Travelling the Savannah Way to Cooktown

Trip Start Mar 07, 2011
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Trip End Aug 28, 2011


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Where I stayed
Cooktown Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Sunday, June 5, 2011

After leaving Karumba we travelled back to Normanton and called into the historic railway station which was opened in 1891. The Gulflander railmotor ran a weekly service between Normanton and Croydon during the gold rush days. The station is now listed by the National Trust and is a great tourist attraction, running a weekly return trip to Croydon.  
Another attraction was the replica of Krys, the largest recorded salt crocodile captured in the world. Krys was shot on the banks of the Norman River downstream from Normanton in July 1957. Krys measured 28ft 4 ins (8.63m) and weighed over 2 tons. Looking at the replica it is very hard to believe that such a croc existed. I certainly would not have stopped to shoot it, my feet would not have hit the ground going in the opposite direction.
The road from Croydon to Ravenshoe was the worst we have travelled since leaving home. At times it was so bad it was better to drive on the gravel. Not only was this a hazard but the double deck livestock trucks with 3 trailers certainly put a bit of stress on the driver (and navigator too). 
The drive from Ravenshoe to Atherton was beautiful, a bit scary going around a narrow mountain road over the range with the caravan, but when you were game to look down the hundred plus metre drop the view was fantastic.
We arrived in Cooktown and booked into the Cooktown Caravan Park. John, the owner, was a bit of a character and made our stay a lot of fun, gathering everyone for the cocktail hour each evening.
Cooktown is full of history with Captain Cook landing his damaged ship, the Endeavour, on 17 June 1770.  The town has celebrated the re-enactment of Cook's landing on the Queen's Birthday weekend for the past 52 years. We would have loved to stay but unfortunately Cooktown has been booked out for months prior to this weekend. 
The road up to Grassy Hill lookout was very steep but we were rewarded with a great 360 degree view of Cooktown. It is not very often you get to look down on the lighthouse.
 After a walk through the Botanic Gardens which are among the oldest in Australia, we spent some time in the James Cook Museum, originally a convent school built in 1889 and now home to one of the best regional museums in Australia. 
The River of Life Walkway was amazing with plaques set in the concrete along the footpath
 telling the stories behind the historic sights.
Another fantastic place to spend a few days.
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