Cape York May 2011

We are going to the cape in mid may weather permitting for the first time and wonder if the distances we are looking at are practical.Start is Sydney to Bloomfield to a friends place he is managing a 3000 acre property for 3 nights then Cooktown- Bathurst head if not Kalpowar -Mango Lagoon (mungkan kandju nat park) -Weipa 2 nights -Elliot Twin Falls -Seisia/Loyalty Beach 3 nights -Bramwell Junction -Chilli Beach -Hann River Roadhouse if the burke development road is closed as we are heading to lawn hill nat park on the way back to nsw.Also camping in Weipa and Seisia or loyalty beach where would you stay.3 with roof top tents. Thanks Grant
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Reply By: StormyKnight - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:01

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:01
Between Weipa & Seisia in 1992 we found we had to camp the night on the side of the road, the corrugations meant we could not travel at great speed on the development road. If the corrugations are bad your choices are 10km/h or 60+ to ride over them.

Cheers & enjoy a lovely part of the country.
AnswerID: 445259

Reply By: cycadcenter - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:27

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:27
Hi Grant,

How long did you anticipate taking? From Sydney to the top and back will take a minimum of 6-8 weeks add on a couple more to do Lawn Hill.

Depends on if you want to do any sightseeng or just drive through.

To drive Sydney to Cairns is a good 3-4 day drive

You mentioned Bathurst Head, that alone could be a 3-4 day side tour.
If you go to Chilli Beach and try and go across Frenchmans and the Pascoe that could get really hairy that early in the season.

A couple of times we've taken a short cut to the Burke Development road though Kimba Station. But not that early and if you get to Gamboola Station and the Mitchell River is up its a WIDE crossing there and a long way back.

Road conditions could be good to terrible depending on the season. When it opens up though it will be like Pitt Street in Sydney.


AnswerID: 445264

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:15

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:15
Lawn Hill is or will add a bit of time just getting there so i would only look at that when you have arrived at the tip, had a late wet last year so you will have to ask only a few days in advance ...
Have fun,
We want to go up this year but unsure as to getting time off
FollowupID: 717536

Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:45

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:45
Hi Grant, we did the Cape in May 08 leaving Cooktown on the 2nd or 3rd. But the Qld coast had just had it's driest April in 50 years so the rivers had had a month to drop in level. We still had lots of fun doing numerous shallow creek crossings and were the first vehicles across the wooden bridge over the river at Laura.
Lakefield NP was still closed on the way up but had just opened 2 weeks later so we could stay at Kalpower. Seisia was nice for 3 nights but 5 would have been better giving more time for day trips to the Tip, the 5 beaches 4WD and a day at Punsand Bay. Check out many of the Old Telegraph Track creeks in Places eg Telegraph Track - Sam Creek. You'll have a ball..............W

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AnswerID: 445266

Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:01

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:01
StormyKight-Things have changed a lot since you were there. Especially the PDR is or can be very good. Quite a bit easily doing 80 km/hr plus with an off road caravan.
Easy day on the PDR from Bramwell to Loyalty Beach where I stayed. I took 2 easy days from Cooktown to Loyalty Beach by the PDR.
OTR is a different story and unless you have a well prepared vehicle and some experience, you may well be heading for problems.
Have fun and do not rush the trip as it is a long way and a lot to see. Include a trip to TI and Horn Island.
AnswerID: 445271

Reply By: Member - Matt L (WA) - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:15

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:15
If you can put your trip of until June / July , you will have a better chance at going to some of these place's . For example last year the Lakefield N/P did not open till mid May and Bathurst Heads opened end of June and was still inaccessible 60 odd KM's North of Kalpowar Crossing until end of July . I know all this because we go there every year to Pandanus War Veterans Retreat on Kalpowar Station . The Cooktown Shire is in control of all the internal roads up the Cape and are the only ones to give you any true info about road conditions , the development road is controlled by Main Roads. Remember this season is a lot wetter than previous years.
AnswerID: 445273

Reply By: Patrol22 - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:16

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:16
Given it is your first trip to the Tip I would also recommend setting some time aside to do at the very least a day trip to Thursday and Horne Islands. Also suggest that you base yourself at Loyalty Beach due to the noise that comes from the wharf at all hours of the day....ship loading and unloading is link to the tides and not to the time you might want to sleep:-)
AnswerID: 445274

Reply By: Member - GRANT HID(NSW) - Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:48

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011 at 12:48
Thanks for the replies all,The plan is to go straight to cairns in 3 days and start the trip from that time as in sight seeing.I guess the main reason for starting in mid may is to cut down on the traffic being like pitt st which alot of people say happens in june/july.The vehicles are all very well prepared.They have done simpson,kimberley.tanami,high country,so they are up for the trip.Thanks for the tip about staying at loyalty beach.I only want to be away for 4 weeks so it looks like we will have to go back another year to see what we miss.
Can anybody suggest a fishing charter company for weipa and the tip.I have googled them but it would be good to hear reports from experience.

Thanks Grant
AnswerID: 445283

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