Garig Gunak Barlu National Park / Cobourg Peninsula

Submitted: Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 20:53
ThreadID: 68486 Views:6205 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Hi all,

A long draw of the bow follows, but I can't not ask the question...

Hope someone can help!

My partner and I will be visiting the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park / Cobourg Peninsula region during the week starting June 9th 2009.

We have a permit, which we organised after reading amazing recommendations to visit this area from any sources, and decided to alter our plans to include the Cobourg Peninsula into our itinerary for our 3 month trip from Melb to the North West.

Through our research we read of the Rangers Station and the ability to hire runabouts from there to explore the coastal environment. On receiving our permit we were dismayed (to say the least) to read that the Ranger Station was closed, and boat hire now not possible. This was very saddening news, which has made us question whether it's even worth us visiting the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park at all.

So our question is to anyone who plans to be in the park at this time, and who may happen to have a bit of room on their boat for a couple of wide-eyed Victorians. We're young, fit and friendly and just want to experience a day or 2 on the water.

More than happy to contribute towards fuel (carry it in even), bring ales, or perhaps cook up the days catch for dinner in exchange....?

Cheers all, hope to hear from you.

Howie & Jayne
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Reply By: rainbowbeanie - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 22:27

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 22:27

in 2006 we traveled around Australia for 6 months. The highlight was to be the Cobourg Penninsula. We were extremely disappointed. The road in was shocking. Noone had told us of the damage from the cyclone 18 months previously, which resulted in there being no shade in the camping area. It was so, so hot and we could not swim because of the crocs, sharks and stingers. . The petrol was over $2 a litre. We ended up leaving before our permit time was up.

Find out how much vegetation regrowth has happened before you go, if it is like it was then, our recommendation is, Don't go!
AnswerID: 363049

Reply By: Trekkie (Member - WA) - Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 23:29

Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 23:29
We went there in August 2004, so not sure how it has changed in 5 years
We were a little disappointed, but we had been on the road for over 4 weeks and were quite tired when we got there.
I would call the general store (do a Google) to see what is available now. Friends who went with us arranged a fishing trip and by all accounts it was amazing - but it would be best to check it out first as the fishing tours are booked heavily in advance.
We did leave early, and our friends stayed for 4 or 5 days. They had a great time while we enjoyed the comforts of Cooinda Caravan Park.
When we were there there were very few people in the camping area and as I remember it there were quite a few places to pick from
The drive in was no harder than any of the other tracks we have been on (but there again we go to some very remote places) - we had our camper trailers and had no problems. The scenery was great.
When we arrived (mid afternoon) everything was closed, so again check at the store to see what time things open up.
Would I go again ?? Probably not
Wouls I go if I had never been there before ?? Probably yes

AnswerID: 363057

Reply By: Willem - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 07:00

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 07:00
We visited GurigNP/Cobourg Peninsula in 1987 before the throngs of tourists came.

Apart from one night when a group of noisy fishermen invited us to a feed and rum floaters, we had the place to ourselves for 14 days.

Had great fun capturing and photographing a Hopping Mouse. We swam in the sea(shallows), saw the claw marks of a resident croc in the mangorves nearby, ate oysters from the rocks at low tide, went for drives and tracked wild Banteng Cattle and generally had a good time. Even spied some turtles on the beach.

It was an idyllic time spent in the tropics and the 14 day permit cost $40 back then :-). Happy times.

Don't miss Cobourg!

Here is a Story I wrote for 4x4 Australia Mag back then

Image Could Not Be Found

AnswerID: 363074

Follow Up By: A J - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 09:00

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 09:00
Willem -we were here in 1986 and our story was published in overlander in June 1987 - called beyond Kakadu.

There was four vehicles in our party and when we got to Gurig NP there was only one other vehicle camping. Had some great days there - went to Victoria ruins.

Very har to find out information about road conditions back then. Would I go again - Yes

Every place is worth at least one look.

FollowupID: 630740

Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 09:14

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 09:14
The Hopping Mouse

Some bits of biscuit and an empty beer carton were used to catch this fella.

A split second after the photo was taken the litlle fella hopped about 2 metres into the air and off into the night to the safety of the

Image Could Not Be Found

FollowupID: 630742

Reply By: The Top End Explorer - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 09:43

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 09:43
Contact these people Venture North as they now run the shop there.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 363105

Reply By: lizard - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 10:45

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 10:45
We went there in 2003 .... we also left before permit expired !
AnswerID: 363113

Reply By: Grandma June - Monday, May 04, 2009 at 12:29

Monday, May 04, 2009 at 12:29
We spent 14 days at Gurig NP in 1993. We fished every day off the jetty (which I believe is now closed) and didn't tire of having fish almost every night for dinner. I beachcombed every day and didn't see another soul on the beach the entire 14 days, even though there were a few of us staying in the park. Otherwise we just chilled out enjoying the peace of our campsite.
Cobourg, as I have always fondly called it, had an affect on me. It is my favourite secret place on earth and I was in a “mood” and very teary about our departure the day we left. I have never mentioned the place to other campers but have very nervously watched it being discussed on this Forum over the years. Looks like my secret is out.
I would definitely go there again. Have a great time HowieB.
AnswerID: 363126

Follow Up By: HowieB - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 08:37

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 08:37

Wow, it's astounding how different peoples response and appreciation of the same place can be.

Thank you all for your insights and opinions, they're truly appreciated.

The remoteness, quietness and lack of people is always very rewarding in our book. The disappointment I suppose came from having an expectation dashed (re the boat hire). My fear is that without being able to explore this area by water, we won't feel that we're doing it justice, or be able to immerse ourselves in the spirit of the place as much as we'd like.

I emailed Venture North prior to posting this. Still no response. Will call.

Cheers all,

FollowupID: 630914

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