Cape York

Submitted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 07:36
ThreadID: 86658 Views:2275 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi all

We are considering a holiday trip to Cape York second half of August, we v
have approx 18 to 20 days off.

Question is, as we are leaving from Sydney, will this time be OK, and second we have a stock Mitsubishi challengeger (2010) with snorkler and AT tyres on, and will be towing an off road camper.

Any suggestion, thanks


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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 07:53

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 07:53
Ideal timeframe I think is 3 weeks from Cairns back to Cairns , it is a long way to go to rush your way through it but I suppose you could do it if that is all the time you have.
AnswerID: 455957

Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 08:40

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 08:40
Hi Rob

Have a look at my blog from last year.

It may give you some ideas. I only traveled up and back on the PDR as I was towing a fairly heavy Kimberley Karavan and besides I did not want to wreck my rig as I saw some others damaged by going on the OTT.

I am going as far as Cooktown again this year then across to Birdsville for the races.


AnswerID: 455960

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:22

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:22
Only suggestion is squeeze a couple more days out of the boss.

I did Syd-Cape-Syd in 28 days many years back but still remember saying "wish I had another week". If it is an option look into flying to Cairns while your rig goes on vehicle transport a few days before you. This will cut out at least 3 long tiresome days behind the wheel and put you amongst the action bright eyed and bushy tailed. Some people think 2800km ( Syd-Cairns via the coast) is a piece of cake but don't kid yourself it takes it out of you if you don't do it all the time (even takes it out of you when you do do it all the time hehehe).

The Challenger should do you proud so long as you do not rush anything. My stock 3lt Pathy towing the off road trailer coped fine with the obstacles and brought us back to civilization without a glitch.

Do your homework on the area to really enjoy what should be the trip of a lifetime. Be prepared for almost anything as almost anything can and does happen up there. I would take minimal water and excess fuel to allow room for more "essential" tools and spares. Water is plentiful at pretty much every creek crossing, a spare fan belt or special tool for the Challenger will not be so readily available up there.

regards, Trevor.
AnswerID: 455971

Reply By: eighty matey - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:41

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:41
Hi Rob,

I reckon less than 3 weeks isn't enough to do the Cape. Last year we spent three weeks just on The Cape alone and that was barely enough. Minimum four weeks in my opinion.

If you can't get any extra off you could consider a diferent trip. 18 to 20 days would be great to head out to Menindee Lakes, Broken Hill, Cameron Corner and Tibooburra. There's so much to see and you wouldn't have to rush. The flora and fauna that has sprung to life out in Western Qld and NSW, as well as South Australia's north east is unbelievable this year. On top of that the landscape is unique and the people are great.

I hope that helps a bit.

eighty matey.
AnswerID: 455974

Follow Up By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 13:07

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 13:07
Hi Rob. I did it in July/August 2009, with an XTrail and TVan. First time 4x4 trip. As mentioned the trip to Cairns was something I could of done without. I spent ten days (Cairns to Seisia - Loyalty Beach) Spent Ten Days looking around and then a week back down to Lakelands, via Weipa. Then I came back down inland back to Sydney. No problems with both the XTrail or TVan. There was only one back section about 70 k's north of Bramwell Station, North of Fruit Back Falls, where you come back onto the OTT but I think that they have improved the road from there up to the Jardine Ferry since then. Call into Laura. The pub is a great camp for the night at the rear of the Hotel and meet up with others going up or back. Great meal and company. Have a great trip and do not rush it, as there id so much to see. Steve,B....

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FollowupID: 728954

Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 13:21

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 13:21
Personally I think you would be better with more days. We went from Canberra to the Cape and back in 27 days and did not see it all. We did though stay at a couple of places for more than one night. And we also drove the slow way. As far as possible we stayed off the development roads.On the other hand we saved a whole day by taking the train with the cars also from Brisbane to cairns. Not cheap but lets face it. You cannot takle it etc etc etc.

Date Accommodation
Monday, 26 July 2010 Depart Canberra, drive to Brisbane
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 Still driving
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 Stay at Ashmore Palms at Surfers
Thursday, 29 July 2010 Train to Brisbane to Cairns
Friday, 30 July 2010Cairns Sunland Leisure Park
Saturday, 31 July 2010 as above
Sunday, 1 August 2010 Pinnacle Village, Vixies Road, Wonga Beach
Monday, 2 August 2010 as above
Tuesday, 3 August 2010 Cooktown Caravan Park, Hope St, Cooktown
Wednesday, 4 August 2010 as above
Thursday, 5 August 2010 Cape Melville, and Pandanus Vet Retreat
Friday, 6 August 2010 as above
Saturday, 7 August 2010 Lakefield and Running Creek
Sunday, 8 August 2010 as above
Monday, 9 August 2010 Bramwell Junction - OTL
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 Jardine River ferry
Wednesday, 11 August 2010 Seisia Holiday Park,
Thursday, 12 August 2010 As above - Scenic drives and the Tip
Friday, 13 August 2010 As above with Thursday Isl
Saturday, 14 August 2010 As above - Fishing
Sunday, 15 August 2010 Top half OTL then to Merluna Station
Monday, 16 August 2010 Merluna Station
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 Driving home
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 Driving home
Thursday, 19 August 2010 Driving home

Photos on

One video on youtube

AnswerID: 455989

Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2011 at 20:01

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2011 at 20:01

Can you put a loaded 4wd full of camping gear on the train? I thought it had to be empty?
FollowupID: 729078

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2011 at 20:51

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2011 at 20:51
Sure can. Details are here:Queensland Motorail Conditions

We have also been on the Indian Pacific and the Ghan. Very similar conditions.


On the Queensander:

On the Ghan:
FollowupID: 729086

Reply By: escapesilv - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 16:36

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 16:36
Thanks to all that responded.

You all feel the same as I do, there is to little time for such a trip, Ill go back to the drawing board, and leave KY for another time.

Thanks all again.

AnswerID: 456005

Follow Up By: Frances - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 19:43

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 19:43
Is there someone who could drive your car up to Cairns for you? If so you could fly up as soon as you finish work and then see if they can drive it home from Cairns for you and you could fly home.
FollowupID: 729002

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