Saturday 31st July 2021
Time to do a little touring here at Cooktown. We have had a couple of quiet days and it is our last full day here, so time for a bit exploring.
First stop, the coloured sands of Elim Beach, near Hope Vale Aboriginal community, It was a beautiful walk along the beach in the shallows of the low tide, passed amazing paperbark trees, mangroves and then along the squeaky white sand as the coloured sands emerges from the coastline with vibrant red and white cliffs. We arrived at the section where it is possible to climb to the top of the cliffs, some of it so steep you are on your hands and knees, digging your hands in perpendicular to the ground up to your wrists to hold you steady as you climb the difficult sandy face to the top. Even David was on his hands and knees and was surprised how hot and tough it was. The coloured sands were so spectacular, the changing colours of white, red, pink and orange against the blue water and sky, as well as the vibrant green of the bushes. We then bush bashed across the top to the sand section where we ran down the steep slope. We would have loved to slide down on some cardboard, it really would have been a hoot!
Then we headed to Isabella Falls which was okay but nowhere near as spectacular as we have become accustomed to. Next stop was Lake Emma, then Old Laura Homestead is in the southern part of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park.
We then finished the loop and headed home for a swim at the Cooktown outdoor pool. It was a very hot and dry day with a temperature of 30°C. We have now travelled just over 8000km. Woohoo us!!
“Fergus O’Beirne, a young Irish immigrant who bought the Laura Station lease (12,800ha) in 1879 for just over £8. By 1894 he had over 8000 head of cattle—the success due largely to the contribution of the Aboriginal workers.
When Patrick Bernard and David Grogan took over the lease in 1925, they improved and added to the homestead and outbuildings. The Lakefield Cattle Company purchased the Laura and Lakefield properties in 1966, but abandoned Old Laura Homestead in favour of New Laura, 24km north. The homestead fell into disrepair.
In 1978, the Queensland Government purchased both stations and volunteers restored the homestead and the outbuildings, which are now recognised on the Queensland Heritage Register.”