We had arrived at Archer Point the night before in the dark. We couldn’t see anything around us, except a sign warning of crocodiles and a noose that we accidentally parked our JUCY van under, so at sunrise we were surprised to see that we had camped in paradise on a secluded beach surrounded by palm trees and mountains.
We woke up the boys in their van, made some campfire coffee and then went on an hour walk to the lighthouse that Archer Point is known for. The lighthouse was at the top of a cliff that overlooked the ocean and surrounding islands. We sat at the top of the cliff and looked for whales. It was a really windy spot but incredibly beautiful and there was no one around.
After our walk Berry and Ronnie climbed a palm tree to get us fresh coconuts for breakfast (it’s pretty much mandatory to have a fresh coconut for breakfast when you’re camping in paradise) and then we all said bye to the wild cows and got on the road again, to head back towards Cairns. We didn’t really see any cars on the road the day before, so it was nice to have another van on the road with us.
Our first pit stop was at the Black Mountain (Kalkajaka), an incredible mountain that is made up of millions of black granite boulders, some the size of houses. There is no soil between the boulders so there are gaps in between the rocks. The mountain is nicknamed “Mountain of Death” because a lot of people have mysteriously disappeared in and around this mountain. Pictures really don’t do this sight justice; I’ve never seen anything like it.
We had a few other scenic pit stops along the drive back to Cairns but my favourite was Barron Falls. Again, this is another sight where pictures don’t do it justice because this was probably the largest and most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen. If you’re in the Cairns area, this is definitely worth a visit.
We decided to split up with the boys because Ash and I really wanted to shower and the boys were heading to a campsite outside the city. It was after sunset when we arrived at a campground in Cairns, where we found out that everything was fully booked for the night. At this point we were extremely frustrated, exhausted and dirty (not getting any sleep the night before also didn’t help). Our lack of planning meant that we were stranded and all we really wanted was a shower. Noticing that the campground gate was open, we decided to drive in and park in an empty campsite so that we could sneak into the showers. Our plan was to play dumb if anyone asked us what we were doing, and that’s exactly what we had to do when we arrived back from our shower and the RV(whose spot we were parked in) was waiting for us. We pretended to not know where we were and said we didn’t know how to read campsite numbers and they probably thought we were the dummest girls they had ever met.
After a lot of indecision we decided to go to the campsite that Berry and Ronnie were at, which was just outside of the city, on Lake Tinaroo. Our GPS said it was only a half hour away, but we soon realized that our GPS was a big fat liar an hour and a half later. The campsite was so off the beaten path that our GPS couldn’t figure out how to get to it because the roads weren’t even on maps. After driving in the dark up a mountain (the next day we realized that we were driving beside a cliff for most of the drive) for almost 2 hours we eventually gave up when our GPS told us just a half hour more (liar). We pulled over beside a dark lake, in what looked like farmland and finally went to sleep.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting the day by day accounts of my very JUCY road trip around Northern Queensland so keep checking back! If you missed my blogs about the first few days, you can read them by clicking on the links below.
PROLOGUE- A JUCY Road Trip: Prologue