Jardine River and Ferry Crossing
The Jardine River appears at the northern end of both the by-pass road and the Overland Telegraph Track (OTL) and it's a large river and takes some sorting out. Sensible and mature travellers follow the tried and true method of paying their fare and crossing the river on the ferry and then there's the rest. These are the uninformed and the the foolhardy who reaching the Jardine via the OTL try to save a few bucks and cross without the expense of the ferry.
I tried to walk it to se if it could be done and about 4 metres from the bank I stepped in a large hole that totally ruined my hairdo and for those Akubra owners, yes they do float. It is just too deep for all but the ecologically insane to attempt so my advice is pay the ferry fare.
This is the service station on the Jardine River where you pay your $88 Land Access and Ferry Fare. The lady is very nice and the camping area provides decent facilities for a reasonable price and if you have to stay it will be a quiet pleasant night. Like most of the people on the Cape they are willing and only too happy to talk to visitors and tell them everything from local fishing spots, good camping spots, good watering holes and all sorts of information that is not included in any guide book. There is now EFTPOS ,thanks to Sue and Jim Hill, but they still carried cash just in case the telephone line went down.
The famous Jardine River ferry doesn't really rank up there with the best for transport experiences but it is the gateway to the delights of the Cape. Locals will tell you that there is usually a croc or two to be seen, and quite large, but we couldn't find even evidence of one. The Ferry cranks into operation at 8am and I can definitely say it's not operating at 5.30pm.
The Jardine River is well worth a good look and most with time on their hands dangle a line or flick a lure in an attempt to attract the elusive Barramundi. In the winter months the barra becomes harder to catch as the lower water temperatures means the fish are less active and therefore harder to interest in a bait or lure. Please don't be discouraged there are plenty of other fish about from bream to big catfish. Remember if you are fishing from the bank not to stand in the one place for long periods of time as a beach lizard ( local vernacular for CROCODILE) could be sizing you up for a feed of his own.
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