Out of town
We headed out of town today for the Hopevale Aboriginal community, about 60km north of the river. Pleasant drive along a sealed road out to the Community. Once through the town though the road reverted to gravel winding its way through undulating country behind the coastal sand dunes. We were on our way to Elim Beach. The Community operates a fairly basic camping ground out there, no power and limited water. But great shaded camping sites overlooking the beach. Very quiet here! Apart from generators.
We initially started walking along the beach to the coloured cliffs but it was going to take a while so Allthego trotted back and got the truck and we took it along the waterline to the cliffs. Very vibrant mix of sand colours in the cliff lines. Elim Beach is the place where a Lutheran pastor established an aboriginal mission community in the 1930s, very isolated back then. With the outbreak of WW11 the pastor was interred as a German citizen and the community was broken up and forcibly moved to Woorabinda, inland from Rockhampton, where they were mixed in with many other aboriginal groups in a settlement. This was not a popular move for the displaced people! After the war there was a lot of agitation to return to Elim and finally a group was repatriated and the township of Hopevale was established.
Elim Beach is a place one could easily return to for a few days of isolation and reflection! On our way back we called in at Isabella Falls. These are a popular water hole, no crocs. There was a small flow of water across the road and a gentle waterfall into a pool. In the wet one could imagine this to flow spectacularly.
Back towards town we headed south down the Mulligan Highway to the turn off to Archers Point, another wander along gravel roads for 20or 30 km; lost track now of the distance. Archers Point is out on the coast, a quiet secluded place with a creek outlet into a bay with rocky shores and an offshore island. Plenty of people out here in vans free camping on the beach and headlands. “Doing time for Queensland” one of the chaps told me. He and the wife were parked on a cliff looking out to sea and the island, taking in the fresh air. Looks a good spot to visit another time.
We then headed back to Cooktown to wrap up camp and prepare for the next stage of the journey north the next morning up the Cape to Laura.