THE DAINTREE RAINFOREST IS THE OLDEST CONTINUAL RAINFOREST IN THE WORLD
It amazes me that many visitors avoid Cooktown. It is part of the adventure and is truly a great little historical town with fine eating and much to do. It has several small national parks and conservation areas that are well worth the walks.
At Cooktown you have a choice of heading south to Lakelands and onto the PDR, north on the Battle Camp Track to Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP and Laura, or take the Starcke Track to Muundhi, Cape Melville and Rinyirru national parks and Bathurst Head. Don’t miss a couple of nights’ camping on Elim Beach, via Hopevale.
Both tracks are maintained, though the Starcke only as far as the Starcke River, where it turns into long stretches of bulldust. The Starcke Track is the most scenic and adventurous route to Rinyirru and the track closely follows the coast. From Mount Webb National Park views unfold of the Cape Flattery dune fields and old Starcke Station.
From here there are more than 100 creek and gully crossings before the Starcke River. There is a bush campground and a boat ramp at the river mouth.
The first park encountered is Muundhi NP, which is part of Rinyirru NP and is located on its eastern border. It connects with Cape Melville NP. Combined, they cover a huge area, but access is limited, as are tracks. Check with the park’s office at Cooktown or the Lakefield ranger base for access and camping information.
AT ABANDONED Wakooka Station there is
Take a beach walk at Cape Tribulation, where rainforest meets the reef. Archer Point is one of the most scenic places on the east coast. Don’t be part of the problem: do your bit to contain pest species.
Take your rubbish with you when leaving and don’t be a grub.