Cape York

I'm new on the boards here but figured this would be a good place to ask this question.

I've always wanted to get to 'the tip' of Australia and was planning a trip in September. Only problem is I only have a 2WD and although my work is looking at getting me a soft-road 4WD (like an early 2000s Mercedes ML diesel) -lets face it, that isn't ideal. I know OT track isn't ideal but is there another way to 'the tip'? If not, how far up could I get in my car?
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Reply By: Member - Ray S (QLD) - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 07:33

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 07:33
Get hold of Ron Moon's book on Cape York ("Cape York, an Adventurers Guide", 12th Ed April 2010). It's the bible for travelling on the Cape and will tell you all you need to know.

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Reply By: Rangiephil - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 09:17

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 09:17
When I went last year there was a convoy of Peugeots including 404s and 203s going which I met at Moreton Telegraph Station. Minis have done it and Deux Cheveaux and the occasional Mazda MX5, not to mention a group on Postie's bikes I met at Loyaty Beach.
As long as you leave it to say July, when the water levels in creeks are down the Peninsula Development Road /Bamaga Rd is easily doable in a 2WD. when I went all creeks were less that 25CM in depth, and just a splash.
Even the "short cut" from Weipa back to the Development Road is probably doable.
The OTT is NOT IMHO doable in a soft Roader AWD, unless it has a big winch and a driver oblivious to damage.

The only thing I could see stopping you from getting to the tip is one creek a bit North of the Croc tent which is about 15Km from the tip. However you can get bus trips from Bamaga to go there.

Having said that, the roads are sometimes/often very corrugated and something like a Falcon or Commodore would be better than lightly built FWD cars, and you will not be able to get to Twin Falls which is only 7Km up the OTT , but has a 30CM creek crossing. You can get to Fruit Bat falls which is also a Major attraction.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 09:31

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 09:31
Philby and Philip A

I agree. If I only had my old HK kingswood or the XD falcon I would have driven up there. Albert on the development road and as mentioned after July.

Go for it but watch the corrugations and take water and nibbles. Fuel is aplenty. I would also consider borrowing a fridge and sit it on the back seat.

I suppose that you could always ring the engineer at Cooktown and ask when it is expected that the corrugation would be the least. You could start by calling Tony on 0740695444. He helped us no end on our family drive to the Cape when I got cancer. If you do not ask then you will never know.

Phil (Its the attack of the Philip clones here!!!)
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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 09:38

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 09:38
I meant to ask before posting earlier. What is the 2WD?

Some of the "imported" cars and a heap of the little tin boxes may fall apart if the corrugations are rough. The older cars were fine in their days. But it would be good to know what the car is.

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Follow Up By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 11:51

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 11:51
I did it end of July/early August 2009 with my Xtrail, towing a Tvan. Road was fine except a rough stage north of Bramwell Junction where you go back on the OTT for about twenty Ks. They where building a new road up to the Jardine Ferry. It may be finished now. Otherwise then it was a good trip.Stayed at Loyalty Beach, quieter than the camp site in Seisia. Thursday Island is a must for a day trip. Take it easy and enjoy the trip

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Reply By: Philby - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 19:28

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 19:28
Thats all great advice. Thanks! You guys are legends.

It's good to know even if I can't get to the top myself that a bus could take me there (by the way when I said 2WD I meant Ford Falcon). Any idea how much the bus costs?
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Follow Up By: Member - OnYaBike - Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 21:31

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 at 21:31
You should get to Somerset, and to Mutee Heads if you want.
Maybe if you ask around at the campground you stay at in Bamaga someone will take you to the tip with them.
You'll be able to get the latest on the state of the creek in question. It's not wide, has firm approaches and rocky bottom and that's the part I would worry about in a Falcon.
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Reply By: Inflataduck - Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 20:26

Monday, Apr 23, 2012 at 20:26
have done the trip many times & have seen many a 2 wheel dive make it even in the old days when there was only one way, last year helped a young girl in a new model mini (had a flat tyre,) She was a nurse at Bamaga & she drives it twice a year, b-double trucks travel it all the time.
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Reply By: xanana - Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at 20:49

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 at 20:49
Hi Philby

I work in the Cape and drove from Cairns 5 times last year. The only time I put my vehicle in 4 wheel drive is if I'm mucking around off the main road. Old ford would be fine.
I was up in the Cape last month (flew to Bamaga) and went for a drive to the tip. The road was fine and the water was a lot lower than I expected. In June there wont be much there at all.

Have fun
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