"The Bloomfield Trail" Cooktown by RachelSmith

Cooktown Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 64 photos

What better to do with a 4x4?

So there we were, in our 'new' 4x4, on our first mini expedition to Cape Tribulation... and all it did was rain! So with little else to do, we decided to check out what the car could do!!! And by 9am we were heading northbound on the Bloomfield Trail! Actually, that's not technically true... we were postponed a bout an hour because we were kind enough to stop and help out some broken down travellers.

Ok, let me explain, the Bloomfield Trail is an unsealed road, only suitable for 4WD vehicles. Your average road car would not make this trip!! So off we headed, 2 country girls in our new toy!!

Ali, we decided, would drive to Cooktown, and i would drive back. The drive there was 3 fun filled hours of dodging fallen trees and potholes, skidding in the mud, and driving through creeks. It was great. And we were just a little nervous as we approcahed Wujal Wujal, where we had to cross a river where we could just see the roofrack of an already submerged vehicle that had gone off track. So we held back a little while to wait and see if any other cars would like to test thte waters before us!!! It wasn't long before a truck let us follow them through... a little scary, but maybe just a little exciting too!!

We stopped for just a few photo's, but mainly just ploughed on to Cooktown. Now this was a Saturday, so we expected to find a town with a few shops and interesting sights... but no... the town was like a ghost town. Everything barr a couple of shops was shut. We pitched our tent and asked the reception lady what there was to do. Apparently the only thing she knew of was the museum. Ok, so not quite our cup of tea... Instead we opted for a little adventure. So we found ourselves an aboriginal town on the map and off we trecked. (In the car of course!!) I'm not entirely sure what we expected to find when we got there, but again, it was dead. There were a few locals playing cards who waved at us... and a couple of women that scowled at us, b ut otherwise nothing too exciting. We actually felt a little intimadated there, like we really shouldn't be there, so we headed back to Cooktown.

We found a supermarket open... did a little bit of shopping and went back to cook a dinner of pasta with soup - Ali's new speciality!! It was a little windy so it took ages to cook - the flames appearing to be detracted from the pan of water... hmmm. Anyway, about an hour later, i had cooked us dinner... Ali meanwhile with her eyes firmly glues to whatever adventure Harry Potter was getting up to. I wish she'd finish that bloody book!!!

Anyway, i went for a shower and got ready, and by 8.45pm we'd decided to check out the pub for just a couple of drinks. By 9pm we were stood outside the SHUT pub. Unbelievable!! So that was it... bedtime already!! But of course not before being a little harrassed by a drunken 'drifter named Matthew' (as he introduced himself). All he wanted was alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Nice... and he wouldn't leave us alone so we were a little worried about going back to the tent. Some other lads offered to take us to the happening place of the night - the race track, but we kindly declined, and used this as an opportunity to slip back to the campsite without Matthew following us.

Back in the tent we got ready for bed, and Ali proceeded to tuck into Harry... hmmm. Meanwhile i was more concerned with the noises coming from outside the tent. I was convinced that was our drifter friend was lurking outside, and it was only Ali that mustered the courage to peek outside and discover it was only a bit of palm tree brushing up against the tent in the breeze!! I could sleep safely again!!!

The submerged car...

Open up this picture to see what we had to drive through!! The paved section on the left is the 'road' (ha!) - which actually looks a lot tamer in the picture than in reality! And to the right is the river containing the car. Apparently, as some other people who were ahead of us on the Trail told us, earlier on there were 2 cars visible in the river. Not very confidence-building!!

Another section of the road here!

So then there was the trip back, and now it was my turn to drive - woohoo!! We had ourselves booked onto a horse treck back in Cape Tribulation, so we had to be back by 12.30pm... meaning we'd have to be out by 10am latest, to allow for any eventualities.

Hmmm... we actually got back by 12pm... only 2 hours after setting off!!! I swear, not one speed limit broken!! The trip back was so much different, and as the driver, i found it more exciting!! We managed to get ourselves joined into a convoy of 4x4ers who had significantly more experience than me, so we ended up going a little faster and a little less cautiously than on the first journey. It was all good though. There were a couple of cars in front and a couple behind, meaning you could learn from what they were doing; copying when they managed to avoid huge potholes and puddles etc. At times the order of the cars changed, and we weren't so sure if that was one of the unwritten rules of Off-Road driving... are you all meant to have a go at being the leader?? Since everone else had had a go, they seemed to let me pass to have my go. Understandably, i wasn't overly keen, given that for the last hour and a half we'd covered much more ground and avoided many more bumps and hazards... but i supposed that fair was fair and off i went, at the same pace as i had been following at. And i actually enjoyed it... though i'm not sure that Isy will have done!! (The car!)

Anyway, as i said, just 2 hours later and we were back in Cape Trib, ready for the next adventure of the day....

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  • Last visit to Cooktown: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Aug 23, 2005
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RachelSmith

“To see with eyes alone is not to see at all”

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