Batavia Goldfield Ruins Campground (Free Camp)

Address: Portland Road, Lockhart Qld
Location Description: Turn off is approximately 18km east of the intersection of Portland Rd and Peninsula Development Road. It is approximately 1km drive along the track till you get to the first campsite.
Cost: Free
Type: Campground
Website:
Features:
  • Tents
  • Camper Trailers
  • 4WD Access
  • Dog Friendly
  • Generators
  • Fires Permitted
  • No Phone Reception
  • Dingos
  • Bush Walking
  • Motor Bikes

Description:

Batavia Goldfield Ruins Camping Area is on the road out to Portland Roads, Chilli Beach and Lockhart River.

The area is Queensland State Heritage Listed so it is essential that the area is treated with respect and looked after as it played a significant role in the development of the area.

The drive in is relatively easy with no serious obstacles, there are however a number of washouts and fallen trees to navigate through the by passes that have been made by other visitors. Some of the bypasses can be a tight squeeze. Whilst the track is wide enough for a camper trailer I would only suggest it if you are super keen on seeing the actual ruins. Caravans would be out due to the tight turns. This is 4wd only primarily due to clearance.

There are no designated spots for camping so you will see a number of little ‘driveways’ off the track to little sites, suitable for a maximum of 2 cars with rooftops, swags or small tents. Most of these have partial shade and existing fire pits.

If you head past these and toward the ruins (about 1 km) you will come to the first lot of old machinery and ruins. This has a large open area with a firepit in the middle and would be suitable for a group. Whilst this area has heaps of cool stuff to go look at there is no shade available.

The area ranges from sand to hard fine dirt which would require alot of work to get pegs into.

This is a free camp so there are no amenities, water or rubbish disposal facilities. So please ensure that you camp responsibly.


About The Area:

Batavia Goldfield (now known as Wenlock Goldfield) was officially proclaimed in 1892 following the discovery of gold by William Baird at Retreat Creek, a tributary of the Wenlock River. Later three camps were establish, Top Camp (Plutoville), Bairdsville and Lower Camp (Wenlock)

The significance of the area to Queensland history and heritage has seen it become heritage listed. This is some interesting information on the area:
- Historically the most productive area in Cape York in the Depression years of the early 1930's.
- Aborigines (Pluto, Kitty Pluto, Friday Wilson) played significant roles in discovering and working the mining claims.
- Kitty Pluto is the only woman recorded as discovering a goldfield in Queensland.
- The remains of the Huntington mill is rare and the most intact of the two recorded in North Queensland.
- All portable mining equipment was removed by Australian Armed Forces during WWII. In an tactical effort to deny the enemy of resources that could be used to advance them.


Nearby Attractions:

Batavia Goldfield is on the road to a few iconic attractions of Cape York.

It is on the main road out to Lockhart River, Portland Roads and Chilli beach.

Portland Road marks the eastern end of the famous Frenchmans track.


Closest Town And Distance: Archer River Roadhouse - Approx 52km

What We Liked: The history of the area and all the remaining machinery that was left around to go discover.

What We Didn't Like: The limited shade in the main camping area.

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Alau Beach Campgrounds

Address: Namok Road, Umagico, Cape York
Location Description: The campground is located at the end of Namok Road in Umagico. When you are trying to get in there you are best to use Google Maps over Hema. You will get navigated to the lodge section but if you continue on to the foreshore you will see signs pointing left towards the campground.
Cost: Fees apply
Type: Campground
Features:
  • Tents
  • Camper Trailers
  • Caravans
  • Disabled Access
  • 2WD Access
  • 4WD Access
  • Dog Friendly
  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • Bins
  • Drinking Water
  • Powered Sites
  • Generators
  • BBQ
  • Fires Permitted
  • Phone Reception
  • Kiosk
  • Laundry
  • Information
  • Crocodiles
  • Marine Stingers
  • Dingos
  • Alcohol Restrictions
  • Boat Ramp
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Bush Walking
  • Bike Riding
  • Motor Bikes

Description:

As you drive down the road towards the beachfront you will see that the signs on Bamaga Road saying “Alau Campgrounds, a Magical Place” is spot on. With views over the Torres Strait and its islands it truly is a magical place.

Alau Campgrounds is nestled away on beach at Umagico. It is alot less crowded than some of the other commercial camping areas I can only guess this is because not alot of people have heard of it or because it is not as close to some of the attractions as the others.

The campground offers absolute beachfront camping areas or ones tucked in between the trees. All campsites had a grass base that may die down during the tourist season but was lovely and green when we went.

There are a few communal camp kitchens with basic facilities: seating, a sink, a bench and power. There are also wood BBQs and fire pits scattered through the park that had stacks of wood supplied.

There are powered sites but these are not on the beach, if you are running solar it is important to note that there is alot of trees in the campground so it may be hard to get sufficient sun to keep up with your power needs.

If you are travelling in a larger group there are also powered huts available on the beachfront which have their own basic kitchen set up and seating.

Besides the magical view and lovely grounds Alau Campgrounds has one other major bonus, it is one of two campgrounds that have a swimming pool. There is limited safe areas to swim north of the Jardine, having a swimming pool at your campsite is a pretty cool luxury. The swimming pool was built in the wet season of 2018, is fully fenced and deck chairs it is a great asset of the campground.

There is also a boat ramp just up the road, you can see it as you drive in you would be able to launch your boat from there and leave it moored up on the beach out front of the campground. You will see locals do this further up the beach. This makes it easy to jump in and enjoy a trip out into the Torres Strait to catch dinner.

If you are into fishing but don’t have a boat you could catch something off the beachfront.

There are coin operated washing machines and heaps of clothes line space so you can catch up on all that red dust washing.

There is limited mobile reception at the park but your best chance is with Telstra.

Note: Alau Campground falls within the Alcohol Restriction area of the Northern Peninsula Area. For details on the alcohol restrictions in this area visit the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Partnerships.

BOOKING – For information on how to book and any current specials please visit the Alau Beach Campgrounds Facebook page.


About The Area:

Umagico, was orginally named Alau and locally is still known as such. It was one of many Aboriginal camping areas on the north western coast of Cape York. Nowdays, it is one of the five communities that make up the Northern Peninsula Area of Cape York

The name Alau was given to the area by one of the founding families the Williams that did not wish to live in the Injinoo community.


Nearby Attractions:

Umagico has its own supermarket that you will pass on your way in, it has a good range of products including fresh produce and is a suitable place to replenish your food.

There is also some sporting fields and playgrounds in the community.

Whilst 'The Tip' is a 40km drive, other attractions are close by:
- Mutee Head radar tower
- Mouth of the Jardine River
- WWII Plane Crash Sites

It is 13km from Seisia Wharf which is a great place for fishing and the pickup point for island tours.


Closest Town And Distance: Umagico, Cape York -1km

What We Liked: Alau Campground really is a great campground with lovely grounds but the highlight for us and I am sure everyone that visits would be the magnificent views and the swimming pool. The appeal of being able to moor your boat on the beach was also a big selling point.

What We Didn't Like: We have heard mixed reports that at times there has been loud music from houses in the community. This however this is something that can happen anywhere, especially free camps where the campsite right next to you could party all night long.

Video Review:

Photos:

Cyprus Day Use Area (Jackey Jackey Creek)

Cyprus Day Use Area offers great picnic areas and fresh water swimming.

Address:

Northern Peninsula Area, Cape York Queensland

Location Description:

Access to the track to Cyprus Day Use Area is off Bamaga Road. On the right approx 17.9 km from the Jardine River Crossing if you are heading north, or approx 25km on the left if you are heading south from Bamaga.

The track is an easy drive which is suitable for all drivers even those with limited 4wd experience. It also does not require any major modifications to your vechile. There is some wash outs to navigate when you first enter the track then it changes to a sandy base.

Important note: If you are using a Hema map it has the area listed as Jackey Jackey Creek with a camping icon. We were advised by locals that it is only day use.

Cost:

Free

Type:

Day Use Area

Website:

Features:

  • Bins
  • Swimming
  • Picnic area
  • Fires permitted

Description:

Cyprus is located on one of the fresh water tributaries of Jackey Jackey Creek in Cape York. The cool fresh water and shaded picnic areas makes Cyprus Day Use Area a cracker spot to spend a day in Cape York.

There is a nice beach area with varying depths of water located just in front of the picnic area which would be suitable for sitting in and enjoying a drink or for children under supervision.

If you walk upstream a little you will find a fallen tree over some deep water which is great fun to jump from. You can also float down the creek from here to the beach.

REMEMBER YOU ARE IN CAPE YORK AND BE CROC SAFE AT ALL TIMES.

When you drive in you will see that there is plenty of open space and provided that there is not alot of other people already there, there is enough space to turn around if you are towing.

Surrounding the large open area there are lots of areas that shaded areas to set up for a picnic lunch or even a BBQ. We would suggest that you bring in some chairs or a blanket to sit on as it is a sandy base and no real grass covering the area. There was evidence of previous fire pits in the area, so we assume that they are allowed.

There is a bin in the day use area but if it is full please take your rubbish with you as there is wild pigs in the area and they will make a real mess.

There are NO toilets so you will need to act responsibly. Remember that this is a waterway that others will want to enjoy. If you are digging a hole make sure it is well away from the water and picnic area, burn your paper and cover it properly. Feral animals will dig up waste and unburnt paper. For the ladies bag your toilet paper and take it with you or put it in the bin. Lets not risk losing an awesome place to spend your day.

What we liked:

Besides the awesome place to swim, the accessibility of the area.

What we didn’t like:

There was already rubbish in the area and we visited in February. Lets keep it clean and keep it open.

Photos:

Sadd Point Campground

Address: Jardine River Resource Reserve, on the east coast of the Northern Peninsula Area.
Location Description: Take the turnoff to Ussher Point which is located on Bamaga Road approximately 13 kms north of the Jardine River Ferry Crossing. Head along the track for approximately 56 kms where you will come to an intersection there is a QPWS ‘camping’ sign pointing right this leads to Ussher Point you need to keep left. You will then follow this track for approximately another 17 kms then turn right at the intersection and you are on your way. Strangely enough we found that Google Maps gave us a more accurate indication of where we actually were, Hema had us showing on the track but we were actually on the other side of a lake.
Cost: Fees apply
Type: Campground
Features:

  • Tents
  • 4WD Access
  • Generators
  • Fires Permitted
  • No Phone Reception
  • Crocodiles
  • Marine Stingers
  • Dingos
  • Boat Ramp
  • Fishing
  • Bush Walking
  • Look Out
  • Motor Bikes


Description:

Sadd Point is located within the Jardine River Resource Reserve on the east coast of the Northern Peninsula Area of Cape York. There is a beach on the northern end of the point and a freshwater creek on the southern end. The point overlooks the Great Barrier Reef Coastal Marine Park with a number of islets in the distance. All of which would make for a spectacular sunrise for those early morning people.

With the management of the area in progress of transitioning back to Traditional Owners we are uncertain if the area will be accessible in the future. Sadd Point is north of QPWS managed Ussher Point however there is no facility to book a campsite through the QPWS booking system. Prior to visiting Sadd Point we confirmed that camping was permitted with Heathlands Rangers however, we strongly suggest that if you are considering camping there contact Heathlands Rangers to confirm if the camping area is still open prior to visiting.

Access to Sadd Point is 4WD only and not used as much so overgrown bushes, fallen trees and branches and termite mounds can be found in the middle of the track make it a slower run. You will more than likely get some bush pinstripes from this track. There were several areas that the track was covered in water but these may dry up in the dry season however there is a creek crossing to be mindful of and likely still to be present throughout the dry season. The track is mixed surfaces but is mainly solid, there are some large washouts and once you get down to the beach the sand dunes are quite soft.

Without having designated camping areas there are a few options when it comes to actually setting up camp. It is important to be mindful of the delicate rainforest and coastal environments and have minimal impact. The areas below have evidence that people have already camped there so we encourage you to utilise these already cleared areas.

Rainforest Camping Area – This is the main camping area at Sadd Point. The area is tucked away from the prevailing winds in a rainforest area just before you get to the dunes of the point. There is no view of the ocean or the creek from this camping area. The campground is made up of are a number of varying sized cleared flat areas linked together with a track which would cater for any size group or setup. There are some sites close to the track in and others nestled further in the forest. The base is dirt however it was overgrown when we visited at the end of the wet season there is plenty of shade from the surrounding trees.

Camping on the Dunes – There are a few small areas just off the track when you are in the dunes that it would be possible to camp in but be mindful that you don’t block the track or fall off the side of the cliff. These areas have a great view over the creek on the southern end of the point and you can climb down the cliffs in some places and go for a fish. There is no shelter from the wind or sun in these areas.

Camping on the Beachside – As you head down the beach off the dunes you will see the remains of a old building (we aren’t sure about the history of it) it is surrounded by a flat cleared sand based area with coastal grasses that would be suitable for camping. It is totally open to the elements including the prevailing winds. It is close to the beach for fishing and not too far from the creek.

Throughout the camping areas there is existing fire pits so unless there is a fire ban utilise these rather than making new ones. You CANNOT collect firewood in the Jardine River Resource Reserve or the surrounding National Park so bring it in with you. Tip: with the winds in the area you are best to bring hardwood so you have a fire long enough to cook on.

Being the most remote camping area in the Northern Peninsula Area it does not have the services or facilities of those closer to the communities. There are no facilities, rubbish bins, drinking water or phone reception so you will need to ensure that you are organised to cater for this.

There is a lot of damage to the area from the feral pigs please keep in mind that they dig up and eat ANYTHING. So to save the area being ruined by dug up toilet paper make sure you burn all toilet paper prior to burying your waste. It is also suggested that you do not leave food scraps around your campsite as you don’t want any uninvited guests.

We did not have any issues with mosquitos, marsh flies or midges whilst we were there but this could mainly be due to the high winds. But being rainforest and beach front I do imagine that they are there from time to time.

With being so remote you need to ensure that you are prepared for any circumstance you are a long way from anywhere and being that remote there aren’t as many people around to help you if needed.

Please ensure that you contact Heathlands Rangers and confirm access prior to travelling to Sadd Point.


About The Area:

Jardine River Resource Reserve is approximately 20,000 hectares that is accessed by land through Jardine River National Park.


Nearby Attractions:

The Jardine River Resource Reserve and the surrounding National Park have lots of 4WD tracks to explore just be prepared to clear some trees and branches.

The diverse landscapes of Ussher Point including lakes, marsh lands, sand dunes, cliffs and coastline dotted with termite mounds make it great place to go and explore. There is also a historical plane crash to search for, caves with hundreds of bats to walk through and great fishing off the beach or river to the south.

Around the camping areas there are lots of bush walking tracks through the dunes and into the rainforest, on just a short expedition we found the remains of a makeshift ladder down to the creek, an old smashed glass fishing buoy and the remains of a Landcruiser that didn’t make it out.

There is fishing in both the creek and on the beach (pending the winds) and the creek is known to have oysters. Brendon hooked a good size barra in the creek so they are in there. But ensure whenever you are near a waterway you remain croc safe.

The tide mark on the beach is covered with marine debris, so why not take down a bag and help out the environment. You can find lots of interesting things washed up on the shores and you may be lucky and find something you can keep.


Closest Town And Distance: Injinoo, Cape York - 103 km Bamaga, Cape York – 110 km


What We Liked: We really enjoyed the true remoteness and beautiful location of Sadd Point. It was great area to walk around and explore and catching the barra was the icing on the cake.


What We Didn't Like: The winds if you are camped outside of the rainforest area can be pretty full on so make sure you have all the right gear to batten down the hatches.


Video Review:


Photos:


Ussher Point Campground

Address: Jardine River Resource Reserve, on the east coast of the Northern Peninsula Area.
Location Description: The turnoff to Ussher Point is located on Bamaga Road approximately 13 kms north of the Jardine River Ferry Crossing.
Cost: Fees apply
Type: Campground
Features:

  • Tents
  • Time Limit
  • 4WD Access
  • Generators
  • Fires Permitted
  • No Phone Reception
  • Crocodiles
  • Marine Stingers
  • Dingos
  • Fishing
  • Bush Walking
  • Look Out
  • Motor Bikes


Description:

Ussher Point Campground is on the east coast and has some magnificent views over the ocean, however during the dry season it is not protected from the prevailing winds and it can get quite windy up there. Ussher Point is one of the most remote and isolated campgrounds in the Northern Peninsula Area which definitely adds to the experience.

Ussher Point Campground is a low cost campground that is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services (QPWS) so e-tags must be purchased prior to camping. Bookings can be made online, over the phone or at any of the QPWS Ranger Stations. Bare in mind that there is no phone reception there so you will have to book in advance.

The track into the campground is 4WD only and medium difficulty with a few large washouts to navigate around, it has a mix of surfaces including sand, rock and one or two muddy spots that in the peak of the Dry season may not be existent.  QPWS does not recommend the towing of any caravans or camper trailers into the park. You will also need to be mindful of the height of your rig as there are some rather large fallen trees above the track.

QPWS booking system has all campsites listed as TENT ONLY and within the four designated areas within Ussher Point all of which are considerably spaced out and with the exception of coming and going it will be like you have the whole place to yourself. The campsites have a restriction to the number of vehicles and people that are allowed at each site which is highlighted in the booking system. Each site is marked however we could not find the actual sign for Campsite Three.

– Campsite One – One vehicle (4 people)

Is located right on a lake away from the coast there is a marked turnoff to the campsite so you will not have passing traffic. We are unsure of how well it fishes, but did see birds working over it, it is recommended that you are croc safe at all times. Being off the coast it is sheltered from the winds that the other sites have, it is a small flat clearing with a dirt base and is well shaded from the surrounding trees.

– Campsite Two – Two vehicles (8 people)

Is located at the top of a hill right on the main track to campsites 3 and 4. It is surrounded by coastal vegetation which offers some protection from the winds but also blocks the view of the coast. It is a small clearing and if the campsite sign was not there one could easily mistake it for a bypass/turning area. The base was coastal grasses with a gentle slope and there was no overhead shade offered from the surrounding vegetation. This campsite would be suitable for those that don’t care about a view or being near water just want some protection from the wind.

– Campsite Three – One vehicle (4 people)

Located on the dunes of the beach the campsite is an open area with no shelter from the winds or shade from surrounding trees. We did not see a sign indicating the exact location of the campsite but it was the most logical location. There is a freshwater creek with stained water that runs between the campsite and the actual beach, It is likely crocodiles are present however we didn’t see any during our stay. The sand getting in and at the actual campsite is quite soft so we would recommend letting down the tyre pressure and bringing a ground mat. The walk along the beach is nice leading up to a white sandy beach area with frequent small waterfalls out of the small cliffs. There is ALOT of marine debris on the beach so take a bag pick some up you never know what you may find, we found a message in a bottle from a cruise liner sent adrift at Christmas of 2016.

– Campsite Four – One vehicle (4 people)

If you are after a campsite with a view this is it, located at the very top of a cliff it over looks the oceans and the surrounding coastline. Just be careful near the edge as there is no guard rail and it is a LONG way down. There is no wind protection or shade in this very large open camping area whilst it is on the main track it is the last campsite and will only get the traffic of those off exploring. The base is dirt/small rocks and the ground gently slopes down away from the cliff face.

You will need to be prepared to be fully self sufficient being one of the most remote camps in the Northern Peninsula Area it does not have the services or facilities of those closer to the communities. There are NO facilities, phone reception, drinking water and it is a long drive into town. Generators are permitted but to have run at lower than 65dB(A) when measured 7 meters away from the generator and only between 8am – 7pm.

You will notice on your way in that there is a lot of damage to the area from the feral pigs please keep in mind that they dig up and eat ANYTHING. So to save the area being ruined by dug up toilet paper make sure you burn all toilet paper. It is also suggested that you do not leave food scraps around your campsite as you don’t want any uninvited guests.

Campfires are permitted when fire restrictions are not in place but you cannot collect firewood in the resource reserve or the surrounding National Park.

Campsite 1 is likely to have mosquitoes and midgies at all times, the other campsites are likely dependant on the wind at the time.

As there are only limited campsites and it does take a while to drive out to Ussher Point, booking and purchasing your etag prior to arrival is strongly recommended. Maximum stay is 21 days.


About The Area:

Jardine River Resource Reserve is approximately 20,000 hectares that is accessed by land through Jardine River National Park.


Nearby Attractions:

The diverse landscapes including lakes, marsh lands, sand dunes, cliffs and coastline dotted with termite mounds make Ussher Point a fantastic destination. To top it off there is a historical plane crash to search for, caves with hundreds of bats to walk through and great fishing off the beach or river to the south.

The fantastic Sadd Point and Escape river are within reach for a day trip or as the next camping destination for those with more time on their hands.


Closest Town And Distance: Injinoo, Cape York - 83 km. Bamaga, Cape York – 90 km


What We Liked: The highlight of Ussher Point for us was the magnificent views, even with the high winds and the dirty water from the rough seas it was beautiful.
It also catered for a range of camping types on the dunes, by the lake or on the cliffs and it was a fun drive in.


What We Didn't Like: Whilst it was interesting seeing all the strange things that had washed up on the beach we didn’t like the fact that there was so much rubbish in the oceans. It really makes you wonder why we are producing so much waste in the first place.


Video Review:


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Where to Dump Your Rubbish in Cape York

We all produce waste that is just a fact of life but whilst we are travelling we don’t have the same level of access to waste management services. It goes without saying if you had room to bring it in, you have room to take it out, but no one wants to spend their whole trip with a smelly bag of rubbish.

Like everything else whilst travelling in the Cape you need to prepare and plan for waste management. There are a few waste disposal options scattered throughout Cape York it is just a matter of knowing where they are and what you can dispose of. In this post I am going to provide you with that information and some resources to help you during your trip.

‘Do the Right Thing in the NPA’ sign located at Seisia Wharf, Cape York.

What waste disposable options are available within the Cape York:

  • Rest Areas and Campground Bins – most have rubbish bins for you to dispose of your rubbish use them. If they are full which is possible at certain times of the year take it to the next bin that has room. There are wild pigs and dogs all through the cape and whilst you think it is ok someone will take it when they collect the bins, chances are a pig or dog will get to it first and the rubbish will be spread everywhere. The rangers that look after these areas try their best to get out a few times a week to empty them but just be responsible.
  • Remote Caged Trenches – There are a few caged trenches located throughout the Cape to dispose of general waste. They are pretty much just a large hole in the ground with a cage over to top to stop people falling and the feral animals. Caged trenches are positioned next to the road for easy access by travellers.
  • Recycling Stations – These are mainly located in the built up areas but there are some at the stations and roadhouses. These are just normal recycling stations and take cans, bottles and some also take paper waste.
  • Landfill/Waste Transfer Stations – These are just your average garbage tips some of these have fees for disposing of your waste others don’t. Most importantly they have varying opening hours so you will need to plan your trip.
  • Collections for Charities – Moreton Telegraph Station collect cans for the Australian Flying Doctor Service. All you need to do is drop them in and they do the rest. The Flying Doctors offer a great service to rural/remote Australia and this is a great way to help them out without too much effort.
  • Containers for Change – This is the Queensland Government container refund scheme. This is a mobile service for 10c refund scheme on bottles and cans. You need to have Containers for Change account to access this service. There are no full time collection facilities and most of these only open once a week for a few hours so once again this is something that you will need to plan around. It is normally a trailer or a cage with the machine that moves around servicing the Cape. Most importantly you need to be registered for the scheme and the money is transferred into your nominated account.

The interactive map below shows the locations of all the facilities throughout the Cape. By clicking on one of the icons it will open up the full details of the facility. There is also a basic pdf version of the map with a table with basic information about the points that can be downloading to your device for reference whilst travelling or print them (but it is better to reduce the waste).

Now unfortunately it has become a fact of life that wherever you go there is going to be waste left behind by someone and it is not something that can be fixed overnight but it is possible for everyone to make a difference by refusing, reducing and reusing what they can out of the waste they produce. Hopefully through education we can make a difference to not only Cape York but all over Australia.

Roonga Point Campground (Free Camp)

Address: The Esplanade, Punsand Bay
Location Description: Access to the track is on the left hand side of Punsand Bay Road if you are heading North.
Cost: Free
Type: Campground
Website:
Features:

  • Tents
  • Camper Trailers
  • Caravans
  • 4WD Access
  • Dog Friendly
  • Generators
  • Fires Permitted
  • Phone Reception
  • Crocodiles
  • Marine Stingers
  • Dingos
  • Alcohol Restrictions
  • Fishing
  • Bush Walking
  • Look Out
  • Motor Bikes
  • Horse Riding


Description:

This is a magical location with a view over the Torres Strait to islands like Roko Island and Possession Island. During the dry season the camp area is mostly protected from the prevailing winds making it a nice place to camp.

The campground is 4wd access only however you would be able to tow in a tinny, offroad camper trailer or small offroad caravan. The sand is quite soft in places.

Being bush camping there is no allocated camping areas, people have made campsites all along the waterfront on the road in however, at the end of the road there is a large area that has cleared for camping. When selecting a site ensure that you consider the high tide line and be aware that crocodiles are known to be in the area.

– Small campsites along the road are either sand or grass (depending on time of year), they vary in size, but a limited number of those are large enough for camper trailers or groups. The outlooks of most of these sites are straight over the ocean to the islands.

– Campsites in the main camping area are mostly sand based and they also vary in size but most are large enough to have a group or larger trailers. The area has sufficient shade from small trees, the area is adjacent to a creek which is lined with mangroves.

– Campsites on the hill are dirt based but with lots of little rocks. There are a number of sites that would only be suitable for a small tent, swag or rooftop tent etc but there is a larger area at the top that is open and overlooks the water. Definitely suitable for small groups or larger campers. Some of the tracks were not well maintained when we visited and one in particular required 4wd power to get up. The waterfront can still be accessed by walking a short distance down the hill. This would be my pick as it has the awesome views with the safety of being quite elevated.

There are no facilities, drinking water or rubbish disposal so; you will need to have the capacity to manage this yourself. Keep in mind that there are wild pigs that dig up toilet paper so make sure you burn it. 

The nearest town is Bamaga but ‘Cape York Camping – Punsand Bay’ is close by and has a very limited range of supplies from their campground shop.

If you are going to have a fire please keep to the existing firepits.

As for our little friends that like to bite we were there in the middle of the day and did not have any issues. In saying that the main camping area is surrounded by mangroves so they may be an issue and being on the water there is always the risk of midges and sandflies.

On the shoreline you can see a lot of marine debris that has washed ashore. Take a spare bag and some gloves and walk along the beach (be croc wise),  you can find some interesting ‘keepers’ and it doesn’t hurt to get another bag of debris off the beach. On our trip we found a wrecked carved out boat, a brand new boat fender and lots of odd shaped bottles that could be used as decorations once cleaned up.

The closest toilet dumpsite and water to fill your tanks is located in Bamaga.

For details on the alcohol restrictions in this area visit the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Partnerships.

This is another one of the amazing bush camping areas that is covered by the Jardine River Ferry fee.


About The Area:

Much of the history of the area has not been documented in detail or has been lost over the years, but there are still the decaying relics of times gone by in the area. The area was used for mining tin and gold and abandoned mines can be found through the region. Roonga Point was once a tin scratchers (small time prospector) camp, supplies and mail were delivered by boat to the hardened people that worked in the harsh conditions of Cape York in search of fortunes.

Cape York played a significant part in WWII and there is evidence of the war scattered throughout the Cape. As you walk around near the actual point you will find the remains of a WWII workshop site. Defence forces in the area needed to be self-sufficient so it was used to service earth moving equipment and vehicles. The size of the engine block that can be found in the mangrove is possibly evidence that it was quite a substantial site.


Nearby Attractions:

Whilst you are staying at Roonga Point why not take some time to check out these local attractions:
- The most northern point of mainland Australia (just a reminder lol..)
- The site of the original Jardine Homestead at Somerset
- Jardine Family & Pearl Divers Graves at Somerset Beach
- The Abandon Pajinka Wilderness Lodge on your way out to the tip
- Take a drive along the magical 5 beaches run
- Some souvenir shopping at The Croc Tent on Pajinka Road
- Enjoy a woodfired pizza at Cape York Camping in Punsand Bay


Closest Town And Distance: Bamaga, Cape York – 28 km Cape York Camping & Punsand Bay – 4.5km


What We Liked: What we liked most about this campground was the location. It is a great spot to have as a base whilst you explore the most northern attractions.

It has a scenic view, close to the tip and supposedly good fishing. It is also close enough to duck over to Punsand Bay for a pizza.


What We Didn't Like: Having the most awesome water, but you cannot swim in it hurts.


Video Review:


Photos:


What can save a fishing trip, ‘thongs’ or ‘pluggers’?

For our travels we decided to sell our much loved tinny for a smaller one to go on the roof of the Patrol. So in the weeks leading up to our departure we ordered a Clarke Predator 355, we wanted a few customisations and Clarke were more than happy to accommodate. With the delivery date being only days before we were leaving there was no time for delays.

Brendon had designed modifications to our existing roof rack to become our new roof top boat loader but we experienced delays with the fabrication and when received it was not as designed and we didn’t have time to have it rectified in Brisbane before we left on our adventures. We were stuck with a boat loader that was not right and a dilemma, do we now take our modfied roof rack to Sydney and get it re-refabricated down there or do we go with what we had originally really wanted but considered too expensive at the time which was an Almac Boat Loader. The decision was made easy when the quotes to remove the modifications that had been made and remake the loader to Brendon’s specifications was going to cost almost the same as an Almac Boat Loader. Almac Trailers are based in Bundaberg (also known as East Bundaberg Engineering), we would be passing through Bundy on our way north so we made arrangements to get it underway.

The new tinny and Almac boat loader

The boat loader was now under control but we still did not have a motor. Brendon was tossing up between the 4stroke or 2 stroke Mercury motors, If we went the 4 then the rear outboard mount would have to be modified, and the 4 is a lot heaver, 2 strokes are on the other hand on their way out with some dams already banning them. In the end the 2 stroke won out, largely due to the weight and cost. With only one Mercury dealer in Bundaberg we were lucky to walk in and they had a second hand American style (reverse on the throttle) in fair condition on the showroom floor. Just like that we had a motor for our tinny.

It turned out we were in Bundaberg for two weeks rather than two days, due to issues with our brand new camper meant we were behind schedule. We took some time out to visit 1770, Agnes Waters and Baffle Creek, where we actually had to cut our day short and evacuate due to bushfires. Besides been messed around by the camper manufacturer, it looked like Mother Nature was against us making it to Cape York. There were predictions of a tropical low/cyclone heading towards the Cape which meant roads north could be blocked off. With all the terrible fires that seemed to be breaking out in Queensland we decided to drive inland to avoid them. In a rush to get up to the Cape to make it before the impending cyclone we drove long hours and arrived on the 5th December before any real weather issues began.

Several times we talked about taking the tinny out for her maiden voyage but it wasn’t till two months after we purchased it that we finally were heading out. All packed up for a few hours on Jackey Jackey Creek Cape York Qld there was a little bit of excitement and nerves. We had never used the boat loader with just us and had never tested the motor (other then the obligatory run in the tank at the marine shop in Bundaberg) and now we were in croc country.  

Jackey Jackey Creek Boat Ramp, Cape York Queensland

We pulled up to the boat ramp and unloaded the tinny for the first time, it definitely wasn’t the smoothest process with being under constant attack by sand flies and mosquitos and the frequent check over your shoulder to make sure nothing was eyeing you off for dinner. With the tinny unloaded, all the gear sorted and the motor attached all that was left was put in the bung and walk it down the ramp into croc water. It was then we realised that the bung that was provided with the tinny was the wrong size.

It had been 2 months since we bought the tinny, 2 months it has been on the roof of the truck waiting to go out, Brendon had been counting every day, although the bung is a minor issue we had to travel, prepare, unload the tinny, put all the gear in it. I could tell Brendon was more then mildly upset by the exact words he yelled out to me that day “The *freaking bung is wrong.”. Personally not being to keen on the current environment I started to put everything back in the truck thinking well we will have to do this some other time.

The ‘Plugger’ bung

Brendon was determined there was no way in hell that we weren’t going out in the tinny today. The hole just needs to be plugged up. Off came the new thongs, they were cut up and a piece squished into the hole. Problem solved… being not so keen on the idea of going out water with a piece of thong stopping the tinny from sinking I reminded Brendon about the croc situation but we were going and that was that.

With our thong bung we headed out on the Jackey Jackey for an enjoyable but thoroughly unsuccessful afternoon of fishing. I wasn’t confident with the thong bung but guess I am still here to share the story, we now taken the boat out a few times and have the unloading process running smoother and have a proper bung, but we still keep the bit of plugger stashed in the boat just in case.

So no matter what you call them, thongs, flip flops, jandles or double-pluggers, pretty sure we will be calling them simply, ‘pluggers’ ,from now on.

~Leah

Brendan navigating Jackey Jackey creek in search of the catch of the day.
As the sunsets we were still hoping for the hookup.

* words may not be exact.