Cape Melville

Submitted: Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:25
ThreadID: 30035 Views:2286 Replies:7 FollowUps:7
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I am planning a trip through Queensland in May/June and hope to visit Cape M
elville area.I am towing my camper and is it realistic to take it through this area.Has anyone done it and any problems encountered.
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Reply By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:55

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:55
Heya ol coot,
No problems with a camper if you go via Lakefield ranger station and Kalpower crossing, we didn't take one but plenty did, if you want go via Starke I probably wouldn't advise it, I spoke to a couple of guys and also the ranger at Cooktown, all said it was pretty rough, good 4wheelin' but not with a camper. Best to check with the ranger, though I doubt if anyone has put a grader or dozer through there.
This was may last year.

AnswerID: 150422

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 21:31

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 21:31
We ride up through Starke on our trail bikes to Jeannie River. Wouldn't reccommend a camper trailer throgh that way. Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 150431

Follow Up By: Member - Pezza (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 15:04

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 15:04
Gday Rob,

Slightly off thread, but you wouldn't happen to know if Griffo still has his bike shop up there? I was looking for it the other day on the net yellow pgs, couldn't find it.

FollowupID: 404062

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 16:59

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 16:59
Griffo has sold the bike shop but still has an area out the back where he is making steel frames for his new house. He still does a bit of bike work for his mates. He jetted my Husky 450 last week goes harder and got an extra 40ks to 8 lts of fuel. Griffo is a wizard. Do I know you Pezza? Let me kow if you want his #. Cheers Rob
FollowupID: 404084

Reply By: GazzaS (VIC) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 21:46

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 21:46
Hi Ol Coot

We were up at Cape Melville last September. Went up via Starke and then onto Kalpower Crossing. Certainly road from KC much better option. The main problem is bull dust and just plain deep sand. did a bit of grading with the trucks - all raised at least the standard 50mm. If the CT is high clearance you could just squeak through from Starke. Mind you I would not like to try it. in any event there is a lot of sand on the Melville side of Wakooka which is where the Starke track meets the KC track.

If you go in from there the track leads straight to the beach. Last year there was national park off to the right and just bush to the left. The rangers said that from this year (now?) it will all be NP so watch the fire restrictions.

We had a fantastic drive to the tip of cape melville from our camp on the beach outside the NP. The drive is half bush half beach. Only trouble was we did not time it right and had to beat a hasty retreat as the tide comes in pretty fast. Definitely do it on the outgoing tide. takes about an hour if you take your time.

there is fresh water there in a permanent stream I think just in the NP. It is off the track to the cape - it is easy to get too. I have the GPS co-ordinates if you need them.

Last thing - beware of the SAND FLIES - they are not big but we found squillions of the little blighters. Best deterent was equal parts mix of dettol, baby oil and metho in an old spray bottle liberally applied and often.

Have a great trip - we did!
AnswerID: 150437

Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 22:55

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 22:55
Nice photo Gazza
FollowupID: 403905

Follow Up By: russ36 - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 06:02

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 06:02
gazza, would love the coordinates of that freshwater at melville if you dont mind, heading to cape melville this year, russ
FollowupID: 403957

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 11:51

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 11:51
Hi Gazza,

Wouldn't mind those as well. I have a rough idea but it is always nice to place an X on a map.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 404002

Follow Up By: GazzaS (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:07

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:07

Co-ordinates are (from oziexplorer)
14 15 27.02S 144 27 41.18E

Good Luck
FollowupID: 404333

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:38

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:38
Thanks Gazza. Have plotted it onto my Abbey Peak paper map and can see the track from the beach.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 404341

Reply By: Bros 1 - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 23:19

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 23:19
ol coot,
Took my semi off road C/T in there two years ago with no problems. Take your time and give yourself at least five hours from Kalpowar Crossing. The Kalpowar property has been divided up at last but as yet there is nothing in print to say actually what is what. Rumored that Cape Melville N/P is extended all the way around Bathurst Bay. Not sure what permits are required and from whom now. Cooktown rangers (07) 4069 5777 and Lakefield rangers (07) 4060 3271.
Done a rear diff the year before on the sand just past Barramundi Creek, not towing anything. Been in there with blokes towing ordinary boat trailers and encountered some problems. (broken tow bar)
A very beautiful place and well worth seeing. Give yourself 3-5 days to have a look around. Watch the lizards.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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AnswerID: 150476

Reply By: Sam from Weipa Auto Electrics - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 14:36

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 14:36
I was supossed to there for christmas I'm envious now
AnswerID: 150560

Reply By: Austravel - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 15:40

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 15:40
We went up there Oct last year, no dramas on either road if you want to take a well set up camper and have had experience towing it. We were lucky, no sand flies, plenty of fish and even a muddie. Noticed the free area had quite a few ferals camping so glad we paid a small amount and camped in the NP. On group had hunting dogs, rifles etc.

Rangers at Cooktown said that the free camping area on the coast right around to Bathurst Heads was now handed back along with much of the interior and believed there would be a fee as per other areas. Though they thought there was even the possibility that Bathurst Heads could be closed off.

Guess we won't know until it happens.
AnswerID: 150570

Reply By: ol coot - Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 17:16

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 17:16
Thanks Everyone for the replies.My Jackaroo and t van have been alot of rough places but i dont like to spend my trips battling the bush.I will make enquires at Cooktown about the track via Starcke but Kalpower looks like the way to go.I have been to the Cape and Kalpower before,that crossing looks trickey.I will wait till some one goes before me,then I will cross.I suppose it all depends on how big a wet season its been whether the waters too deep.3 months to go and I'm packing already
AnswerID: 150586

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