Bathurst Bay Campsite, Cape Melville National Park, QLD

Day 219 – 23rd September 2011
Bathurst Bay Campsite, Cape Melville National Park, QLD

We enjoyed a bit of a sleep-in and late morning we set off on our next adventure. We made sure to tell the neighbours where we were going! Following the directions we were given, we crossed the creek and followed the track along the beach. The drive along the sandy track went well until we were driving on the actual beach. The sand here is a little deceiving as it feels reasonably hard and compact but is actually quite course and makes it difficult to move through – that is without lowering your tyre pressure  J. We tried to get over the sandy embankment to a higher track, unfortunately this was too much to ask of the 4WD.  We got to a point where we were not really bogged but we couldn't continue further this way. So we had to lower the tyre pressure. Some vehicles were coming back from the cape so we asked them how much further it was on the beach. They both replied it wasn't far but we didn't want to leave it too much longer as the tide was soon to start coming in (and they say it moves quickly) -  we had checked with our neighbours before setting off but they seemed convinced there was no issue with tides, so this came as a bit of a surprise to us. So with the help of these friendly people who has some pressure gauges, we quickly lowered the tyres and continued forward. As I had mentioned this was all pretty new to us and they must have noticed we were not too sure with the soon incoming tide.  They told us where they were camping and upon our return to let them know when we got back – no sign of us and they would come to our rescue J. The driving went a lot easier now and we soon got to the picket on the beach indicating the turn off to the track. A short walk from the 'carpark' took us to a memorial to remember the people lost at sea during a hurricane in 1899.  Back at the car some confusion with the car keys (there is one for the doors and one for the ignition – they look the same) made Andrew believe the key wouldn't turn so for a moment we thought we were going to be stuck!  But eventually we realised the mistake and we were ready to drive back – you’ve got to laugh. You could actually continue further along the beach about another 1km to the cape but with all the excitement so far of possible soon incoming tides, keys that don't work and being afraid of getting stuck, we decided to give it a miss. We could see the cape from here so except a closer view we were not missing anything. We drove back without any issues and were glad to get off the beach and back onto harder ground. We pulled up and had lunch with a beautiful view. On our way back to the campsite we went to a freshwater creek that our neighbours had informed us about, to fill up our water supply and take a refreshing dip. At the campsite we went for a drive to let the friendly campers who had helped us know we had returned without any issues. Andrew pulled out the compressor and pumped the tyres back, ready for the drive out tomorrow. After tea we visited our neighbours to pick their brain about things to see and do further north. They are really friendly people from Brisbane and we hope to catch up with them when we head south. 

Driving through the narrow winding creek towards the beach and onto Cape Melville
We continually have to watch out for the height of our vehicle
Driving to Cape Melville (in the far distance)
driving on the harder sand - deceiving it's harder for the 4WD than on the soft sand
friendly campers helping us with our tyre pressures and knowledge of the area
picket indicating turn off to momument
'beach carpark' - short walk to mounemt
Monument - hurricane of 1899 
Cape Melville
Cape Melville
driving back
lunch stop along the way
enjoying local mud crab for lunch
a refreshing dip - swim in the lower pools and feel up your water supply in the higher pools
looking at the cape from the river mouth
river mouth
another beautiful sunset

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