It can take time to adjust to day to day life on the Cobourg Peninsula, and the challenges associated with remote living. Yet once you’ve got it organised and a routine in place, it becomes an amazing experience, not only from an individual’s aspect but we as a family have gained so much valuable time, learning and growing together.
The boys imaginations have flourished as they soak up what nature has to offer, their observations of the environment and attentiveness is second to none. An average day might be a beach walk to gather and collect any pretty things to decorate camp which the waves have offered us up on the shore overnight. I love getting back and getting creative with natural objects. Jack ensures all of our safety, always checking we are all at least 3 metres away from the water. During these walks, we often discover animal tracks and Jack can identify what has been there just before us. The tracks can be a variety of things, but generally are Buffalo, Crocodiles, Pigs, Timor Ponies, Mud Crabs, Jabirus and Banteng, which is an Indonesian breed of Cow, of which Garig Gunak Barlu National Park has the world’s largest wild population.
There’s a creek nearby for the kids to throw in a line and practise their casting skills, it’s a stunning thirty minute walk from Cobourg Coastal Camp and there is a beautiful headland which rewards you at the end of the stretch of beach. I often find myself in a dream gazing at it whilst the sun is going down at the end of the day.
On Fridays the mail plane comes in from Darwin packed with supplies for the rangers and their families, the online shop and mail bag gets delivered and we often head down to the airstrip at Smith Point, which has informally become a weekly social event for the children on the peninsula to get together and play in the red dust near Black Point Ranger Station. The boys get so excited when the plane comes into sight, it’s the highlight of the week. Regardless of there being no surprises for us on board, as our supplies come in by road via the Venture North Tour vehicles.
We have learnt to become extremely resourceful and imaginative when cooking and when the fresh supplies are running low, we have a back up to get through to the next delivery. Jack calls these our ‘emergency tins’. The first things to go are inevitably the treats and deserts, so then we start baking and trying out new recipes with the ingredients available. There is an oven at camp, but not your conventional type. We’re talking super heavy cast iron camp ovens that you cook on the coals in the fire pit. Amazing results when you know how, but admittedly it takes so time to perfect!
Words, cooking & kids by; Camp Host Holly!