Crossing the Bloomfield River

 

We left Cairns early and travelled towards the Daintree River.  Once across the river on the ferry, the road follows the coast through the Daintree National Park.  Cape Tribulation marks the beginning of the road known as the Bloomfield Track.  The 'track' is actually a well-maintained gravel road, but there are sections which make it very difficult for 2WD vehicles.  The road becomes extremely steep a couple of times, and occasionally there are shallow creeks to cross.  The Bloomfield River is reached just before the small community of Wujail Wujal.

Bloomfield Falls

Turn to the left just after crossing the Bloomfield River and follow the unmarked track for a kilometre or so to view the beautiful Bloomfield Falls.  There is a short walk from the car park, along the river's edge.

 

Black Mountain National Park

Once you leave the community, the rest of the Bloomfield Track is easy.  As you approach Cooktown you cannot miss the stark and sparsely vegetated black mounds of the Black Mountain National Park.  These huge boulders of black granite are worth stopping to admire.

 

Cooktown

 

Cooktown offers a number of accommodation options, including good grassed camping in the caravan parks.  The town has a rich history including some very profitable gold mining in the late 1800s.  The panoramic view near the Grassy Hill Lighthouse is spectacular and not to be missed.  Spending a few days in Cooktown is highly recommended.  The fishing is reputed to be excellent and the township itself is worth spending some time exploring.

 

Normanby River

Leaving Cooktown we followed the Battle-Camp Road and then turned towards the west to make our way into Lakefield National Park.  This huge park is Queensland's second largest and covers diverse woodland and wetland habitats.  Spend a few days exploring the waterholes and woodlands in this park.

Approaching Lake Emma in Lakefield NP

Horseshoe Lagoon

The rivers and wetlands are rich in birdlife and if you are interested, it offers excellent bird watching.  Be careful of large salt-water crocodiles in the rivers - there have been recent fatalities in the park.   Never swim in the inviting waterholes in Lakefield National Park.

Crocodiles at Horseshoe Lagoon

Catfish Waterhole

 

There are numerous designated camping areas and a small fee applies.  There are no facilities so travellers must carry plenty of water and supplies.   Fishing is popular, and for nature lovers and bird watchers there are excellent opportunities for sightings.  Fishing is permitted from all campsites and barramundi makes an excellent catch.  Regulations apply so check with the ranger about size and bag limits.

 

Orange Plain Waterhole

Large Termite Mounds

 

Termite mounds are obvious throughout the region.  Magnetic Termite mounds reach huge proportions.

Magnetic Termite Mounds

Red Lily Lagoon

There are a number of lagoons which teem with water birds, particularly around October each year.  These shallow lagoons can offer some surprising bird sightings at any time of the year.

Goanna

Hann River

 

We reluctantly left Lakefield National Park via the north-western corner past the beautiful Hann River, and shady Saltwater Crossing

Saltwater Crossing

Lotisbird Lodge Lagoon

 

Just outside the park boundary you can view Lotisbird Lodge's expansive lagoon.  This spot makes and excellent lunch stop, particularly for bird watching.  The Lodge itself offers good accommodation options if you are interested.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos

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