Driving on Cape York is an adventure – but some road journeys are a challenge. Any chance for a break from the dust and the corrugations is an opportunity you should take.
One place you can stop – if you’re south-bound it’s compulsory – is the Coen Information & Inspection Station. Biosecurity Queensland runs the station on the Peninsula Development Road, about 20 kilometres north of Coen, near the turn-off to the Coen airstrip.
The station is a buffer against plant and animal pests and diseases that could spread into Australia from our northern neighbours. They’re a very real threat to agricultural industries and could spread serious diseases to humans.
If you’re driving south you’ll have to stop and be checked for produce that might be carrying dangerous critter passengers. The process doesn’t take long, and you’ll find Scott Templeton & his team love a yarn and are a treasure house of information about the Cape, sights to see and road conditions. Scott has 26 years experience on Cape York, and I hope he’s going to write a book one day, because it would be a must-read.
There’s a good display inside the Centre with plenty of info about the pests and critters they’re looking for – the red banded caterpillar, citrus canker, banana skipper, foot and mouth disease, screw-worm fly and the papaya fruit fly. You’ll get plenty of tips on how to travel wisely on the Cape, and how to make sure your journey doesn’t help spread pests and diseases.
Listen to Scott Templeton in action at the Coen Quarantine Station.
Scott’s talking to the ABC’s Charlie McKillop.