Cape York - Development Road

Hi
I would like to know if anyone travelled the Development Road to Cape York last year.
We are looking at doing the trip in August (2013) and would like to take our off-road caravan. We are not going to be doing the OTT at all.
It is a Millard Pop Top - 14' 6" in length and has Cruisemaster Independent suspension.
It does have good ground clearance. Would like to know what the road conditions might be like. So any information would be appreciated.
Tony B
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 17:16

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 17:16
Depending on what the wet season does to it - it could be wrecked or just like it was last season, a big wide gravel road with some corrugations some blind crests and some dips and too many idiots driving too fast :-)
AnswerID: 504677

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 17:23

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 17:23
Seriously, a careful driver will have no issues. It is usually graded about May and then a various times afterwards
0
FollowupID: 781538

Follow Up By: SueB - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 17:30

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 17:30
thank you - we are not in a rush to get to the top and back, looking at leaving around mid to end of July hoping to miss the school holiday travellers. As we are leaving from Townsville it should only take a couple of days to get to Cooktown and then spend a week or two travelling up and back.
0
FollowupID: 781539

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 18:16

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 18:16
Hi Sue,
We're planning to do the same, around the same time.
We hope to camp for a few days & jus t take the vehicle into some parts of the O.T.T.. for a day or 2 if this is possible. I really don't want to sleep near Crocs. We don't want to drown the vehicle either, we aren't there to conquer all just to get into trouble.
Hubby has been told that the person who owns the service Station at Wiepa does all the rescues and it would be the best person to ask closer to your departure.We'll be on Annual leave & will have a time frame but we won't be rushing.
Take care, safe Travels.Ma..
0
FollowupID: 781544

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 20:04

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 20:04
You stand a much better chance of finding a croc at the beaches than on the OTL Pa & Ma....the creeks along the OTL are swim safe and none moreso than the beautiful Eliot Creek with those magnificent falls. Of course the Jardine, Wenlock and Pascoe Rivers should be avoided as you will likely find the odd croc or 3 in these rivers.

Rescues vary...and the RACQ from Bamaga (aka Cape York Spares & Repairs) seem to do most recoveries on the OTL and it is expensive.....I'm told that the going rate last season when I was up there was $5K from Nolans Brook.
0
FollowupID: 781551

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 20:15

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 20:15
Dead right Patrol22 although there are a couple of possible croc haunts most of the OTL is perfectly safe despite the signage.

$4K seemed to be the rate last year though it may have gone up due to the huge workload last year- bit more expensive than a tag-along ;-)

Nolans (Bridge Ck) has been particularly treacherous the last two years due mainly to too much traffic and people not knowing how to tackle such a crossing, or even whether to tackle it. It can be a difficult crossing requiring a great deal of planning and preparation and a great deal of experience to analyse. Combine soft sand, liquefaction of the sand by previous vehicles, underwater slopes and 1 metre deep water, it isn't for beginners, though many attempt it.

At one point last year I estimated 80% of attempts failed - resulting in various outcomes including total loss of the vehicle.
0
FollowupID: 781553

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:02

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:02
Thank you both.
I sent a follow up before but I am having trouble with low signal & dropping out. Maybe it will get to you later in the week!? I'm the one scared of crocs. Pa has plenty of sand experience but not water.
Tag along for anything more than a day & night is out of the question for us. No ofence.
Yes the recovery is expensive. He would know what problems people are having though .Thanks again.
Take care, safe travels Ma.
0
FollowupID: 781586

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:05

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:05
No offence taken, each person has different needs and desires.

The best advice is don't do anything that you assess as risky- deep water crossings are the riskiest. Nolans Brook especially so.


BTW. People can join my tag-alongs for short periods - depending on availability of places.
0
FollowupID: 781587

Follow Up By: SueB - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:12

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:12
Hi Olsen

Are there river crossing when travelling the Developement Road?

As we are not doing the OTT do you feel (with your experience) that taking our Off-Road van on this road, should not be a problem.

SueB
0
FollowupID: 781588

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:16

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:16
No river crossings of any consequence anymore, the last of them bridged in the early 90's from memory.

No problems at all except the aforementioned idiots driving too fast.

Unfortunately I've been first on the scene now at three fatalities on my Cape trips and sometimes I wish people would just slow down on that road
0
FollowupID: 781590

Follow Up By: SueB - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:37

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:37
Thank you for all the info, might see you on our travels.

SueB
0
FollowupID: 781591

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:48

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 14:48
Olsens'Tours.
That is dreadful to be first on the scene in any accident but in Fatal accidents it's very difficult.
Hubby drives at a speed he is comfortable with but does get abused by leadfoots occasionally, when driving to conditions.
These leadfoots need to consider the other p eople in their vehicles if they don't care about themselves or the other people using the road.

Is it possible to do little side trips from a camp on the development road as we're planning?
We have also heard that there are easier options available for places like Gunshot?Thanks again Ma.

0
FollowupID: 781592

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 16:21

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 16:21
The Wenlock was the last to get a high level bridge (that still goes under water in the wet season). This particular bridge was opened in April 2001 I believe.

The following holds true for August 2012 (be aware the things could change with the wet season each year):
Gunshot: There are a number of difficult approaches on the southern side but also a very easy crossing. The northern bank is very easy.

Cannibal: Moderate on the south bank when approaching from the south - north bank is quiet easy. Exiting the south bank from the north is seriously difficult and for most vehicles will require winching.

Nolans (Bridge Creek): What Olsens Tours says - go and have a look but frankly it is not worth the potential for catastrophe.

Logans Lagoon: This is often quite deep and the short run across is also soft underfoot. Keep to the western side and use a blind - but once again.....if you don't need to do it don't.

Other crossings: For the most part the other crossing on the OTL are easy to moderately difficult. All are quite pretty. But again....take a walk, wait a while and watch others and then make up your mind. Me - I'm not to partial to water crossings and only do them once I'm confident I've done a full assessment. The final question you should ask yourself before entering a water crossing IMHO is: "Do I really need to go there?"
0
FollowupID: 781598

Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 16:24

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 16:24
I thought it was 1991 :-) memory failing me.

Great advice. "Do I NEED to go there?"

0
FollowupID: 781600

Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 16:54

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 16:54
Yes, Thanks, very good advice. This is my nightmare. You'll get a good laugh! Hubby ventures out to test the track accross the Creek & he's saying, " I wish you'd stop worrying about crocs!" Then he finds out that the rock he just stood on was a croc & a splash & a gulp & no more Hubby!
Thanks for the time taken for the details you've put up for us.
Take care, safe travels. Ma.
0
FollowupID: 781611

Reply By: Christine H3 - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 09:04

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 09:04
we are also going to go at the start of july towing a off road camper for a 3vweek trip are there any major hazards going this track thank for all replies
AnswerID: 504709

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)