We’ve just returned from a magical week in Karumba.
Highlights were the fishing, the sunsets, our new ‘grey nomad’ friends and the lovely hospitality at the Karumba Point Tourist Park.
Photos here –
Fishing clip here -
Boys fishing and camping trip with Shean to the Annie River and Lakefield National Park.
Video here -
Great day out on the reef with Jenn, Reecey & Naithan.
Video here –
On the 22nd July 2011, Jenn, Shean and I commenced our first trip to Annie River at the top of Lakefield National Park. We stayed for two nights and fished the river system, walked the lagoons on the Five Mile and met some lovely people from country Victoria.
Video here –
An enjoyable morning on the water with Jenn & Shean.
Video here –
We have just returned from a fantastic camping trip to Pennefather River, located north of Weipa.
Day one consisted of a long day of driving from Cairns to Weipa. We stayed overnight at the Weipa Camping Ground in a cabin and enjoyed a pub meal at the Weipa Bowls Club. The Prado had a staked tyre on the way up so we had to change a flat tyre in the morning.
The trip from Weipa to Pennefather River took about two and a half hours. The majority of the road was in great condition but the final stretch had severe corrugations followed by the challenging sandy “swamp track” to the river mouth. We dropped the tyre pressures of the car and boat trailer to 16psi.
The camping area on the river mouth has spectacular scenery but you may also choose to camp on the beach or further down the river. We launched the boat just outside of a natural lagoon situated just inside the mouth of the river. This lagoon holds three large crocodiles that are very timid. Over the course of the week, we only once saw the head (large!) of one of the crocodiles watching me cast for bait during a low tide and a few sets of “red eyes” when spot lighting at night.
Shower water from a bore is available from a tap/hose in front of Ranger Pete’s house and he said to take as much as we like.
There are two toilets under construction in the camp site area but they are not completed at this stage. There are a few existing toilets set up by previous campers but these cannot be relied upon.
Fishing during the week we were there was not that “hot” and we, along with the other campers, had more luck/action fishing from shore than in the boat. Using live bait caught in the lagoon, people were catching queenfish, trevally and big sharks at the mouth of the river. Talking to other campers, they report further up the river can produce barramundi, mangrove jack, queenfish, trevally, salmon and other species when the weather is good. However, you must be prepared to head far up the river (5km). Manta rays and sharks jumping from the water are a regular occurrence. The westerly winds were blowing hard for most of the week for us which limited our access to the river. We did get out of the mouth early one morning to the reefs just offshore and had our popper lures followed up on several occasions. People do regularly catch coral trout and other reef fish just hundreds of metres off the beach.
Many of the campers brought along four wheeler motorbikes and these were perfectly suited for the area. For example, they can head over to the lagoon to cast for bait the head over to the mouth for fishing. They can head down to the beach to watch the turtle eggs hatching at night or explore one of the many tracks in the area. If I had a choice between a boat & four wheeler bike for Pennefather, I’d choose the bike.
The weather at this time of the year was good overall but we did experience one huge tropical thunderstorm with lightning cracking overhead and massive downpours over the course of almost an hour. Luckily the OzTent was up to the task!
I also used a Spot GPS Satellite Messenger for the first time and had mixed results. I used it to mark points of interest and send a daily “check-in” email to family & friend. I’ve included the link to my Spot map below.
All in all, a fantastic spot and one that I look forward to returning to over the coming years.
Photos here – http://ozmatrix.com/gallery/v/holidays/penne10
Video here –
Earlier this week, Jenn & I made the trek into Lakefield National Park for a quick camping and fishing trip.
Lakefield is one of Queensland’s most remote and magnificent national parks. Lakefield’s outstanding feature is a vast river system creating the wetlands area of permanent waterholes, lakes and lagoons for which the park is particularly renowned. In the wet season, the Normanby, Morehead and North Kennedy rivers and their tributaries break their banks and combine to cover vast areas and sheets of water. In the dry season, they shrink back to a trickle, leaving behind the permanent lakes and lagoons that characterise the park.
On advice from friends, we chose the Orange Plain campsite located at the top of the park. We towed the boat and the drive up took just over seven hours with stops. The highlight of the trip was Jenn catching her first ever barramundi. Unfortunately, I lost a good sized barra when it cut the mono trace right at the side of the boat (see video)! The campsite has no facilities so you need to be totally self-sufficient. We took all our own food, fuel, water (over 100lt) and mechanical/recovery equipment for the vehicle. It is a fantastic site and very secluded in comparison to the popular Kalpower & Hann Crossing sites. Highly recommended!
Highlights video here -
Jenn and I ventured out to Batt Reef for our first time in search of large Giant Trevallies (GTs) …
Photos here – http://ozmatrix.com/gallery/v/camping/batt01
I smashed the coral trout with my new Daiwa fishing rod & reel combo!
Photos here – http://ozmatrix.com/gallery/v/camping/sudbury04
Another successful fishing trip out on Sudbury Reef with my brothers!
Photos here – http://ozmatrix.com/gallery/v/camping/sudbury02
My girlfriend and I have just returned from a week at Chilli Beach, Portland Roads and Lockhart River which are part of the Iron Range National Park in Cape York.
Highly recommended destination!
Photos here - http://www.ozmatrix.com/gallery/v/holidays/cape09
Video here -
Qld Parks & Wildlife Information
Iron Range National Park is a remote scenic park situated on far northern Cape York Peninsula. It is a coastal park with long sweeping beaches and rocky outcrops while inland are the rugged hills of the Janet and Tozer ranges.
The park is of world significance as it has the largest area of remnant lowland rainforest in Australia. This isolated rainforest supports eclectus parrots, palm cockatoos, cassowaries, green pythins and spotted cuscus. Other plant communities within the park include open forest, mangroves and extensive heathlands.
The main access to the park is via the Portland Roads Road, 20km north of the Archer River Roadhouse on the Peninsula Development Road. From the turn off, it is 110km to the park.
Fuel and food can be obtained at Lockhart River, an Aboriginal community.
Camping us allowed near the Claudie River and Gordon Creek crossings and the northern end of Chilli Beach. With the exception if toilets at Chilli Beach and Cooks Hut, campground facilities are not provided. A camping permit is required and can be obtained from the Iron Range ranger base or from the self registration shelter at Chilli Beach. Campers must be self-sufficient.
Cape York Guide Information
Camping here is tops and if you have a small boat the islands offshore are readily accessible. Birdwatching and walking the beach at low tide are very enjoyable ways to spend a few days here. You can no longer drive along the beach as it is prohibited by the QPWS. The long, wide sweep of beach is crossed by a number of streams and the beach fishing is good.
The beach here is wide and long and fringed with palms, truly a magical spot, although the wind doesn’t seem to stop blowing. If possible, try and keep out of the wind. You’ll find it much more pleasant amongst the trees.
1. The Roads
Great condition with work crews working on multiple sections of the roads all week.
Either side of Musgrave Station was heavily corrugated but the rest was comfortable driving between 90-100km/hr.
Stayed in the campgrounds next to the General Store with a powered site – nice spot on grassy ground for $20/night.
Great counter meal at the “Sexchange Hotel”, located just down the road from the campgrounds.
Watch out for Brumbies when travelling on the roads up here.
I came extremely close to having one run into the Prado (left to right) and saw a guy’s ute in Coen who ran into one on his way over from Weipa.
If travelling into Lockhart River, be advised that you cannot carry any alcohol in your vehicle as it is a designated dry community.
Heavy fines apply if you break this rule!
5. Lockhart River
Typical Aboriginal community and the store does have all the basics if you run out of food/drink.
6. Chilli Beach
Gorgeous beach with campsites located just off in the rainforest providing shelter from the winds.
$5/person per night camp fees – cheap.
Chemical toilets located in close proximity to campsites.
Your better half will enjoy the walks along the beach at low tide!
7. Portland Roads
The most picturesque community area I think I have ever had the privilege to visit.
The reef extends right to the shore, the waters are crystal clear and the fishing around the offshore islands is spectacular.
There is a bore available near the public toilets for your jerries (shower/washing usage only).
A group of us took out Mick’s boat on Sunday to spend a lovely day fishing and swimming at Sudbury Reef.
We took home a good feed of Coral Trout and Sweetlip though all of the “keepers” were caught by Nick and Mel!
Photos here – http://ozmatrix.com/gallery/v/camping/sudbury01/