After packing up our camp we headed up the road just a short drive to Cooktown. We made our way up to the lighthouse where 100 or so happy snaps were taken of the incredible contrasting views across the ocean, mangrove swamps and town centre. The Cooktown museum contains many historical items, such as Captain Cook’s anchor and gun barrels from the Endeavour which caught aground in 1770. Amazingly, despite damage to the hull, they were able to run the ship inland on high tide and repair enough to crawl back to England. The anchor and barrels were among several heavy items that Cook demanded be thrown off board to save the ship. These weren’t recovered from the ocean until a research team located them in 1969. We completed our Cooktown stop with a visit down to the wharf where we picked up a cheap bag of fresh local prawns from one of the fishing boats.
We headed through Lakefield National Park via Battlecamp road and stopped for lunch at the Old Laura Homestead. We continued on for hours over corrugated roads to the next stop, Musgrave Roadhouse – another typical roadhouse stop with camping grounds and basic facilities. The next morning we saw our first crocodile when a couple nearby our campsite, alerted us to one lying stealth-like in a fenced off body of water at the back of the property.