Went to Coles at Airlie Beach to provision before we left. Out of interest I looked at the fish they were selling. Hardly anything was Australian let alone local. Barramundi from Thailand, Nile Perch from Tanzania, Basa from Malaysia. The only thing that might have been local was Black Tip Reef Shark (flake) and that is not one of the better flakes anyway and it didn’t look all that fresh. Plenty of farmed salmon from Tasmania as well.
Vicki was talking to people next to us in the caravan park, they told her they had been to Cape York however looking at them, their van and car I thought that highly unlikely. Later I overheard them talking to other people and it appears that their version of reaching Cape York was to take the Cooktown road from Cairns and stop when the bitumen ended at Cape Tribulation. Still when they get home it will make a good story!
Left Airlie mid morning Monday making for Toomulla Beach campground, a free camping area that had been recommended to us. The traffic on the Bruce H’way was heavy and I cannot wait to leave it behind (if we ever do). Townsville has developed a real urban sprawl with multiple new housing developments, all looking the same and all crammed together on small allotments. We didn’t like the look of it at all.
There are just so many places to see that if we called into all of them we would never get north so reluctantly we are having to put a lot of places into the “next time” basket. We are not really interested in so called tourist attractions, it is the people and places that are more of interest.
Toomulla Beach, 24 kilometres north of Townsville is a collection of about thirty fishing shacks. No shop or anything but a good free campground with a maximum 2 day stay limit that is enforced by rangers. It is good that the stay limit is enforced as it is a busy camp site and was pretty full the two nights we spent there.
Right behind the campground is a mangrove creek where we again tried our luck at fishing but again we were unsuccessful at fishing but very successful at attracting the sand flies. We both got very thoroughly bitten!
At low water we crossed the creek and fossicked on the beach for shells and coral. In all we spent a very enjoyable day at this camp. Tuesday night several groups came in en route to Cape York. Two camper trailers in one group, 4 Landcruisers (all guys) in another and yet another consisting of three identical Jayco Expanda caravans. Perhaps they will have the “house full” sigh up by the time we get there.
Left Toomulla Wednesday morning with the weather starting to close in. We try to make camp by no later than mid afternoon because all the free camping sites in this part of the world are heavily used and it is not wise to leave making camp until late in the day. Stopped at Cardwell for diesel, which at $1.259 was the cheapest we had found. Cardwell was very pretty with shops on one side of the street and the ocean on the other.
We want to spend a few days in Cairns however there are no free camping areas close in to Cairns. There is a cheap camping ground 25 kilometres north of Cairns that we will try and get into. So today we made camp at Babinda which leaves us with only a 75 kilometre run tomorrow to the ground as if we are to have any chance of getting a place we need to be there by mid morning.
It has been raining heavily since we left Toomulla Beach, in fact I’m a bit concerned that my thongs may float away from beside the door during the night here at Babinda. Once again this camp site has filled up quickly with all variety of vehicle from a camper trailer to huge motor homes towing large vehicles. There is also the largest caravan we have ever seen.