Which way to the Cape

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 17:05
ThreadID: 6246 Views:1452 Replies:5 FollowUps:12
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Which is the preferred/best route to the Cape? i.e. North on the OTL and South on the Bypass or a mixture. Any suggestions greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance Graham
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Reply By: Member - Paul - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 17:31

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 17:31
Just back from Cape (now in Karumba) we went up the OTL to the Northern Bypass then onto Bamaga and on the way back we took a turnoff 35kms south of the Ferry over to the OTL and stayed at Twin Falls (excellent) and then came back on the Northern bypass for a look - don;t know what all the fuss is about. We towed a camper trailer and out friends towed a Jayco outback van all the way.

If you want any more info just let me know. We are currently on our way to Darwin.

AnswerID: 26264

Follow Up By: DARREN - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 18:18

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 18:18
Paul, (& Graham) we are heading up the Cape from Melb. on 16/8 and I am towing a trailer for the first time so am glad to hear your report. I would appreciate any other comments you may have re your favourite spots, towing a trailer up the telegraph track, fishing (we are taking up tinnies) or anything else of interest. Thanks & Regards
FollowupID: 17871

Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Thursday, Jul 31, 2003 at 10:58

Thursday, Jul 31, 2003 at 10:58

I've heard on the grapevine that the Pajinka Resort at the Tip had closed due to financial problems - can you confirm this or is it just a myth?
FollowupID: 18043

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 20:23

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 20:23
Yes i agree... I cant see any reason why a trailer cant be towed through the telegraph track.......
I would stick to the telegraph track the whole way in each direction....... I wouldnt go near the bypass roads ever again because "in my opinion" they are just a viscious experience of torture in the first degree..........torture to the car that is.......They are bad enough after Lakefield but i would say 2½ times them on the bypass roads......

And you will get the people that say that the bypass roads are ok.....

If you stick to the OTL you wont miss anything....."elliot, fruit bat falls etc..."
Great swimming at fruit bat falls....

PS... The wenlock ferry doesnt open till 8am if they remember to set their alarm clock..._____________________________________________

AnswerID: 26282

Follow Up By: wheely - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 21:20

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 21:20
I think you must have been talking about the Jardine Ferry-No ferry at the wenlock. The Jardine ferry also stops for lunch but I can't remember what time that was exactly.
Stick to the OTL much better trip than the bypass
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Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 21:56

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 21:56
Oops.. Jardine.. Yes...

FollowupID: 17896

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 21:35

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 21:35
Well how was it as good as you thought it would be . Ive done the top about 11 times now and still love it as much as the first time. I cant wait till next season.
All the best
Cape York Connections
FollowupID: 18004

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 21:59

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 21:59
Eric... Let me put it this way..............

If i was based in Cairns i would be there all the time in the dry season but coming from Adelaide, the trip to Cairns spoils it a bit...
It was great till Innamincka but after that till Cairns it was quite a drag...

Seisa fishing from the jetty for Queenies was great and everything about the tip was great........

I had an electrical fault which put a downer on creek crossings....
It was an up and down sorta trip...._____________________________________________

FollowupID: 18012

Reply By: Member - Alpaca (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 21:11

Tuesday, Jul 29, 2003 at 21:11
We also returned from the tip a week ago and went up the OTL and came down the bypass road. Saw a number of trailers being towed and a few needed repairs.
A lot depends on how you drive. If you try to do 50k's + you will shake everything to bits. On the OTL, the track itself will slow you down but it is a much shorter and scenic route. Wouldn't go on the bypass ever again but we wanted to go to Capt. Billy's landing. A lovely spot but no shelter from the wind. In some way's it was better than Chilli Beach. Some good campspots at Somerset. Thursday and Horn Islands were very interesting. We looked at Seisha, Loyalty and Punsand Bay parks and although Punsand Bay is the dearest, we thought it was the better camp site. bUt that's jusy my opinion. Thought their Sat Night Smorgasboard was a bit overrated at $48 each as a lot was frozen not fresh.
Back to towing your trailer.
Make sure your suspension, tyres and everything is 110% Let your tyres on 4X4 and trailer down to about 30psi.
Keep your speed down to about 30kph and everthing should be OK. Take your time and you will have a great trip.
Fuel is cheaper at Coen than at Musgrave. Bamaga cheaper than all the others up top.
Diesel is 25cpl cheaper at Tennant Creek (Centre of Town) than 24k's away at Threeways if your going that way.
Have a great time.Alpaca
AnswerID: 26287

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 14:01

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 14:01
Thanks for the advice re fuel at Tennant/3 Ways, Al. Thought that might be the case too.

Going to Kakadu in late Sept. to see one of the daughters, so your advice is most welcome. Haven't been to the Creek for nearly 20 years. Will notice the changes, just have to make sure its not a thursday!!!


FollowupID: 17944

Reply By: The Moose - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 13:31

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 13:31
We came back from the top a couple of weeks ago. Graham most of the OTL will not be a problem for a trailer - so long as you are a reasonably competent driver and the trailer is a good unit. However if you follow the OTL all the way you're going to have some fun getting through the exit on Cannibal Creek with the trailer. Many travellers miss it (and a few others) because they turn off too soon. In my opinion those last few creeks are not to be missed (at least for those without a trailer). Also keeps you off that horrible bypass road for a bit longer.
Other places worth visiting would be Virilya Point and further south Cape Melville. Also when you go out to Sommerset make sure you do the drive around the coast - I think it's called the 3 beach track. Stunning scenery and very few other vehicles when we were there. Easy driving too. We gave Chilli Beach a miss - been there before but didn't find it that good - very windy.
If you're at Punsand Bay on the Tuesday night (if I remember correctly) they have a fish night - all you can eat for $22. Excellent value and good tucker. The owner tells a few good yarns too.
AnswerID: 26343

Follow Up By: Patrol22 (Queanbeyan - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 15:19

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 15:19
I have asked others previously about the Palm Creek (especially the south bank on exit south) and Cypress Creek crossings - are they OK for trailers or is a winch/snatch on the cards?
FollowupID: 17953

Follow Up By: The Moose - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 15:29

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 15:29
Palm Creek shouldn't be a problem. Cypress has a "beaut" log bridge across it and will pose no problems. As I said I suspect the only problem would be Cannibal heading north. Have fun. It really is a great trip.
FollowupID: 17955

Follow Up By: DARREN - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 17:57

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 17:57
Moose, Am interested in more details and your thoughts re Cannibal Creek, I am towing but have 2 other cars with me. How much fun would one expect here?
Is it really deep or steep or just messy? Not having towed before, wanting to avoid messing up the holiday, being a bit new to the whole thing and also noting your comments about it being a great section of the track. I am of two minds. Would you avoid it or just allow a bit of extra time and make sure someone is ahead to pull you out?
FollowupID: 17973

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 21:11

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 21:11
Darren also back from the cape last week I had a trailer with me and as stated cannible creek is tricky heading nth. Missing the tree on the sth side is tight as you will see by the marks it will be fun on the nth side so get the 4x4s with out the trailers to go first and pull of to the left hand side because you might need a snatch up.With the trailer make sure its a well built one. Let the tyres on the trailer down to about the same preasure as the rear of the truck .
All the best
Eric 02 4294 3496
Pete 07 4094 1745
Cape York Connections
FollowupID: 17996

Follow Up By: The Moose - Thursday, Jul 31, 2003 at 08:22

Thursday, Jul 31, 2003 at 08:22
I agree with Eric. Get another vehicle to go through first as you will probably need a tow. The northern bank is steepish and very uneven due to others having "fun" getting through. However if you're travelling with others do not miss that last section - it's a must. Anyway the best way to learn is to try it. Let your tyres down, take your time, learn and enjoy. It really is a great trip up the OTL. Don't ever take what others tell you as gospel - always check it out for yourself. The number of times I've been told one thing only to find the situation totally different is amazing. People who are newer to 4WDing (or those who think they know what they are doing but the truth is otherwise) will generally see something that may be reasonably easy as impossible and proceed to scare off others. Probably the best advice I can give you is to join a club and learn how to 4WD safely before you go. You'll be amazed at what that 4WD can actually do when you're shown by someone who knows.Have fun.
FollowupID: 18027

Reply By: Graham - Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 19:06

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2003 at 19:06
Thanks to everyone for your info, very much appreciated. We are not towing anything, and we have a pretty capable vehicle including winch. Heading off from Brissy around the 16/08, can,t wait.
Just digressing slightly, has any seen the Kedron Caravans video "Cape York Adventure" where they towed one of thier ATV vans up the OTL including Cypress Ck. Although they strongly advise that the OTL is not recommended for vans, they certainly put the van through a rugged test, not to mention the Toyota 100 series towing it. Worth a look if you can get a hold of a copy.

Might see some of you up at the tip (White Hilux with alum. canopy, roof top camper and two spares on the back)

AnswerID: 26370

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