We made it to the tip of Cape York in a leisurely nine days (we stopped at some places for two nights on the way) and just over 1,370kms and Ron reckons we spent more time travelling on badly corrugated roads than not!
We stayed at some lovely places along the way including Palmer River Roadhouse (which has an amazing steak sandwich on the menu), Merluna Station (a working cattle station where the lovely owners also offer a two course home cooked meal for a very reasonable price), Moreton Telegraph Station (which has a lovely riverside bush walk and provided power for free) and Eliot Falls (which had several fantastic swimming places just a short walk from the campsite). An interesting feature of the campground at Loyalty Beach where we stayed is the local wild horses which roam freely and wander through campsites – and have been known to poke their heads inside tents – at any time of the day or night looking for anything edible!
More of the roads we travelled were sealed than we expected and many of the unsealed sections were as smooth as sealed roads. That said, some of the unsealed sections were heavily corrugated for tens of kilometres at a time and sometimes we ended up driving in the unsealed roadside gutter (ie, to the left of the guide posts) because it was much smoother!
We also travelled approximately 100kms of the Old Telegraph Track between Bramwell Junction and Mistake Creek (although we took the Gunshot Bypass) and did 12 creek crossings although only two were challenging – Palm Creek (which had a steep exit) and Scrubby Creek (which was about one metre deep). Fortunately we were given assistance in the form of guidance through Palm Creek (and a bit of help with a short tow when I didn’t quite make it all the way out) and feedback from two other couples we’d met who had come through Scrubby Creek the day before we left Eliot Falls.
We did a bauxite mine tour at Weipa (which was a bit disappointing), walked to the Tip of Cape York and visited Thursday Island (which was really enjoyable) on our last day at the ‘Tip’.
Crossing Scrubby Creek