Cape York - Doing the tricky bits first or last?

Submitted: Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 17:07
ThreadID: 4682 Views:2484 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hi another Cape York Question.

My wife and I plan to leave Mossman on the 10th of June for the Cape.

First stop Cape Trib, for a couple of days, then Cooktown for an over night then Off to Bathurst bay.

After a week or so at Bathurst Bay & Lakefield, we plan to OTL it to the Cape. Arriving at the Jardine around the 25th June.

After a week up top, we plan to return via the Bypass road.

The Question is, is this too early in the season to travel this, more challenging route? Should we plan the trip in reverse?

Your feedback would be much appreciated!

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Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 17:50

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 17:50
Dolfn you will be better of staying at cape kimbely which is just down the road from cape trib ist a nice camping spot.
Cooktown you could spend a few days there because theres many things to see and do in cook town. We stay at cooktown caravan park its the first one on the right . Johno can give you a good run down of the sights.
Elim beach which is north has some of the best colored sands you will see.
No it isnt to early to do the trip but I would stay of the by pass road as much as possible. Do the otl both ways you can do a small by pass around GUN SHOT just study your map and go up to Heathlands its 13 ks both ways.
All the best
EricCape York Connections
AnswerID: 18911

Follow Up By: Member - dolfn - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 18:10

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 18:10
Eric thanks for your advice, we will probable take your advice and camp at Cape Kimberly, we were actually considering that anyway ;).

Will the Cape Melvile track be Ok In mid June, we understand that it is challenging at times. We plan to then go to Lakefield Via Kalpower and Lakefield. What is your advice?


FollowupID: 11853

Follow Up By: Eric Cape York Connections - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 18:36

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 18:36
dolfh I dont know about cape melvile track.Peter done it last year and said it was hard work . Sorry I cant help you with Kalpower if you ring Peter he should be able to help you 07 409 41745.
All the best
EricCape York Connections
FollowupID: 11855

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 21:10

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 21:10
Hi Eric...
Would you expect there to be the normal sort of levels in the creeks up the OTL this year... How dry is it?........
If you dont mind me asking/...._____________________________________________
Countin the days till July 5th. *Cape York Trip*
FollowupID: 11873

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 19:46

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 19:46
Take the locals advice - What Eric said is right - I was up there last Aug / Sept and the bypass roads were so corrugated that you would do more damage on these roads than the OTL. Everyone talks about Gunshot as the scary bit but I found others worse such as the first Ck along the OTL I think it is called Palm Ck or so. Gunshot had an easy narrow track going right next to one of the difficult/come winch type tracks - if the wet has destroyed this easy way then it may be an issue but I think it has been in use for a few years now. Just walk all the crossing and check out all alternative tracks - it is great to watch others destroy their own cars if they wish to - remember you have to get there and back in one piece. The OTL is perhaps a little slower than the bypass roads but much more scenic and enjoyable, plus you meet many travellers along this track which you will surely chat to while everyone watches other cross the creeks and discusses what they should have done - it is fun - not that difficult if you are sensible about it. But I did go when the creeks were not that high, they were generally mid thigh depth with one up past Twin Falls and past the log bridges being about waist deep. By the time you get to the OTL you will be looking for something different anyway, have fun. Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
AnswerID: 18921

Follow Up By: Craig - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 20:53

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 20:53
Hey Beddo long time no talk ,How have you been? Any plans on doing the Cape again ? We plan to go back 2005 also plan to see abit of the Gulf , What shockies did you end up buying ?
Punsand Bay Drinking partner Craig.
FollowupID: 11871

Follow Up By: Jeff (Beddo) - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 21:50

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 21:50
Gidday Craig, when I got back from Cape York I hit Sydney as the fires started and ended up fighting them right up to January - then I saw my first paper work since the beginning of August - not bad. Anyway now planning a Gibb River Rd trip this year. The tennis ball suspenion got replaced with Tough Dog suspenion - they used my vehicle as a bit of a test vehicle - works well after a few trial and errors. How things your way ?Cheers, Beddo
Surf KZN185
<- Yengo NP, Central Coast NSW
FollowupID: 11875

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 20:44

Thursday, May 01, 2003 at 20:44
The route you mention is not a problem for any well set up vehicle. North QLD is experiencing its driest weather ever on record. By ticky bits I thought you must be referring to either the CREB track, Daintree to Bloomfield or The Old Coach Trail, Maytown to Laura. The CREB track is dry and in good condition and I will be doing the Old Coach Trail this long weekend so will let you know. Please be careful on the Cape Trib rd specially near Cooper Creek and Coconut Beach as I have seen Cassowary there with chicks almost every day the past few weeks.
Have a great trip and pop in and say hello on your way thru Cairns.
Cheers Rob
Cairns Offroad Training & Tours
Cairns Offroad Training & Tours
AnswerID: 18934

Follow Up By: Member - dolfn - Friday, May 02, 2003 at 07:27

Friday, May 02, 2003 at 07:27
Thanks Rob,

Will try and drop in on the way through.

The tricky bit I was more concerned with was the Trip to Cape Melville. I haven't been out that way before and I am curious as to the state of the Road, due to it's remoteness. Any advice?

FollowupID: 11888

Reply By: Greeny - Friday, May 02, 2003 at 09:59

Friday, May 02, 2003 at 09:59

You replied to my message re my parents heading up to the Cape.

I have talked to them and they would love to catch up on the way up, esspecially on the track to Cape Melville, they have been to Cape Melville 2 years ago and are looking forward to doing the Starcke track on this occasion. It would probably be good to have 2 vehicleson this track and the old mans patrol is pretty capable (4 lift, twin lockers and winch) so it should be fine.

Maybe if you are still interested you could contact me on and can swap iteneries and see if we can work something out.

Shaun G
AnswerID: 18957

Reply By: Member - David- Friday, May 02, 2003 at 19:04

Friday, May 02, 2003 at 19:04
On the way you could travel along Battlecamp Road between Laura (turnoff at Old Laura) and Cooktown - it's an interesting drive over the ranges on mostly graded gravel, although I don't know when it was last graded.

If you time it right you can be in Laura for the Festival on June 21 - see


AnswerID: 18999

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