Towing aboat trailer to Bathurst Bay

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 06:20
ThreadID: 33366 Views:2270 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Looking this dry season to tow my 14ft tinny to Bathurst Bay near Cape Melville for a few days, happily it's a fairly easy days drive from where I live so I have read.

Not worried about mechanicals or breakages etc but mainly clearance, it's a standard trailer heavily built, 13 inch tyres. To anyone who has done this trip would it be possible to get the boat trailer to the Bay shore?

Looking for problems like tight trails and lumpy stuff the trailer will ground heavilly over once off the main track north, not unhappy to do some disconnecting and even winching (small amount) just dont want a days travel to turn into two! or to consider going elsewhere at the 80% mark.

Thanks fnq
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Reply By: Bros 1 - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 09:54

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 09:54
Going on my past experiences with Bathurst Bay, i reckon you would have relatively no problem at all. Been there with parties towing 12, 14 and 17 foot tinnies. Busted the towing yoke on the 12 footer coming out of Ninian Bay, but a couple of saplings and cobb and co wiring fixed that. Rolled the 14 footer on it's side coming out of Bathurst Bay, but never even fell off the standard ball. Both these incidents were the result of bad driving (not me). I towed my semi (very semi) off road C/T in there two years ago with no problem. Conservative driving is the go remembering that it is really only a bush track with very little maintenance.
There are a couple of creek crossings that need to be taken with care. There may be water to traverse at Barramundi Creek and Sandalwood Creek. Sandalwood Creek has a very rough bottom and needs to be traversed slowly. There are a couple of places where there is stretches of sand to negotiate, after Sandalwood Creek and again about 10 k's from the bay. Closer to the bay there are a few creeks to cross with steep entries and exits. I let my tyres down to 25 at Lakeland Downs and leave them there until i return to Lakeland Downs.
You can launch your boat off the beach practically anywhere in the bay. The whole bay that you can drive to is now national park and the ensuing permits. There is plenty of fresh water there.
When you arrive at the bay you can either drive virtually straight ahead on to the beach at the western end or turn right and follow the track up further to the eastern end past the fresh water creek. If you stay down the western end you are closer to the creeks and at the eastern end closer to the cape and fringing reefs.
I am going there in early to mid August for a week or two.
Ring the Rangers at Lakefield on (07) 4060 3271 or Rangers Cooktown on (07) 4069 5777 for track condition before you go.
Watch out for crocs. If you want to know any thing else send a message.
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AnswerID: 169789

Reply By: fnqcairns - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 13:03

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 13:03
Thanks very much Bros for the A+ reply. Great!! now I can start pulling the trip together. If the first trip (in about 6 weeks) comes off as a success there will be more soon enough, I might see you in August. If you see anyone with a gold GQ wagon, a boat and no fish that will probably be us:)

If they let guests message here I will send a couple extra Qs your way later.

cheers fnq
AnswerID: 169819

Follow Up By: Bros 1 - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 20:55

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 20:55
Roger. Just put a post on the forum if you can't send an MM.
Work is the curse of the down and out bludger.

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FollowupID: 425271

Reply By: Austravel - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 21:08

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 21:08
Yep no dramas, was us there late last year and you should have no trouble. Not sure about access now, the NP rangers said it had been handed back and to expect either no access or fees.
AnswerID: 169912

Follow Up By: fnqcairns - Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 21:56

Sunday, Apr 30, 2006 at 21:56
Thanks for the info, bit of a shock about possible no access though, the power hungry Bs!!!! Will need to look into it more, sounds like I was born just a bit late to experience simple and basic freedom, spewing ATM, must have been a popular and easygoing spot!

bugger fnq
FollowupID: 425293

Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, May 01, 2006 at 08:47

Monday, May 01, 2006 at 08:47
The NP ranger at Cooktown thought it unlikely it would be closed but said it was one option, more likely will be a cost imposed as per other areas. Good luck, I'm hopping to get back up there in the next couple of years as well.
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