Elim Beach- a hidden paradise

December 05, 2015 Wing Ng 0 Comments

We decided against the Top of Australia for a magical haven called Elim Beach.  Our original plan was to travel from the furthest point South of Australia to the furthest point North.  Though we were excited about the voyage, everyone we encountered discouraged us from going to Cape York.  The general idea is that if you don't have a really good 4 wheel drive with plenty of extra fuel, you're going to suffer.
Ok, so we opted out.  At this point we are already in Cook Town, pretty far up North of Queensland.  We looked on our WikiCamp App and decided to check out a mystical sounding beach "Elim Beach".  Elim beach is located on the shore of a large aboriginal (Natives of Australia) community called "Hope Vale Aboriginal Community". It is also owned by Eddie Deemal, a traditional aboriginal man.   What better way to experience Australia a little bit untouched by colonization from the west?
This was one of the best decisions we have made on our trip.
Getting there was a little on the rough side, but we were still able to manage the drive with our Honda-CRV (an SUV).
The beach isn't a highly praised tourist destination, so most campers are local and the site is not crowded at all.  That night, we camped on the beach watching the beautiful sunset. (Although the sunset came at a price of getting stuck in the soft sand.  Good thing our friends helped us get it out with their Maxtrax and we got out just fine at the end.)
Warning: for tent campers, there is a known croc in the area and it is highly advised not to have your tent too close to the water. Just in case.
For our first day there we explored the far stretch of land exposed by low tide.  A large amount of tide pools filled with a variety of marine life.  Lots of large sized starfishes scattered in the pools trying to keep moist.  We then walked through the many shacks the locals use for the weekends.  On our way we found plenty of unclaimed coconut eddie said we can try knocking down.
Us knocking coconuts down and opening them for their water and flesh.
 One of our local friends taught us to eat the green tree ants (weaver ants).  These little green ants are everywhere in Australia, and they are vicious.  Instead of digging through the ground and making hills, they have something that more or less resemble a hive made of dead leaves stuck together on trees.  To try a bite of green tree ants, bite off the green sac on the back.  (do kill it first so it doesn't suffer too much) The taste is citrus like, almost like a lime.  These ants are high in vitamins and has also been used by aboriginals of australia in the past for medicinal purposes.
As we walked back from the track we are surrounded by butterflies in the woods.  So many that they made a bare tree appeared to be lush with leaves.
that night our friends retrieved the crab trap they had set.  It was filled with crabs but the big ones were all female and the male were just too small to fit legal requirements.  So all the crabbies got a second life and we got a great laugh.
The second day we went out to explore the renown colored sand ( a short drive or walk away).  We climbed up and up on rocks that crumble into sand if you're not too careful.  The colors are in distinct hues of red, orange, yellow, white, and even black.  On our way up, we met an aboriginal man from another community traveling here and collecting sand in hopes to use for painting.  We climbed to the top and looked down upon the wonders of nature.  All the boys in our group ran all the way down through a great slope of sand and back onto the beach.

(below: the little black dots on the edge of the water are Chris and our new friends Eden and Jay. That's how high the slope was.)
To show you how pigmented the sand is, chris put some on his arm to get a nice red color out of them.
The water at the end of the colored sands is crisp and clear.  We chased and grabbed blow fishes and scooped up sea cucumbers.  To end a jolly time, we noticed the abundant amount of still green mangoes on a huge mango tree.  Perhaps if we came a bit later in the year we could even taste some of that juicy fruit.