Tackling the Tele – Elim Beach

Not far past the Aboriginal community of Hope Vale you reach the beautiful Elim Beach and Coloured Sands.

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Hope Vale is a relatively large Aboriginal community which was originally built in the late 1940s as a Mission run by the Lutheran Church.  The church brought Aboriginal people from all over Australia, so today there is a mixture of languages and culture in the community, although Guugu Yimithirr is the language most spoken after English.

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We had never been to Elim Beach before … we had intended on going years ago but didn’t quite make it there.  While planning for this latest Cape York trip I read about this place called Eddie’s Camp, the reviews were great and all of the photographs I’d seen were amazing so I reworked our itinerary to enable our stay at this great place.  I must say that the guys from Eddie’s Camp were very helpful in our planning phase by giving information on travel times, road conditions and suggested routes.

Eddie’s Camp is owned and run by Thiithaarr-warra elder, Eddie Deemal and his son Ivan.

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This is a great little camping ground situated at the stunning Elim Beach.  If you are looking for 5 star camping, this is not your place.  It’s very basic, the owners are very casual and relaxed, there are no powered sites and only cold water showers.

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Little tree frog living in the toilets!

You know what though … THIS IS CAMPING and it suited us perfectly, we absolutely loved our stay at this beautiful rustic little campground.

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After a quick stop in Hope Vale to visit the grocery store we all headed down to Elim Beach, checked in and set up camp.  There is no pre-booking here and no allocated campsites, you simply set up wherever you like.  After setting up we went for a walk along the beach and George and Stewy took the drone for a flight, while some of the others took off in search of the coloured sands.

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Later that night we all sat around the campfire, chatted, toasted marshmallows and cooked some damper.

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We were also joined by the friendly local dogs for much of the night….

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This gorgeous little guy was so friendly and we (well Shelly!) wanted to take him home with us ….. not sure how Gelly & Charli would have felt if we rocked up back at home with a dingo!  Apparently this little guy just wandered into the campground one day and hasn’t left, he’s made friends with the resident dogs and was having a great play with some other campers dogs aswell.

It’s amazing that essentially a wild animal can be so friendly and playful.  When we went to pack up in the morning he’d made himself at home on our mat as you’ll see in the pictures, he wouldn’t get off to let us pack up, i think it was all a bit of a game for him!

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Exploring the lakes 

Day started off with two dingo sightings. It doesn’t matter how many times we see dingoes during our travels, it’s still exciting to see one, they are such beautiful animals.

Again on the inland tracks we made our way first to Lake Boomanjin.  This is a pretty special lake ….. at 200 hectares it’s the largest perched lake in the world, AND it sits on the largest sand island in the world! How cool is that!

Perched lakes form when a build up of organic matter raises the lake floor to above sea level.  Lake Boomanjin’s water is stained a tea colour and at times appears in shades of red, purple, blue and brown.  This staining is due to the tannin from surrounding trees.

Next lake to visit was Lake Birrabeen.  This is another of Fraser Island’s perched lakes and its crystal clear water and pure white sand makes for another spectacular view.

This would have to be the little brother of  Lake McKenzie and we love it for that reason.  The view is very similar, but hardly anyone goes here so quite often you will have the beach to yourself.

While at the lake we found this adorable little turtle.  He was struggling in the small waves and floating on his back, every time he managed to flip over a wave came and pushed him on his back again.

So we picked him up and moved him in to the shallow water and reeds. He had a little rest on the sand and then took off through the reeds.

Next stop for us was Central Station.  This now beautiful rainforest area was originally established as a forestry camp when tree logging was allowed on the island.  Back in the day this logging village was home to about 30 houses and a school.

Central Station now houses displays explaining the history of the area.   There is also a large array of staghorns and some of these are huge.

Central Station is a great picnic area and also the point for many walks. One small walk is along the boardwalk around Wanggoolba Creek and through the beautiful rainforest.

The water in this creek is crystal clear, at a quick glance you will think it’s sand only, but there is actually clear water flowing through.  This creek was a sacred area for the traditional owners of the land, the Butchulla people.

Arrived back at camp in time for a beautiful rainbow over the ocean!