Road to the Cape.

Submitted: Monday, May 17, 2004 at 09:32
ThreadID: 12934 Views:2469 Replies:5 FollowUps:11
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Son of Mal One has just driven from Bamaga to Cairns. We came down in a hilux 3.0 D dual cab. The road from Cairns to Lakeland is sealed. From Lakeland onwards the road is unsealed.

There is roadworks from Lakeland to Laura which will probably hold you up for about 15 mins. The road from Laura to Hann River Roadhouse is highly corrogated and full of dust holes. This is definetly the worst part of the road to the Tip. Wetravelled at about 20-30km/hr for this stretch. From Hann River to Coen, the road is generally pretty good, but does contain some wash outs and a number of dips. Take it easy over the dips.

The road from Coen to Archer River is quite good. Travelled at about 80km/hr. Great camping at Archer River. Fuel is expensive, we paid $1.25 per litre diesel. The guy serving at the bowser is not exactly Mr Friendly, but his Mrs inside the Roadhouse was very nice. The river here is only a foot deep, so no dramas there.

The Peninsula Development Road is excellent. About 10kms in from the turn off to Bamaga there is a stretch of water about 60m in length and about 4 ft high at its maximum point. Nice hard bottom, just take it easy.

Good road all the way throught to Bramwell. Good camping at Moreton Station. Steve is very friendly and helpful. Southern Bypass Road is corrogated but is a lot quicker then the Telegraph Track. Pie and coke are a must at Bramwell. We ventured onto the Telegraph track at this point. Took us about 2 and a half hours to get to Gunshot, only drama being either Alice Creek or Palm Creek (not too sure which one, but you'll know it when you see it). Have to drive down the middle of the creek - about 4 ft deep, sandy bottom, no dramas.

Gunshot creek, careful on approach from Southern side. Some mud at end of bottom of first drop, which will only get worse as tourists pass. Delhunty River - turn right along southern bank for about 50 metres before crossing the creek. It has a solid rock base. Spoke to Ranger from Heathlands - said Cockatoo Creek was fine. You will then come to the intersection with the southern bypass road.

This joins up for about 10km and then splits again - left takes you to the Jardine Ferry. About 50mins to the Jardine. Ferry is $88 return, must pay up front. Can continue straight up the Telegraph Track - didn't go this way, but travelled it late last year and there was still a bit of water around at the end of the dry. When driving the Telegraph, be careful as some drivers think that they are experts on their return journey and drive way too fast.

DO NOT DRIVE ACROSS THE JARDINE RIVER - MUST USE FERRY OTHERWISE YOU WILL GET BOGGED. A 16 FOOT CROC CALLS THIS AREA HOME.

Heads up on Northern Peninsula Area Liquor Restrictions. There are signs before the Ferry. A vehicle/person is restricted to carrying one carton (24) of light or mid-strength beer and two litres of wine (not fortified wine). Be advised that your vehicles will be searched by local Police - maximun penalties include losing your car/boat. If you are caught with more than the limit, you will be sent to Court and the matter must be heard at Bamaga - Court is only held once a month and this could impact severly on the rest of your holidays.

Remember - if you decide to pass through communities such as Lockhart River and Aurukun (which aren't really receptive to tourists) there is a ZERO liquor carriage limit. Best bet is to call ahead to the local cop shop to find out the restrictions before you travel. Carrying alcohol into these communities makes you a target for theft and damage to your vehicle.

Otherwise, have a great trip!!



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Reply By: Lynn2 - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 11:14

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 11:14
Thanks for the info. We are heading up to the Cape in early September. Have booked ourselves and 4WD on a cargo boat from Cairns and will be driving back down from Bamago. Don't have any time constraints, so which way would you recommend we take - the OTL or the development road?
AnswerID: 58887

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:01

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:01
Mals has wendy got the fuel going at bramwell ?
Steve and angie at morten are very nice and very helpfull there pie oven is a buety.
There was a rumer that the ferry was going to go up to $120 there was no indication of this.

All the best
eric
AnswerID: 58903

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:42

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:42
$120....ouch! Suppose they can almost charge what they like. Still cheaper than drowning your vehicle.....

Leroy
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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:10

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:10
Leroy that was a rummor not sure if it was going to happen.

All the best
Eric
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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:12

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:12
Leroy that was a rummor not sure if it was going to happen.

All the best
Eric
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Reply By: TravellingVegemite - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:24

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:24
I was just wondering if Cape York is only accessible by the "big boys" of 4wding. Would something smaller (don't laugh) like a Suzuki Grand Vitara be suitable?

I actually have a GQ Patrol, but am planning a round oz trip in 2005 in a converted bus towing a trailer. Unfortunately the Patrol won't fit in the trailer. A Grand Vitara will though.

Roger
AnswerID: 58909

Follow Up By: Leroy - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:45

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 13:45
I reckon, like anything, as long as the vehicle is prepared. Might need a bit beefier suspention (even with a bit of a lift) , appropriate tyres and maybe a snorkle. But there isn't anywhere that it won't be able to go.

Leroy
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Follow Up By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 14:30

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 14:30
Friends of ours took a Nissan Pathfinder to the tip a few years ago so you should be all right.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 19:34

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 19:34
Later in the season you could get to Bamaga in a 2WD so long as you don't want to travel the OTL - I personally wouldn't but a couple of years back on my last trip up the Cape there was a TV crowd doing the trip in a brand spanking new Mazda 626
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:51

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:51
It was actually 2 brand new Mazda 626's and only changes made were AT tyres, and it was a 4wd mag in cahootes with Maxda for a new car promotion, with a Bravo backup/supply vehicle.
Still a tough trip for a car but I guess if its not yours who cares.
Its like police comodores can, and do go places normal cars dont go!!!
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Reply By: Member - The MALS (QLD) - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 17:29

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 17:29
Son of MAL1 has gone to Brisbane tonight but will get him to answer your questions when he comes back later in the weel. Stay tuned.
AnswerID: 58939

Follow Up By: Member - Ray - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:38

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 18:38
Have I missed somehing or are you seriously saying you drove a hilux through 4ft of water.(that is bonnet height)
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Reply By: Midge - Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:35

Monday, May 17, 2004 at 20:35
We are heading up in a couple of weeks, as far as the liquor restrictions go is that a carton per person or vehicle, have they still got a pub at Bamaga where you can buy take away grog. I presume Weipa wouldn't be in a restriction area. We plan on going out to Chilli beach then head up the Frenchmans trk do you know what the Pascoe river is like there.
AnswerID: 58973

Follow Up By: Austravel - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 11:14

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 11:14
When we were there last year you could still by grog at Bamaga but the going price was $55 per carton and $52 for a bottle of rum.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 13:18

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 13:18
For more details on the alcohol restrictions check out this and other related sites.

http://www.mcmc.qld.gov.au/pdf/AMP_general_brochure.pdf
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 13:23

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 at 13:23
Sorry about the double post but here are a couple of other sites. The QLD Gov where very helpful to me. I am leading a trip up that way in July and they sent me a truckload of pamphlets and maps detailing everything you need to know and giving you the GPS boundaries for the prohibited/restricted areas.
Cheers
Pete
www.liquor.qld.gov.au/Indigenous/
www.mcmc.qld.gov.au
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