Cape York with a camper trailer

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 08:54
ThreadID: 10413 Views:3034 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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Hi all. Currently in the process of planning a trip to the Cape next year with a few friends. At present the main question that I have of anyone who has been there is in regards to the practicality of going with a suitable camper trailer. I have checked the Trek Notes on this site and read some other stuff and understand that there are some parts that are not camper-friendly (Gunshot ck for example). If that is the case, are there suitable chicken tracks or alternative routes around such obstacles?

Alternatively I was thinking about a roof-top camper, but they may have a few too many negatives in my case.

I guess that the right tent may be OK too, but they don't really provide much protection from any curious wildlife.

TIA, Dan.
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Reply By: Roachie - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 09:07

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 09:07
We went up there in July/August 2002 on our own (self, wife and 3 young boys). I've got a GU Patrol 4.2T/D + Ultimate Camper. Went up the by-pass track and came back the Old Telegraph Track.
I'm no hero and wasn't real keen on risking my gear (or family). Tackled all the creeks on my own and had no worries at all. The creeks aren't the problem (or weren't when we were there anyway); but the exits are the slippery part of the deal.
I believe I fairly well set up though, as I have a electric winch (didn't have to use it), a front air locker (used that a few times including Gunshot Creek---chicken run) plus I run BFG Muddies.
Exits that I noticed another bloke in a mid-wheelbase Bundera having all sorts of strife getting up, were done without even spinning a wheel.
So, IMHO if you have the right vehicle set up and camper trailer with plenty of off-road cred, go for it.
We're going back there with 2 other vehicles in Sept/October this year.
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Follow Up By: SupaMav - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 21:14

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 21:14
Thanx Roachie.
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Reply By: flappan - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 09:46

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 09:46
You could take a decent offroad campertrailer all the way to the Cape with little to no problems by taking the Bypass.

If you want to be a bit more adventerious , then apparently up via the OTL and back by the Bypass is recommended for trailers.
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Reply By: Rod - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 12:40

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 12:40
Hi. Do a search and you will find this topic has been done before. I found the OTL easier on the CT than the bypass roads as the bypass was so badly corrugated. Sure, the creeks north of twin falls we skipped but everything south was very doable, including the chicken run at gunshot. Frankly, I found the bypass boring and unpleasant whereas a slightly slower trip on the OTL was much more enjoyable and I felt that we were really doing the cape. It's a personal taste thing and partly dictated by the amount of time you had.

Interestingly, the trailer breakdowns we saw were all on the bypass roads. Driving too fast, loaded too heavily.

The worst incident I had with my CT in driving round Oz (inc Cape, Bungle Bungles, GRR etc) was hitting a drive-through menu board at Red Rooster in Mareeba. It said drive through take away, and that's what I did to the sign.
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Reply By: DARREN - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 14:21

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 14:21
Supamav, we went in August 03, I towed a (well built) off road box trailer with boat on top search the archives you will find that I was asking the same question before we went. A good trailer is not problem at all, gunshot was fine but I did get pulled up cannibal creek exit, no great hassle (you can bypass this section of OTL if required but I think it's the best part)
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 14:49

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 14:49
Must be quiet at work today! lol

The trailer wasnt a prob at all.

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Follow Up By: Graham - Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 17:36

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2004 at 17:36
We were also up there in Aug 03 and travelled both directions on the OTL without a trailer. I suggest that with towing a trailer and providing the creek water levels are OK, travel north on the OTL as far as Sam Creek then duck back out to the bypass. On the way back south you can jump on the OTL just before Bridge creek and get to see what you missed before. Cannibal creek is a bit of a pig when travelling South to North due to it's Northern bank being steep, rutted out and a sharp dogleg thrown in for good measure, heading South though is of little concern as you can idle down it.

Hope this helps
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Reply By: duncs - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 15:51

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 15:51

Did the Cape with a trailer early in 99. No one was using the OTL at the time so I can't really comment on that but I know plenty who have taken trailers along it in both directions.

I don't like roofracks. Have had problems with vehicle stability because of the increased load up high.

What has been said above is pretty right.

The best tourist info we got on the trip was from the tourist info and shop in Cooktown. We felt that Weipa was misleading. When we were there all the rivers weree still high, the Wenlock was 4m deep at the crossing and we used a barge that I believe still lies in the bush near the new causway. In Weipa all those who couldn't go where they wanted to gathered to tell sob stories. They had convinced us that the barge was dangerous and a waste of time because all the roadds norht of there would be flooded anyway.

My advice would be to pack the trailer and head north. Be prepared to listen to locals but also to check things out for yourself. Proceed with caution but proceed never the less.

Have a great trip
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Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 17:20

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 17:20
Dan every thing said above sounds good. The top end of the OTL is a real bugger canibal creek was hard with and with out trailers.
We take people with well built of road trailers on our tag alongs and to date not that many problems.
All the best
Cape York Connections
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Follow Up By: SupaMav - Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 21:18

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004 at 21:18
Thanks Eric. I have a shortie, so I think that I'll need the camper for the room. Shying away from the roof top camper . . . The Board of Control doesn't like the idea of having to climb too far anyway!
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Reply By: dnr frosty - Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 01:05

Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 01:05
i'm also doing this trip this year. but i'm hiring a ct. I'm talking my wife, she's never been camping so for the passed 12 years i havent been either. I thought if she'll never go again at least i've been to the dream this Question is really helpful 4 me...thanks
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Follow Up By: SupaMav - Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 20:41

Thursday, Feb 12, 2004 at 20:41
Hope you have a ball, Frosty. I'm really looking forward to it.
FollowupID: 308401

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