After crossing the Jardine River you enter into the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA). The NPA covers the communities of Injinoo, Umagico, Bamaga, New Mapoon and Seisia. This is the gateway to the Torres Strait islands and of course to the tip of Australia!
Entering the NPA also meant the start of our alcohol restrictions, which may have meant some of the boys having a drinking session the night before to dispose of some liquor! A lot of the communities in the Cape York region have alcohol restrictions (limits to the amount and type of alcohol you can carry, as well as the alcohol content allowed), some are even dry communities where no alcohol at all is allowed. This is quite normal in many remote towns and Aboriginal communities across Australia, so it wasn’t anything new to us, but you really do need to do your research before travelling remote as there are huge fines that apply if you are caught with alcohol in your vehicle.
The peninsula north of the Jardine River is surrounded by water – the Coral Sea to the east, the Arafura Sea and Gulf of Carpentaria to the west, and the Torres Strait to the north.
This area is full is history, with ruins at Somerset and also WW2 relics around the Bamaga area. If you have the time, there is so much to explore in this region.
Even taking a drive out into some of the communities is an eye opener. The one thing that is really confronting and got to us on both visits is the amount of stray dogs. The poor things are so skinny, just pure skin and bones and most of them with either terrible skin conditions, cuts and wounds and limps from old untreated broken bones. It’s heartbreaking to see this. There are so many puppies running around and some of the mummy dogs look like pups themselves, it’s such a horrible situation. We just wanted to pack them all up in the 4WD and take them home with us.
It’s not only the stray dogs you need to worry about, it’s the wild horses that roam the streets and campgrounds aswell.
We were all staying at the Loyalty Beach Campground, which is where we both stayed last time. There are a few campgrounds around, but we loved this one last time so decided to stay there again. It’s quite a large park with plenty of space for everyone, the facilities are good, the staff are friendly and helpful, the sunsets are amazing …. and they have a bar on site!
Two of the vehicles from our group arrived at the park earlier in the day and found us the perfect spot, right on the beach. We couldn’t have asked for a better place to call home for the next 3 days.
Here’s a little bit of random trivia for you …… Seisia (pronounced Say Sea A) is the most northern community on mainland Australia. It’s name was derived after a family of Saibai Islanders moved to the area after World War II, in 1948 . Seisia was formed by taking the first letter of the names of 5 men – Sagaukaz, Elu, Isua, Sunai, Ibuai, Aken.
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