Cook town to Cape Melville

Submitted: Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 18:40
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Hi all
We are currently planning our trip up the east coast of oz which also includes a few months up the cape. As i,ve only been their on a motorbike 10 years ago i really don't know what its like. Can anyone give me an idea as to what to expect travelling between cooktown and cape melville. I would be interested if anyone has towed a camper,time frame to cover distance and general conditions of roads, we will be their approx mid may any information would be appreciated.

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Reply By: Bros - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 19:35

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 19:35
In August last year i towed a C/T to Cape Melville (Bathurst Bay). On the way up we went via Lakeland Downs, Laura and Lakefield to Wakooka Outstation then Cape Melville. Stayed o'night in Laura. Time from there to Bathurst Bay approx 6 hours. The going was easy compared to the year before when i busted my rear Diff.
The road conditions this way can vary from year to year depending on rainfall and traffic. We came home via Lakefield, Old Laura homestead down the Battle Camp road to Cooktown. Travelling time approx 8 hours.
I have been up the coast road from Cooktown to Bathurst Bay about 6 years ago and it took 14 hours to travel 180 k's. Three years ago we came back from Bathurst Bay to Cooktown via the coast road and it only took 8 hours. I have been in parties that have towed strengthened boat trailers on the coast road an have had no problems, but on one other occasion i was with a bloke who towed a boat on an ordinary boat trailer and we broke the towbar.
Rainwise may be the problem. Ring the rangers in Cooktown just before you go and get their opinion. One of the rangers goes up that way every week or so.
Hope this helps in some way. Reply if you need more info.
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AnswerID: 100554

Reply By: Tuco - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 22:49

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 22:49
In September 03, after 2 weeks at Bathurst Bay/ Ninnian Bay, we pulled our hard floor CT from Wakooka to Cooktown (aprox 180 k's) and it took us 10 hours. Never saw 3rd gear most of the day - all slow low gear. Was very dry - no water anywhere. In May it is usually a different story - with bog holes everywhere!
AnswerID: 100608

Reply By: Well 55 - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 07:19

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 07:19
I went up through Starke in June one year and it took two days to get to the Cape, a lot of winching through the creeks and swamps, one of the vehicles had a trailer with boat on top, at every crossing we had to slide the boat back to stop it hitting the rear window, they are that steep. May will be far to early to go that way.

On our way back out found a Patrol on its side in one of the creeks.

You might be able to get in via Kalpower in May, but be prepared to be for the rangers to say no.
AnswerID: 100628

Reply By: Member - Meggs - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 11:12

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 11:12
You might want to send a message to Big Red on the overlander forum as he goes up there in May nearly every year. He is a bit of an extremist in that he has everything on his vehicle that opens and shuts and he has a difficult time.
AnswerID: 100657

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