Spectacular beachfront camping
25.08.2012 - 29.08.2012 29 °C
The stunning beach at Elim is home to the famous Coloured Sands, a stretch of coloured sand dunes along a beautiful bay in the Coral Sea. It is also a spectacular camping spot and the Elim Beach campground, Eddie's Camp, belonging to Thiithaarr-warra Elder, Eddie Deemal, is right on the water's edge with fabulous views of Cape Bedford and Coloured Sands. The amenities are run down with but the location and scenery makes up for it. Located approximately 25 km outside Hope Vale, an Aboriginal community 50 km north of Cooktown, this shady beachfront campsite has a large expanse of white beaches with mangroves and paperbark trees growing up to the high water mark. At low tide the wide shallows provide plenty of exploration opportunities but you can get bogged in the mud very easily. The 25 km gravel road is reasonably well maintained and the last couple of kilometers are sandy.
We camped under the trees right on the beach with the water lapping as close as 10 meters away at high tide. The place is very peaceful and we eventually extended our stay to 5 nights. The only complaint is the abundance of horse flies. I must have killed hundreds who tried and succeeded to suck my blood for their breeding cycle. The camping site is also too shady for the solar panels to be effective and I had to run the generator a few hours each day to keep the batteries charged.
The low tide drive on the beach past Coloured Sands is spectacular and not too tricky if you let your tyre pressure down to below 25 psi. The drive through the dunes to the southern beach of the Cape Bedford Peninsula is challenging and very sandy but rewards you with maginificent views. We saw a wreck of a yacht on the southern beach which confirms how treacherous the Coral Sea is.
Elim was not on our original plan but I discovered it in a travel book we borrowed from friends (Mick and Chrisie) we met at Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and we are pleased we came here, which turned out as one of our favourite spots. From here we will continue our journey south to historic Cooktown to replenish stocks and to do some repairs to the Land Cruiser and Quantum.