McGowan Island Beach camp

Saturday 3 August

It was a noisy night in camp.  There were screeches, shrieks, howls and honks through the night and rattlings around the saucepans under the camp stove.  If you were up early enough you could see the small paw tracks before the campers headed towards the facilities.

We all took off after breakfast down the road to the junction (a 2 hour drive).  Our companions headed south and we took the road north to Kulumburu, an isolated and very beautiful part of the world on the northern coastline.

It was all about the road for most of the day. We had a short sojourn at King Edward River. By the time we arrived at Kulumburu, all the services were shut and there was nowhere for us to buy our tourist permit for access into the community.  Another 20 or so kilometres north is McGowan Island Beach, a campground with showers, grassy spots to pitch the tent and big waters for boat fishing. That took a bit of finding as the sign that leans on the tree at the fork in the road keeps blowing over. I guess most people eventually find their way.

On first impression, the guy who runs the campground is a very balanced person. When I say balanced, I mean 50% laconic and 50% “I don’t give a %#*%”.  According to campers who had been there for 5 days, he does warm to you after three or four days. Unfortunately we were only there for 2 nights, but we did get a smile when I handed over our camp fees as we were leaving and static electricity sparks flew.

Speaking of warming up, there is a very fair system of ensuring that the hot water is shared equitably among all campers.  There is none.  The afternoon temperature was warm enough for it not to be a problem.

Nothing more to do after pitching up than to catch a few sunset shots along the beach front and keep a watchful eye out for crocodiles the closer you got to the water. There are apparently four resident salties.

The sketch is the view from the tent site across the water.

McGowan's Island at sunset - 3 Aug

3 Aug - pandanus on the estuary - McGowan's

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