Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Tip and Punsand Bay

We started down the continuation road from Loyalty Beach on a very small dirt track towards Punsand Bay. We weren't sure if this was the right track but continued until we came to a deep creek crossing. We felt unsure about this so turned around before the water crossing.

On the corregated road back to the main thoroughfare Don's differential protection piece came unhinged. He radioed us with the message that he had something stuck under his car. So he stopped to get it out. In the next message he said, "Something's fallen out of the engine!"

Fortunately it wasn't that serious, so he removed the offending piece and placed in one of the roof containers, to be re-connected at a later date.

The roads to the Tip and other places of interest at the top were all being graded and renovated as we travelled. The roads are still very narrow with no overtaking or passing in most places. So we travelled very slowly in order to avoid the on-coming traffic.

The bush here is extraordinary. It is called Lockerbie Scrub and is very important in that it supports a very limited number of species of fauna and flora that are otherwise only found in New Guinea. It is also an importtant stepping stone for migratory birds. The scrub is really a series of rainforest patches interspersed with dry scrubland!!

The beach at the Tip! Can't see the Tip, yet!

Peter, walking the last section down to the point!

Here we are!! Having climbed over a lava hill, we finally reached the top of Australia!

We back tracked to stay at Punsand bay for two nights. A beautiful spot with small swimming pool. No dips in the sea anywhere here for us due to the resident saltwater crocodiles! The sea at Punsand is always murky, so you ave no chance of seeing what is in the water!


We took the opportunity to explore Somerset Beach and Fly Point. Somerset was the site of a pastoral station, copha plantation and pearly farming place in it's hey day. Not much left at all now. It seems it has all been souvenired by visitors!

Somerset had also been first official settlement and residence of the governor in the Northern Part of Australia. The governing settlement was moved to Thursday Island quite early on, as erosion, heat, termites took their toll on the new infrastructure.
Fly Point had been an RAAF base during the WWII. the reportedly a old airstrip there. The track leading to Fly Point was rough so we walked the 2 1/2 klms in and back out again. We couldn't really tell where the airbase had been and believed that yet again, much of what had been left had been souvenired!
Fly Point


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