There is a well sign-posted track which starts up on top of the rocky promontory between Whites Bay and Dolphin Beach up to the Homestead. The 2.5Km trail passes through wooded country and steep sections to the ‘main road’; turning left to the Homestead and right past the Hoop Pines of Mt. Armitage and towards the ‘airfield’ (not serviceable yet;- although any help offered to remedy that could be appreciated!) .
The track is steep at the middle section, so you may need to stop here to enjoy the view on the rocky hillside (maybe communications will work up there, but only on Telstra systems).
Once up the top of that track turn left to the Homestead (1Km) with a lovely view of South Percy at ‘Weather Station Hill’ (formerly known as’ ‘Dead Sheep Hill’ referring to the remnant sheep from the Whites flock, which grazed the Island between 1921-64) .
Alternatively, turn right to explore the cool Hoop Pine forest at Mount Armitage and the grassy area overlooking Whites Bay with a wonderful view of North-East Percy (which looks like a giant floating on its back from this angle; one can then understand how legends arose).
The varied vegetation is very different from the West Bay route and well worth the effort. So get those legs working with different muscles, and have a walk if you have time to spare.
Refreshments and our famous Bush honey will also be available from the Homestead.
For those folks who like to stay on the beach, try exploring between the central sand dunes to find the tranquil cool forest, smelling the Native Frangipani if in season. This is different to the Frangipani dubbed the ‘Percy island Frangipani’ by the Society for Growing Australian in 1989 which is on the West Bay to Homestead track above the Aframe area lining the road for 1km.
The entrance to this beautiful forest is at the back of the sand-dunes near the centre of Whites Beach and is hidden between the dunes It is found by walking between the dunes lined with windblown Casurinas (stunted by the gale force SE’rly winds) and into the more protected area behind the dunes which grows wonderful Paperbark trees.
Continue walking up the sandy seasonal creek to enjoy a refreshing change from the beach. The creek, when flowing, can offer sandy bottom pools to play in, prepared to be nibbled by yabbies!. This area was reputedly settled by the pioneer Capt. Cook Till in 1850s when he had a settlement of indentured Islanders and Tories Strait peoples. These folk went to Mackay and Townsville for work on the Cane Fields
For more History of Captain Cook Till, please take the time to read the fascinating article by his family in www.thecoatsal passage.com
The creek bed ends at a rocky cliff with seasonally flowing waterfall which leads to the grassy hills above the Whites Bay towards the site of the potential airfield. Upon finding the track follow left to the Mt. Armitage – Whites Bay turn off with possibility of continuing the 1Km over Weather Station Hill to the Homestead for refreshments
ADVISE TO ALL VISITORS:
Please remember to take drinking water (particularly if creek not running) and any personal applications and clothing to protect you on your adventurous safari.
Check out the ‘mud maps’ for reference of walks and don’t blame me if you get lost or injured please.
REMEMBER THAT you are on national park land until you enter the Regional Park area of the Homestead.
There are no deadly poisonous snakes on Percy Is. but please be advised that:-
1) The daytime ‘skinny snake’ is one of two types of Collared Whip Snake ; sunbathing or scurrying across the path. Not aggressive but could bite if surprised in the leaf litter and it perceived threatened in that situation
2) The night time snakes being approximately one meter long are but both deadly for baby birds and reptiles:-
a) Spotted Python and the
b) Brown Tree Snake more aggressive ) and
3) Giant Centipede nippers may all adversely effect you, so anti-histamine in your kit could be essential for some folks.
Royal Flying Doctor advice -…”any travellers on the oceans to have a valid Tetanus injection as a prevention from possible serious infection whilst adventuring in different places from the local tropical climate”
The Royal Flying Doctor Kit is kept here and administration is available here on advise by the Doctor.
We have a landline telephone or via the Marine Radio (you should reach Stanage Bay Coast Guard on 81 but maybe not the Homestead) .
Please remember you are on the National Park zone at Whites Bay and are not allowed to camp.
Camping is available at West Bay which is part of the Regional Park under section 34 of the Nature Conservation Act. Please make prior arrangements from the Homestead (accessible via Channel 73, email, telephone)