Lakefield National Park - Basin Hole August 9 - 10 2019
  An early start, and a quick look at ducks again, before breakfast. The flock of plumed whistling ducks at "our lagoon" at "number 16, Hann Crossing Avenue".
  The river system is quite complex. This is Hann Crossing of the North Kennedy River. To confuse us, 5km west is an unnamed crossing of the Hann River.

We are beginning to recognise the rock that forms the river beds, and forms a barrier between the tidal region and fresh water. There is more rock like this for a couple of km northwards and then the limit of tidal flow.

  We thought we would take advantage of the track from Bizant outpost that is advertised to West Lagoon and Blue Lagoon.

We knew that Lama Lama Lagoon was closed to us, we didn't expect Bizant, and thus the track, to be closed. There's even a new by-pass around the airfield that looks a few years old.

Basin Hole is at the confluence of a creek that flows out of what is marked on our maps as Blue Lagoon and Jam Tin Creek. The road crosses a dry creek so we attempt to follow the west bank to the lagoon.

We haven't gone far before we surprised a couple of Sarus Cranes. Unmistakably redder head and neck than Brolgas. Of course the flew off.


  Wading through grass is not only a bit of effort but needs a bit of care. Though this snake stuck its tongue out at us but otherwise ignored us.
  There's remnants of fences, just a few of the stronger posts and little wire.

We didn't find the lagoon, despite our track on the map showing we walked through the middle of it.

Our interest in lagoons, the depressions in the landscape that hold water, rather than the river bed pools, is that there is more likelihood of fresh water birds. Some of the lagoons are just the right depth. The river pools are very different.

  The more nonchalent I appear the more likely Ali is to see a crocodile. This one calmly swam, if an almost imperceptible movement of tail can be called swimming, across the hole. Just as the name suggests, a broadening of the river to form a wide hole.

Also present, parked in the middle of the campsite, were two vehicles. Carried boats for a days fishing. Camp sites and boats only really mix if one is doing both.

In the wet season Jam Tin Creek becomes a branch of the Normanby River joining it to the North Kennedy River.

Basin Hole is about as far as the tide comes.

  The croc obligingly parked on the sandbank, the opposite bank to us, the inside of the bend.
  I managed to hold the camera steady.
  Here's a repeat of the schematic map from a couple of pages ago - where there's a better explanation.

We are camped at Basin Hole, at about the "J" of Jam Tin Creek.

  We seem to have slipped into wondering if the birds we see have been seen by us previously, and a little excitement if not.

That requires us to identify the bird. In this case a grey fantail, and we saw one a couple of days ago.

  A terrible pic of a Golden-Backed Honeyeater.

There are a few in the trees. Just that the vegetation along the river bank is thick.

  At least green tree frogs sit still to have their pic taken.
  Next morning we became adventurous and followed the river bank northwards.

Not long before we met a difficult crossing of a tributary, difficult because the tide was in, and had to backtrack. Having crossed that we tried to follow the main river loop but the thick vegetation was too much of a barrier. We took a shortcut across the loop, a left hand bend, and found the outside of the next right hand bend. At least 200 meters. Did I mention that the rivers here meander a lot, with large loops almost forming islands and leaving lakes. The land is relatively flat and falls slowly to the sea.

Being the outside of the bend the bank is eroded and the thick vegetation cleared. A quick look downstream then head back to the truck in a roughly straight line.

  For some inane reason, about this point, halfway from river to truck, I felt like singing. Not something that overcomes me often - though some will remember me being forbidden to sing the Sky Boat Song when crossing the bridge to the Isle Of Skye - but today seemed different.

A beautiful day, a beautiful morning. With what, if it had been a smidgeon higher and in a different country, would have been thigh high to an elephant.

Fortunately the hand held gps helped the sun guide our way home.

I remain reasonably certain there is little connection between my singing and the strange lack of birds, though I could well be wrong.

  With only two nights at Basin Hole we didn't have time to walk upstream and cross the river to lagoons on the east side.

But we realised long ago we couldn't do everything.

For our evening constitutional we walked south on the vehicle track as far as the tidal limit and admired the rock and river banks in the evening sun.


Lakefield National Park - Dingo Waterhole August 11 - 13 2019

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