Our big adventure to Cape York

Submitted: Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 17:15
ThreadID: 92967 Views:3103 Replies:11 FollowUps:18
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Well we have decided to tackle Cape york in july, There are 5 families going all up. None of us have been before, so were hoping to get some some info from others that have done it.....Inregards to camping spots, the telegraph track, river crossings, fuel, top spots to visit, the water falls ive been told are the safest places to swim as there are no crocs!
Just anything people want to share with us would be greatly appreciated, the more info we have the better our travels will be i spose.
We are from the southern end of the gold coast so were travelling to (if all goes well that is) Camilla beach for our first stop over then off somewhere south of cairns......Then our adventure begins!
so please feel free to share your stories, we are looking forward to hearing them

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Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 17:47

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 17:47
Hi, Think Carmilla may be a bit far from the Gold Coast for the first day. I would aim for the Calliope R on day 1 then Carmilla Beach the second day. Maybe Bushie Parker north of Townsville day 3. Mpunt Molloy after that then on to the Cape. Can't help you with the cape as it is still on my to do list, How long are you travelling for? Gold Coast to the Tip & return should take about 3 months the we travel Bill
AnswerID: 482178

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:04

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:04
Hi Bill,
Im new at this so bear with me please....
We only have a month hence the first stop off, we are wanting to try for a week all up for traveling to and from cairns, the rest we can take it easy, thats the plan anyway. We are planning on leaving at about 3am on the 30th june, we have 2 drivers per car and estimating by around 3pm mark arrival at Carmilla Beach if all goes well.
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Follow Up By: Franrick - Friday, Apr 27, 2012 at 10:52

Friday, Apr 27, 2012 at 10:52
Hi Billl,
If your used to doing those sort of distances per day it will be no problem for you. My son does Sydney to Townsville in 2 days for the start of his trips to the Cape although his wife and kids fly up and meet him up here. It's the toilet and food stops that cause the delays, the more people in the car the more the delays. With 2 drivers it will be a bit easier. Just a note though, I towed a new camper trailer from Syd to Townsville two weeks ago and the roadworks were horrific (read,, endless) and cost us quite a bit of time.
Enjoy your trip, its well worth the effort.
Cheers, Rick.
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Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 17:59

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 17:59
Pick up a copy of Ron Moons Cape York Guide book. Very useful for planning & includes alot of detail so you wont miss anything.
Cheers Craig............
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Follow Up By: jules n stan - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:07

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:07
Cheers craig, will have a search for it.....
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:30

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 18:30
Yes, I agree, There are critics of Ron moon but his Cape york book is a great guide for a first-timer. Available from the shop here on ExplorOz or from camping shops and places that sell maps etc.


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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 21:28

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 21:28
I concur, the book has a great deal of details and gives you plenty of options to consider, a good investment for under $30.00.


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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 19:57

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 19:57
G'day Jules,

As has been suggested a month is a short time and I appreciate the need for speed to get there and maximize your time on the Cape. We have done the trip four times and usually travel with adults which works OK but last year we did a trip which included 7 cars and two young families. It was a whole different experience travelling with new travellers and young kids that needed to be fed and sleep on a regular basis outside of our normal habits. This slowed us down a lot but meant we had to speed between the stops. It was the most rushed trip we have ever done.

No trip to the Cape is ever a bad trip and we had a ball because we never lost our sense of humour. We have done the trip in two days from Brisvegas but that is pretty quick and we need some relaxation time once in Cairns. Our Modus operendi is to meet in Cairns to allow everyone to travel at their own speed. We normally meet at the Cairns Coconut Caravan Park because it is conveniently located on the road into Cairns.

Get the Ron Moon as suggested it will help you plan what to see and do. Just remember it is about 1000 k to the tip from Cairns.

Kind regards

AnswerID: 482186

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:04

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:04
Hi Theo,

Yes we are on a tight schedule unfortunetly, so the need to get to cairns in as short a time as possible is quite important. We were hoping to stop off at Cooktown and also try to get a bo beep at the Reef and the daintree......But i feel own time isnt going to allow it is it?
We do have a couple of families with kids, 1 family thats coming has already done some travelling out out west around the big rock and so on, there kids travel really well which is a blessing.
We want to check out Thursday island and stay at Vrylia point for a few days hopefully, appreciate your in put

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Reply By: Michael A5 - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 20:59

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 20:59
I thought that I red somewhere that parts of the peninsula development road are closed for 7 months due to rain damage. May be advisable to check it out and be prepared for alternatives in your agenda.


AnswerID: 482193

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:05

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:05
Hi Micheal,

we made a couple of call to some raodhouses up there today and they said all is good, the weather has been ok the week......
But will be on the radar from here on in i think

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Reply By: Michael A5 - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 21:06

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 21:06
Follow up to PDR

Check this site out http://www.cooktownandcapeyork.com/cook/roads

It is the cook shire council web site and is quite informative


AnswerID: 482194

Reply By: Been-Everywhereman - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 22:23

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 22:23
I have been to The Cape 5 times in the last 9 years and with that amount of experience we can manage a great campsite every night.
On your first trip it is hard to manage the time you have every day to see the things you want to see and also find wonderful campspots.
Like our first trip we managed a great camp spot now and then but mostly just scraped through and battled with other campers for prime position.
Use your first trip to bounce along and then your next trip will be the best trip you have ever had.
We are also going in July this year, the creeks will be low and the corrugations will be large.
Just remember, anyone that tells you to ride the corrugations like a wave is kidding themselves, slow is the go,........................
AnswerID: 482204

Follow Up By: Been-Everywhereman - Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 22:27

Monday, Apr 02, 2012 at 22:27
Oh and Ron and Viv Moon's book is a winner.
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Follow Up By: jules n stan - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:10

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:10
Hi, thanks for that....all the dvd's we watch seem to tell us the faster you can go on the corrugations when possible the better, Im sure for the dust and rattling of the car it would have to be better!
Yes we have been advised to book our sites asap, every man and there dogs will be there i spose.
We just hope the month we have will be enough

Thanks for your info

P.S we might see you up there :)
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Reply By: i'machocoholic - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 12:41

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 12:41
I too have been a few times - you are welcome to see our latest trip blog which was last year at Grant & Linda - it may help you with some of the places that we went and give you some ideas.

I agree with others comments about Ron & Viv Moon's book, however I would suggest that if you can try to get an older version of their Cape York book (maybe ebay) would be beneficial as the new version has been cut down by almost half of what they produced years ago.

The trip to the Cape is a real enjoyable experience...it may not be the last frontier due it's accessibility these days, but it's a lot of fun. I think you'll have a great time, just don't rush it.
AnswerID: 482234

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:20

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:20
Hi there,

well your blog was great reading and some fabulous photos.....we are planning on starting a blog of our travels,

Yes we are sure we will have fun to say the least on our journey, lets hope its smooth sailing :)

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Follow Up By: Member - Trev A (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 20:24

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 20:24
As far as the Ron & Viv Moon Cape York Book goes. Is it only the most recent one that has less info?
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Follow Up By: i'machocoholic - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 21:09

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 21:09
The editions which had the more information would have been prior to January 2011. It was at this point the books went to spiral bound (versus glue bound) and decreased in information. The newer versions still have lots of valuable information, it's just I prefer the older ones for content and layout.

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Reply By: ian - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 13:43

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 13:43
with 5 families travelling you are going to need some certainty. It will be very busy in the school holidays and I recommend that where possible you pre-book whatever camp sites you need. A number of places that you probably want to vist will be full, with no room for 5 families.
have fun
AnswerID: 482239

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:11

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 20:11
Hi Ian,

Yes that is for sure....we will be taking your advise, ive been told its like a highway, and im sure thats no exageration


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Reply By: Geoff H (Q - Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 21:03

Tuesday, Apr 03, 2012 at 21:03
Hi guys,
We did a quick trip from Brisbane to the Cape in three weeks with 2 days to Cairns.

We didn't see everything but we did see these places, Daintree, Cooktown, The Falls, The Tip, Fishing the Jacky Jacky, Thursday Island, Chillagoe Caves and Paronella Park at Innisfail. Didn't bother with Weipa.

You may not want to visit all these, so substitute your own favourites, however we did love the trip through the Daintree to Cooktown, it's like an oasis after the dust of the Cape.

The road is like a highway if you sit on 80ks, just slow down for the dips, and don't swear about the dust in front of the childen.

We camped at the various Roadhouses along the way for $10 a nigh and don't miss out on a burger at Archer River.

Good Luck
AnswerID: 482268

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 07:23

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 07:23
oh wow, now you have made it sound easier.....thanks so much for your story.
This gives us hope :) We have been questioning our time and what we can achieve after hearing others comments.
Yes we want to go to Cooktown and see the Daintree and the reef....And i might think the Daintree to cooktown road, i have read about that lately and it sounds awsome.
The dust! mmmm thats all i have to say :)
bUt got told of a friend who went that Archer river roadhouse is the place for the burger, thats a definet stop.

Thanks heaps
FollowupID: 757532

Follow Up By: Off-track - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 20:23

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 20:23
4 weeks is plenty of time to do the Cape from Bris, Jules.

I get the impression that EO has a large cross-section of older people that have more time on their hands than most and are therefore able to take it really slow on their journeys. Lucky buggers, I'm envious, but some of us have tighter deadlines and wouldnt be able to get away and see anything of this country if we heeded every opinion on this site.
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Follow Up By: jules n stan - Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 16:44

Thursday, Apr 05, 2012 at 16:44
Hi Geoff,

yes i think thats the case possibly.....were in our early 40's most of us some a little younger by a few years, so we have work commitments etc.
we are so excited, did you stay at the roadhouses? i see we have to book the national parks, its a but hard as were not sure exactly were we will be at a particular time. How did you go about this, thats why we are thinking we need to stay at a couple of raodhouses.....
your input would be awsome please.

Thanks again
FollowupID: 757617

Follow Up By: Geoff H (Q - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 21:02

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 21:02
Hi Jules,

We stayed in a variety of places along the way.
This is our itinerary, we put in some big days early on then took it easy so we had time to get a fire going for a camp oven dinner at night.
Brisbane to Mackay - Stayed With Friends
To Cairns - Van Park first one we found
To Cape Tribulation - PK's Jungle Village (Alexandra Lookout, Cow Bay Beach)
To Cooktown - Big 4 Van Park - (Museum)
To Musgrave Roadhouse - (Aborigial Rock Art Laura)
To Bramell Junction Roadhouse (Explore some of the Telegraph Track)
To Twin/Fruit bat Falls (Campgrouds)- (Captain Billy Landing)
To Loyalty Beach Resort - 5 days (The Falls, The Tip, Thursday Island, Fishing)
To Archer River Roadhouse
To Haan River Roadhouse
To Mareeba - Showgrounds
To Chilagoe - Van Park (Caves and Mines)
To Malanda - Van Park 2 days
To Townsville (Paronella Park)
To Rockhampton
To Brisbane
That will give you some idea of how far you can travel. We had no trouble with finding a camp spot at the Roadhouses but the campgrounds at Fruit bat Falls was pretty full. I would however try to book if you are travelling in school holidays.
FollowupID: 757914

Follow Up By: jules n stan - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 20:25

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 20:25
Thanks geoff,

gee you guys did well, you really made the best of your time didnt you. Definetly going to have to book for fruitbat falls, those palces are a must to stay at i think.
well you have been very helpful, thanks for your time, writing this up for me........helps us a lot :)

FollowupID: 757972

Reply By: robert s4 - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 00:55

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 00:55
from the 12 of feb this year a lot of camp sites have to be booked in advance except when u cross the jardine camping fees r included with the ferry price
AnswerID: 482273

Reply By: Geoff H (Q - Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 08:03

Wednesday, Apr 04, 2012 at 08:03
No worries guys,

Send us a message at geoff.hardiker@hotmail.com and I will send you a list of the food and camping gear we took and our itinerary. We didn't stick to the itinerary strictly, sometimes we stayed longer sometimes we moved on quicker, but at least you know where you have to be at certain times to get home on time.
AnswerID: 482284

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