3/8/13 – We were on the road just after 10am. Filled the main fuel tank at Musgrave Station, cheaper than on the way up at $1.89 L. Opposite the station is the turnoff to Lakefield National Park.
The road through Lakefield is a pretty good dirt road. There are areas of open plains with heaps of ant hills, other areas dry swap land with loads of trees. The area was pretty dry.
In one area of open plains there were heaps of ant hills and a few trees that were full of Red Tailed Black Cockatoos. Of course we pulled over to take some photos. It was really really hot, the sun was burning on the back of our legs. The birds were pretty skittish, not letting us get very close and hard to photograph black birds against a blue sky. What was evident as soon as they took flight was their red tails.
We pulled into Hann Crossing campground for lunch and had to drive a long way in to find an empty spot. Campsites are well spread out along the river and over several different sections. The whole area is very dry.
Lakefield is supposed to have touch screen to register for campgrounds, since we saw none at the campgrounds we popped into, we assume they are at the ranger station. Considering how well spread the campsites are over several camp areas I don’t know how you are supposed to choose a campsite from home when you have never been here before.
In this area you get the magnetic termite mounds where they all line up in the same north south direction. Some looked like little castles.
The Old Laura Homestead is well worth dropping in on. Surprising how much of it still remains. Can see why they build there, it is a great spot. There are wire fences around the homestead with some information boards just inside to read about the history of the place.
The Aboriginal quarters, Blacksmith and Meat House are also still standing. The rusted old wreck of the family cars sits proudly in the front yard.
Laura creek was a rocky creek that would have been lovely to camp by, we stopped and had a paddle to get the dust of our feet.
Battle Camp road was quite different to the road through Lakefield. Lakefield was flat, Battle Camp was like you were on a roller coaster. Up and down up and down. Quite pretty with rock boulders, lots of trees and more red dirt. Starting to get tired of the dust, we can’t touch anything in the trailer or Ute without getting dust on us. On the OTT they were getting a wash with all the creek crossings.
We found an area to pull in off the road for the night. Large open dusty area but had some tracks leading off, we went down one and was hidden from the road behind some trees and not quite as dusty. It’s on the eastern side of Normanby River GPS S15 17.426 E 144 50.800 approx. 60km from Cooktown. The next day about 40km out of Cooktown we noticed another good area to pull off, that you could also hide from the road.
Click on the link above for a larger version in Google Maps of the days travels.