Lockhart River #15

The Palm cockies have been hanging around for the last few months, obviously nesting nearby, they are a beautiful bird but a little camera shy……..haha

WOW! We are finally leaving Lockhart River, as long as we get across the Pascoe River, today Saturday 27th March will be our best chance as they are predicting more rain & the river levels will rise again, they have been going up & down but 3 of the locals got through yesterday afternoon & the river did not rise over night.

Yea – we made it, but it was quite hairy, wouldn’t like to have to repeat that experience. There was lotz of water crossings & major washouts in places but we just went along nice & steady. The Wenlock River was running quite fast but not as deep as the Pascoe & not as wide. Once we got to the Peninsula Development Rd (PRD) & crossed over the Archer River, the hardest part was over, but the road was washed out in many places & lotz more water crossings – but we just toddled along. It was quite lovely, gave us lotz of time to smell the roses along the way. We camped overnite ‘somewhere’ between Coen & Musgrove Station – it was a nice spot, 4 small ponds, gravel base & plenty of fire wood – our biggest problem being it started to rain & didn’t stop, hahah. Breakfast was awesome.

We finally got to Cairns, Sunday night in the pouring rain.

Palm Cockatoo’s were frequent visitors for the last few months.
Goodbye Iron Range Research Station, Lockhart River.

The mighty Pascoe River
Lotz of water crossings & washouts.
Highland Tamarind – Acacia/wattle family
The grass trees (black boys) are thriving after being burnt out then the rain.
The mighty Wenlock River
Some good washouts to go through.
We are headed to Cairns via Coen.
The Archer River, it was 200mls over the causeway, anything over 400mls is not advisable.
These 2 fellows weren’t bothered about anything.
This particular washout was a lot worse than it looks in this pic.
These 2 weren’t real friendly but quite pretty.
Trying to keep some coals happening so we can have a cup a coffee with our cake – thats dinner for tonight.
Our bed for the night.
Making some toast – thanks to Neil Weier for making our utensil.
Breakfast – yea. 🙂
Common Camas – wild hyacinth – beautiful.
Packed up & on the road again – the sun is shining tooooooo.
Lotz of these critters but not easy to get a pic.
Grevillia’s just starting to flower.
Kennedy River
Kennedy River flood debris.
Severe bitumen damage between Musgrove Station & Laura.

Lockhart River #14

WOW! its nearly the end of March, 2021. Time is flying but life is good. 🙂

We have gradually been packing up our gear & boat, last minute cleaning, whipper nipping etc just waiting for the water levels to drop. Our main problem crossing being the Pasco River, its too deep & the current is a lttle too strong to try & take the boat across at this depth. But the levels are dropping & rising a little at times, but overall dropping & as long as there is no rain in the catchment area we may get out this weekend. We took a drive along Portmans Rd last Monday (this is the road that will take us to the Peninsula Development Rd which goes to the right to Weipa & south to Cairns), it was an interesting drive, lotz of erosion & in some places not much road left & a far amount of water to negotiate but overall the road not too bad considering all the rain that has fallen. We got as far as the Pascoe river (about an hours drive from Lockhart River) & got no further, the water too high & the current too quick, even the locals weren’t driving through….But it gave us an idea on the water levels when checking them out on the bom site. So we are sitting tight just waiting……….

We have had lotz of melamy’s the last few months & while we were packing found a mumma & her bubs. But there are lotz of critters up here, some nice, some not so nice.

The last pic is of Erman, a backpacker from Chile who was at Lockhart River for 3 months, he has just left & is going to Doomadgee, another indigenous community not far from the QLD/NT border – it will be an interesting experience for him. He was a great worker & a nice fellow, we got on well, we worked in the community store together, he was in the store & I was in the cafe.

Don’t know what this is but it came from a milk thistle like plant.
White turmeric.
Mumma Melomy & 2 big bubs.
Lotz of erosion but the road still pretty good.
Lotz of water crossings.
Just have to stay aware.
This one a bit deceptive, lotz of sand & quite deep in spots.
The water was so clear & inviting but nooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Pascoe River crossing, too deep for us today but hopefully soon.
These beauties were all along the road, we just had to stop once……
Ermon, a ‘chilean’ backpacker

Lockhart River #13

Peter & I went out fishing into Lloyd Bay, the water was like glass (my type of fishing waters), it was really amazing. We stopped at the sand bar just before we went out, to see if we could get some live bait, we did, but there was a previous visitor to the sand bare before us, glad we didn’t run into him, we didn’t stay long. hahaha

The water was so clear, we went out to a place called Jackson Rock & you could actually see fish swimming around obviously they weren’t too hungry but you get that. Peter did catch a few nice fish, we kept 1 pinky (nannygai), they are very yum. Saw lotx of turtles, luckily none of them tried to jump on our lines – it was a great day. Back to the Claudi River, hopefully we won’t have too wait too long for the tide to rise so we can get the boat our of the water. We will collect the crab pots, throw a few lures & go home.

The butterflys at Iron Range(where we live) are beautiful but not very photogenic (not for me anyway) but I did manage to get a pic of one.

The weather seems to be changing a bit lately, less humidity & definately cooling down also quite breezy at times & we haven’t had as much rain. We are hoping to drive out soon, there are still a few rivers that are a bit too high for us so we will just wait & see.

Keep smiling. 🙂

Stopped at this sand bank to get some bait, its under water at high tide.
Just happened to notice there had been an earlier visitor, quite large by the look of the foot prints, approx 800mm between feet.
The water was like glass, so beautiful.
Didn’t take long & Peter was onto it.
A nice GT, we released him so he was one happy fish.
Peter also caught a nice size nannygai(pinky) – snapper family, we kept him.
We were not far from the shipping channel but far enough to stay out of their way.
Back to the Claudi River, very low tide, we will have to wait for a while before we are able to take boat out of the river.
Run off water coming down in quite a few places which should be a good feeding area for the bara.
We had to collect the crab pots which was good as it enabled us to have mud crab as an entree for dinner.
Amazing butterflys up here but very few stay still for photo’s.
This fellow was strolling into the under cover area just as I was going to work.
Another bloom on this beautiful orchid.

Lockhart River #12

We have been out fishing a few times, most of the time we always go home with a feed which is good. We haven’t put the crab pots in much as there usually isn’t many crabs around but since the rain the crabs have been moving – yah.

While we are out walking we usually find some weird & wonderful things, the red fungi is really going beserk at the moment. Lotz of butterflys, some very beautiful but too quick for me & the camera. Found a rather large caterpillar quite hairy so we didn’t get too close.

Peter has gone out fishing with a friend & they have had some fun, 1st time they got 6 mackeral, next time they went to another spot & caught an eski full of nannygai – very yum (they are in the snapper family).

Went to Chilli beach & collected some coconuts, they yum also, its our snack food.

Lotz of flowering happening up here still which is lovely. The rain has been pretty constant so everything is growing madly. We are waiting for the rain to stop for a while so the river levels will drop enabling us to drive out but not sure when that is going to happen at this stage. Oh well! more time for fishing….:-)

This fellow very unlucky, we were stopped on a sand bank to get some live bait & he just happened to be strolling along, bad for him, good for us.
We caught his mate in a crab pot.
While out walking we have found quite a lot of red fungi – amazing stuff.
One of these fellows was tired so he getting a ride from another butterfly…..
Don’t know what it is called but we weren’t touching him.
Grunter/Javelin fish – WOW! he was awesome.
More crabs, yummo.
Peter went out with a friend – this was 1 of 6 mackeral he caught.
Nannygai magic. 🙂
This is actually a ‘palm cockatoo’, they were feeding not far from us, no camera just ph.
This is some weird fungi…..
WOW! they are so beautiful & flowering everywhere still -chinese hibiscus (1 of their many names)
Chilli beach, low tide.
coconuts galore.
Pandanus full of flower at Chilli Beach.
Lotz of these critters around, they are quite colourful.
I think this turkey is eying off my coconuts.
Crimson catteya – flowering again, so nice.
Nina, waiting for some banana.
Golden guinea tree/red beech – so amazing.

Lockhart River #11

WOW! Mid February already. Time does fly when your having fun.

We have been out fishing a few times, only once when we have been out did we come back with no keepers (we did catch some sharks but didn’t keep any).

For the month of January we had 730mls rain – not a bad drop & so far this month we have had 200mls & its raining now, all roads are closed so no driving in or out of Lockhart River, the Peninsula Development Rd that runs from Lakelands to the tip of ‘oz’ is under water in many of the river crossing – so not a lot of traffic anywhere up here at present.

We have had lotz of critters visiting & the birds chatter a lot, many different languages but great sounds.

Keep smiling. 🙂

A fruit dove, not real clever when building a nest.
This specimen didn’t last too long after a storm we had, no sign of egg anymore.
Chilli Beach – tide going out
The high tide covers the whole beach.
I think Chilli Beach is known as the ‘thong’ kingdom.

On way back from Chilli beach, got a bit damper & very slippery.
Yep – more rain.
Had quite a few Rhinoceros beetles fly in, they hiss at you….
‘Nina’ the house pet bat, visits most nights for banana.
Don’t know the name but he had lovely wings.
I think he’s checking out my water bottle, getting ready for a walk maybe?????
Had to get a new hat as he donated the other one to the fish…haha
Lotz of fresh water running into the Claudie River from the rains. (a good hang out for bara)
Got to watch out for these rocks when going out the river, all under water at high tide.
People park their boats in funny positions up here.
Heaps of these critters around, this girl finishing Nina’s left over banana.
What a cutie, haven’t discovered their name yet but they building a nest near by.
so cute & beautiful
Indian cucumber root, so my app says. Cute little moth visiting.

Lockhart River #10

WOW! what a great start to 2021. Peter & I went out fishing, the bay was flat & beautiful, so out we went. At our first stop we caught 6 sharks within about 15 minutes, lotz of fun but we realeased them all, moved to another spot & caught another 2 sharks within minutes. The clouds were definately building quickly & there was rain around, once the wind began we decided to head back to the Claudi River, got a bit wet from the waves & the rain. Did some trolling in the river & I caught a baracuda, Peter caught a queenie then we tried one of Peter’s spots & YES he caught a bara, not big but 59cm which is just legal so he was a keeper. So we had a wonderful day, catching the fish was a bonus.

On one of our walks Peter came across a green snake, glad it was him & not me. Also found this beautiful chinese hibiscus with a grasshopper on it with a huge appetite…..

Last week on my return trip from work in the community I only got so far up the driveway & stopped. Much safer idea to walk up to house, Peter came down & we used the winch to pull down the tree completely & then got the chainsaw into action. He has had to use the chainsaw on several trees lately after storms.

Not sure at this stage but I imagine in the mangrove family.
Yea, there is bara in the Claudi river.
Luckily he was just over the legal size.
Tasmanian flax-lily
The fruit of the Tasmanian flax-lily – beautiful but toxic.
More ‘fungi’ but they are pretty awesome & very colourful.
These fellows are small but an awesome colour.
Top side of this fellow.
Under side of the above.
Natal plum
Looks like a bouquet.
Peter nearly stood on this fellow, but he allowed a pic then took off.
Can you guess this little fellow’s thoughts??
Came home from work one day – nice day for a walk up the driveway.
The winch on the patrol should do the job.
Yea ha. All good. Now just a job for the chainsaw.

Lockhart River #9

Christmas 2020 – Iron Range Research Station, a bit cloudy & we will probably get more rain as we have had 57mls early this morning. Slept in, scrambles eggs for breakfast then we went for a walk over to the orchard, lotz of sweating involved, lotz of march flies but lotz of fungi. Its approx 4 klms but the hills are quite steep so the heart rate is definately high, but its good & we are improving all the time. We are planning on lighting up the BBQ & getting some coals to cook our lamb roast in, hopefully we will find some dry wood after the downpour early this morning, going to cook up some mince & veg in the other camp oven as well – thats the plan at this stage.

Merry Christmas, enjoy & stay safe. xxxooo 🙂

I love ‘fungi’ – lotz of pics in this blog of fungi.
Yea, we made it across the fast flowing creek…….hahaha. We have seen little turtles at this crossing.
I’m gonna make it up this hill.
Getting closer to the top of this one!
WOW! some of this ‘fungi’ is amazing.
I love walking, it makes me feel soooooo good.
Peter got some good coals happening for our campoven Xmas dinner.
And then the rain began again….
Camp ovens not looking too good, I think it will be a ‘on top of the stove job’ to finish off the cooking.
Yummo – ended up being very tasting.
Happy New Year to all – stay safe & have a great 2021. 🙂

Lockhart River # 8

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all.

The week before Christmas.

Since we have been here at Lockhart River at the premises where we are living we have been able to indulge in some lovely home grown fruits, this time a lovely pineapple – WOW, it was beautiful. I also found a few purple passionfruit down the driveway, a good find, should get a few nice desserts out of these. The bugs & critters are getting lively, not every night but they love to share the ‘love’…haha.

The ponies love bread, actually they love just about anything you give them, as long as you don’t get too close. There are quite a lot of ‘community’ ponies around, sometimes you see the kids riding them, otherwise they just wander & go where ever they please.

We have walked over to the ‘orchard’ area a few times since the rains has started, lotz of blooms & so much grass but no joy for the mango plants yet…

There was a polish backpacker at the store where I work(she left Xmas eve), a lovely girl, we took her out in boat & also went walking along the ‘old Coen road’ again, it was great, a bit more water than last time & so very green now. The blooms were jumping out everywhere. Peter & Ania walked across a log to cross on of the crossings, I just waddled through….haha. So many beautiful flowers everywhere, most of the names are from an app I have & also a couple of books so if they are incorrect I appoligise.

Life at the community is always different – last picture tells the story. 🙂

Yummo – home grown, one of the best pineapples ever – so sweet.
Unfortuneately some night the flying ants send us to bed extra early…..haha
On my way to work at the store, customers eagerly awaiting for something?????
Chinese hibiscus -WOW! they are so nice at the moment, there will be lotz more pics of these to come.
Cogon Grass/Blading grass – a weed, but does look nice at present.
Cigartree/Indian bean tree – very delicate & pretty flower.
Peter & Ania crossing the western branch of the Claudi River.
Malabar melastome/Indian rhododendron
Golden guinea tree/Red beech
Brown kurrajong
Synostemon glaucus
Indian mulberry/Cheese fruit- apparently the fruit smells of vomit (I didn’t get too close)
Stinking passionflower-also known by many different names, Bush passionfruit being one.
Spiny-head mat-rush/Basket grass
Uvaria grandiflora
Australian almond
When we collected Ania (the backpacker, she lives near the police station), I just had to take a pic of the clients lining up for court appearances……

Lockhart River #7

It was definately a bit ‘hairy’ heading down to the Pascoe River, big rocks & washouts, Peter did a great job manouvering the ute down. We did walk down first & walked across the river then up the other side just to make sure we weren’t dreaming that we could do it, its always a good idea to have a look & check out where you have to go then decide which way you are going to do it.

I’m glad we got down, across & up the other side because I wasn’t looking forward to having to turn around & go back the way we come, it could have been a long night. We got back to the house about an hour before dark so that ws good. The ute went very well & Peter’s driving skills did the job. 🙂

Slowly motoring downhill to the Pascoe River

Definately didn’t want the tyres in that washout.
Did a bit of slipping & sliding but all ended well at this stage.
Now for the next stage.
Just about down to the water.
The Pascoe River – haven’t seen any crocs but will be keeping eyes peeled.
Definately did a bit of walking on this crossing, I obviously didn’t walk the same place as Peter because the 3 times I walked across the river it came up to my waist…haha.
Woo ho, now all there is to do is to get up the other side.
Doesn’t look pretty but the ‘old girl’ should be ok.
Nearly there.
The view from the top was awesome. We conquered the Pascoe River & survived. 🙂

Lockhart River #6

WOW! after leaving Moreton Telegraph Station we headed south, just before we got to Batavia Station there was a track on the left(the Frenchman’s Track – you can u-tube it if your interested), its a short cut & just under 100klms – we decided to take it, it will bring us out on Portlands Road approximately 30klms from the Lockhart River turnoff but you still have to cross over the Wenlock & Pascoe Rivers so it should be interesting………hahaha. It took us 4 & 1/2 hours to complete the Frenchman’s track….

This is the beginning of the Frenchmans track – very good track.
Southern swamp crinum/String lily
Some massive termite mounds -actually lotz of them.
This track is too easy.
We got out of ute & walked quite a few crossings before going through, this is part of the entrance to the Wenlock River.
Here she comes.
No worries, she is a good old girl.
The mighty Wenlock.
The track continues.
Which side will we go…….
Here we go.
We took the right hand side as the left hand side looked like it would be more slippery to get out of.
Good choice.
Malabar melastome. They are everywhere but so pretty.
Always lotz of detours required.
There was a few other creek crossings, some a bit deeper than first thought.
Common swamp pitcher-plant. Apparently they attract mossies & eat them.
the book says & also the plant app I have that this is a Common swamp pitcher-plant……..
Here we go again, but not too deep & lotz of fun.

Woo ho. Just warming up for the Pascoe River crossing, we came across a motorbike rider, quad bike & suzuki 4wd, they said it was a bit hairy & didn’t take any vehicles across it………….we will find out soon.