Cape Melvile to Bathurst Head.

We pulled the gear off the bikes and prepared some lunch for a day trip in to Cape Melvile and back to our camp site.

The unloaded bikes rode like a dream in the deep sand. I feel like I am back on the Husaberg 570 again. This is a lot of fun.

TheTip (13 of 93)

See James’ comment at the bottom of the post for an amazing little bit of history that killed the trees around this freshwater lagoon.

 

Our first sight of Cape Melvile

Our first sight of Cape Melvile

It is still windy and even more so out on the water.

 

Riding up the beach takes the sand to the next level. I am not sure we would have gone anywhere on the beach if we had brought all the gear. As it stands though it is manageable. If we stop its hard going getting started but once up to speed its fine.

 

The deep soft stuff

The deep soft stuff

After riding up the beach a way we came to a dead end. Either the track continues on the waters edge or somewhere else. The tide is up so the creek crossings along the beach are up. We choose to head back a little way and up another track into the hills  in the hope that we can find the mountain spring that a some guys back down the beach told us of.

Fresh water spring fed creek. Paradise. Out of the wind and heat. Beautiful clear fresh water to drink and swim in.

Fresh water spring fed creek. Paradise. Out of the wind and heat. Beautiful clear fresh water to drink and swim in. Drinking water in this landscape is…. liquid life.

 

This place really is a milestone for me. What a little gem. After eating we both headed off on foot to explore the boulder field. Following the stream back up into the rocks for a little way was fantastic.

 

Boulder landscape

Boulder landscape

 

 

 

Old Tree

Old Tree

TheTip (19 of 93)

orchid of some sort

 

 

Heading back out to camp was lots of fun again.

Arriving back at camp amongst the white sand

Mawson without side boxes back at camp amongst the white sand

 

 

It only took 40 minutes for us to get all the gear back on the bikes. I had actually taken the side boxes off Mawson. Even bolting them back on was pretty quick and we were on our way back out toward Wakooka in short order.

 

Once again the going was tough with most of the weight back on the bikes. Although we have used a good bit of fuel and a little food of course so the load is somewhat lighter. I fell off a few more times on the way out. Well once I think. But I came awful close a few more times. I amazed myself by managing to keep the bike upright and moving on several occasions when I had almost started to step off the bike, as I was sure I was going down. Almost like there was part of me that doubted the part of myself that was doing the driving. As odd as it sounds I think this doubt tends to take over in my riding as soon as the going gets a little tough. This both protects me and disables me.

 

Still I have been amazed just how well I have been able to ride my loaded bike though this deep sand. I have been choosing about 50km/h as the sweet spot in speed terms where you cruse over the top of the sand but if things go nasty hitting the sand is still reasonably soft.

 

Getting back out toward Wakooka I noticed my bike feeling like it was running rich again. Time to pull the air filter sock off.

 

The track from Wakooka toward Kapowar is pretty good and we made good time. Turning north again onto the Bathurst Heads track we made good progress for the first two thirds of the 45km track and then hit some challenging sand again. I dropped my bike again. None of these little “get offs” in the sand have done any damage at all that I am aware of. That is one good thing about the soft sand it is just that, soft. As long as the bike just tips over side ways the sand slows the bike quickly and you get thrown gently off.

 

The landscape and forest changed many times on the way in.

Heading out toward Bathurst Head

Heading out toward Bathurst Head

 

 

A really pretty ride.

Salt mud flats

Salt mud flats

 

We have stopped on a huge beach over looking Princess Charlotte Bay looking west toward the main peninsula which is off somewhere over the horizon.

Princess Charlotte Bay

Princess Charlotte Bay

 

A local resident

A local resident

Camped

Camped

4 Responses to Cape Melvile to Bathurst Head.

  1. David Holmgren September 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Last pic is classic with the Jesus light behind the Pandanus palms, but I was curious about the first photo that seems to show a lot of dead trees in the background around the edge of the water. Almost looks like a dam that has flooded forest but that seems unlikely somewhere so remote?

    • Oliver Holmgren September 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

      Yeah, it’s a good observation. Not quite sure why they died. Obviously something changed.

  2. James White May 20, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

    The dead trees in the first photo are in the coastal swamp close to Cape Melville.
    They died in the late 1800’s from saltwater storm surge after Cyclone Mahena sent a 40 ft high surge over 6km inland
    This filled the fresh water lagoons with salt water and killed the trees.
    Cyclone Mahena was a category 5 cyclone that sunk a pearling fleet in 1899.

    • Oliver Holmgren June 11, 2015 at 11:56 am #

      James,
      Thankyou for your input. Very interesting indeed. What an incredible event!

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