cape York questions

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 08:47
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hi, hopefully I have posted this in the right thread..... A couple of (some maybe dumb) questions that id love some feed back on please...I am posting this on a couple of sites.......
- has anyone done this trip in the past couple of weeks and what were the roads like ( eg super corrugated, muddy, any creek crossings etc).
- has anyone done the gibb river road as well and how do the two compare in regards to corrugations??
- I've done heaps of research on the road, but one thing I can't work out is all the swimming spots- how do you know which ones are safe and which ones have humans on the menu ( crocs)....
- I hope to head up next week, have been watching the weather for rains or early wet season....any meteorologists or clairvoyants on here who care to give an opinion.....
Thanks so much for any advice!
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Reply By: Member - tommo05 - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 18:19

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 18:19
Hi Sandra

Corrugations do not compare, the GRR is like a highway compared to the PDR. Of course, this is dependent on how recently the grader has been through, but given you are going so late in the season it is safe to assume the grader hasn't been through for a while, and the road will have seen plenty of traffic over the recent school holidays. This time last year I was watching my first sunset at Loyalty Beach, and I can tell you the trip up was over the worst corrugations I have seen since I was on the Gunbarrel.

You don't know which swimming holes have crocs in them, however you can generally assume that the ones in the middle of the peninsula, south of the Jardine, are safe-ish. But you can pretty much lock in Fruitbat, Eliot and Twin Falls, I have not heard of anyone ever being taken there and it would be a crime to go to Cape York and not take a dip in at least one of those spots.

I'm not a meteorologist or a clairvoyant, but I'll have a go. How long do you plan to spend up there? I would probably back you to get to the tip, but you wouldn't want to be hanging around too long. Last year I planned to be back in Cairns by the 3rd week of October just in case, as it turned out I took the Sea Swift down the coast instead so I was off the Cape by mid-October. Weather was still beautiful then.

You really shouldn't get any serious rain until November, but it's not something you want to risk. However, if you can get to the tip and set up camp somewhere near the wharf, then the Sea Swift is always an option home if you get rained in.

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Follow Up By: Sandra B10 - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:46

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:46
Thanks so much tommo for your reply and advice, much appreciated. Because we are heading up So late, I was definitely not planning on hanging around too long, in fact was toying with the idea of just going straight to the top without 'sightseeing' too much, hanging around at the top for just a few days/a week and then making our way back down slower and doing more of the falls etc. The problem with this idea is that if we do get caught up the top and end up having to get the boat back down ,then we miss out on seeing so much......catch 22. Will probably stop in at fruit bat and Elliot falls on the way up and see how we go with the rest. Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - tommo05 - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 13:45

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 13:45
I had a similar issue in that I didn't originally intend to get the boat so I missed a lot of stuff on the way up that I planned to see on the way back. But I went a bit hard over the corrugations and my shockies were probably not going to get me back down! I still saw enough to sate my appetite for now, and hey now I have a reason to go back. And the boat ride was really good fun, so I have no regrets.

Make sure you check out the Quinkan rock art just before Laura too. Easy to get to and well worth a quick stop as you're passing by.

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Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 19:43

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 19:43
The previous post summed it up, but you will find the corros pretty bad as we have just had school holidays and the PDR is usually graded at the most twice a year. Most of the creeks will be down on water, some like Nolan's Brook will only be down maybe a foot, the temps will be starting to build, so expect it to becoming a bit balmy, as for swimming, most water in Lakefield hold crocs, whereas on the OTT, most waters can be swum in, eg Dulhunty, Nolans, Elliot aand Twin Falls, and Bertiehaugh, all these are through the centre of the Cape. If I were you, I would get a copy of Ron and Viv Moons Cape York Adventures, it has all the information you need to do the Cape, I first went there as a 25yr old and have been back 46 times and never had a problem. There are some basic rules when campng in croc areas, is camp at least 50m back from water, do not frequent the same spot on the the bank, and the same for any fish scraps. Have a quick scout of the banks for for slide marks etc, I hope this helps, btw on average there is 1 croc attack a year, with the majority of them happening in the Northern Territory.
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Follow Up By: Sandra B10 - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:51

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:51
Thanks so much tony for you reply, wow how lucky are you to have been there so many times, you definitely would have had some great xperiences. Thanks especially the info on swimming and crocs, much appreciated! Yes, I will look into the book you suggested, I had previously seen it advertised on the net and it definitely looks super comprehensive. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - tommo05 - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 13:40

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 13:40
The Hema Atlas & Guide is really good too Sandra. I enquired on this site when I was planning as to whether I should get Ron & Viv Moon or the Hema, someone suggested I get both. Turned out to be great advice.

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Reply By: Member - TonyV - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 22:05

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 22:05
Drove up 19th September via Cooktown Lake Land and though to Weipa,then across to Bramwell, the OTT and on to Punsands.

The roads are pretty good with the pre-wet grading happening Worst section is the section from Weipa to the Batavia Downs turn off.

North of the Jardine was being graded on the Wednesday 23rd September. The Bramwell boys are grading from the Jardine back to Bramwell Station (Bramwell has the , nroad contract from Moreton to the Jardine).

Swimming.

Dullhunty, Gunshot Creek have water for a soak, Cockatoo has Croc signs. All other creeks are ok up to but not including the Jardine Nolans Logans Creek and Nolans have good flows but not as deep this year.
TonyV

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Follow Up By: Member - TonyV - Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 22:09

Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015 at 22:09
I'm up there again in the last week of October for a OTT clean up.

May shoot up to Punsands Bay who hold a Melbourne Cup Day race on the beach.. might be fun..

Normally can do the PDR through to Christmas if there is no heavy rains in November.
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Follow Up By: Sandra B10 - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:56

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 08:56
Thanks so much for your reply Tonyv, it's great to get some recent info on the road! Thank you for info on swim in as well, much appreciated. The Melbourne cup day at punsands sounds fun.....makes it tempting to stick around for longer ?? Cheers
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Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 14:07

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 14:07
The GRR was perfectly navigable 3 weeks ago, although pretty rough around Home Valley. Enough to give a lot of people we spoke to punctures. Tyres were generally around 25 lbs when we asked although a couple had pretty high pressures. A few also suffered damage to electrics, which was usually the cabling getting a hammering from the stones. There is a lot of embedded stone as well as loose stone and the blue/grey stuff is pretty sharp. You might be lucky if you go after a recent grading but that always applies and you can't really compare roads for that reason. I have heard of the PDR being as smooth as the proverbial baby's bum but it wouldn't be like that late in the season if it hadn't been graded recently, just as we found on the Gibb. It'll be pretty warm around the GRR, particularly as it was touching 40 deg when we were up there and it won't be cooling off any time soon.
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Follow Up By: Sandra B10 - Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 22:32

Wednesday, Oct 07, 2015 at 22:32
Hi Steve, sounds like you have had a pretty good run on the grr. We actually did this a couple of years ago, it was spectacular and yes super corrugated and rocky. Home valley was like a little oasis when going west to east and yes we also saw tons of vehicles changing tyres along the way - thankfully we didn't get any punctures. Thanks for the comment about not being able to compare roads, I hadn't really thought of it that way, but yes it's true, the road condition will always depend on time of the season, recent grading and weather..... Cheers
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Reply By: 322 - Saturday, Oct 10, 2015 at 21:16

Saturday, Oct 10, 2015 at 21:16
Done it in June. Roads were rough but expected. Some told me the Gibb is a lot worse for corrugations. The Tele Track is great fun and very doable. Don't listen to all the hype. Take it easy with a well prepared vehicle and you'll be fine. We swam in every river on the track and had no issue. The whole family have said they would go back in a heart beat. Have a great time.
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Follow Up By: Sandra B10 - Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 23:16

Sunday, Oct 11, 2015 at 23:16
Thanks for your reply ?? Yes, there is a lot of hype about the Tele track which certainly makes me very wary, but it's sound comments like yours that are definitely encouraging!!
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