Black Mountain & Lion's Den Hotel
Jul 22, 2013
Waking to a cloudy and windy day we are heading south to the historical Lions Den Hotel with a stop at the mysterious Black Mountain.
The imposing mountain range of massive granite boulders marks the northern end of the wet tropics World Heritage Area. The Kuku Yalanji people are the traditional owners of the national park. The mountain is a significant and respected place for the traditional owners of the area known as Kalkajaka [place of the spear] Black Mountain is a focus of many dream time stories.
The sparsley vegetated boulder jumbled mountain supports an unique range of wildlife. Some that are threatened and a few found nowhere else. Snakes are common, giant amethystine pythons can grow to 5 metres long- large enough to feed on rock wallabies that live on the mountain. You may be lucky enough to see Black kites and white rumped swiftlets circulating the mountain from the carpark lookout.
Many local stories [few records] tell of people,horses and whole mobs of cattle disappearing into the labyrinth of rocks never to be seen again. Beneath the outer boulders lies a maze of passages and chambers - enticing to explores or those wishing to hide away from pursuers.Intruders entering the eerie underworld can come across sheer drops, pockets of bad air or encounters with snakes and bats. Causing disorientation and panic.
Green patches on the bare mountain are large fig trees. Seedling are able to establish themselves in the rock crevices extending long roots to draw water and nutrients from below.
Also adding to the mystery pilots report aircraft turbulence[thermal currents] over Black Mountain. Observers recall loud bangs[cracking rocks] Mournful cries [wind and water moving deep inside]
Onto the Lions Den Hotel, the historic hotel was built in 1875 and the perfect place to drop into on the Bloomfield Track. Here you can camp, swim safely or enjoy a cold drink and meal. After browsing around and enjoying a nice meal we head back to Quarantine Bay.
Enjoying a nice walk along the beach we then have a sticky at the Cooktown golf course. A public course open all year round. Unfortunately no golf for Greg till his shoulder is fixed.