Cape York camping

Submitted: Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 16:12
ThreadID: 107829 Views:2111 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
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We are heading up that way in July, three cars, one with a camper trailer others intents, and have heard that one needs to book ahead to secure camping sites. I was hoping that I could just find a spot around 1500hrs and prop for the night.

Has anyone got any info on the need to book or otherwise?

Thanx in advance
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Reply By: Bludge - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 16:34

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 16:34
Bonz,

It depends on your whole journey so without any info I suggest that you look at Queensland Camping - Bookings and see whats available where you intend to go.

Please do use the booking system where required, there is nothing worse than turning up at a booked location to find someone camped in the spot you paid for, Rangers can be quite active as well.

A better idea of your itinerary would help.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:56

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:56
Hi Bludge, we are sort of playing it by ear, thanx for the link.

Bonz
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 17:35

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 17:35
The Queensland internet booking system is a nightmare you end up in arguments and meet agro people. When you are touring remote areas how you can book for specific nights weeks in advance is beyond me. You will end up making bookings and forfeiting your money because you can not make it in time. Have not been to Queensland for three years and will not be going any time soon.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:52

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:52
Thats what I heard Chris, thanx for the info
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 08:31

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 08:31
For the Cape the only booking that we made was at Seissa. We free camped other times and all except one spot on the tele track we did not have any trouble. But that was before the booking system came is. We would be stuffed with it because we do not have any mobile internet access.

Bonz.

If anyone is a serving or retired military member then have a look at the Pandanus Veterans Retreat near Kalpower. About the only time you would need to book there would be around the Long Tan anniversary. Lots of room mate. And you will be left alone if you wish.

Not going back to QLD.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris_K - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 15:36

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 15:36
Hi Folks

On the contrary - we used the on-line booking system, met no agro people and it all seemed to work fine. We did have to plan the trip a little, but if you want to make it up as you go - then you'll either need internet connection to book (internet is a little thin on the ground) or not stay in any National Parks. Rangers patrolled quite regularly, and all in all - were fantastic people to deal with.

Maybe I was lucky.

Chris
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 16:24

Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 16:24
Hey Phil does it count if your son is a serving Army Reserve member? oh and a police officer??
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 17:27

Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 17:27
I believe that the operative word is "veteran". Therefore I think that the answer would be a polite no.

Quote from the site at: http://www.pandanusparkinc.com/Veterans.html

Pandanus Park was established
predominantly for Vietnam Veterans

However your Committee recognise that through the goodwill of the Traditional Owners of Kalpowar Station

Australian Defence Force VETERANS from all conflicts are welcome.

Families of eligible veterans may also camp at Pandanus Park but must be accompanied by the Veteran.



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Reply By: krimnl - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 18:30

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 18:30
there is plenty of free camping up the cape as well as great stations and camp grounds. we spent 8 weeks up there last year and only stayed in national park camp sites 3 times. each time just a quick call on the sat phone secured our spot.

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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:55

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:55
Thanx krimnl, yer I followed your trip on facebook, was three quarters the drive for us to go there mate..

Bonz
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Reply By: TrevorDavid - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 19:00

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 19:00
Bonz, Think only Nat Parks need to be booked ahead & may be station stays

TDB
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:53

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:53
Thanx Trev, might have a chat to Brett too
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Reply By: Geoff H (Q - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 20:44

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 20:44
We went to the Cape without booking any campsites, there are plenty of free camps if you like, however we tended to stay at Roadhouses or homesteads.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:51

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 07:51
Thanx for your info Geoff, did you need to book the homesteads mate?
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Reply By: Geoff H (Q - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 08:23

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 08:23
No we didn't really stick to any set plan, just had a look at the map each morning and work out what to see and where to camp that night. The roadhouses and homesteads were pretty big and open paddocks with basic showers and toilets. We stayed at Hann River, One of the Telegraph Stations, Archer River Roadhouse, (best burgers in the north). The camp ground at Fruit Bat Falls was pretty full so you might like to check that one out beforehand. We followed the main road and would head off for some sight seeing each day down the telegraph track or off to one of the beaches. Then pull up in time to cook a camp oven dinner each night. We travelled light with enough fresh provisions for a few days. Then based ourselves at Loyalty Beach for a week and explored the top from there.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:39

Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:39
Thanx mate, great info
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Reply By: Member - OnYaBike - Monday, May 19, 2014 at 21:52

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 21:52
You need only book at National Parks. The main problem is that you are travelling in the peak of the season and there are plenty of people on the road.
As far as places with amenities, you've got Lakeland, Laura, Hann River, Musgrave, Coen (recommend Charlie's Mine), Archer River (usually crowded), Moreton, Bramwell and south bank of the Jardine if you don't make the ferry by closing.
Once at Bamaga if Seisia looks too busy there's Loyalty Beach a couple of km to the north or the beach at Umagico on the way up from Injinoo. I'd give Umagico a try unless you want to be near Seisia jetty.
Free camping is limited and you would want to set up early to find a spot. Laura River, Coen River and Archer River. There are be other places such as Fox's Hole on the Archer that would require local knowledge.
Once across the Jardine your ferry fee includes a camping permit for the area so you could try Mutee Heads, the Jardine mouth or Somerset. Ask at the Croc Tent at Lockerbie, they have mud maps and advice. Don't forget to buy a souvenir though. Amenities, even water, will be very basic or non existent when free camping in the NPA. Hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:41

Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:41
Very much appreciated, you're making the planning a whole lot easier. Thanx heaps
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Reply By: Been-Everywhereman - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 00:59

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 00:59
The Cape is one of the best spots for free camping. Forget your idea of camping late afternoon as you will struggle because of crowds.. If you are travelling the OTL your camping will be excellent. Great spots next to Dalhuntie, Cockatoo and Nolans. Get to these spots and be prepared to set up camp at midday and then watch all the travellers show their talent at crossing creeks. You will need to book if you want to go to Iron Range or Lakefield National Parks for camping and again get there earlyish so if you have issues with Squatters the rangers have time to work it out.
It is pretty simple to figure out what days you will be at the National Parks and the rest of it you can play by ear but the trick is camp early and take 4 to 5 days doing the OTL. We have been 7 times and each time it keeps getting better. We learn more each time we go.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:42

Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:42
thanx for the info, its all starting to come together as a plan.... thats a worry
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Reply By: Cole - Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 22:45

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 22:45
Hi Bonz


I would pre book for Elliot Falls, located mid way along the OTT. One of the most beautiful spots there is. $5 a night so its not much to loose if your a day or so out with your schedule. We stayed there for 3 nights last year. Could have stayed 2 weeks if time allowed. You will love it.

We pre booked the above at the ranger station atCoen. Ask a local for directions.

We stayed at Punsand Bay camp ground near the Tip. This is the closest camp to the actuall Tip. Large sites, plenty of trees & if your lucky, or pre book you may get a camp site on the beach front.( this is a privately run camp ground) Same guy, Rod runs the Cape Tribulation camp ground.


Cole.


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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:42

Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 08:42
Thanx Cole, especially the local knowledge, much appreciated mate
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