Communications at Cape York

Submitted: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 10:50
ThreadID: 58045 Views:3657 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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we are heading to the Cape for 6 weeks in August with 2 small children. We have been told that there is mobile reception all the way up and not to worry about a Satellite phone or HF radio. I doubted this and thought someone here might be able to help. Also, is an epirb advisable?
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Reply By: Member - Rodney B- Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 11:13

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 11:13
Hi Jude
We did the Cape last year and only had mobiles. You get coverage at the top everywhere from Bamiga, Somerset, Seisha but the rest is patchy to non existant. Next G gives the best coverage but once you leave Cooktown the next was Daintree, then nothing till Coen. We had coverage up the Creb track at the tops of each range.
Don't think you need sat or HF unless your traveling alone in this area as there are always vehicles on each section (May to Oct).
Have a great trip

AnswerID: 306090

Reply By: Member - Footloose - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 16:28

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 16:28
Phone services are non existant over much of the Cape, and unreliable at the best of times.
There is plenty of passing traffic during the tourist season if you stick to the main tracks.
If going to some of the nicer spots, or travelling outside of peak traffic, then your informant doesn't know jack.
You can hire HF or satphones at reasonable prices. Why would you want to chance it with 2 small children?
AnswerID: 306129

Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 18:16

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 18:16
Jude during August there will be heaps of traffic, so much so that you would barely wait more than 30 minutes to see another car on the main tourist routes. The vast majority simply carry a UHF radio & a mobile phone. Sat phones & HF are a bonus but not necessary as really towns & stations are not that far apart when seeking emergency assistance. Additional to the phone sites mentioned above we also found service out at Chili Beach.
EPIRB. Definitely not required unless boating offshore or remote hiking.
If you intend to get right off the beaten track then yes look at further communication gear.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 306144

Reply By: Member - craig W (NSW) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 18:20

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 18:20
Hi Jude We did the cape LAST YEAR if you have Next G then you,ll have reception nearly everywhere,any thing else, and it dont work! You have to have a Broomstick areial for your phone of atleast 6 dba or higher,Only a $100 item and a must!! Give u an idea on comparison my Optus digital lost reception in Pt Douglas and didnt pick up again till we hit Cloncurry 2 mnths later?? Have fun,We Did!!! Craig,,
AnswerID: 306147

Follow Up By: Tone and Jude - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:06

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:06
Thanks everyone for your help. Husband has just gotten his hands on an epirb and we'll be getting next G phones before we go (thanks craig for the arial info!). Obviously my main concern is being able to get medical attention asap should we need it, i'll look into hiring a Satellite phone. Thankyou again,
FollowupID: 572245

Reply By: ddr - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:30

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 08:30
Jude when are you going in Aug?

I know of at least 3 other groups that will be on the OTL from about 13th Aug.
AnswerID: 306250

Follow Up By: Tone and Jude - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:44

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 12:44
We are leaving from Port Stephens, should get to Cairns by 16thAugust, then 2 weeks to the top and 2 weeks back, then another week to get home. Im told it can be pretty busy up there at that time so it sounds like we wont get lonely!
FollowupID: 572295

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