Bamaga - Punsand Bay
- We journey across the free flowing Jardine River to Bamaga.
- Bamaga is a small town situated only 40km’s from the very northern tip of the Cape. About 11km south of the cape is Somerset which was established in 1863 as the administrative area. It was even thought at one time that it might become a major trading centre, a sort of Singapore of north Queensland, but in 1877 its functions were shifted to Thursday Island.
- We travel past Lockerbie Station to our base, Punsand Bay Camping Resort which is situated 5km west of the Northern Tip of Cape York and with 10kms of beachfront, this is where you can watch the sun rise over the Coral sea of the Pacific Ocean and set over the Arafura Sea in the Indian Ocean. Punsand Bay's unique geographical position makes it one of Australia's untouched wilderness with an abundance of wildlife. Punsand Bay is a paradise to birdwatchers, fishermen, beachcombers, history buffs or adventurers.
Punsand Bay - The Tip of Cape York - Somerset
- Today is an unforgettable day of achievement and interest! Stand at the very 'Tip' of Australia, where oceans meet and where very few travellers visit.
- Somerset, the ruins of the grandiose failed 'Singapore of the Pacific' (road conditions permitting) is where Captain Jardine's two eldest sons, Frank and Alec, would head the team on the drive and on the 11th October 1864 they set out from Carpentaria Downs Station near Rockhampton with 250 head of cattle and 41 horses. It proved to be one of the most incredible tests of endurance recorded in Australian exploration. Frank and Alec finally arrived at Somerset on 2nd March 1865. In recognition of his trek overland with the cattle, Frank Jardine was granted grazing land West of Somerset; the property was named "Lockerbie". In 1877 the property at Somerset was abandoned with the administration being transferred to Thursday Island. Descendants of the Jardines lived in the residence for many years, then it was leased out and finally destroyed by fire in 1960 a sad end to a fine old Homestead.
- Punsand Bay offers pristine beaches, rocky headlands, cool shaded forest walks, a chance to catch mud crabs, and twilight strolls to watch a spectacular Torres Strait sunset.
Punsand Bay is well known for its long sweeping beach and pristine bush. This is where you can view some Australian history, including the remains of the Old Post Office, Old Telegraph Station and abandoned tin and gold mines. The area is such a fabulous place to visit that we try and spend as much time as possible, simply relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
There is plenty to keep you occupied for days! Fish the ocean as well as the swamps, everglades and lagoons of the Jardine and Jacky Jacky River systems. This is a great place to catch Tuna, Mangrove Jack, Queen Fish, Trevally, Coral Trout, Mackeral and Barramundi.
Alternatively, chill out with a book, go swimming or navigate the local bush walks.
Punsand - Thursday Island - Horn Island - Cairns
- The highlight of the day is an enjoyable charter boat trip through the island dotted straits to tropical Thursday Island. Thursday Island is the administrative centre for the Torres Strait Islands, which have been part of Queensland since 1872. "T.I." as it's usually known, is the most popular of the Torres Strait Islands. It's only just over 3 square km in area and 39km off the top of Cape York. The strait's population of 25,000 live on more than 20 islands, and is engaged mostly in fishing, prawning and a declining pearling industry. Thursday Island is now identified as one of the last great frontiers in Australia, as it holds some great Australian history. In 1880, Thursday Island acted as the defence centre for Australia and evidence of this still exists in that the cannons still remain in place. At one time T.I. was also a major pearling centre and pearlers' cemeteries tell the hard tale of what a dangerous occupation this was. Some pearls are still produced here, from seeded 'culture farms'. Although Thursday Island has lost its former importance as a stopping point for vessels, it's still a popular pause for passing yachties. It's an attractive and easy going little place and has a small Quetta Memorial Museum attached to the Quetta Memorial Cathedral.
- After a relaxing morning at Thursday Island we catch the regular ferry to Horn Island Airport in time for your return flight over the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest to Cairns, which completes your Cape York experience.
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