September 23rd & 24th – Cooktown Weekend
A number of members have indicated they will drive up on the Friday and stay for two nights.
Here is an informal schedule for the weekend. Whilst there are plenty of photographic opportunities in Cooktown and we will all be tempted to do our own thing, there will be a few group activities which we hope will be attended by as many people as possible.
Cooktown is located 260km north of Cairns by the coastal road (unsealed and recommended for 4WD vehicles only) and 350 km by the inland road (accessible by conventional vehicles).The Cape York Peninsula begins north of Cairns, extending almost 1000 kms to the geographical tip of Australia in the north. It covers about 137,000 square kilometres -the Coral Sea is to the east of the Peninsula, the Torres Strait to the north, and the Gulf of Carpentaria to the west.
Friday 22nd – Drive to Cooktown
Photo opportunities on the drive up, via Mulligan Highway:
- Early morning at Lake Mitchell,
- Bob’s Lookout west of Mt Carbine,
- Lunch at Coffee Shop behind the Lakeland Pub. Stock up on locally grown coffee.
- There is a billabong on the left hand side of the highway midway between the East and West Normanby Rivers (about 22km east of Lakeland) where Brolga and Jabiru can be seen.
- Little Annan crossing (about 55km from Lakeland). Fairly grubby parking area.
- Lion’s Den Hotel. Turn right onto the Shipton Flat Road. The Lion’s Den is about 4km south. Lots of pub memorabilia inside.
- Black Mountain. There is a lookout on the right hand side of the highway. Views can also be obtained looking south from further north along the highway.
- Trevethan Falls. Turn right onto Mt Amos Road (5km beyond Black Mountain). Follow Mt Amos Rd for 10km. Turn right onto track to falls. Follow track for about 4km to parking area, Big Annan crossing, Keating’s Lagoon. Excellent place for a large variety of waterbirds but last time I was there the boardwalk was in a very poor state of repairAt Cooktown Friday Night
- Sunset photos looking west over the Endeavour River. Sunset on Friday night is at 18:14 and is due west. Moonset is at 20:02, slightly south of west. A moonless, dark night.
- Dinner at the RSL Club (127 Charlotte Street)
- Night-time, light painting in Endeavour park – group activity. Captain Cook statue, trees, wharf ruins and other memorials. Bring a good torch.Saturday 23rd
- Breakfast at Cook’s landing kiosk – right on the water at 7 Webber Esplanade
Photo opportunities in Cooktown:
- Sunrise on Saturday 23rd is at 06:08. At sunrise, looking west over the Endeavour River is quite nice.
Alternatively for sunrise over the sea go to Finch Bay (see below)
Grassy Hill Lookout and lighthouse.
- James Cook Museum. Open 9-4 Cnr Helen and Furneaux Streets,
- Cooktown Wharf. Trawlers unloading, fishermen with cast nets, etc. Webber Esplanade
- Finch Bay. Take Walker Street to Finch Bay Road – past the Botanical Gardens.
- Quarantine Bay, (Quarantine Bay Road)
- Lunch – Nature’s Powerhouse at the Botanical Gardens
- Dinner – Restaurant 1770, 7 Webber Esplanade – I have booked for 15 but we have to get back to them with final numbers and also whether we want a la carte or fixed menu? (40695440)
- Evening – Astro photography at Grassy Hill Lighthouse.Saturday. There is a waxing crescent moon rising at 08:10 on Saturday morning and Setting at 20:52 that evening. So, there should be a good opportunity to photograph the moon setting over the Endeavour River with a very dark moonless night afterwards for astro- photography from the Grassy Hill Lighthouse.
- Sunday 24th
- For those who want to travel further afield I would recommend:
- Isabella Falls. Take the Endeavour Valley Road west of Cooktown for about 38km. Turn left onto Battle Camp Road. The falls are about 5km from the turnoff. This is a dirt road but reasonable quality. The falls are very picturesque.
- Endeavour Falls. On the way to Isabella Falls you will pass the Endeavour Falls camping ground on the right. Ask permission to visit the falls at the kiosk.
- Return to Cairns via Mulligan Highway or Bloomfield track.