To visit Lockhart River or not.

Submitted: Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 17:46
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Hi all I hope your enjoying your travels.I will be heading up to the cape in September and was wondering whether it is worth visiting Lockhart River.Im a keen fisherman but I am only average at it.What is the road like from Weipa to Lochart?I will be in a 4x4 motorhome so I wont be doing any extreme of road.What is the place like?Are the people friendly or do I need to be careful?Are there places to free camp or caravan park?Is there much to see and do around there?Thanks for your help.Stuart and Gunny
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Reply By: Scotto73 - Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 20:04

Friday, Jun 28, 2013 at 20:04
I say yes just for the areas of Chilli Beach and Portland Roads.

Check out some photos of when I was up there in 2009 -

Hope this helps,

AnswerID: 513951

Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 00:04

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 00:04
Hi Scotto I enjoyed your pics plus blogs.When I get a chance on Saturday I will look at your movies about your trips.Very interesting reading and viewing so far.When you went to Lockhart did you go with a group or just your girlfriend.If by yourself did you feel safe?Plus how difficult was the road in?I will be traveling with my dog and that's it so I don't wish to put us in danger.Thanks Stuart and Gunny
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Follow Up By: Scotto73 - Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 09:22

Saturday, Jun 29, 2013 at 09:22
We travelled by ourselves and felt safe throughout Lockhart River, Chilli Beach and Portland Roads.

The road in was not difficult at all but it is a pretty lonely, isolated stretch of road which has little traffic on it at times.

If you don't have a boat for fishing, there is opportunities to fish off Chilli Beach or head down to Portland Roads and fish/throw lures off the bank there.

Glad I could help you out.

Safe travels,

FollowupID: 792809

Reply By: grey_gypsies - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 00:55

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 00:55
Hi there. I live at Portland Roads about 45 minutes from Lockhart River.
Lockhart has a supermarket and an automated petrol station -- you need a card with a pin number to get petrol.
The indigenous Art Centre with the Lockhart River Art Gang just as you drive into Lockhart.
There is Quintel Beach with spectacular large rocks in the water. This is a local fishing spot and a jetty for the Barge brings supplies in.

If you are interested in indigenous culture we could put you onto some local elders who would take you on a bush tucker walk.

There is no free camping, though I hear it was listed in the NRMA or RACQ booklet, this was incorrect.
This is the Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park famous for it's tropical rainforest full of unusual birds and wildlife only found here and in New Guinea.

You need to book with National Parks over the internet, there is limited phone access once you get there, The ranger station is near Lockhart, I am not sure if you can get internet at the ranger station. It is best to book before you get there as it can get booked out at the peak of the tourist season (July).
Before you get to Lockhart there is a Y intersection you turn left down the road to Portland Roads to find the campgrounds.

There is Cook's Hut (with toilet) and neighbouring Gordon Creek and Rainforest camping areas in the rainforest popular with birdwatchers.
Further on their is Chili Beach which has a long coconut lined beach which has very shallow (knee high) water much of the time so you can paddle in the water without fear of crocs.
It can be windy but beautiful if you get the right day, the camp sights are set among the trees which keep you out of the wind.

Local traditional owners are working on setting up a couple of more campgrounds on their land as well as cultural tours.

Portland Roads is past Chili Beach
It overlooks Weymouth bay and is a favourite with fishermen.
If you want a break from camping there is ACCOMMODATION at Portland Roads Beach Shack, - one self contained shack/bungalow. 1 bedroom with a double and two singles and a deck with kitchenette and bathroom, (our place) with an amazing view over the Bay, there is also Portland House which is larger and often gets birdwatching groups.

There are no shops at Portland Roads, you need to bring your own or get it from the Supermarket at Lockhart River.
The Out of the Blue Cafe has exceptional seafood fresh from the fishing boats and legendary baked cheesecake (we are not affiliated with the Cafe, just love the food)

It is about 2 - 2.5 hrs off the Development road turning off near the Archer River Road house. Ask at 'The Archer' for road conditions if it has been raining a lot. Their are two river crossings the Wenlock has just been upgraded with a causeway. The Pascoe is a wide sandy crossing, it is a good idea to follow someone.

see our sites and also
AnswerID: 514008

Follow Up By: grey_gypsies - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 01:00

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 01:00
If you want to go to the Cafe you need to book ahead for the evening meal. You can drop in for lunch, but it is closed between 2-6pm and usually on Tuesdays
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Follow Up By: grey_gypsies - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 01:01

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 01:01
I see you are travelling in September, their should be no problem getting a camping spot then.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stuart and Gunny - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 02:52

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 02:52
Hi Grey_Gypsies
Thanks for a very helpful well written guide of things to see and do up there.Weather permitting I will certainly venture over there and look forward to having a chat with you.Is there any problems with bringing Gunny over there or do all the locals have dogs?It sounds like you have found your spot of paradise.Do you spent all year up there or just the dry season?Again thanks for your help.Bye Stuart and Gunny
FollowupID: 792864

Follow Up By: grey_gypsies - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:20

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:20
Hi Stuart
Yes we find the place beautiful and fascinating. We were travelling around and wanted to experience Cape York and found this place to caretake. We were going to give it a year to experience a tropical Wet Season, but have been here nearly 3yrs now and expect to stay couple more. I work in Lockhart River now and my partner Seamus manages the Shack and builds websites.
We stay all year, it is very hot and humid in the wet but if you can handle it the water is perfectly calm (in between cyclones). It is the best for boating, fishing and bird watching.
The photo of Rocky Island in the header of our blog is taken in the wet.
Though the roads are usually cut so it wouldn't suit you and Gunny as you have to fly in.
We don't have air con as we are on solar and generator power so we live with the elements.

The camping is in National Parks so that would be a problem with Gunny, you couldn't take him to Chili Beach.
We take dogs at our place, but that is not camping. If you want to camp and are self sufficient we could check with the locals if they allow dogs at the campgrounds they are developing and you could have a shower and do washing at our place (for a small fee) if we don't have anyone booked in.

You can't buy alcohol, or take alcohol into Lockhart but you bring your own to Chili and Port.

Portland Roads is sleepy hollow now, with about 10 houses and about 10 residents. It was very busy in the gold mining days. There was a jetty to load ships up with gold and bring in equipment. The jetty was also used in WWII, it was demolished in 1960's.
There are also lots of stories from the 70's and 80's when it was jumping with hippies and fishermen.

It is a regular stop for yachts going from Cape York to Torres Strait

Cheers Cate
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Follow Up By: grey_gypsies - Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:22

Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 15:22
I have been meaning to get on here and let people know what is available up here.

FollowupID: 792892

Follow Up By: bigfellabrian - Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 16:28

Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 16:28
both lockart river and portland roads are great spots, i was at portland roads last novenmber and loved the place, good people and no dramas with anything , i met the people at the cafe and the people running the beach house, shack the one half way up the hill big walk with bags. anyway lovely place and better people, no dramas with the road over from weipa as suggested just take it all easy, no rush.
im going in 2 weeks this time to bathurst bay for a look as i am a mad diver and will photograph the reef i hope. we always wanted to buy a shack or block at portland roads cant find anything for sale, i hope this helps as well, we also travel with a red cattle dog called rusty who stops us stsying many places, most locals will help if you pay your way.
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Follow Up By: grey_gypsies - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 16:09

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 16:09
Hi bigfellabrian
Thanks for the good wrap
There are blocks and a house for sale if you want to call Seamus at The Shack, Cheers Cate
FollowupID: 793124

Follow Up By: bigfellabrian - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 16:42

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 16:42
no worries cate, ill give him a call i want to build a carport shed on a block and visit a month a year if i can.
FollowupID: 793129

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