Cape York photos

Photos taken on our travels in Cape York, far North Queensland along with information.. I have made several trips ‘Up the Cape’ as it is commonly referred to, travel in Cape York is restricted by the wet season which runs from around November to April, during this time storms and heavy rain can make the roads impassable, there is little sealed road north or Laura, a lot of work on improving the road has been carried out, (Currently sealing is being carried out at several places with 30 Kl completed from 12 Kl north of Archer River early 2016,) and particularly over the last few years however they can soon become impassable in the wet. As soon as the dry season sets in large amounts of machinery are put to work on the main roads to repair them, however some sections of the road can depending on the amount of traffic soon become very corrugated, particularly the section north of Heathlands Nature Reserve. The much muted bridge over the Jardine is now back on the drawing board after being put of four years back due to Indigenous issues.

The old telegraph line track (OTL) which starts at Bramwell Junction is not maintained, the less adventurous take the OTL southern bypass road which meets the OTL track a few Kms  south of the junction of  the northern  bypass road and the northern section of the OTL  which takes you to Fruit Bat, Elliot and Twin Falls,  after the  falls turn off on the OTL are several creek crossings, the last Nolans Brook  causes more vehicle damage than any of the other numerous crossings on the OTL including the infamous Gunshot creek.  —-more to be added..

I spent most of 2013 in Bamaga helping out at Cape York spares and Repairs driving the RACQ recovery truck. The road to the Cape was in the best condition ever, Added photo’s while up there.

After crossing the Jardine river by ferry it is 45 kilometres to Bamaga. There are five communities in this part of the Cape, You will come to Injinoo first then a few Kilometres on pass by Umagico   before reaching Bamaga, New Mapoon is about four Kilometres further along on the way to Seisia.

LATEST. added 2016.

Coen.  Approximately half way up the Cape  Development road was founded on Gold being found in the area and to the north on the  Wenlock River in the late 1800s.

Cape York Heritage House in Coen’s main street is an historical display of old mining equipment and information. well worth a look.

Coen has a Pub, Store. Post Office. Guest house, Camp ground. police station, school. ( see photos)

Wenlock goldfields.

The Wenlock goldfield ( formerly Batavia Goldfield)  and the Lower Camp settlement which was established in 1915 after Kitty Pluto found gold there  are situated on the eastern bank of the Wenlock river, take the Portlands road of the Northern Development road thirty five kilometres north of Archer River, you will cross the Wenlock River  at the seventeen kilometre mark, at the top of the Eastern bank on the left hand side a track leads of to the Hut which is in about one hundred fifty metres, a few metres in from the road along this track is the one that follows the river, after approximately two hundred metres you will come to the Grave of Thomas Power, here you  can branch of to the right along the track that goes to the old mines area or continue on to along the river bank, there are numerous old mango trees at places along here and several camp spots before the track ends at a large creek a bit over a kilometre in. The track to the old mine area loops in around and back on to the main road four hundred metres past the crossing, there are patches of loose sand, creek crossing/ washouts along this track, (Recommend that if towing, unhook and check out track first, certainly not suitable larger vans. (2016)) there is room for a couple of camps near the old mines. This is an historical site please leave things as you find them.

Laura

From here on the Peninsular  Development road is mostly gravel and can be very rough and can also be closed during the wet season.

Old Laura station 27 K north east of Laura in the Lakefield National Park. 94 K from Cooktown on Battle Camp Road.


Musgrave Roadhouse

 

Bamaga to home, Dec 2013.


Photos, Vehicles in trouble. Cape York. 2013

I strongly advise you to have RACQ or your states equivalent top cover and check your vehicle insurance, particularly if you are going to tackle the OTL Break downs/ accidents  up there can cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of time.

Various photos  from around Cape York 2013.

Aircraft wrecks, WW11.


Motor bikes and Quads

Royal Flying Doctor quad fund raising tour..

Massey Ferguson Club.  trip Port Douglas to the Tip (Cape York) Aug 2013.


Trip up June 2013


A few photos from my trip to Bamaga during April and May 2013

Punsand Bay Camp Ground

Now under new management,  2013. O what a great  difference.

A few more photos added after a visit back there in 2016.


________________________________________________________________________

Photos from my trip up  to CAPE YORK with my son who was going up there to work in Bamaga, Leaving home in Hervey Bay  31 st  January we headed up to Cairns arriving there early Friday after an overnight camp near Innisfail. The trailer we had towed up with his tools and gear was put on the boat to Seisia. With the road conditions expected to be tough going, partically as a large low depression had dumped a lot of rain across the Cape about ten days previous. we did not need the extra problems that towing a trailer can bring.  A permit to travel was obtained from the authorities for the Peninsula road, shopping for supplies was completed and we were of up the Kurandra  range to Mareeba and on the Mulligan Hwy heading north.. After a overnight  camp about 60 k out we were up early and on to Lakeland where we turned on to the Peninsula Development road and the sealed section to Laura, from there on it was gravel road  with a few short sections of bitumen.

The road itself was dry and as expected quite rough, the corrugations were their of course as well small washouts,  cut up sections and  shallow creek crossings to keep the driver focused. After fuelling up at Coen It was on to and a relief to find that the Archer river was down with only a few centromeres over the causeway,  Forty five kilometres on we  turned off on to the Old Telegraph Road heading north to Bamaga and the most challenging part of the trip, although maintained in the dry season this section in the wet has numerous creek crossings and sections that become covered with water. Capsize creek was our first real obstacle, quite deep and flowing hard with the added hazard of a couple of large trees washed up  on the road on the other side made it interesting. A few Ks further on Rocky creek was around 1.3 metres deep, a couple of other vehicles were there waiting for it to drop, an overnight camp was in order,  Could have done without the mosquitos!

Next morning it had dropped and we continued on, the Wenlock river was about half a metre under the bridge, a few days earlier had been 6 over. At Bramwell Junction we turned of and drove a few Ks up the Old Telegraph track to have a look at Palm creek, the first majors challenge on the OTL, certainly was not crossable and the first ones to take on the challenge of the OTL after the wet will have some work to do. back on to the Bamaga Bypass road we made good time to the Jardine Ferry and after a considerable wait while they rounded up an operator we crossed and arrived in Bamaga about 6pm. Thankfully the weather over the past week had been kind to us and the trip made with out incident.

Photos of the trip up and while I was there.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

VARIOUS PHOTOS from about Cape York

_____________________________

A few photos taken as we traveled up to Bamaga to work in early 2010, shortly after the road was again closed for a few weeks due to heavy rain.

_____________________________

Captain Billy Landing, situated on the east coast of the Cape York Peninisula. The turn of to Captain Billy Landing is about 15Km north  of the Heathlands ranger station road on OTL southern bypass road, it is approximately a  further 27 Km in along a narrow track, DRIVE CAREFULLY.  —

____________________________________________________

A few photos of a German lady I met at the Seisia camp ground in April 2009

Her name was Freya Hoffmeister and she was on a solo kayak trip around Australia. She was attempting to be the first woman to do so and to beat the time set to circumnavigate Australia by New Zealander Paul Caffyn the only person to previously complete the hazardous trip by kayak in 1998, it took him 360 days

She was making the trip alone and with no back up crew, after leaving Seisia she spent six days crossing the Gulf of Carpentaria to Gove in the Northern Territory, ( can you imagine  spending that length of time alone at sea in a Kayak?). The 45 year old went on to complete the trip arriving back at her starting point at Queenscliff in Victoria 332 days after leaving, well under Caffyns time.

I was able to help her repair the broken rudder on her kayak. For more on this incredible ladys trip and other adventures she has undertaken. Google  freyahoffmeister.com

____________________________________________________

Thursday Island. Situated in the Torres Strait TI as it is known as is the main administration centre for the area including the top of Cape York. If visiting the Tip of Cape York I recommend  you take the ferry to TI and spend a night there or on nearby Horn Island, there is more to see and enjoy at a leisurely pace than you can fit into a day trip, (9 am — 3pm are the arrival / departure times of the Pedells ferry from Seisia.)

Tours of both TI and Horn Island are available, there is a lot of history, an excellent museum on Horn Island, A lot of people don’t know that the RAAF airfield there saw a lot of action during WW2 and was bombed several times. A visit to the Cultural Centre (great coffee) and wander through the shops on TI are a must.