Thornton's Beach at Cape Tribulation

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A beautiful isolated beach in Tropical North Queensland with historical reference to Captain Cook's discovery of the Eastern Coast of Australia

To walk along this beach is to gaze for a kilometre and see only one or two people in the distance and sometimes a dog joyously playing in the regular lapping surf while keeping close to his master.  While ambling in the warm ocean waves lapping rhythmically on the beach one can gaze at the rainforest rising almost vertically as a backdrop of luxuriant green and above the hunting hawk is gliding the air currents.   

As the tide recedes the rocks emerge and become stepping stones to intimate bays arrayed with miniature patterned shells.  Lazing in this private world, under a warm sun, one can dream, stare at the horizon and know that some 200 years ago Captain Cook sailed his ship past this beach looking for a passage to exit The Great  Barrier Reef; and bit further on he struck a reef at Cape Tribulation and the ship began taking water. Hence his tribulation has been immortalized but nothing has changed since, the trees are the same, and the bay is the same and the ocean keeps washing on the shore just as it did in Cook’s time.  From here it’s easy to experience some of our Australian history.

Drawn to the clear water with temperatures gently cooling and relaxing we dive in. When either floating or walking on the clean sand we turn to embrace the welcoming waves as they swell and then collapse foaming on the beach.  Eventually it’s back to the car for lunch. We choose a picnic table under a roof shelter and wonder at the diversity and uniqueness of this tropical rainforest. The dry leaves start to crackle, stop, and crackle some more.  We all turn to look and there is a one metre dragon-like creature, and yes it’s the lacy monitor responding to the aromas of our meaty meal.  One of the inhabitants unchanged since Cook’s visit.  We leave, and even our footprints are washed away and time continues…….

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