Cape Melville National Park

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 14, 2001 at 00:00
ThreadID: 461 Views:3325 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Not a question but a response to let Kev know we returned safely with no problems from our trip to Cape Melville National Park - a wonderful trip even if it was 8 kph for 2 days (we have a standard Mitsubishi L300 4WD but we love her). Hope the fishing and the mud crabs were good to you.
Kathy
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Reply By: Rod - Monday, Oct 15, 2001 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 15, 2001 at 00:00
Kathy, Did you use the north/south track or the track from Kalpower or both? Any difficulties? With your speed of 8kph it would be assumed the tracks were very rough yes/no?
AnswerID: 1216

Follow Up By: Kathy - Monday, Oct 15, 2001 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 15, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Rod, we went in by the north south track (Stareke track) - this was the hardest & slowest, however only had to make to minor alterations to the track so we could get through - ie bent over a few small saplings (not NP) and remove some of the steepness off one creek exit. We have an L300 so a lower clearance than most 4WD and we were being careful not to do any damage to our car as we do not travel with others. There is also lots of sand and many bypasses - hard to tell the track from the bypasses. The track from Wakooka outstation to Kalpower is not as bad and in some places is quite good - probably better than Kalpower to Musgrave which was being graded at the time. Let me know if you want any further info - as Kev & I found very little on 4WD sites about the area.
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Follow Up By: Kev - Tuesday, Oct 23, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Rod,
I agree with Kathy the east coast track is by far the most exciting way to get to Cape Melville. the 150k from Starke to Wakooka is some of the best 4WD I've ever done. It is slow but if you place your wheels right it is no problem. We travelled in a '92 Pajero that I raised 40mm, I did no other modifications and the car handled the creeks well. Just one thing If there has been any rain I would watch the creek crossings because there are many and they are deep and would fill easily from the large catchment areas.
The track out through Kalpower is a bit disappointing after going the east coast road.
We caught Salmon and Grunter Bream off the beach and whatever you would like to name while trolling aroung the Flinders Island group which we gained easy access with out 12ft tinny and 15hp motor.
The area is great to explore and well worth the effort to become one of less that 10% of people in Australia who have been to Cape Melville.
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Reply By: Tony- Tuesday, Oct 16, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 16, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Kathy, I'm planning to go there next July and like you, have not been able to find much info on the area. Could you tell me if there is any fresh (drinking) water sources near there, any areas 'safe' to swim such as between water falls. How's the fishing, is a boat a requirement? What's the area like for camping, picturesque or just bush? Any side trips worthwhile? Maybe you could write a trek report. Sorry, just a thought. Any info would be most gratefully received. Thanks.
AnswerID: 1227

Follow Up By: Kathy - Thursday, Oct 18, 2001 at 00:00

Thursday, Oct 18, 2001 at 00:00
There was fresh (drinking) water - when you get near the beach instead of going onto it you turn right and go about 4 km till you get to a fresh mountain creek (yes believe it or not if flows out of the mountain near there).I wouldn't be swiming up there as there had been a croc sighted in the sea a few days before we got there, however further down from were people get the water where the creek is flat I was able to have a paddle as the water was still clear but shallow. On the Stareke track only one creek had freash water and that was the Stareke but again I wasn't prepared to swim here especially as there was cattle wandering thru the water. People were fishing from the beach and catching some good sized fish however some had boats also
The camping even though no facilities was good as there were plenty of shade trees and privacy. It was great to roll out of bed and be on the beach of a morning. I hopefully will write a trip rport in the next few weeks - so keep watching. I would also suggest we move the Cape Melville discussions to the travel section so others can see later if interested.
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Follow Up By: Kev - Tuesday, Oct 23, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Tony,
I concur with all of what Kathy has said. It is a wonderful place and by going there you can be one of only 10% of people in Australia who has done the trip.
We followed Ron MOONS book "Cape York 2001-2002" and even though he could have been a bit more exact in some areas we found in very useful.
The track up the east coast is deffinately the most exciting 4WD trip I've ever done. I was in a Pajero which had been raised 40mm. That was the only mod. carried out and it handled the trip well. There are numerous creem crossings and some require low range to climb the opposite bank. I think going south to north is the best way to tackle it. Don't go too close to the wet because even after a little rain the creeks would flow swiftly because of their depth and the large catchment areas.We took a boat which enabled us to go to the Flinders Island group which is close to shore about 300m to the first one and trolling with loures produced a variety of fish, e.g. GT's cod, sharks, mackeral, but we also caught good salmon and grunter pream off the beach. We found that pilchards were a great attraction to the salmon.
There is plenty to see and some good side trips on the way up. Try not to camp too far to the left of the track in because the sandflies are plentiful. We camped just to the left under the trees but later found that had we gone right up into the NP the shade trees are much better.
If you need any more info we found the NPWS at Cooktown very helpful.
Kev
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Reply By: Kev - Tuesday, Oct 23, 2001 at 00:00

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Kathy,
Well it was unbelievable to see you at Cape Melville. I saw your Mitsubishi coming along the beach and thought this has got to be her because there weren't many vehicles up there much less L300 vans.
We made it home easily and found that the track out to Kalpower was a 100% easier than the east coast track. We had a great time on the east coast track and were actually a bit disappointed with the track to Kalpower.
Shoud any of the other people who have responded to Kathys message here are a few pointers.
We travelled following Ron MOONS book "Cape York" 2001-2002 we found it very helpful although there were a few areas where he could have been more exact but nevertheless we amde it.
There was no water in any of the numerous creek crossings, I don't think that there has been a wet season in the north for years. But should there be any rain it would make the east coast road impassable owing to the depth of the creek crossings and the large catchment areas that feed them.
Once again Kathy It was good to meet you, Unfortunately my E Mail has gone on the blink since I've been away and this is the first time I have had the opportunity to get on the computer. If you need any thing else please answer this and we can figure a way to talk.
Kev
AnswerID: 1261

Follow Up By: Kathy - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Kev, pleased to hear from you. We have decided we will go back again - hopefully before it becomes a main throughfare so we may run into you again, so keep your eyes open for our L300 4WD after this 3 months of living in her and the way she handled the trip we won't be changing vehicles in a hurry. Our next trip will be the Gibb River road and the Tanami Desert - probably next year.
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