Our last few days have been based at the Loyalty Beach Campground. This spot is perfect after bush camping on the Old Telegraph Track! We took advantage of the facilities and caught up on the basics like laundry, and also enjoyed a few nights off cooking dinner at DJ’s Garden Bar. The bar is such a special spot – picture party lights strung between trees, timber tables spread out over the lawn, all overlooking the beach. They have a fish and chip special on Sunday nights which is very popular.
Having the campground as our base we were free to explore the Northern Peninsula areas over the next few days without the hassle of packing up camp every morning. Somerset ruins and the beach are worth a look. There are a couple graves on the Somerset Beach, and the ruins are a reminder of just how remote this area would have been in days gone by.
The point overlooking Albany Island, just before the start of the Five Beaches track, is interesting to explore. There’s oysters on the rocks, crabs scurrying about in the rocks, plenty of pumice stone washed up, and we were even lucky enough to see a few marine creatures (we believe dugongs perhaps) pop a fin out of the water to wave hello.
Unfortunately we were a bit pushed for time when we reached the Five Beaches track near the end of our 9th day. I strongly recommend allowing a couple hours to explore this track – it’s a gorgeous area and is interesting driving across the sand dunes and bays then up into the trees. It really is a place where the bush meets the beach.
Our itinerary for Day 10 started with an amazing helicopter ride from Loyalty Beach to the Tip. I cannot recommend this experience more highly! The views from the sky over the mainland beaches and the islands were simply stunning, and we even saw a crocodile sunning himself on the beach somewhere between Loyalty Beach and Punsand Bay. If you’re toying with the idea of doing a flight, do yourself a favour and just go! I wouldn’t recommend any less than 30 minutes either – the time passes so quickly when you’re up there taking it all in!
After driving to Punsand Bay for a look around we discovered a mechanical issue with one of the vehicles. The Landcruiser needed new suspension bushes which thankfully were in stock in Bamaga. After spending a bit of time on the repairs we were left with just enough daylight to head out to the plane wrecks near the Bamaga airport. The wreck of the DC3 is in a little better condition, with the Bristol Beaufort Mark VIII looking like it has a few pieces missing. Both plane wrecks have plaques, but only the DC3 is specific to that plane with names listed of those who died, the date and time of the crash, etc. Even if you’re not mechanically minded or interested in history from wartime Australia I’d still recommend taking a look at these wrecks.
We finished the day enjoying sunset on the beach at Seisia for the sake of some photo opportunities.
Today we’re heading south back over the Jardine. I will miss this part of the Cape, I think. There is something endearing about the area and the local community here. It definitely is a special part of our great country.