Cooktown

Friday morning I got picked up by the 4WD bus. This bus followed the controversial Bloomfield track. It’s supposed to be a 4WD road, but apparently the road is in a very good condition. The wet season this year only had about half of the normal rainfall so far. So all the creeks are still pretty low, and the two steep sections of the road (~31% slope) were not slippery at all. Hence, without any issue we made the way to Wujal Wujal at the Bloomfield river. From there the road is sealed all the way up to Cooktown. I arrived in Cooktown at about noon and after a picnic I walked a bit through the town. I went to the newly rebuilt waterfront to have a look at the mouth of the Endeavour river, which is near the site where Captain Cook beached his ship Endeavour and repaired it for about 6 weeks, after he run it aground at one of the reefs. This was also the first site where Europeans, saw, hunt, and ate kangaroos. Afterwards I followed a bit the track of the old railway line to Laura until I reached Reconciliation rocks. That’s the site of the first reconciliation between Aboriginal and European people, after a severe dispute over some things. There’s not much left from the railway line itself. Only an old rusty carriage and railcar. Even the railway station was relocated to the main street and is nowadays a souvenir shop or something like that. As it started to rain, I had a beer in the last local pub. When I walked in, everybody was staring at me. But they all were very friendly and welcoming and wanted to know where I came from. I stayed with Christina and Jeff, and Jeff gave me a lift to their home, as this is a bit out of town. They are a very friendly couple, and have a small son Theo. Christina was pretty busy finishing her PhD, so I stayed mainly with Jeff. We had a nice conversion in the evening over some drinks, and he told me that Christina is actually the granddaughter of General Frank Howley. I’ve never heard of him before, but apparently he was the commander of the American sector in Berlin after WWII until the re-establishment of Germany in 1949. It was very interesting to listen to his career and how he ended up in this position.

One of several creek crossings along the Bloomfield road
View back to the Daintree National Park
After Wujal Wujal the road follows briefly the Bloomfield river
Suddenly there was a short thunderstorm, but it ended as fast as it begun
Near this location Cook beached his ship in June 1770 and repaired it the following weeks. After he left, he never returned to what is now known Australia.
Newly reconstructed wharf…
…with the view to the mouth of the Endeavour river
Reconciliation rocks, and the old track of the railway line to Laura
That’s all what’s remaining from the railway to Laura, a carriage and the rusty chassis of the railcar,…
…even the railway station was relocated to the main road.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.