Cape York via Bypass Roads

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesMareeba
FinishSeisia
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable For4WD Camper Bike 
Distance960.82 km
Minimum Days5
Average Speed69.04 km/hr
Travel Time13 hrs 54 mins
Page Updated: 8 Apr 2015

Description

This trek note provides a complete route to Cape York bypassing all the major 4WD river crossings found on the Telegraph Track. The route uses the Peninsula Developmental Road (PDR) and Bamaga Road (Northern Bypass). This trek note is the easier alternative to the route given in our Cape York trek note due to the lack of 4WD challenges, however conditions can be very dustry and very corrugated and this route has its own fair share of problems and should not be undertaken lightly.

Whilst the PDR is currently being upgraded and there is a plan for it to be fully tarred by 2020, the route is unsealed for much of the way in the northern end and wet season conditions can make the road impassable at times. A 4WD vehicle is recommended due to the heavy corrugations and better handling and safety you will have in such a vehicle.

There are many interesting side trips to the west and east coastlines of the Cape York Peninsula too, so take a look through the separate Trek Notes we provide for optional side trips because they can all be accessed off the two main routes at noted exit points. We suggest you should research all these side trips and build your own itinerary. See the full list of Cape York side trips here (more coming in Nov '13).

In addition to the side trips, the majority of travellers will use parts of the PDR and parts of the OTT in order to explore the best of what the Cape offers, whilst avoiding the more extreme challenges found on the Old Telegraph Track.

Using this trek you will arrive at Seisia, the most northerly community on the Cape York Peninsula, however not at the true "tip" of Cape York. To reach the true "tip" of the Cape York Peninsula follow our day trip trek note called Seisia to the Tip.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
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  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

Cape York is the name of the most northern point of the Australian continent and is often referred to as "The Tip". In fact, the whole peninsula of land that lies above the 16°S latitude is called Cape York Peninsula - this narrow peninsula is bound by the Coral sea to the east the Arafura sea and Gulf of Carpentaria to the west and the Torres Strait to the north. Locals however, refer to Cape York "proper" as the area north of the Jardine river.

Preparation

For detailed checklists & advice regarding remote area travel, you are strongly encouraged to read the following articles: 4WD Driving Skills & Rules; What to Take; Recovery Gear Needs; Spare Parts and Tools; Food & Water; Water Tank; Long Range Fuel Tanks; Suspension; EPIRB; HF Radio; UHF Radio; Satphone; Staying in Touch as well as Travel Etiquette; Care for the Environment; Snake Bite Treatment; Outback Survival; & Driver Fatigue.
Fuel, most standard supplies, and some repair services are available at towns and roadhouses but spare parts are not always available. Visitors need to be self-sufficient with adequate food, water, fuel and basic vehicle repair equipment. Mobile phone coverage is generally not available in Cape York Peninsula so it is essential to have other communication equipment.

Most people travel in convoy throughout the Cape not just for company, but for safety and backup. Just remember that overly large convoy groups can be hazardous on narrow dual-direction tracks and due to the bulldust on many Cape Roads, large groups may need to spread out so far apart that the leader lose radio communications with the tail-end charlie. For these reasons, you'll find a smaller convoy more enjoyable and practical.

Permits

Permits are required to access all areas of Aboriginal land. The permit is provided when you pay your ferry fee to cross the Jardine River at near Bamaga.

Camping permits are required in all National Parks and Reserves on the Cape York Peninsula and these must now be purchased in advance before arriving at your campsite. Self-registration for camp sites is no longer possible. To obtain an e-permit book online at www.qld.gov.au/camping, or phone 13 74 68.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolPalmer River Roadhouse, Hann River Roadhouse, Musgrave Roadhouse, Archer River Roadhouse, Bramwell Junction.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 135 litres4cyl 155 litres4cyl 192 litres
6cyl 147 litres6cyl 174 litres6cyl 169 litres
8cyl 147 litres8cyl 159 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Coen Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 83.71km W
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C32.132.131.331.030.229.628.929.831.633.434.434.7
Mean Min. °C23.823.923.421.819.517.917.317.118.920.922.623.9
Mean Rain mm294.1268.1267.159.115.32.20.83.01.010.723.9136.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Musgrave Roadhouse, Bramwell Junction

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

Mareeba to Biboohra
Driving: 7.85 km
Heading: 356°
Avg Speed: 81.33 km/hr
EST Time: 05:47
Biboohra to Peninsula Developmental Rd & Southern Lakes Rd
Driving: 16.59 km
Heading: 334°
Avg Speed: 94.5 km/hr
EST Time: 10:32
Peninsula Developmental Rd & Southern Lakes Rd to Mount Molloy
Driving: 14.4 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 89.5 km/hr
EST Time: 09:39
Mount Molloy to Rifle Creek Rest Area
Driving: 0.97 km
Heading: 347°
Avg Speed: 62.97 km/hr
EST Time: 00:55
Rifle Creek Rest Area to Peninsula Developmental Rd & Mossman-Mt Molloy Rd
Driving: 0.47 km
Heading: 308°
Avg Speed: 52.65 km/hr
EST Time: 00:32
Peninsula Developmental Rd & Mossman-Mt Molloy Rd to Mount Carbine
Driving: 28.92 km
Heading: 306°
Avg Speed: 94.21 km/hr
EST Time: 18:25
Mount Carbine to Junction
Driving: 67 km
Heading: 307°
Avg Speed: 97.61 km/hr
EST Time: 41:11
Junction to Palmer River Roadhouse
Driving: 16.29 km
Heading: 21°
Avg Speed: 106.73 km/hr
EST Time: 09:09
Palmer River Roadhouse to Lakeland
Driving: 31.8 km
Heading: 17°
Avg Speed: 94.26 km/hr
EST Time: 20:14
Lakeland to Ang-Ganrra
Driving: 45.94 km
Heading: 304°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 45:18
Ang-Ganrra to Laura
Driving: 15.55 km
Heading: 317°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 15:20
Laura to Intersection Peninsula Developmental Rd, Maytown Rd, Old Laura Rd
Driving: 1.55 km
Heading: 309°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 01:31
Intersection Peninsula Developmental Rd, Maytown Rd, Old Laura Rd to Peninsula Developmental Rd & Palmerville Rd
Driving: 17.47 km
Heading: 288°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 17:13
Peninsula Developmental Rd & Palmerville Rd to Kennedy River Rest Area
Driving: 14.12 km
Heading: 312°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 13:55
Kennedy River Rest Area to Hann River Roadhouse
Driving: 42.35 km
Heading: 308°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 41:45
Hann River Roadhouse to Mary Valley Station
Driving: 20.39 km
Heading: 308°
Avg Speed: 79.1 km/hr
EST Time: 15:27
Mary Valley Station to Morehead River Rest Area
Driving: 8.9 km
Heading: 312°
Avg Speed: 79.1 km/hr
EST Time: 06:45
Morehead River Rest Area to Peninsula Developmental Rd & Dixie Rd
Driving: 9.97 km
Heading: 305°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 09:49
Peninsula Developmental Rd & Dixie Rd to Musgrave Roadhouse
Driving: 23.65 km
Heading: 337°
Avg Speed: 60.84 km/hr
EST Time: 23:19
Musgrave Roadhouse to Coen
Driving: 107.65 km
Heading: 341°
Avg Speed: 74.34 km/hr
EST Time: 01:26:53
Coen to The Bend Camp
Driving: 3.68 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 34.1 km/hr
EST Time: 06:28
The Bend Camp to Archer River Roadhouse
Driving: 63.07 km
Heading: 333°
Avg Speed: 70.47 km/hr
EST Time: 53:41
Archer River Roadhouse to Telegraph Rd & Penninsula Developmental Rd
Driving: 51.57 km
Heading: 335°
Avg Speed: 67.55 km/hr
EST Time: 45:48
Telegraph Rd & Penninsula Developmental Rd to Telegraph Road - Batavia Downs turnoff
Driving: 48.69 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 80.87 km/hr
EST Time: 36:07
Telegraph Road - Batavia Downs turnoff to Moreton Telegraph Station
Driving: 23.64 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 50.31 km/hr
EST Time: 28:11
Moreton Telegraph Station to Bramwell Junction
Driving: 55.97 km
Heading: 347°
Bramwell Junction to Junction Southern Bypass & Bramwell Station Tk
Driving: 10.18 km
Heading: 75°
Avg Speed: 71.63 km/hr
EST Time: 08:31
Junction Southern Bypass & Bramwell Station Tk to Southern Bypass & Shelburne Tk
Driving: 11.14 km
Heading: 16°
Avg Speed: 77.66 km/hr
EST Time: 08:36
Southern Bypass & Shelburne Tk to Southern Bypass & Trk to Heathlands
Driving: 33.41 km
Heading:
Avg Speed: 70.82 km/hr
EST Time: 28:18
Southern Bypass & Trk to Heathlands to Southern Bypass & Trk to Captain Billy Landing
Driving: 10.74 km
Heading: 18°
Avg Speed: 62.29 km/hr
EST Time: 10:20
Southern Bypass & Trk to Captain Billy Landing to Track Junction
Driving: 20.77 km
Heading: 300°
Avg Speed: 63.99 km/hr
EST Time: 19:28
Track Junction to Telegraph Track & Southern Bypass Rd
Driving: 21.53 km
Heading: 303°
Avg Speed: 73.2 km/hr
EST Time: 17:38
Telegraph Track & Southern Bypass Rd to Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction
Driving: 9.14 km
Heading: 341°
Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction to Fruit Bat Falls
Driving: 2.7 km
Heading: 52°
Avg Speed: 44.89 km/hr
EST Time: 03:36
Fruit Bat Falls to Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction
Driving: 2.7 km
Heading: 232°
Avg Speed: 44.89 km/hr
EST Time: 03:36
Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction to Northern Bypass & Track to Vrilya Point
Driving: 24 km
Heading: 329°
Avg Speed: 72.82 km/hr
EST Time: 19:46
Northern Bypass & Track to Vrilya Point to Junction OTT Exit & Northern Bypass
Driving: 4.22 km
Heading: 358°
Avg Speed: 68.78 km/hr
EST Time: 03:40
Junction OTT Exit & Northern Bypass to Jardine River Ferry Campground & Service Station
Driving: 23.46 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 62.46 km/hr
EST Time: 22:32
Jardine River Ferry Campground & Service Station to Southern Bypass & Usher Point Rd
Driving: 12.51 km
Heading: 74°
Avg Speed: 55.01 km/hr
EST Time: 13:38
Southern Bypass & Usher Point Rd to Junction Bamaga Rd & Track to DC Wrecks
Driving: 10.86 km
Heading: 354°
Avg Speed: 79.77 km/hr
EST Time: 08:10
Junction Bamaga Rd & Track to DC Wrecks to Junction Bamaga Rd & Seisia Rd
Driving: 5.09 km
Heading: 359°
Avg Speed: 74.44 km/hr
EST Time: 04:06
Junction Bamaga Rd & Seisia Rd to Injinoo
Driving: 6.86 km
Heading: 313°
Avg Speed: 74.72 km/hr
EST Time: 05:30
Injinoo to Bamaga
Driving: 7.15 km
Heading: 77°
Avg Speed: 65.12 km/hr
EST Time: 06:35
Bamaga to New Mapoon
Driving: 3.38 km
Heading: 354°
Avg Speed: 42.55 km/hr
EST Time: 04:45
New Mapoon to Seisia
Driving: 2.53 km
Heading: 321°
Avg Speed: 67.44 km/hr
EST Time: 02:15
Distance is GPS recorded distance based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

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