second night, the owner told us there were plenty of resident crocs in the mouth of the river and to be very careful!!

Our advise was that we could access the 24/7 touchscreen Queensland National Park site to purchase our camping permits for Rinyirru (Lakeside) National Park. Needless to say we were again thwarted in our attempts to "do the right thing" and buy a permit! The touchscreen did indeed work, but the key pad to insert names and addresses was broken!

We decided Cooktown was a good place to get some freshly caught fish and were advised to eat at the bowling club. No courtesy bus was available on Sunday night, so we decided to order a taxi. At 6:30pm we rang the local taxi company, to be greeted with a message saying that if you wanted a taxi you had to have booked it prior to 2:00pm! As we had already set up camp for the night, it was decided that I would drive our car into town with the two guys squeezed in on the passenger seat. This caused some discomfort and a great deal of hilarity to and from the club. Dinner was delicious, so it was worth the pain!

The Lure Shop was eventually the pace that we could finally get that camping permit! A stern letter will be sent to the Queensland Govt, re the total inadequacy of this pre-booking system!!



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