Doing the Cape York trip, Rob can you help?

Submitted: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:12
ThreadID: 33717 Views:4162 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Hi there, I was hoping Rob from Cairns Offroad could help me - although anyone else can chip in of course....

Rob, I have tried to find your email via your website, but got stuck, can you email me direct on, or reply here with some tips: (minus the XXXs), if possible.

We are hoping to meet you, when we get to Cairns in about 6 weeks or so, but would love some ideas now to think ahead about -

Can we store stuff in Cairns or somewhere out of Cooktown? maybe a member could offer to have a few bags of gear for us? We want to unload a lot of our regular stuff to go to Cape York (for example, we travel with several crates of kids books...)

What would a tag along cost - is is possible to taglong and do your own food, or does that complicate things? We are looking for company to travel with.

Is it unrealistic to plan to spend three weeks going up to the Cape and three weeks back? Travelling with the kids we often don't manage to move on very far each day - or should we plan to move on each day on the CY trip?

If we are stretching out our trip over 4-6 weeks there and back, do we need to carry ALL supplies, or can we top up water and fuel, presumably, as long as we have all food, spares and safety gear?

The good old question of when: is leaving early July going to be OK - creeks still a bit wet? Muddy? Or dried out by then.

finally - crocodiles, I am quite nervous about this. All the pics show beautiful campsites by rivers etc, as well as saying "keep clear of rivers" - with small kids, I am concerned about camping safely.

Rob and others, you always offer such helpful ideas, I'd welcome any feedback.


Liz, Dave and 4 kids.
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Reply By: Patrol22 - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:33

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:33
Liz, Dave and kids

Just sent you an email with the itinerary for my 2004 trip. If you have any further questions feel free to email me.
AnswerID: 171691

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:38

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:38
Hi.. Could you send it to me also?? same with the xxxxxx....
FollowupID: 427162

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:51

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 12:51
Hi Liz, Dave and 4 kids,

Can't answer the first part for you but will focus on the last few parras. Firstly have purchased Ron Moons Cape York guide? This will help a lot. I have done this trip with my 2 kids in 1994 using just tents and an esky and this worked because there are plenty of roadhouses and townships on the Cape - all it takes is some planning. We purchased frozen bread, meat and milk along the way.

The idea of taking your time and moving only a little each day is the best plan anyway. Spending 4 to 6 weeks there will provide enough time not to hurry. 4 kids begs the question about the vehicle as you haven't mentioned that - most 7 seater 4 wd's would be well loaded with 6 on board without any camping gear fridges, recovery gear, clothes and fishing gear. So are you taking a trailer?

There are very few places where fuel and water would normally be an issue (again some planning here), there are a number of places where fuel can be purchased. There are plenty of places to camp with no crocs but you should always be careful. You don't have to keep clear of the rivers but be careful. We have seen crocs there on all our trips but they tended to be shy. There are also a number of safe swimming places like twin falls.

The place gets pretty busy that time of year so there will always be others there to get updates of what's next, safe, etc.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 171693

Follow Up By: Peter - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 13:21

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 13:21
All good advice (have been to the Cape 3 times myself and going again next year.
Although it is a remote area there are reasonable fuel supplies, just top up at each opportunity. Food and water available along the way. It will be pretty rare not to be sharing the road at most times with other travellers. If travelling out to Lockhart River just be aware of the restrictions on photographs etc, and make sure you have the store times. Chilli Beach is worth a visit.
Never had problems with crocodiles, use common sense and read all the signs and you will be fine. If you're not sure of a swimming hole or campsite then use your better judgement. Take the kids for a trip to Thursday Island.
4 to 6 weeks will ensure a nice leisurely trip and plenty of rest. A couple of days stopover at Weipa will finish it off nicely.
Enjoy it, it's one of our last real wilderness areas
FollowupID: 427172

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 15:08

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 15:08
I fully endorse what has been said by Beatit and Peter.

We did the trip in 99 and it was very wet but very enjoyable.

Ron & Viv's book will answer most of your questions, and put your mind at ease on most aspects of the trip. The best information we got apart from the book was from the tourist info in Cooktown. Can't remeber the girls name but she was spot on with everything. We were given some misinformation at times by people we thought we could trust. My advice is to check everything out for yourself. Have a look without commiting yourself. Be prepared to turn around before you get into trouble.

We managed to pick up travelling companions in Weipa and had a great time with them. We still exchange Christmas cards and visit each other from time to time. We are about 800km apart so that is not every day. But they are people of like mind to us and we enjoy their company still.

The crocs are there we saw a couple and met others who had seen them, one at quite close quarters but he still had all his arms and legs. A sensible approach, take notice of the info in the various books you read, and the usual close eye kept on the kids should ensure the safety of all.

I am jealous, while you are travelling to one of the most beautiful places in Aus I will be doing exams.

Want to swap??? Huh do ya??? Please!!!!

Have a great trip
FollowupID: 427199

Follow Up By: DB - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:41

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:41
Thanks for the ideas and feedback. Yes we are travelling with a trailer at the moment - it is a top of the line offroad camper, but even so, we are waiting for more local advice about whether to take the camper to Cape york, or to leave it behind and just travel with the car - car is admittedly loaded, yes, with kids, fridge, safety gear and such. but we are getting pretty good at living on a basic set of gear! so should be able to strip down somewhat before we do the Cape York leg - hence my hope to leave some crates behind to pick up on the way back.

FollowupID: 427389

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:51

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:51
G'day Liz,

It is OK to take the trailer to most parts of the Cape - we have. It will make for a more comfortable journey and less mucking about rearranging things. There are plenty of places to park the trailer at camp grounds, last time we were a group of 4 trailer and had no problems even at some of the more popular sites.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 427393

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:12

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:12
Also heading up with 4 other vehicles in July on a club trip. This will be my first time however one of the group did it 10 years ago. Can't offer much advice so good luck and keep an eye out for an ExplorOz sticker. Hopefully it will have dried out a bit by then.
AnswerID: 171757

Reply By: Member - Crazy Dog (QLD) - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:33

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 17:33
Liz, Dave and kids,

Give me your email and I will chat about leaving stuff at my joint in Cairns.

Oh! - think Rob is away on a trip with an international tourist but...

AnswerID: 171763

Follow Up By: DB - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:33

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:33
Hi crazy Dog, that sounds great! Our email is: (replacing the X with @)

We check email as often as possible, but sometimes only once a week.

FollowupID: 427385

Reply By: Viking66 - Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 19:44

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 19:44
Hey Liz, Dave and the kids, we are heading up from Brisbane leaving on the 23rd of June, we have 2 kids (10 & 12, boys) and are maybe looking for companions. Our basic itinary is below, we have 3 weeks, so back to work for me on the 17th of July, not sure if that fits in with your plans.

We have a Jackaroo Diesel, and will be pulling a camper trailer, we will be trying the OTL, so some semi rough stuff, nothing to hard though. It will be our first time to the Cape, we crossed the Simpson last September and had a ball.

Anyway, maybe we'll see you up there, hard to miss a car full of kids!

Kind Regards, Eric

Trip will take 19 to 21 days, 5500km's, with an estimated fuel cost of $1380. See Site Link for photo's of our last trip.

Miriam Vale
Old Laura
Musgrave R/house
Archer River
Moreton Station
Bramwell Junction
Bertie Creek - Bypass
Sailor Creek
Jardine River
Cape York
Bramwell Junction
Musgrave R/house
Mount Maloy
Charters Towers
AnswerID: 171793

Follow Up By: DB - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:38

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 10:38
Hi there - we will look out for you, especially as our boys would match well by ages with yours. (my two oldest are boys aged 10 and 8, very outdoors oreinted after 6 months travelling).

We might not be able to travel all the way in company as I guess our itinery is less tight, but on the other hand, we always try and fit in with people if it means company - both for the kids and the adults!

We are best recognised by a white camper trailer, "CampRite" on the back if we are trailing on the road - we are heading up via coast to Gympie or so, then an iland route (yet to be decided) to come out at either Cairns or Townsville.

White landcruiser, heavily loaded with four kids and gear must be easy to spot, if anyone sees us come and say hello, although unfortunately we don't have an Exploroz sticker!

FollowupID: 427387

Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:05

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 at 08:05
Hi there - had a postcard from Rob last week and he was at Kangaroo Island after visiting here with his guest. I think he was away for at least a month - I have his details over in the office and will post again later with them for you.
AnswerID: 171865

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