Lions Den to Archer river via Development rd or Lakefield np

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 04, 2014 at 17:24
ThreadID: 105682 Views:1936 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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We are heading up to Cape York later this year and trying to figure out which way to go from Lions Den. If we went Lakefield np via Cooktown or from Laura how much time would this add onto the trip compared to skipping Lakefield and going straight to Archer river? And if we do skip Lakefield will we still see the termite mounds along the track?

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Reply By: bigden - Saturday, Jan 04, 2014 at 17:42

Saturday, Jan 04, 2014 at 17:42
if you skip lakefield you will still see plenty of termite mounds. going thru lakefield is probably an extra night and you may want to stay one more if you enjoy fishing and camping. going thru lakefield is more pictureas (how do you spell that?)

we camped at melaluca waterholes which was very isolated and the girls hated it but at the crossing is much better
AnswerID: 523873

Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Saturday, Jan 04, 2014 at 17:53

Saturday, Jan 04, 2014 at 17:53

There are a couple of ways to Archer River from the Lions can continue up through Cooktown and over Battlecamp Rd, or backtrack a little on the Mulligan Hwy and head up on the bitumen to Laura (probably faster as its all bitumen to Laura).

The first option is much more scenic, and depending on when you travel, the road can either be heavily corrugated or pretty good. Our trip in 2012 the road had just been graded so - it was pretty good (80km/h stuff). The road to Lakefield and up would add a few hours to your trip - but it really depends on the condition at the could be three hours or eight if the road ends up in bad condition after the wet season. Perhaps best to talk to the rangers a week or so before you go. There is a nice little free camping spot on the northern side of Coen called The Bend...this is a good option instead of Archer River if you ran out of time. Then again, you'd miss the Archer Burger...still the best burger I've ever tasted!

In summary, from Lions Den to Archer River is quite a hike - so if time is critical, the maybe the Development Rd is a better option? Seeing termite mounds wont be a problem even if you bypass Lakefield as there are heaps along the way.


AnswerID: 523875

Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 08:15

Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 08:15
I was wondering how long you have to do the Cape, you will see termite mounds, but probably not as stunning as in the top part of Lakefield.
Cheers Tony F8
AnswerID: 523905

Follow Up By: Litlbalt - Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 10:10

Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 10:10
We have 4wks leaving Sydney
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Reply By: Member - John N (SA) - Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 12:09

Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 12:09
G'day Litlbalt,

Our route last year was from the Lions Den via Cooktown and Lakefield to Archer River. We found it was a great trip and there was much to see. We spent quite a bit of time at the old Laura homestead and camped that night at the Saltwater Creek camping area and had a great look around along the way. No facilities at Saltwater but at the time it was very peaceful with much wildlife around. We continued to Archer River the next day with morning tea etc at the Musgrave Roadhouse. If you need to make the journey from the Lions Den to Archer in the one day, the trip through the park would be a big ask in my view, particularly if you want to stop and photograph the good stuff along the way.

We saw many great termite mounds along the Tele Track so you won't miss seeing them either way.

Have a great trip - we had a party of 4 vehicles and had eight weeks from Adelaide & return.


AnswerID: 523924

Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 13:09

Sunday, Jan 05, 2014 at 13:09
Morning litlbalt.
You will have plenty of time to experience the Cape, something like 20+ days.
So once you leave Cooktown, and its worth visiting for it's attractions, you will have a leisurely stroll to the top. Having said that I have spent a fair bit of time travelling the Cape and find that there is no length of time long enough. Try not to miss anything while your up there, many will tell you what's good and what's bad, seriously your better off forming your own opinion by experience. It's a fantastic place, only spoilt by the lazy, non-thinking part of our 4wd fraternity that leaves it's rubbish everywhere.
All the crossings are do-able, Palm may be a struggle coming out heading north, but if you get there early, the first few vehicles do it relatively easy, before it gets a chopped up and sloppy.
Take the ferry across the Jardine, the money does help their economy.
Beware if you travel on the PDR, since it is being continually updated (weather permitting), you will meet numerous drivers thinking it's dirt version of Mt Panarama.
Enjoy one of the beautiful places on offer in OZ.
Cheers and drive safe.
Tony F8
AnswerID: 523927

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