Cape York - What to book???

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 08:49
ThreadID: 29712 Views:3149 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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We are off to Cape York in Jul, and have our route planned - we also have about four 'fudge' days, in case we really want to spend some extra time somewhere, or do something we hadn't planned..

I guess our aim is to 'plan, but leave it flexible'

Our issue then at the moment, is which of the things we want to do, do we NEED to book for - we don't want to miss out on them, but would prefer not to book unless we need to (to maintain that flexibility)

Things on our list are:

Camp at Roaring Meg Falls - need permit
Fishing charter at Weipa (and also mine tour
Camp at Seisa (need to book sea side loc?
Camp at Punsand Bay

There is a stack of other locations we plan to stay at, but they aren't the 'permit' or 'req booking' type..

Any advice appreciated

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Reply By: Pterosaur - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 10:18

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 10:18
G'day Ivan,

I don't think you have to book any of those, unless :

1. You are after a specific fishing guide or operation, at Weipa.
2. You want a specific site at Seisia

or are very limited in your flexibility.

I spent a couple of months on the Cape last year (August/September), and the only thing I found necessary to book was my time with a flyfishing guide at Weipa.

BTW, if possible, I'd allow a LOT more time as "fudge days" - the cape is a huge area, and I only barely scratched the surface in a couple of months.

AnswerID: 148710

Reply By: Mr Z - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 10:26

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 10:26
i was up there for a month last year and didn't book anything, did everything on your list with out any trouble

except the fishing charter, we did that on the way home at port douglas and it was great
AnswerID: 148713

Reply By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 12:10

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 12:10
G'day Ivan,

Agree with the others on the booking side of the things, this is more to let you know about Roaring Meg, the camp sites there are the ones where you park your car and then have to set up your tent on the other side of those short barrier stumps like you see at the parks in town, if you have a camper with you it gets fairly crowded as there is not a lot of room in the parking area to manouver at vehicle, let alone one with a camper attached, also there are only about 3 or 4 of these camping sites.
Unless you are planning on continuing along the creb track if it is dry enough, I would suggest that you do the falls as a day trip from one of the campgrounds along cape trib.
Others may not agree with me , but I just found the area around Roaring Meg very tight with quite small designated camping sites.
We weren't towing a trailer and we were the only ones there at the time.

AnswerID: 148725

Reply By: kev 57 - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 13:54

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 13:54
we did the cape trip in 2004 and found loyalty beach campground really great ,its about 2 kms from the seisa wharf,supermarket etc but right on the beach.can send some pics if you like.

kev castlemaine
92 td cruiser
AnswerID: 148738

Reply By: GazzaS (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:22

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 16:22
Hi Ivan

We went to the Cape September 2005. Had a ball. I agree with the comments above - no need to book other than the falls. I would have to say not a lot to stay for at RMF.

If staying at Cooktown I can recommend Endeavour Falls as a "last stop in civilisation". This camping ground is about 35Klm out of Cooktown on the road north to Cape Melville. good camping ground, shop and safe swimming in the river. I wouldn't use the road from here over to the development road though - really rough.

Can also recommend Loyalty Beach for camping. very close to both Seisa and Bamaga. If there is a large group of you then you might want to call them and see if you need to book in July as I believe this is the busy season. We called in to Punsand on our way to Somerset beaches - make sure you do these - Punsand is more resorty and really quite out of the way in terms of access to both the towns. Punsand has a small above ground pool. Bamaga has a wonderful in ground pool - was very clean.

I mention pools/swimming as we had 13 kids in our party and it is really hard for them to see beautiful water everywhere and not able to swim.

Weipa camping/caravan park was also very good. Again has a pool but we ended up with 4 ear infections after being there. Be very cautious of "Tropical Ear" - bugs in the water get into the ear and with humiduty and heat they breed like crazy. Next time we will get a script for ear infections before going and also use ear putty when swimming in the pools / water holes. The camping ground also run the tours of the mine, buses leave from the kiosk - book the day before. Great meal at the pub in Weipa.

Our best stops were Elliot Falls and Chilli Beach. EF for the swimming in the river, good facilities and camp sites. Chilli Beach just magic. Worst was Coen as a town, very expensive shopping and not a pleasant place. camp ground in the town very basic. we chose to stay at 3 mile bend (3 mile north of town on RHS of road) - safe swimming in the river here.

If you need to top up supplies and going to Chilli / Lockhart River settlement then do the shopping there. very good supermarket though not apparent form the outside. take note of closing times as they stick to them, including in middle of the day - also LR is a completely dry town. Seisa and Bamaga both have good shopping as well.

I am envious now just sitting here typing this. We had a great trip over 4 weeks Port Douglas to the top and back to PD.

PS - we found the best sand fly / mosquito repellent was = parts of metho, baby oil and dettol in a spray bottle. left all the commercial stuff for dead - take plenty and use often.

Cheers and good luck
AnswerID: 148759

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:47

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:47
Great info Gazza. We are not getting to the Cape until 2007 (Kimberleys and Camerons Corner this year), but I've copied your post to my trip planning folder.

Norm C
FollowupID: 402149

Reply By: Coolman - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:32

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:32
I agree with everything said so far. As for RMF we stayed at Bloomfield and did a day trip to the falls. It is a 1 hour drive to get there. The campsites there are small and not suitable for trailers. Bloomfield had good facilities, nice grassy camping area.

Leave plenty of free days. It gives time to relax and explore the area, it is amazing what you will find.

AnswerID: 148889

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:45

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 12:45
Hi Ivan,

Obviously a fisherman so here goes. Caught the biggest barra at Wujal Wujal (saltwater), did pugwash charter at Weipa was great, stayed at punsand bay and had great fishing at night and also did a half day charter from Seisa which was fantastic if you like catchinch big fish, fished off the beach at Verilya Point which also was great but have to be a little more careful about crocs here and fished the Jardine for a couple of saratoga.

One of the best places for us was Port Stewart (East of Coen) we had a glorious 4 days there. The people that ran the camping ground took us out (in our tinnies) to a reef around an island about 20K out for some of the best fishing anywhere. A bit spooky being that far in a tinny though but they knew when the weather would be quite for the return journey.

Missed our only opportunity to fish Chilli Beach when one of about half a dozen windless days wasn'r recognised by us but was by the locals who all went out, we thought we'd go tomorrow but tomorrow you get the usuall 25 knot winds.

Hope you have a great trip, will be at Cape Melville in Sept myself so will also be looking forward to the dry season this year.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 148906

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 17:07

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 17:07
July is the busiest time of year if camping at punsand I would try and book.
Also when you get up the top and you want to go to TI i would book that straight away as it fills up quick.
As for the fishing up the top if you have a boat licence you can hire a boat out of mapoon and weipa its a fairly good deal also rob from cairns off road his son is doing fishing charters out of seisa.
With the mine tour as soon as you get to the camp ground also book that.
As I said its fairly busy that time of year.

All the best
AnswerID: 148955

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:05

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:05
Thanks for reccommending Jaryd Eric, but he wont be there this year. He met a beautiful Swedish girl who was hostess on his boat and he is off to Sweden with her next month, lucky bugger. Seafaris who he worked for are very upmarket 7 day trips and booked out months in advance. John Charlton in Seisia would be better for day trips or croc spotting at the Jardine river mouth. There are so many incredible places on the Cape but as tour guides we have to have a few secrets, hey Eric. Cheers Rob.
FollowupID: 402140

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