I received very positive feedback from the Huisman family, who stayed with you from 19 – 22 December2018. They loved the warm welcome and your enthusiasm for telling them about the area and showing them where to go. Besides this they think you are a good cook!
Their stay with you was one of the highlights of their Australia trip.
Thank you for taking such good care of our clients!
When I told my friends I was holidaying at a place called Shiptons Flat, staying at a place called Mungumby Lodge, they looked askance at me, with frowns of bewilderment and curiosity. Of course, they had never heard of these places and I was able to explain that this was the place where my mother had been born, in a bark shack with an ant-bed floor, on the banks of the Annan River at Shiptons Flat and that her grandparents lived a couple of miles away in the Big Scrub, and it was my mission to find information on three generations of my ancestors and their lives tin mining in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
What was initially a journey into the unknown became one of the rewarding and enjoyable holiday experiences I’ve ever had. Under the interested and efficient guidance of our hosts, Hamish and Isabella, meetings were established with many locals who warmly shared their knowledge of the area with us. Lunch at The Lions Den exposed us to the location of the famous Federation Dance of 1901, a photograph of which hangs there. Within the circle of dancers are my great x 3 grandparents. A day spent with Lewis, Charles and Edith Roberts resulted in locating the old house’s remains in the Big Scrub, hidden away under a row of a dozen gigantic mango trees, adjacent to a space where race horses were bred and raced. They also located the remains of the Shiptons Flat School which my great x 3 grandfather had built, the Shipman family’s house which was a centre of social activity for the area and several tin mine sites. It was wonderful to share the Roberts family’s hospitality and their love of history, bird life and native fauna.
An arranged visit to the Rossville Historical Society’s museum brought us in contact with the very helpful Sandy Lloyd and Mr Hatfield who readily swapped photographs and information. Further into Cooktown a visit to the Cooktown Historical Museum whose extensive files and displays enabled me to locate three family burial spots in the cemetery and the location of my great x 3 grandmother’s dairy adjacent to the cemetery in what was once John St. By this time I was keen to acquire a copy of Sylvia Gerherty’s book of local history, Soap Suds and Smoke . Meeting helpful volunteers at the Museum, Croc Shop, the Botanical Gardens, the Library and the Historical Museum meant that I became very well acquainted with many friendly locals, although I was not lucky enough to obtain the book. The community of greater Cooktown impressively values its history and keenly preserves it. It is unfortunate other communities, like my present one, do not. (Today an old convict wall is being removed to accommodate a car race!) I am spreading the word. Holidaying in the heart of the wet tropics is an excellent choice.
When nature unleashes the rainforest roar, LOOK OUT! It is on for young and old.
The heavens open and the rain falls ankle deep over the earth’s surface. Gravity determines direction downhill and that it does. Ancient trees with cascades of rain water descending to the earth, always to find the deepest route right down to the Coral Sea.
Creeks run into rivers purging the rainforest floor of its content out to sea. Seeds branches leaf litter & soil particles, tree trunks and more. Carving great exit points into the coastal landscape. The thunder, the fury, the roar of nature as the tropics takes a drink. Since 3pm we @ Mungumby Lodge have taken just under 100mm with surely much more to come.
Love the Wet Tropics. Escape this year to Cooktown.
Customers experiencing the very best of Queensland, were on our Jewel of the Reef, Rainforest & Outback self-drive package. Arriving here to balmy calm weather, Anita & Hans were excited about what we had planned for them. Their first day we sent them with Daintree Air to Lizard Island. There are many flights over the inner reefs off of Cairns and Port Douglas, but nothing compares to a low level flight along the Great Barrier coast. Flying in a GA8 Airvan, the Daintree Air aeroplane is designed to maximise the guests comfort and experience with clear views of their surrounds. All in all, the Lizard Island day is about the best day you can have on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Anita & Hans returned blown away and surprised at the level of service, quality of food and about the team escorting them.
Lizard Island is situated just north of Cooktown. The island is 26 kilometres from the mainland and is 1013 hectares. There are twenty three beaches. The island is surrounded by reefs which are teeming with marine life, including hundreds of species of tropical fish and crustaceans, huge green turtles, manta rays, blue ring rays and at times dugong which occasionally come into Watsons Bay. Snorkeling is world class; the reefs and the marine life are as good as or better than you will see anywhere else in Australia. As can be seen from the photographs here on this blog, the waters surrounding Lizard are crystal clear and are ideal for snorkeling. Many of the reefs are in shallow water making the snorkeling easy for beginners however there are many reefs in the deeper water off the beach for the more experienced swimmers as well.
Wujal Wujal, Bloomfield and Ayton along the rainforest coast was their next stop. Driving down to this area Anita & Hans were in awe at the surrounding rainforest which cascades down the mountain slopes of Cedar Bay National Park. On the Bloomfield River, Mr Rufous a huge local Croc was basking on the banks, almost posing for the camera. Visiting the Bana Yirriji Aboriginal art gallery at Wujal Wujal meeting numerous Aboriginal artists they met the lovely Ruby one of the locals, they purchased some unique jewellery. After a walk to the Wujal Wujal falls and along the stunning Weary Bay they then dropped in to the Black Cockatoo Gallery.
At Laura west of Mungumby Lodge an Aboriginal guided tour awaited. Steve their guide took them on a true Aussie bush journey through the scrub arriving 50minutes later at the stunning Quinkan Galleries. Taken on a journey explaining the images before them, Aboriginal bush tucker, and history of the people who once lived there. The rock art is simply stunning and the best on offer in Queensland.
Upon leaving this morning Anita & Hans were very thankful to our staff, the setting, ambiance and service at Mungumby Lodge. Prior to booking our package online, they initially had no idea there was simply so much more to do from Mungumby Lodge, Cooktown and within SE Cape York.
Wer träumt nicht vom Regenwald mit allen seinen Gerüchen und Geräuschen, Blumen und Bäumen, hier in dieser malerischen Lodge bin ich diesem Ideal sehr nahe gekommen. Ganz versteckt am Ende der Straße ein Kleinod, praktische Häuschen, ein großzügiges Heerenhaus mit luftiger Terrasse. Und alles mit viel Liebe eingerichtet. Eine wahre Wohltat nach den vielen, doch sehr durchschnittlichen Hotels, gesichtslos und manchmal vergessen, so schön auch die Rundreise war.
Ich wünsche den Betreibern eine erfolgreiche Zukunft. Mögen sich auch die anderen Gäste so geborgen fühlen, wie ich.
Such a beautiful part of the world and such amazingly warm friendly hosts – it truly felt like we were staying at a friends 🙂
The lodges are cosy and comfortable and the dinner is absolutely out of this world! We did nature walks, swimming near the waterfall, hung out in the beautiful green spaces on the property and did a trip or so to Cooktown.
Now the FOOD – dinner is absolutely out of this world. Not only that, the hosts have a contagious zest for the wildlife, the community and live in absolute harmony with them.
No WIFI and it is a unique feature of this place. We loved the temporary digital detox!
Thank you Hamish, Isabella, Tricia, Claire – you guys made the birthday very special and the cake was an absolute treat. We wish you all the best
It was 2 am the still moon lit sky was screaming for help. Sitting straight immediately from the bed, I rose concerned the raucous might wake our guests some 300 metres from where I lay. The unmistakable cry for help from the trapped Kookaburra, continuously screeched into the full moon. A murder was underway!
Grabbing a torch I raced out into the night to assist or shut the noise down. Some 16 metres up a black butt tree, one of many in the vast expanse of our front yard, our local Rufous Owl had a firm hold within his dangling talons a Kookaburra; the other foot firmly holding the branch. A sight we had seen a few times before. Quickly I was able to obtain from the lawn, several hard wood branches to throw. Many attempts and close misses later, this old owl knew the routine.
Crazy humans trying to get an easy hand on my dinner, not tonight you won’t! We have successful saves before.
A couple of strong strangles with the beak, the noise ceased. Immediately in graceful swoop of the lawn, over the driveway, then deep into the rainforest she disappears with her feed.
The night again falls silent……………
These above shots above were taken on another evening. Under camouflage of the ferns, I became the prey whilst taking photos of the Rufous. She grabbed my hand and camera throwing the camera to the lawn some metres away. My hand was bleeding from 4 large punctures from her talons. What an unforgettable experience to say the least. The camera still works, my hand is fine!
In 2020, Cooktown will celebrate our shared history in the spirit of reconciliation on the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s sojourn in
the mouth of the Endeavour River. We invite you on a voyage of discovery through the events that shaped the history of our nation. Inspired by the history of the encounters between the Europeans and Australia’s first peoples, we will work in partnership to educate and inspire individuals and communities and build a stronger future through a greater understanding of past events. Cooktown 2020 is a 48-day festival commemorating the arrival of James Cook 250 years ago, the scientific discoveries that were recorded during his 48 days on shore and the interactions that occurred between the crew and
the Guugu Yimithirr people. We welcome you to get on board and share our stories.
Australia has approximately 800 native bird species, from the iconic emu and the good humoured kookaburra, to the eye-dazzling (critically endangered) orange-bellied parrot, or the rare Victoria Riffle Bird. Greater Cooktown is a birdwatchers paradise – almost 200 bird species are documented at Mungumby throughout the year.
The Greater Cooktown region, Cape York and Atherton Tablelands are rated by many in their Top Ten Bird watching spots in Australia. Whether you’re a hardcore twitcher with multiple species ticked off or have a casual interest in birds, bird watching is a terrific excuse to get amongst nature.
Helpful Bird Watching Tips
Take your time – don’t rush. By walking slowly you will see more birds, especially the quiet or skulking ones.
Make sure to listen for birds calling. These records are as valuable as those of birds seen. Take time to follow up unfamiliar calls (never ignore them!).
Don’t just record the obvious species (e.g. large birds or birds that are calling vociferously). You should be aware that there will also be less-obvious species present, so look and listen carefully, and make sure to check all likely areas.
Listen for noises other than bird calls. For example, Crested Shrike-tits are often first detected by the sound of them tearing at bark with their stout beaks; and parrots quietly feeding in the treetops are often first detected by the sound of dropped seed-pods falling to the ground.
Be quiet. It lets you hear more birds and disturbs them less. However, talk in your normal voice. Never shout, and try not to whisper, as sibilant noises may disturb birds; many species use similar sounds to indicate alarm or aggression.
Avoid wearing bright clothing or clothing that rustles.
Try to go bird watching early in the morning. Birds are more active then, and tend to call more often.
Try to avoid bird watching on windy days. Wind makes it more difficult to hear birds calling, and they are also less active in these conditions.
Try to avoid bird watching on hot days. Birds are inactive during the heat of the day, and are difficult to find. If hot weather is unavoidable, go bird watching early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when it is cooler and birds are likely to be more active.
Birds are more easily detected in open habitats than in more heavily wooded ones. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security in open areas, as cryptic species can be easily missed. In all habitats, take your time and you will see more birds.
Please respect private property; always ask for permission before entering private property.
How to go bird watching in an open forest or woodland
Scan the ground for any birds
Check out the shrubs in the undergrowth
Check out the trunks of the larger trees, and the lower branches
Check the canopy of the trees
If there are any clearings, check the airspace above for aerial species like raptors, swallows or swifts
How to go bird watching in a wetland
Scan the nearest water edges for any birds
Check out the marginal vegetation
Check areas of open water
Scan the far banks
Check the tops of trees for roosting or nesting waterbirds
How to go bird watching on a beach
Scan the water’s edge for any birds; also check exposed rock platforms if present
Check out the upper beach and foredunes and associated marginal vegetation
Check areas of open beach, including among clumps of beach cast seaweed
Enjoy, take care and make the most of your time here!