Cape York accomodation

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 10:37
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Hi, I am planning a trip to the tip from Sydney winter next year. I have a well equiped 4x4 and an on road 16foot caravan with 2 adults and three children under six. We plan to caravan as far north as possible then use cabin type accomodation to the tip. How far north would be recommended before I will need to unhitch the caravan to and place into storage for my time in the tip? Can anyone recommend accomodation other than camping that that is good for families. Currently our itinerary is open. I'm looking to book well in advance as I know how crowded it can be in the peak periods. Thanks
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 13:10

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 13:10
Hi Traveller

We stayed at Punsand Bay. Fantastic spot - close to the tip, they had permanent safari style cabins right on the beach, great bar and restraunt (awesome seafood pizzas), pool for the kids.

There were a couple of on road caravans stopping there that had made the trip up the development road without injury. We were also passed by a convoy of old 2 wheel drive cars on a fundraising bash - who got through without issue.

Can't help with van storage as we took ours all the way.


AnswerID: 609703

Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 13:46

Sunday, Mar 26, 2017 at 13:46
Having been up the Cape a few times over the last 30 years, my suggestion would be to stay at Bramwell Station, while you explore the southern OTT, then carry on the PDR to Seisia. Now there you have a few options, Seisia, Loyalty Beach, Punsand and Umagico (Alau campground), from any of these you can explore the tip and the northern OTT. There are numerous places to stop on the way up, such as, Laura, Hahn River RH, Musgrave and Moreton telegraph stations, Weipa and Coen. Best to contact Cook Shire or the NPA Council to find out when and where on the PDR they are grading closer to the time you are leaving. You will no doubt be letting out a bit of air from the tug and van to ease the ride on the worst stretches on the PDR. There are plenty of places around Cooktown, but I would reccomend Endeavour River escape just north of Cooktown
AnswerID: 609704

Reply By: Big Woody - Monday, Mar 27, 2017 at 07:52

Monday, Mar 27, 2017 at 07:52
Most leave their on-road caravans in storage at the rear of the caravan park in Lakeland.

The PDR has been upgraded and you could tow it up to Laura on sealed road if you wanted to but I would stick with leaving the van at Lakeland, then drive across to Cooktown and starting your dirt run in the bottom end of Lakefield National Park.

That way when you have finished exploring the Cape your van is an easy pick-up from Lakeland at the bottom of the PDR.

AnswerID: 609718

Reply By: Malcom M - Monday, Mar 27, 2017 at 09:02

Monday, Mar 27, 2017 at 09:02
Its going to depend on the state of the dirt roads when you get there. These change constantly due to traffic, weather and when the roads were last graded etc etc.
They can be unbelievably appalling and can shake your vehicles to bits.
The black top stops at Laura where there is a small caravan park which would likely let you store your rig or you can trust to luck and take it further, plenty of owners do but plenty of them break as well.
Not a lot of well equipped repair facilities up there but Coen, Weipa and Bamaga all have garages should you break things.
Worst case, you can get your rig barged back to Cairns from both Weipa and Seisha.
Bamaga has a recovery truck that will come down as far as Nolans Brook, not sure how much further south he will go though.
Obviously you will be sticking to the main development road and avoiding everything else. If it does all turn to pooh then it won't be long till someone comes along who may be able to help.
North of Laura, you can get non tent type accommodation at Weipa, Seisha & Bamaga. Not sure of any others.

I'd suggest you ring the garages at Bamaga and Weipa before you hit the dirt and ask them what their workload is like and how many breakdowns they are handling at present. That'll give you a good idea about your vans current survivability likelihood.
AnswerID: 609722

Reply By: Member - TonyV - Monday, Mar 27, 2017 at 10:54

Monday, Mar 27, 2017 at 10:54
As other have given you some sound advice.
Except explore the northern section of the OTT from the camping spot at the Jardine ferry crossing, if you go north you will need to pay to come south then north again back to your camp ground.

I will only concentrate on the bits missed out.

Accomodation is easy all the way, although can be expensive.

Musgrave station has motel style rooms to dongas, with camping as well (click here)
Archer River is the same.

Weipa Caravan Park has chalet style rooms, as well as a number of villa style accomodation.
The Albatross Resort in Weipa is a nice place to stay, the park may be better for kids (click here)

Moreton Station has Safari Tents and rooms for accomodation. (Click Here)
Bramwell has donga accomodation some with ensuites but all are 2 singels or a double.

Seisia Caravan Park has villa style rooms as well as camping (Click here)
Loyalty Beach, just up from Seisia has Villas and camping (click here)
Bamaga has a cople of things
Cape York Lodge in Bamaga (click here)
Alua Beach Camp ground (just south of Bamaga) is one of the cheaper places to stay on the Cape and have accomodation (click here)

You must do a day trip to Thursday Island.

Punsands Bay, this is 6 kms from the tip and sits right on the water, (click here)
Lockhart River/Chilli Beach (worth a visit).

Iron Range Cabins are ar the airport and are fantastic to stay in. There have quite a variety of room types. (click here)
The Greenhoose is an alternative, I have never stayed here (Click Here)

I have stayed in all these locations, price is going to be the issue as none are very cheap, but possibly can be a lot cheaper than scrapping a caravan.

Although if you go late in the year the road are ok'ish and accommodation is normally cheaper.

Consider driving all the way if you have time and are happy to just trundle along you should be fine, but the PDR is awefully boring at 40kms (bothways).

Drop tyre pressure in the car and caravan.
AnswerID: 609724

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