Jack Colquhoun lives a ‘boys own’ adventure at the northern most tip of Australia. He and his family live on Cape York, managing the Cape York Campground.
We caught up with Jack to find out what it’s really like living in such a far-flung location at the northern most tip of Queensland.
How did you manage to find yourself living at the tip of Cape York?
My family have been visiting Cape York and camping at Punsand Bay on family holidays for years. Cape York region is pretty amazing and I’ve got some great memories from over the years. When the campsite business came up for sale, as a family we saw the potential for growth in the business.
The campsite is uniquely situated just 5km from the most northern point in Australia. The campground, bar and restaurant are located right on the beach which was pretty appealing. I moved up here in early 2013 and live here with my parents, aunty and uncle so it’s a real family business.
What’s the attraction of living on Cape York?
There are no shortage of adventures to be had. Cape York is all about exploring, outdoor adventures and fun. The fishing is pretty good: exploring small rivers and estuaries to the inshore islands and blue water! I love getting out in the boat, doing some fishing, motorbike riding, 4 wheel driving and going for a helicopter ride when I can. There’s no better way than to explore the Cape than from a helicopter. We’re lucky to have a pilot based here during the dry season who takes tourists on joy rides over the islands and Torres Strait. I jump on board whenever I can!
What does an average day look like?
There are no average days at Punsand Bay, they’re all amazing! I live and work on the beach so the commute is pretty cool.
I’ll usually spend some time at the beach before work, either going for a walk or if the weather is good going for a fish. After breakfast and the best (and most northern!) espresso coffee the work begins. Every day is different, particularly when we’re busy during the dry season. I’ll organise activities for guests such as scenic heli flights or fishing charters. I’ll work in the bar and restaurant keeping guests fed and watered.
We need to maintain all our equipment so that keeps me busy and the campground and accommodation area is large so there is always something to do. Guests love to chat too and get some local tips on what to do and where to go for the best fishing. I love being able to share my knowledge of this part of the world.
Which leads us to what everyone wants to know: where is your favourite spot on Cape York?
The Tip is definitely my favourite spot. Being the most northern part of Australia makes it pretty special but it’s also a great place to wet a fishing line as well.
Another favourite spot is the passenger seat of a helicopter. Flying around the Cape York Peninsula and over the Torres Strait Islands is the best way to see everything. There is an abundance of marine life around. Crocodiles, manta rays and dugongs are a regular sight.
When it comes time to say goodbye to Cape York what will linger most in your memory?
I’ve no plans to leave but if and when it comes time to say goodbye I will never forget the people I’ve met up here and the adventures we’ve shared together. Unforgettable.
Check out the This is My Paradise video below featuring Jack Colquhoun