Daintree National Park May 29 - 30 2019
  Next morning the Lappa Mt Garnet Road was a bit of a surprise. Caravans prohibited, along with road trains and anything "big".

We are in the middle of some mountains. The Great Dividing Range. Again.

  A surprise because its level, as if intended for a railway line, with cuttings.

But no hint of railway hardware anywhere near the road.

Single track all the way, with few passing places, and lots of corners.

We didn't meet any traffic.

  At times out in the open, with the sun shining.

Emuford, to our east, has lots of mines. Presumably gold as there's an old stamp battery.

  Lappa is more of a road junction than a place, or perhaps an intended railway junction.

We cross the Mungana Branch Line just before meeting the Burke Developmental Road.

  We are descending towards the Atherton Tablelands. We'll miss Atherton, this road leads to Mareeba.
  There was a lone mango tree on the roadside leading to Undara. Now we have mango plantations. All irrigated.
  And sugar, we haven't previously seen it flowering.
  And with a bit of a downturn and rationalisation of the sugar industry the beginnings of a conversion to cotton.
  Shopping, fuel and dump point in Mareeba. We head towards Mossman. All the roads are open, including to Cape York.
  We are still on the tablelands. About to descend 500m to the coast.
  But first past a fish farm. Barramundi.
  Cape Tribulation in the distance.
  Near the coast, approaching Mossman. Its grown a bit in the last 40 years. Even has a Woolworths supermarket which was the last thing I expected.
  The ferry operation has become a bit bigger.

Our vehicle seemed to present a bit of a problem to fare calculation. We reckon we came out ahead.

My recollection of queuing for the ferry 40 years ago was of a dirt road and a single line of traffic. I overheard two couple discussing whether it was worthwhile crossing the river. One said "its just more rain forest". I remember thinking I hope I never think that.

  So we cross the Daintree River.
  The road to Cape Tribulation has been sealed. The lookout has a car park for more than 30 cars, plus buses. A difference is that there is a lookout, and we can see the mouth of the Daintree.
  Past a sensible solar installation. Someone who understands that placing panels at different angles provides power for longer during the day and smooths the peak.
  The creeks are just as I recall. With rain forest to the edges and clear flowing water.
  Picked a coconut off the beach and forced it open with a variety of implements. Including a drill to open up the inner.

To find it had "gone off".

Have to try another one. Though most have been eaten by something that cuts a 75mm hole to get at the flesh. Must be fascinating to watch.

  Noah's Beach in the evening. Thornton Beach, where I spent a month camping just inside the tree line in 1978 is just to our south, the other side of a creek.

Camping in national park Noah's Beach camping ground is just a little different. We are back from the beach about 30m (which makes a big difference) and there's a heap of traffic noise from the sealed road.

  The crabs haven't changed. They still roll their balls of sand.
  Next morning we set off north, onto the rocks at the end of the beach.

Then look back past the pandanus palms.

  After crossing a small beach the rocks become too much for us. They slope quite sharply into the sea with no easy way past.

We content ourselves watching the sea life. Never seen a black crab before now.

  A small colony of lizards that pop in and out of the crevices.
  Back on the beach the crabs have been creative. Not the "normal" radial pattern from the centre.

We also saw lines, and scrape marks beside the balls.

  The eastern reef heron (in its dark phase) ignored us. Apart from never having seen one previously we didn't know they existed.
  The beach stone curlew also ignored us. It was last year in the Pilbara and Kimberley we last saw one of these. For some reason their behaviour amuses us. Perhaps the beak. Perhaps the way it strides along the beach.
  In the afternoon we walked south, to the creek. Thornton Beach on the other side. This is Oliver Creek.

Not this time but I'll dig out the fishing rod.

Daintree National Park May 31 - June 1 2019

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