When I think of Cape York Peninsula, I think of river crossings, 4WD’s, secluded beaches, and crocodiles but I would describe it in two words, Last Frontier! This frontier covers an area of 140,000 square kilometres, which is equivalent to the state of Victoria.
Most of us refer to Cape York as the Tip. Like many others, it has been a destination in my “bucket list” to visit for years. Due to the remoteness of the area, at least three weeks should be allowed to travel (by car) from Brisbane to the Tip. I don’t seem to have that much time to travel comfortably and safely to the Tip. My wife then suggested for me to fly instead.
After some research, I found that Daintree Air Services provide charter flights from Cairns to Cape York at very reasonable prices. The flights included a very thorough information session by the pilot as well as morning and afternoon tea and lunch at a modern restaurant at Bamaga. They have been doing charter flights for over three decades so they have the experience and knowledge.
I decided to make the move that otherwise I would never achieve. I booked a tour to the Tip. The day commenced early and after a briefing by the chief pilot, Mr Greg Letondeur, we boarded the Piper Chieftain. I was a bit apprehensive at first as I had never flown in such a small plane.
I didn’t know what to expect, but after a few minutes in the air, I was taken by the sheer magnitude and beauty as we flew over Cape Tribulation. At the start of the briefing, Mr Letondeur did emphasise that we would see things that we would never be able to see in a vehicle due to the remoteness – he wasn’t wrong.
After three hours we landed at Bamaga Airport which was followed by a talk from our guide, Molly, before commencing the short 30 kilometre drive to the Tip. As it was low tide when we arrived, Greg suggested we should walk on the beach instead of the rocks, not before warning us about being crocodile wise.
Eventually we made it to the northern most point of the Australian Continent. After years of waiting, I can tick it off the bucket list. While I stood there in awe, I could not help but have this exhilarating feeling of reaching the Tip of my epic adventure.
As well as the Tip, we saw the famous DC3 WWII plane wreck which crashed near Bamaga on the 5th May 1945 killing all six personnel on board.
I must admit, I was sad when it was time to depart this remote, beautiful and virgin area. Cape York is truly the last frontier.
Words and Images by Jose Alonso