Planned Cape York trip in August

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 07:59
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Hello all. We are planning a trip to Cape York in August this year and would like to hear from fellow members if the thoughts on an itinerary that I have put together is feasible and doable or if we are taking on too much for the time.Please feel free to offer any suggestions that you can think of that can enhance our experience.

Here is the itinerary: Days are for the month of August
• Day 1 – Travel Gladstone to Townsville
• Day 2 –Townsville to Daintree
• Day 3 – Archer Point (south of Cooktown)
• Day 4 - Somewhere in the south or central of Lakefield Nat Park (suggestions on camping sites welcome here)
• Day 5 – Somewhere in the north of Lakefield Nat Park (suggestions on camping sites welcome here)
• Day 6 – Archer River Roadhouse
• Day 7 & 8 – Chilli Beach area
• Day 9 – Moreton Telegraph Station or Bramwell Junction via Frenchman’s Track
• Day 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 – Overland Telegraph Track; stopping wherever throughout this section-whatever takes our fancy. Please make suggestions-Dulhunty River, Gunshot Creek, Cockatoo Creek, Elliot/Twin/Indian Head Falls, Sam Creek, Fruit Bat Falls, etc etc etc etc.
• Day 15 & 16 – North of Vrilya Point on west of Cape or Ussher Point on East of Cape
• Day 17, 18, 19, 20 – Seisa, Punsand Bay, Tip, Thursday Island etc etc
• Day 21 & 22 – Weipa
• Day 23 Far south as possible- Musgrave Roadhouse; Hann River Roadhouse; Laura
• Day 24 – Jowalbinna: Aboriginal art etc
• Day 25 – Maytown
• Day 26 & 27 – Chillagoe caves etc
• Day 28 & 29 – Hightail it home to start work on the 30th (night shift)

Looking forward to the feedback and comments.

Russell
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Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 17:12

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 17:12
Hi Russell

Sounds pretty comprehensive to me - the only thing I could add:

1. North of Lakefield, we stayed at a free camp just north of Coen called "The Bend". One of the nicest places to stay on the river - but you'll need to get there early pm...it gets busy in the late afternoon if you want riverfront real estate.

2. Jowalbinna - was interesting, but the guided tour was, how do you put it politely...not that informative. It's also quite a long way from Development Rd turn off...as the road was average.

3. Weipa - we did a fishing charter for a day...fantastic.

4. Chilli Beach we bypassed. Our advice was that it's extremely windy and somewhat smelly. That was backed up when we bumped into some fellow campers a little way up the Cape. As I said, we bypassed it - so perhaps someone else can add more...our advice is now third hand!

5. I'd stay at Bramwell Station not Bramwell Junction...much much nicer & quieter.

Other stuff looks pretty good to me and also fun. Also like your profile photo of Lawn Hill...we were also there about the same time last year!

Cheers

Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 18:02

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 18:02
Chris,
Thanks for the advice and we will certainly take that on for further consideration.

Jowalbinna has since closed both the camp area and tours from information I received last night.

Bramwell Station, thanks for the heads up will look into that further.

Loved Lawn Hill. We were there in June July last year.

Cheers,

Russell
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Follow Up By: bigden - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:03

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:03
i have to agree about not going to chilli beach. we spent 2 nights there , it blew a gale the whole time and its not really pretty. the plus side was the cafe at portland roads and driving 5ks down the beach to chilli creek.
bramwell station was a great nights stop. a bar and meals was good and if you stay the next day you can go on a 4wd tour of the station

i like your 4 days on the tele track, we spent 2 days and would of liked more . elliot falls was good.
i was a little dissapointed in thursday island, maybe it was just me
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:13

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:13
Bigden,

Good advice again and I am now starting to re-think that part of the itinerary. Would still like to do the Frenchman's Track though so some searching for alternatives will need to be done.

Thanks again for the feedback, much appreciated to all.

Cheers,

Russell
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris_K - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:21

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:21
Hi Russell

One other thing I missed was that we took a boat ride to Thursday Island. We were lucky and the weather was spectacular so I suppose that was part of the beauty...but if you are up that way, it's worth a day trip in my opinion:



Chris
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:35

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:35
Don't forget to go out to Charlie's Mine on the old Port Stewart road from Coen............it's quite interesting.

Chilli Beach was great in our opinion, Portland Roads Cafe great. Frenchman's Track was good, the crossing can be interesting going east to west it can be a steep drop into the river and a very rocky and slippery exit. There can be some big rocks early in the season so be careful.

Main thing on the trip is beware of the weekend warriors who drive like maniacs
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:37

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 20:37
And also Bramwell Station rather than the Junction. Wendy is a real character!!
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:01

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:01
Thanks again Chris. We will make it to TI, regardless of the weather.

Thanks Lyn W3 for the reassurance on Chilli Beach and by the sounds of Portland Roads Cafe, it is a place NOT to be missed seeing as I am a bit fond of nice food.

Cheers,

Russell
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 06:45

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 06:45
If you have a bit of time you can get to Chilligoe by coming down through Dixie Station and King's Junction Station and cross the Mitchell River at Gamboola. Nice quiet drive away from the yahoos on the PDR.
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 07:18

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 07:18
Lyn W3,

We plan to head down to Maytown but if the Old Coach Road is too much then what you have suggested is certainly a considered alternative.

Cheers,

Russell
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Follow Up By: Chris M18 - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 10:42

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 10:42
HI Lyn W3,
I am hoping to head south down through Dixie station to Gamboola (same track as you mentioned) in July. Was wondering how difficult this road is, is there anything to look out for ?

Thx
Chris
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 14:15

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 14:15
Chris m18, the road can vary from year to year depends if any of the stations have run a grader over it to enable cattle trucks in and out, there can be a fair amount of bulldust depending on the traffic.

Around King's Junction there are a few creek crossings but none insurmountable with due care. Just check the depth and also check to make sure the Mitchell is crossable at Gamboola if the season is late. It's a bloody long way across the river especially if there are a couple of sand bars.

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Follow Up By: Chris M18 - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 17:25

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 17:25
Lyn,
Thanks for your reply,
Thanks
Chris
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Reply By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 21:41

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 21:41
Can't recommend the Tackleworld fishing charter at Weipa highly enough (John goes above an beyond for service and experience).

As a town, Weipa is not too exciting but the fishing is good. The caravan park could do with a bit of updating.

My best experience on the Cape was Pennefather- fabulous fishing (particularly for a fly fisher) and a beautiful location. Couldn't get enough of the place.

We had a great time at Chilli Beach, the starling show is excellent. Pack a a bottle of sparkling and relax for the evening. I have heard a number of negative comments, so I guess you have to be lucky with the weather. Make sure you have lunch or dinner at Portland Roads. If you like wildlife the "forest" camps are excellent. Great birdwatching & I have some great photos of a green python from a night walk.

I'll second Bramwell STATION. Nice place, good people, comfortable camping (if you don't explode from eating too much at the buffet!).

We spent most of our "tip' stay at Punsand and would recommend it as the best camping spot in that area, but it is hardly a resort. Nice pizza and good fishing.

Won't say much about the OTT as it is a bit of a given, just don't be tempted by a bypass to the Development road unless you are absolutely sure it is in good condition (I don't think this exists). We saw a small 2wd wagon towing a camper trailer travelling at about 10kmh!

At Lakefield we stayed at the last campsite (camp #9?) at 12 mile and it was beautiful. Nice location large and convenient campsite, average fishing (or was that just me?;-).

All up, don't stress too much and don't try to see too much... you'll have a ball.

Cheers,

Mark
AnswerID: 528146

Follow Up By: Member - RUK - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:05

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:05
Mark,

Thanks for the advice on the charter out of Weipa. I have heard rave reviews on Pennefather but will have to miss it this time (something to come back for).

The OTT IS the REASON we are going to the Cape, the journey forms the experience and that is the experience we want.

Thanks for the feedback and ideas. It is appreciated.

Cheers,

Russell
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:45

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 at 22:45
I agree about Chile beach, We were there about 2 years ago in August and loved it, A bit of wind but nothing to worry about,
The place we thought was too windy was Captain Billy's Landing, Took an hour to do about 30ks to get there and very little to see or do, Absolute wast of time in my opinion.

Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK - Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 07:22

Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 at 07:22
Dave,

Thanks for further reassurance on Chilli Beach. Hadn't considered Captain Billy's Landing for this trip so we miss nothing by the sounds of it.

Cheers,

Russell
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