We made it to The Tip! Yes, it’s worth the effort to get there. It is an amazing experience standing at the very top of the Australian mainland. Now, keep in mind it is just the most northern point of the mainland, so there are islands only a short distance away. Some of them, like Thursday Island, can be accessed by ferry.
We started off the day packing up camp on the northern bank of the Jardine River. Our camp there ended up serving us well – the old shed (likely a shelter from back in the days the telegraph line had workers maintaining it) kept the rain out in the evening and by morning it was clear.
We headed from our campsite to Bamaga, which is the main town in the area. We were all quite excited by the thought at stopping in at the bakery for fresh bread and other goodies, as those in the convoy who did the trip 6 years ago highly recommended it, but unfortunately it has closed. We found the IBIS Supermarket well priced with quality fresh fruit and vegetables – even quite a good range. The staff were all very friendly, too. I would certainly recommend restocking your food supply at this store and supporting the local community. The BP service station had a good selection of tasty treats ranging from the usual chocolates and chips you’ll find at a servo to sweet slices and hot food. They also run a “Cheap Thursday” for fuel prices. There are dogs wandering around the town, and we even spotted a few horses on the way out of town heading to Seisia.
We quickly stopped off at Seisia and admired the view from the boat ramp. The water there is amazingly blue! It would be so tempting to throw out a towel on the sand and soak in the sun, but sadly the risk from crocodiles prevents you from doing so.
From Seisia we headed our way up to the Tip. We stopped off at the Croc Tent on the way past and I’d highly recommend it if you’re after souvenirs. They have a great range of t-shirts, postcards, fridge magnets, and many other novelty items.
The carpark at the Tip (also known as Pajinka) was busy when we arrived. When you arrive you have the option to walk overt he rocks or along the beach (if the tide allows) to get to the very tip and take the obligatory photo with the sign. We chose to walk over the rocks. I highly recommend taking sun protection into account as it’s very easy to get burnt with no shade from the sun. The view walking up there was incredible! Once again, the water is crystal clear and beautifully blue.
We explored a little around the area, looking at the ruins of the old Pajinka Wilderness Resort, the Lockerbie ruins, and even stumbled across a pretty awesome tree tower hidden away!
We ended our day setting up camp at the Loyalty Beach campground. I can highly recommend this spot! After several days of bush camping on the Old Telegraph Track it was greatly appreciated to have a nice hot shower and a night off cooking. We had a drink and dinner at the bar area on the beach at sunset. This spot is paradise! The party lights strung between trees, the tables on the beach and Bali-style hut make it an incredibly relaxing place to be. I definitely recommend spending a bit of time unwinding here.