Lakefield & Archer River (9-10 July)

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July 19th 2010
Published: July 19th 2010
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We left Cooktown and drove out on the Hopevale Road again in the morning, but this time took the left turn instead to travel up 'The Cape” via Lakefield NP. Initially we had thought we'd stay at Kalpowar Crossing as several guidebooks mentioned it being a beautiful spot to camp. However we had called from Cooktown and spoke to the ranger there who told us that it was not a good camp area to get trailers into. So we decided to head to Hann Crossing to camp. On the way we stopped at the old Laura Homestead.

We also stopped at White Lily and Red Lily Lagoons, which were magnificent and very picturesque with plenty of bird life (magpie geese, egrets, cormorants, red-tailed black cockatoos).

The site we found on the Hann River was a bit far from the toilet but it was very peaceful and close to the bank. Luckily the bank was steep so the entry and exit points for the crocs would be too hard for them to attempt a midnight visit! That evening we did see a bright pair of croc eyes just downstream from where our spot was and there were lots of splashes overnight in the river - so there were definitely large beasties around. At the actual crossing the river was spread over a good area with small flowing sections of water so we had a good explore up and around the crossing in the late afternoon.

A family from Hay, in NSW camped in the same camp area and shared the fire with us after dinner. Jacob, their son, took Annelies and Thomas toad busting and had lots of success. Later in the evening Laurence, Mia and Jacob took Annelies and Thomas on a toilet run. On the way back to camp they were stalked by a dingo who was quite comfortable getting closer and closer to the group. The dingo gave up eventually and they arrived back at camp safe.

The next morning we drove northwest to the Peninsula Development Road, stopping at Low Lake, which is still in Lakefield NP. We briefly stopped at Musgrave Roadhouse and then refuelled at Coen where we passed on a hello to the publicans (Margaret & Bruce), who Norma has known for many years. We ended up pulling into Archer River Roadhouse around 2pm to camp for the evening and caught up with the family we'd met in Hann Crossing. In the late afternoon we went down to the crossing for a swim. It was a hugely popular spot, with a big group of Indigenous kids and adults swimming and several other travellers and their families enjoying the cool waters in safe(?) swimming territory. The children were all having a brilliant time floating in the current under the actual bridge of the crossing. It took a lot of cajoling to get them out of the water when it was time to go up and get some dinner ready.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Hann River campsiteHann River campsite
Hann River campsite

Annelies at rest
Archer River RoadhouseArcher River Roadhouse
Archer River Roadhouse

Cattle sneeking into campground
Archer RiverArcher River
Archer River

Enjoying the swing with Jacob
Archer RiverArcher River
Archer River

Hmmm, safety in numbers?

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