Bathurst head is on the eastern side of the Cape, through lakefield National Park and down a dodgy road. It’s on aboriginal land and there’s four campsites you can camp at for free. It has a group of islands off the coast including flinders island.
We met a nice bloke called Steve from Townsville here. He gave us some excess bait and firewood to get us going. The thing that Steve liked about living in Townsville is that it’s close to everything. Imagine trying to convince a Victorian that Townsville is close to every important place you’d ever want to visit..
We had to drive through a Bush fire on the way in.
The track got a little muddy in places. You could survive lakefield without a four wheel drive this time of year, but you definitely need the added traction, high clearance and rugged manliness of a four wheel drive to get in here.
On our first trip in the boat we got halfway to the islands and the outboard stopped pumping water, which tends to be a bad thing for an outboard motor to do…. Enter my favorite superhero, dodgy Bush mechanic man. Dodgy Bush mechanic man quickly deduced that the impeller was still OK and the blockage must lie elsewhere. After taking off two precious gaskets that kept the water from the combustion chamber he found the blockage was in the heat exchanger outlet. After clearing the blockage he bolted it all back together, said a prayer to the gasket God’s and crossed all his fingers.
With the outboard fixed a few days later we made it to the islands and picked up a 64cm spotted mackerel.
Mmmmm roast chook..
How to get there:
Turn off the Peninsula Development Road into Lakefield National Park. Before the Lakefield Ranger station take the signed turn towards Cape Melville. Take the next signed turn towards Bathurst head and follow the track 45km to the beach.
You can launch off the beach. The beach is protected enough to leave your boat in over night if you trust your anchor and knots.