Cape York,solo and towing

Hi All,
The cook and I are heading to the Cape in first week of September and would like to hear from anyone that has travelled to the cape alone and towing a camper, we have some experience with 4WDing,have completed the canning, The Anne Beadell and others, without incident (3 punctures and 1 side wall staking)
This will be our first solo trek though and keen for any info such as vehicle numbers around that time of year on the OTT, track condition, etc
Tow vehicle is 100 series, lifted, double locked, winch and full recovery kit


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Reply By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 20:05

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 20:05
Hi doc

We were up there with a group last year, had a fantastic time. You will have no difficulty if taking the main roads, but if you plan to do the more difficult routes (old telegraph track or frenchmans track) you would be wise to travel with others. The main roads may be very corrugated at that time, but there are no deep water crossings to worry about and the water levels should be at their lowest. It all depends on where you plan to go.

We were in our hilux towing an offroad hybrid camper, needed to winch once on the old tele track and for the climbs out of the river crossings on the frenchmans track. We knew this was likely and were travelling with very experienced 4wd instructors, so it was very educational for us.

The development road was a wide corrugated highway, lower your tyre pressures and take it easy. We were there in school holidays so it was busy.

Enjoy the trip

AnswerID: 514455

Follow Up By: rojostock - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:10

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 17:10
Hi there
We will be there in September also in two vehicles - one towing a camper trailer (they have been there before) and one in double cabin ute with Travelander on the tray. Can only do school holidays as the others are teachers and kids. So - if you need a hand there will be many willing helpers I am sure. Both parties have done a fair bit of 4WD travelling. Cheers rojo
FollowupID: 794275

Reply By: mountainman - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 20:29

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 20:29
some blokes dropped into a caravan park in Mackay..
on the way back down.
saying the corrugations were shocking.....

but at least you wont forget the trip..

tyre pressures, and find a speed to suit the corrugations..
and youll be fine..
take some spares for the trailer..
AnswerID: 514456

Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 22:12

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 22:12
Just returned from a week at the top and found the road good overall though lots of travellers cause associated dust and passing problems. Any corrugated sections are short lived and compensated for by the numerous sealed stretches which provide relief. I did a windscreen but that is just bad luck, the last one was 1973. If Seisia and Loyalty are crowded consider Alau Beach (Umagico) for camping. Quiet and shady.
If you can hold out till the end of September after the school holidays in Qld and the south are over you will have everything to yourself, the road and camping areas. Last year I went up in late October and was amazed how quiet it was in comparison with the peak touring times. A little warmer but not unbearable was all.
AnswerID: 514462

Reply By: Batt's - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 01:04

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 01:04
I don't think you'll be alone they reckon 50,000 plus people travel up there every year now so help will be close by if needed.
AnswerID: 514468

Follow Up By: Liz S2 - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:25

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:25
Been trying to find some figures on the number of toursists, as we heard earlier this year that in the last year 80,000 people went up (or was that vehicles!).

We did it in 2006 and I have heard that there were only around 10,000 that year, it has grown enormously. I put it down to youtube - demystifing the challenges, showing how much the effort is worth it, beuatiful scenery etc.

In 2006 I thught it was just the right amount of people - we occasionally camped on our own next to some crossings, and most days had 5-20 vehicles pass thorugh if we were staying put that day.

Can't imagine what 80,000 would be like - the rubbish, so many people when the point of going is to be out in the wild, destruction of habitat...

Anyway - anyone else have some figures to share? I searched some tourist reports and stuff a few months ago, out of interest, but couldn't verify anything. Was going to ask at the stations like Bramwell and Archer River on our way up this year, whether they have noticed a huge jump in numbers in the past 5 years...
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Follow Up By: Member - Vaughn (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 06:32

Tuesday, Jul 09, 2013 at 06:32
I believe over 62000 vehicles crossed on the ferry at the Jardine last year giving some idea of the numbers these days.
If you don't know where you'e going any road will get you there!

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Follow Up By: Liz S2 - Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 at 22:08

Thursday, Jul 11, 2013 at 22:08
Thanks for that Vaughn - good info.
we have friends staying a few months near Port Douglas and the word is that thousands have gone up to the Cape this year. I do wonder how much busier it is compared to 2006.

anyway, cheers, Liz
FollowupID: 793736

Reply By: docsr&r - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 11:39

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 11:39
Thanks for responses folks, Lisa we do plan on tackling the OTT,(will leave the Frenchmans & the Creb for another time) however are in no rush to complete it, will also deliberate each and every crossing before any attempt and if circumstances dictate, we will take the chicken track (not interested in drowning another truck) however feel certain some kindly travellers will show up to lend a hand if required.
advice also heeded for the corrugations, lower pressures, find the speed sweet spot & stop to give the shocks a break if needed.
If there is anyone planning to be there at the same time, would love to catch up for a beer and compare notes


AnswerID: 514476

Follow Up By: Liz S2 - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:19

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:19
Hi Doc - good to see the feedback you have got, as we were looking for the same type of info.

We went up in 2006 by ourselves in July - a 100 series towing a camprite, four kids. We did the whole OTT both ways on our own. But having said that - at many of the corssings, there were others, so a couple of times we had some young lads calling our wheels line and available to help winch if needed. Sometime just the company and another opinion, or watching a vehicle go before you is a help, even if you aren't in their party.

Our hairiest moment was going south over the wooden log bridge, we had a tricky line to get car and camper into place, handbrake not working on a lsope.... we were totally alone for 2 hours or os, no-0one else travelling that day it seemed, and did it all ourselves. Very proud of our achievements.

Our approach then was to always assess if we could return through previous crossings, so that if we came to one that we chose not to do, we could backtrack. However, we never decided to backtrack!

Considering the other tracks you have mentioned, CSR etc, you will have no trouble, even if alone - just assess each obstacle and make your own decisions.
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Follow Up By: Member - Berylvt - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 16:14

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 16:14
Hi Doc, yes we are planning something similar, although we might take that advise about avoiding the school holidays! We 'll be in our new Earthcruiser, so if you see us do say g'day! We will enjoy a beer or two with you.
FollowupID: 793529

Follow Up By: docsr&r - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 19:35

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 19:35
Wow, that is a phenomenal amount of vehicles /people, Liz S2 (looks like skinny dipping is out at the water holes) gave me a good idea though, I'll phone the Jardine ferry to see if they keep numbers on vehicles.
No worries Berylvt, will keep an eye out, The earthcruiser won't be hard to spot
Thankyou to the others who have responded also, all worthwhile comments


FollowupID: 793554

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