Monday, August 8, 2011

To Musgrave Roadhouse (06.08.11)

Endeavour Falls
After a wet Friday and a very blustery night we woke today to a fine day.  We were so pleased as we had to pack up the tent today and move on.  It didn’t take too long to repack and we were on our way.  We used the 4wd itinerary in the “Explore Australia – The Complete 4WD guide” and decided that our first stop would be Musgrave Roadhouse or nearby at one of the campsites in the Lakefield National Park.

 Isabella Falls
Horseshoe Lagoon
We left Cooktown by 9.30 am and our first stop was the Endeavour Falls. These falls have a very nice camping ground and general store and a walk through the camping ground takes you to the falls.  Permission has to be sought to access the camping ground but this was willingly given for a donation.  The walk to the falls only takes about 3-4 minutes but is worthwhile as the falls are quite spectacular.  The camping ground only had one caravan in but appeared to have a tour group staying in the units.  There were a few of the local Aborigine families at the shop which seemed to stock everything anyone could want.
Twenty two kilometres from Cooktown and we commenced on the gravel road.  During the day the road varied from a little bitumen, to red dust, heavy metal and bull dust (white light sand mixture which is very dusty).  We had six river/creek crossings and numerous other creek crossings which were dry.  The first creek crossing was at Isabella Falls which again were pretty spectacular.  Our photo is taken after we had crossed the creek.  We were now in the Lakefield National Park.  There are a number of camping sites along the way and we stopped at Horseshoe Lagoon Camping area for our lunch.  The lagoon had white lilies growing on it and there were heaps of magpie swans (named this because they are black and white).  We were the only people at the lagoon and it was really peaceful.

We continued on to the Old Laura Homestead – this was originally a cattle station from 1879 and was last lived in 1966. The homestead is open to the public but is in quite a dilapidated condition and has the outside of the house barred up with chicken wiring mesh. There is separate accommodation which was the Aboriginal workers accommodation. The original slaughter house and meat house are also still standing.
 Isabella Falls before we crossed the river
We stopped off at Red Lily Lagoon aptly named for the red lilies that grow in the billabong. Obviously the season is now finished but we did see at least three of the lilies which to us were pink rather than red. We could only imagine now amazing the area must look when all the lilies are in flower. Another lagoon was called White Lily Lagoon which takes no imagination as to the reason for the name. The white lily is the most common and the majority of the billabongs are covered in them. We also stopped at Low Lake, not sure why it was named this, but it was huge and again we were the only people there. Throughout the whole day we only saw seven other vehicles travelling the same direction as us and about the name number going the other direction.
Our first crossing for the day Lakefield National Park track
Packed ready to go
As it was starting to get late in the day we wondered about camping for the night. It is necessary to complete a self registration at one of the kiosks before camping at any of the areas and the cost is $5.15 per person. We had chosen, from the right up, the Sweetwater Camping Area but when we got there the track was so bad we turned around and gave a miss on it. We then continued the further forty kilometres into Musgrave and tonight we are staying at the Roadhouse. They have a paddock attaced to the roadhouse which is available for campers @ $10 per person per night with showers and toilets. Sounded perfect to us. We soon had the tent up and dinner cooking. There are about forty other camping groups here tonight and I guess most will move on tomorrow, either further up the Cape or take either the road we came on to Cooktown or a second road to Laura and further south which is the more common road.

The weather has settled and it is nearly 8 pm and I am sitting outside, without a sweatshirt - can you believe? This is my kind of weather.

Again Peter’s experience at 4wdriving has come to the fore today so I just might keep him on in the driver’s seat. We have travelled 280 km s today with 95% of this being considered a 4wd only road.

Isabella Falls from the other side
 Isabella Falls from Cooktown side
Isabella Falls
777  Track we followed Lakefield National Park
Conditions deteriorated @ lunch time
Horseshoe Lagoon
Old Laura Homestead
The origional Truck Vehicle remains Old Laura Homestead
Aboriginal quarters Old Laura Homestead
Staff accommodation
Termite mounds Lakefield National Park
Trying to capture dust behind
Dust follows
 Lakefield National Park
Termite mound Lakefield National Park
White lillies
Red lily lagoon
 Red lily lagoon info
Red lily
Road is now brown instead of red dust
One of the many water crossings
Another water crossing
 Termite mounds
 Low Lake information
Low Lake, Lakefield National Park
 Inside a termite mound
Too hard to get to this campsite
Time to turn around
How far is it from Lakefield National Park
 Dinner prep Musgrave Roadhouse
Dinner at Musgrave Roadhouse camping ground
Our campsite Musgrave Roadhouse
Musgrave Roadhouse
Diesel available at Musgrave Roadhouse

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