Turtle Head Island is one of Cape
York's best kept secrets.
Remote and hard to get to, to most people not even known,
...this island is a hidden gem
well worth making your way to.
While the other two pearl farm islands
are better known, because over the years they have been easier
to get to, this one is very special.
The place for starters is more remote, in a very interesting area.
While Turtle Head Island
does belong to Torres Strait, it
is not an easy distance from Seisia or Thursday Island, but in the remote
Escape River mouth (an area
where the explorer Edmund Kennedy was
speared to death - the river was named after Jackey Jackey's
Being so remote, the life of the
lovely owners Rusty and Bronwyn, can be tough but is also life
in a paradise.
With views of the river, their
floating jetty and beautiful sunsets, and the only way to the
shops via the mangrove channels to Bamaga boat ramp in their boat.
In the end of the jetty is where
they grow their pearls - along with other jobs on the farm, it is never ending work and they
you visit they put on a presentation, taking out a pearl shell
and showing you how to extract a pearl.
Rusty opens it with a thin knife and even gives you a pearl meat sample to taste.
He tells how the pearls are grown
and what is the process on the farm.
Back on the land, there are shells
and pearly decorations at the house.
There is also a shop with all of Rusty's creations
- did I say that he never stops?
Every day he is at something, and if he is not working outdoors, he is processing pearls and turning them into
There are necklaces, ear rings, pendants that are unique and very beautiful.
The ways to get to the islandare detailed in the Destination Guide
(along with their accommodation, should you choose to enjoy the island
a little longer!).
But even if you didn't go to this very
special place, you can buy their pearls and jewelry in the
tackle shop in New Mapoon :-)
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my vehicle-recovery-guy partner).
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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