Elim Beach lies roughly an hour’s drive north of Cooktown, passing through a small aboriginal settlement named ‘Hope Vale’. The striking mountain of Elim Beach Peninsula is easily recognised on any photo.
The colourful sandstone beachfront has the same name as its counterpart north of Noosa on 90 mile beach, Rainbow Beach.
It surely is a colourful landscape up here.
The only and main difference between both multicolored beaches is, that not many people venture up this way on their dirt tracks to the tip of Australia’s Cape York Peninsula. So I thought as so I remembered.
Paperbark Eucalyptus trees line the beaches in fascinating ways.
The colour saturation of white beaches, green flora on an a clear sunny blue sky is delightful.
Shadows casted to the hot sands give a mystical feeling, adding perfectly to the historical Dreamtime stories by aboriginal myths.
Mangrove Forests are a sanctuary for small fish and crustaceans, which attract larger predator fish and wading birds.
They provide shelter and nesting areas for birds as well as are mangrove forests worldwide one of the most productive woodlands to produce oxygen with their evergreen leaves.
This is an extremely important environmental and ecological natural habitat.
The large tidal movement of these shallow beaches keep everything constantly on the move.
Some mangrove trees started their own settlements.
I have been to Elim Beach a few times, however, many years ago.
A friendly local indigenous told me about this secret hidden serine camp spot and I was hooked ever since.
A small beachfront area allowed campers to set up tents to camp right on the beach, thanks to local and indigenous landowner Eddie.
Only one other couple shared the low key camp spot with us 10 years ago, serenity all around.
Eddie took me out fishing in his ‘tinnie’ at high tide and we caught some nice fish together.
I even helped him to pull out a brand new, abounded 4 WD of the beach.
Someone had fun driving on the beach, but got caught in mud and couldn’t be rescued before salty waters inundated this vehicle at high tide, 3 days before.
Thanks to my tough ‘mother’ winch and some muscle grease, the vehicle was eventually recovered.
It was fair to say, that I was looking forward to see Eddie and this idyllic beach again. I took Maniyak with me for some heated action on the fishing line and my OM-D for another amazing photo session. But as always, things almost never work out the way you think.
I arrived at newly the erected building to check in for a few nights. Wondering whether Eddie would recognize me, I entered’ Check Point Eddie’. A young Asian women greeted me friendly and asked how long I would like to stay. No sign of Eddie near or far. Maybe he is out fishing? The camp price is still a bargain at 10$ per night per person. It was hard to miss the other evenly spread out 30 plus vehicles camped on the paddock. Oh my, word of mouth must have gotten around.
I managed to find a relatively secluded spot by the beach and was eager to paddle out with my yellow kayak. Gusty strong winds cut my first paddle adventure on the ocean short. Very short.
Those gusty winds prevailed for the next few days, months to be exact. I had one good run on my fishing line, but only ended up catching a few small sharks. Dugongs frequent here often and feed on the seagrass beds lining the shore. None of those ‘cows of the sea’ were spotted either. Bummer. Never mind, I still had my trusty OM-D to explore and enjoy. The full moon was upon us, which always bears good photo sessions. Whilst being in a moonlight long shutter speed photo frenzy, the shutter system of my camera broke down and the camera couldn’t be used until it’s professionally fixed. Arrrg, I had an unfortunate run up here, my expectations from previous experiences were to high. I met Eddie once for a brief chat. Him and his basic paradise by the beach have been featured in various newspapers and travel magazines, which explains the sudden popularity of Elim Beach. He still manufactures traditional hunting spears and didgeridoos, which are for sale.
Turning 90 years of age in a few months, Eddie suffers from dementia and doesn’t recall me or our previous adventures. But I do, and always will. What a humble and gentle human being he is. I have nothing more then the greatest of respect for this traditional and original Australian.
When I left the Northern New South Wales area 6 months ago, I was confident to find a suitable work position in my artisan baking trade. Unfortunately, this didn’t eventuate and Cape Elim was my most northern point of visit. My next few posts will be geographically south from here, heading towards the South East Queensland/ Northern New South Wales area, where plenty of work has been advertised throughout social media. No doubt that I will have my camera ready to go again.