Location - Bowling Green Bay National Park, Queensland, Australia
Grade - 5, difficult, recommended for experienced bushwalkers
Distance - 12 km one way
Time - 8 hours one way
Dubbed 'Iron Head' by the rock climbers in honour of Captain James Cook, this Cape Cleveland ridgeline traverse has been done by the Townsville Bushwalking Club several times over the decades. This challenging hike provides spectacular views over the salt flats, many rocky outcrops and unique rock formations, as well as the aboriginal history in the lower foothills.
The aim is to stick to the ridgeline where possible. At the "Iron Keep", traverse to the western side and around the highest point along the ridge. There are several climbing routes that go up over the rockface. Of course you don't need to stick to the ridgeline, you can walk around the promenet rock features – but which is more effort? Scrambling the obstruction, or walking down the ridgeline and around?
Every peak has been climbed along this western ridgeline. Many choose to add in Mount Cleveland as part of the circuit on the south east side.
James Morrill was one of the survivors of Peruvian which was shipwrecked in 1846. Morrill washed up along the shore of Cape Cleveland after 42 days floating at sea and was rescued by the local Aboriginal tribe, the Bindal people. He lived with them for 17 years before being found by "white men" and returned to Brisbane. Mainly Aboriginal artefacts still remain in the area.
The western ridge is the route marked in Orange.