New Farm Park, Brisbane

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

ON TO COOKTOWN

We were travelling along the Bloomfield Track to Cooktown. On the way we stopped at Wujul Wujul a small aboriginal settlement of 300+ people. They have started to take tourists on guided walks as a business venture. We were late for our scheduled walk to the falls and the guide couldn't be contacted or found so we took ourselves with the driver who hadn't been there before. It wasn't a long walk.

 We could see the Bloomfield Falls/Wujul Wujul Falls in the distance.
 We scrambled over rocks forever keeping an eye out for crocodiles. By now I was loosing patience with my camera. It wasn't working properly. Every now and then it would overexpose and burn out photos. It didn't matter if I used automatic or manual. Most of the waterfall shots were burnt out. Luckily it would perform properly now and then so I did manage to get some decent shots for the rest of the trip. I also used my iphone when the camera messed up.

The Bloomfield River, Wujul Wujul
 Then it was back in the bus until we reached The Lions Den Hotel for lunch. 

It was a typical outback hotel except this one's claim to fame is that it is the oldest continuously licensed hotel in Australia. 

We had lunch outside in the shade of the trees. The further north you go the hotter the weather.

 It is full of junk memorabilia which has been left by passing tourists over the years. The walls are full of written messages from patrons.

As we continued on our way to Cooktown for a two night stop we passed Black Mountain, with the weirdest geological mystery. The aboriginal people are fearful of it and they won't go near it.
 It is a mountain made entirely of black rocks. Scientists don't have an explanation for it.
 
We arrived at The Sovereign Resort, Cooktown and dropped our luggage before we were taken up Grassy Hill to  Cook's Lookout to watch the sunset. We had a 360° view. Looking west we could see the small town of Cooktown and the Great Dividing Range in the distance.

The evening light was setting the grasses aglow as we looked north over the Endeavour River.

 The sunset was magnificent.

 Turning away from the sun and looking east over the sea . It was beautiful but Captain Cook didn't think so when he climbed this hill on 30th June 1770 and all he could see were reefs as far as he could see. He had beached his ship, "The Endeavour," here as it had hit a reef further south. The sailors tried to fill the hole with sails and they threw overboard a canon and anchor to make the ship lighter. However, it was still taking on water so Cook beached the ship here and camped until they repaired the ship. Thus making "Cooktown" the site of the first white settlement in Australia. He found a passage going north.

29 comments:

  1. Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) is a fascinating spot. IIRC, it's home to two lizard and one frog species that are found nowhere else.

    (I haven't been to Cooktown for ages and now your pictures have made me want to go again!)

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  2. enjoyed this post too Dianne; shame that the guide wasn't about when you arrived. How odd re the black mountain; you have to wonder? Interesting the oldest serving pub for Australia; you were there! This journey was indeed very fruitful. Isn't that so frustrating when your camera does that? I've had it happen to me also, or where it doesn't want to behave and focus at all

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  3. Diane, another great stop on your tour. It is full of history with the Captain Cook legend. The waterfall is pretty! I love the view of the river and the gorgeous sunset. Great shots!

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  4. Interesting post about the black mountain and Captain Cook. So much different things to see there and a huge waterfall.

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  5. Excellent pics considering your camera wasn't playing ball Diane. Black Mountain sure sounds interesting. Loved the pub and it's colourful array of memorabilia. Did you leave your mark on it too?

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  6. Oh Diane I love coming here, I have to make it to Australia someday that is a plan. Not sure if I can handle all that heat but the photos you take make me certainly want to give it a try. Incredible. B

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  7. Brilliant post with amazing picture gallery. destinations looking cool and calm. but, sky definitely seems magnificent.

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  8. awesome sunset and i would like to visit that hotel, that is my kind of place, all those old things in there... the crocs i could do with out.. my camera did that to me on the beach. it would make everything white... then take a few, then back to white. i bought a new one, and ever since then the camera works fine, so i gave it to my son... so what is up is the question.

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  9. Goodness what an interesting post Diane and the pictures you managed to take are fab, how wonderful to watch the sun setting in such a spot. The Black Mountain, what the heck is that all about I wonder. Yes I should imagine the first sailors to venture near our shores would have had many dreadful experiences.
    I do feel better Diane, thanks for asking :)

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  10. thanks for that bit of history! LOVE the sunset! glad you made it safely to the falls and back. i like the decor they use in that pub. :)the black rock mountain is really cool!

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  11. I didn't know about that mountain.
    Great sunset shot.
    What a pity about your camera, guess you might have to buy another. Actually my old DSLR started to do the same, so hence a new one for me.
    Love the pubs with their writing, it's unique to see that :)

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  12. That is quite a view from the lookout spot. What a fabulous sunset!

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  13. The views, the scenery, the mystery black rocks... All so fascinating to me. Sorry you were having camera problems.

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  14. Diane, I just loved every part of this post: the waterfall, the oldest pub in Oz (the ladies' lingerie and caps are exactly what are displayed in many South African pubs), the black mountain - what a mystery - and also the magnificent sunset photos from the viewpoint. And as always you relay your country's interesting history so well!

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  15. Must have been a wonderful adventure!
    The pictures are amazing.
    What a sunset :)

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  16. Another great post, Diane. The waterfall is gorgeous --and your photos are FINE.

    Black Mountain truly is a mystery.....

    You know how much I love being up on a mountain watching the sunset (or sunrise). WELL--I'd love being where you were. Gorgeous.

    Interesting story about Capt. Cook...

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  17. Great waterfal and blue water.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  18. Fabulous post Diane. Beaut to see how much you enjoyed the trip. Even though you had trouble with your camera, the photos are great. Sometimes there's so much glare off water isn't there.

    We had an experience at Black Mountain when in that area a long time back. A bolt on Our Suzuki 4WD's engine mount sheered off and we came to a halt in the parking area of Black Mountain. A passerby kindly rang the local towing fellow who said we were another casualty of the mountain ... he'd been called many many times to tow cars from there!!! :O)

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  19. Apart from the crocodiles and the sinister Black Mountain this looks a wonderful area. That mountain looks a bit like one of our 'slag heaps' - coal waste piles from the mines.

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  20. Interesting history and myths, beautiful scenery, amazing sunset and view. I enjoyed this stop on your tour very much; thanks for sharing.

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  21. I'm glad you were able to get some good photos of that beautiful waterfall and the gorgeous sunset. The view in all directions from Grassy Hill is amazing. The rocks that make up Black Mountain are fascinating.

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  22. I had never heard of the Black Mountain, it does look fasanating though. The waterfall does look lovely I would like to see it in person someday

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  23. I have scrambled over many rocks to look at waterfalls but so far I haven't had to watch for crocodiles, yikes! Great shots of the scenery, I love that sunset!

    The Snugg tablet cover for iPads does wake up and turn off the devise.

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  24. Black Mountain looks very interesting. I think this would be close to the best sunset photo I have ever seen. Not red, but fiery golden.

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  25. I do envy you your northern adventure, more so every day! Shame your camera decided to play up, it happened before you got to Black Mountain, didn't it? That last sunset blows me away!

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  26. What absolutely fabulous photographs. Thank goodness you had your iPhone with you.

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  27. Isn't Cooktown just a glorious place and what a great sunset.

    Geez your tour guide must have been spinning you a yarn about Black Mountain -- the explanatory sign says an unusual jointing pattern occured in the granite and water penetrated the cracks which in the end led to a jumble of bolders. It also says the granite is light grey but is black due to lichens. But either way it is an awsome and unexpected sight.

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  28. What a wonderful adventure, all those photos are brilliant! The Tourist Board should be giving you a big thank you for showing so many beautiful places in Australia. Have a good one Diane :)

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