This is traditionally Kuku Nyungkul country, which encompasses Cedar Bay, Hope Islands, Rossville, Shiptons Flat & Helenvale, to Black Mountain. This area is host to a wide range of World Heritage Rainforest & spectacular wet sclerophyll forests. Waterfalls, creek-crossings, rainforest-clad ranges and stunning views are some of the features of this fabulous area through the world-heritage listed rainforest and the norther heart of the Wet Tropics.
Helenvale & World Heritage Rainforest
Located on Shiptons Flat a short 20 minutes south of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula around 186m above sea level is the end of the worlds oldest rainforest. A large world heritage rainforest area of great conservation significance. Rainforest giving way to Eucalypt and Sclerophyll Rainforest after Black Mountain the rainforest ends and is only found in small wet pockets through the rest of Cape York. Black Mountain a 260 million year old ancient rock formations sit in their grandeur overlooking the Lions Den Hotel. The Lions Den Hotel was est. in 1875 by John Ross to recruit travelers to work at his Lions Den Mine on the Big Tableland near Mount Amos (846m) just behind Mungumby Lodge. The Helenvale area also hosts the spectacular Annan River gorge where the Mungumby and Wallaby creeks purge the rain from the mountains behind the Lodge. Mungumby Lodge is located here at the foot of the Big Tableland and its world heritage rainforest.
Black Mountain Unplugged (BMUP) is held each year in Helenvale. A grass roots festival that is likely to inspire the best of festival goers. Hosted in Helenvale this small, low key, fun festival is run by musicians for musicians and music lovers alike.
Rossville & World Heritage Rainforest
Rossville 20 minutes south of Mungumby was named after John Ross a young Irish miner who established a number of claims with the most famous being the Lions Den on the Big Tableland. In the late 1870’s Rossville was a hive of activity and a hub for tin and timber and the main bow to the Cooktown economy after the gold rush. Ancient rainforest giants felled by timber getters to support export and national orders as well as wood thirsty Cooktown with its buildings growing at a rapid pace. The fall in price of tin along with new metals arriving on the market the tin miners left their claims and the area slowly rejuvenated its lush world heritage rainforest and the hippies and tree hugger community soon developed. This area hosts world heritage rainforest of great conservation significance. A small community thrives and produces carbon credits to the rest of the Queensland due to its vast areas of untouched rainforest and remnant rainforest re-growth, its national parks, mountain peeks and abundant Wallaby Creek.
Every September Rossville hosts the Wallaby Creek Festival. Described as ‘The Best Little Festival in Australia’ this is a celebration of music and arts in the rainforest. A big attraction held at Home Rule camp ground where around 1000-5000 alternative life style gatherers get together to celebrate music, crafts and the general outdoors. For more details on the Wallaby Creek Festival see www.wallabycreekfestival.org.au
Locals gather at the Rossville markets every second Sunday.
SHIPTONS FLAT | WET SCLEROPHYLL FOREST
Wet Sclerophyll forest here are often dominated by towering gum trees and open canopy. They are an important habitat for many animals, sandwiched between the rainforests and the open woodlands. One of these is the endangered Bennett’s Tree Climbing Kangaroo.
Wet sclerophyll forests grow up to 60m tall in moist cloudy uplands on deep well-drained soils with up to 2500m rainfall each year. They are the most developed of all eucalyptus forests and woodlands. Eucalyptus grandis, Eucalyptus resinifera and Syncarpia glomulifera can dominate these tall open forests along the northern and western margins of the central rainforest massif. As the rainfall decreases and soil fertiltiy declines to the west, they are replaced by more open woodlands on to Lakeland and Palmer River. Understoreys in the tall open forests range from well developed rainforest to dense grass.
Travelling along Shiptons Flat Road you will encounter the gorgeous Annan River. There are numerous croc free swimming holes, great hikes and massive trees with towering buttress roots.