02nd September 2022

Cape York North Queensland

The Destination

The Starting Point – Mt Carbine Hotel

Friday 2nd September

7 Cars left Townsville and after picking up John at Rollingstone, and a few convoy reminders “lights
on”…. “Channel 19”… we travelled on Cardwell for our first breather…
After a turn at the wrong “big yellow house” and a quick Right, left, right ..whoops missed it and the
usual slow down by some road works we all stopped at Mareeba for fuel and lunch.
After some quick maintenance after lunch, we set off to stay the night at Mt Carbine Hotel and
rendezvous with the remaining crew.
A good meal and a few drinks were had with a couple of our members mistaking “camping” for hotel
rooms overnight!!!

The First Challenge – Old Coach Road

3rd September to 5th September

13 cars set off to tackle the Old Coach Road…

After a little overshoot of the Maytown turn off we all aired down to get started… We all enjoyed some challenging tracks navigating our way around the sights until eventually ending up in Maytown for lunch where the members took in the sights of old mines, ruins, and equipment.

Then at long last, we made our way onto the Old Coach Road, after a slight wrong turn or 4… but who’s counting, we had a great, slow afternoon with a few pitstops to “tighten my aerial” and then sometimes to really stop and tighten my aerial. On this track, we encountered our first recovery and some iffy car troubles…

After a few hours of driving, we found a lovely large area to camp just off the track.
Setting up and sitting “next to “ a lovely fire we had a recap of the day and made plans for the
following day.

The track didn’t disappoint with holes, rises, different surfaces and choices of the easier or the
“Storm“ tracks in the end. We had completed only 20kms in the last 4 hours!!!

After the OCR we headed to explore the old Laura homestead stretching our legs before continuing on through Lakefield National Park to Hann River crossing to camp the night. What a lovely spot where some
wet a line and others looked enviously at the water as we thought about the crocodiles that might be
watching us. Some chats over dinner and a rowdy game of uno saw the night out.

Between Tracks

Monday 5th September

After a quick morning meeting, we were back on the road, with a quick stop at Musgrave we spent the morning on the road to Coen where we stopped for fuel and lunch in the community centre/shed.

The night was spent at Bramwell station where some of us had dinner together and enjoyed the
entertainment … Serenading Ray with our rendition of “You are my sunshine.” The Cooktown
branch of the Townsville 4WD club was unofficially recognised. And a certain noisy neighbour was
silenced soon after curfew.

The Second Challenge – The Old Telegraph Track

6th September to 7th September

Day 5 saw an early start as we were all keen to start the Old Telegraph Track (OTT). some topped
up fuel at Bramwell roadhouse and we all gathered with Bundy to take a photo at the start of the

Palm creek saw our first recoveries with only 4 cars making it through without help… The drive was
full of “I spy” games of telegraph poles and random car parts along the way.

Gunshot was next with lots of discussion on the best track to take. Whilst one member attempted the original gunshot most opted for the shorter drop-in off to the side.

The afternoon had the leaders get a bit far ahead and we ended up losing radio communication. Luckily some of our members had a HEMA as our friend to see us along when suddenly we heard the leaders up ahead of us again, and with that came over the radio a laughing voice proclaiming “the 80’s bogged!!!”

We set up camp for the afternoon at Cockatoo creek where we left all our marks on a rear bumper
that finally gave up the ghost whilst reading all the notes from previous travellers under the
structure… A cool off in the creek and a chat around the fire that night where we decided on a later
start as we didn’t have far to go the next day.

Midpoint – Fruitbat Falls/ Elliot Falls/ Twin Falls

Thursday 7th September

Finishing off the first part of the OTT was a fairly easy drive and we stopped for a swim to explore fruit bat falls. What a beautiful spot.

We moved forward to an early stop at Cannel Creek. A couple of cars kept playing with the
tracks needing to be rescued again…

The afternoon was spent with a walk to Twin and Elliot Falls, resting, some maintenance, an impromptu “masterclass” on plugging tyres and of course a swim. Finally, the night was celebrated with a couple of hands of Poker.

The Final Leg – The Old Telegraph Track

Thursday 8th September

After hearing horror stories about three cars being written off in the now dreaded upcoming Nolans Brook Creek our 2 Prado’s decided to take a different route towards the tip skipping the last of the OTT. 10 cars headed onwards through Sam creek, Mistake Creek with only a few cliffside recoveries along the way.

We then carefully navigated over “the log Bridge” through Cypris Creek.

Finally, it was time for the dreaded and much anticipated Nolan’s Brook Creek. Only the two in lead needed recoveries at Nolan’s with the rest finding the right line after realising the left side was a bottomless pit of soft sand. With lots of help and encouragement from the “grandstand” of campers and very friendly 4-footed lifeguards set up to watch the show. We couldn’t resist a swim as we took a break to celebrate the successful completion of these tracks over lunch.

The short passage to the Peninsula Development Road saw a couple of roadside mechanic stops, but we made it and split to complete the third leg of the trip. With 5 cars travelling North to the Jardine River ferry to meet back up with the 2 Prado’s and the remaining five cars heading south to explore more 4wding tracks before finally moving on to Cooktown.

The third and final leg of the trip started with no wait times at the ferry and a top up of supplies at Bamaga. Some cars staying at Loyalty Beach and others meeting at Aula beach for a lovely sunset.

The Northern Penicila (The Tip of Australia)

Friday 9th September

We had a late start meeting at the Bamaga bakery before splitting into 2 groups to sightsee
with the promise of meeting at Punsand Bay, and a group photo at the tip in the afternoon.
We travelled through Roma flat to Pinjinka and the tip, celebrating with lots of photos and a group
one with Bundy bear of course.


2 responses to “Cape York North Queensland”

  1. Storm Jones Avatar
    Storm Jones

    What an amazing trip! This trip truly tested all vehicles involved going down some of the hardest tracks in North Queensland. Big shout out to the Townsville4wdClub for organizing this! Looking forward to the next big trip.

  2. Rick Moink Avatar

    It was certainly worth the time and effort getting my truck ready for it. 10 days of absolute adventure with a club that cares and looked after all attendees, even when travelling 20km in 5 hours.
    Just be warned that Bamaga Rd is horrendous, full of corrugations, soft soil and a lot of dust.

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