The Lion's Den Hotel, Helenvale, QLD

Day 210 – 14th September 2011
The Lion's Den Hotel, Helenvale, QLD

Today we travelled on the Bloomfield 4WD Track towards Cooktown. We left our vans in storage at Cape Tribulation Camping and packed the 4WD Suzuki. First stop was near the Giant Strangler Fig where a walking path led to Emmagen Beach. Before crossing Emmagen Creek we took a walk (1.5km return – 30min) to a series of waterholes where you can actually swim (croc-free) but we decided to continue on, as there is plenty more to see along the way. We crossed Donovan’s Range with a first steep climb and descent of 20% and a stop at the “spectacular” Donovan lookout. At South Cowie Beach the mangroves are exposed at low tide, which we timed well so we went for another short walk. Next we climbed up 30% on the Cowie Range to the Bill Forrester Lookout, where apart from the sign you couldn’t see anything (not sure where the good view - as described in the Bloomfields map - of South Cowie Beach went to?). After the steep Cowie descent (with hairpin bend) we stopped at Pearce’s Hill Lookout offering the best views so far along the track and crocodiles can often be seen at low tide on the sand banks although we didn’t spot any. Finally we arrived at the famous Bloomfield River causeway for which you need to check the tides in advance as it can have water on it but it was perfectly dry today. After crossing the river it was time for lunch before having a look at the Bloomfield Falls – no swimming here as there are crocodiles. We travelled through Ayton before taking the turn off to Weary Bay where a narrow 4WD track took us to the Bloomfield River Mouth. At Rossville we drove to Home Rule Rainforest Lodge where a chat to the local ranger taught us that the Cedar Bay walking track is an overnight hike so we soon were on our way again. Late afternoon we arrived at the historic Lion's Den Hotel where we set up camp for the night - our little tent next to the safari tent of Andrew’s parents as they are glamping. We enjoyed a true Aussie pub grub meal of Chicken Schnitzel with chips. Before going to bed Nele added our names to the pub wall/roof in return for a donation to the RFDS.

Emmagen Beach

Emmagen waterhole

2 Frazer men staring into the water

Emmagen waterhole

Sue and Gary at Emmagen waterhole

Emmagen Creek crossing

Donovan's Lookout

Donovan's Lookout

South Cowie Beach


Hills beyond

Watch out for crocodiles

Small tree trying to grow

White sand

Bill Forrester Lookout

Woobadda River, there are a couple of places you can swim

Pearce's Hill Lookout

Bloomfield River causeway

Bloomfield Falls

Bloomfield River

Weary Bay

Narrow 4WD track

Bloomfield River Mouth


Wallaby Creek near Home Rule

The Lion's Den Hotel...

...has a giraffe

Our little tent next to the safari tent of Andrew's parents

The Lion's Den Hotel

Yummy meal

Adding our name to the wall

The proof we were here

Amongst all the other names

The Lion's Den Hotel

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