Time to do the Tip! We packed up our caravan with all its comforts and we’re ready to rough it, in the tent for the next two weeks. No en-suite toilet or shower, no makeup (except mascara, just incase we went somewhere special of course), just a hand held mirror, to do my hair in, some roll on deodorant, and a pair of thongs. No fancy shoes or clothes for this trip.
We met up with the Stattons at Mossman and much to our delight it was raining. Six girls and four adults huddled under awnings, we were off to a great start 🙄.
The convoy began by traveling up to the Daintree and it didn’t fail us. It’s truly a beautiful part of the world whether it’s raining (as it was for us), or sunshine the greenery is amazing.
The track in there was pretty good a couple of exciting hills but nothing compared to what was to come.
We called into the Lions Den, a pub in the middle of nowhere on the track, had a beer, before reaching Cooktown. We considered staying there, but with a bit of time up our sleeve, we headed to Elim Beach, a very casual van park, no pool or water slide here, but a very pretty colourful beach. With different colours of sand, it was similar to Rainbow Beach near Fraser Island. The only issue was there was no swimming unless you want to risk your life to the crocs.
We had a lot of kms to cover so we were up and off making our way, a few pit stops for lunch and snacks, when we thought we’d try out some free camping. Our first was an interesting spot. Next to the road, in a large mowed area, away from the river beds. The first issue was the ground it was like straw and after trying to flatten it down a little, we ended up with a few holes on the floor of the tent and hoped and prayed the lilo’s would be fine.
Settling in for the night, I was woken by ALOT of noises which made me nervous. There was something treading around the tent. I nervously laid still, a little concerned, but realised it was probably just cows. Falling back to sleep only temporarily to be woken again by swooping and screeching, bats. I wasn’t worried by them, but the noise was making it hard to sleep. I’m pretty sure I blinked and it was time to get up.
Next stop was Bramwell Station, time to stay somewhere to shower. Well this was an interesting stop. We decided to go over to the bar area and yep we ran into some locals from home, not just one lot, but two separate lots also traveling the cape, we were starting to wonder if anyone was left down home.
When we first decided to head to the cape we were unsure about doing the infamous Tele Track, but now that we had the Statton family with us, we were more confident, we could help each other out if need be.
We started on the South track and were only at the entrance when we had herd there was someone ahead stuck. We finally arrived and I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard there was a chicken track. Palm creek, it was probably a great one to start us off as when we got there we couldn’t see what was on the other side of the bank. Cam of course had inspected it and didn’t let on how steep it was on the other side. When we came around the corner my eyes did widen and I did hold back a swear word or two. It was awesome fun. We laughed and giggled and were quite happy with our first achievement of this crossing. No help required.
Now I did join the Cape York FB site, so I had a bit of an insight to what to expect on some of the crossings.
We plugged along following our fellow Tasmanian friends and then here it was Gunshot. If you haven’t seen or heard about this crossing, google it and watch some of other peoples mishaps or goals. We stood and watched a couple but decided it definitely wasn’t for us and instead went around well not all of us did. One young lady wouldn’t get in the car to cross, infact she rather liked the idea of crossing through the water where a croc was sighted a couple of days earlier and being the good mum I was, walked her through. It was only knee deep and plenty of others standing in it, I’m pretty sure they were tastier than us.
The crossing wasn’t to bad, it was just getting up the bank on the other side that was the challenge, mind you the water was over the bonnet in one spot! The trusty land cruiser p@&$ed it in and Marcee, who was the support crew, got front seat and smiled the whole way up.
After a short break and a couple of other minor water crossings we pulled up for the night just off the track, South Tele track completed.
Off and ready to go we did some sightseeing first, with a trip to Fruit Bat Falls and then Elliott Falls where we went for a morning dip. The girls were jumping off the rock wall into the water and we swam up to the waterfall as far as we could and let ourselves flow back down with the current. Very refreshing and beautiful. Lunch was had and then it was on again.
This track was even bumpier and more challenging. We started off with a little creek crossing and came across a very interesting bridge. Josh in his Iveco crossed first, his car was much bigger and heavier, so if he could cross we could too, or was he just weakening it and would it break on us? I walked across to take much needed evidence photos, not because I was nervous (I’ve never been a fan of bridges).
I was always a little worried when we came to a crossing and there were people standing around, it was either because someone was bogged, or wanting someone else to go first to see how bad or easy it was.
We crossed a few more creeks but nothing too major before getting to Nolan’s Crossing, another one to google as there’s been a few mishaps on this one aswell. It’s very deep and can be soft, many a vehicle had been drowned in this creek, a couple while we were there watching and waiting to cross! The drop into it in a couple of spots is steep so this can make it hard also. Josh and Cam sussed it out and decided to take a different track which turned out to be the right one. The Iveco first across successfully and then us without any hesitations. A beer or two was well earned, the North was fought and won, no winches required.
It was an excellent spot to camp at Nolan’s, the six girls had a ball, splashing and swimming in the creek in their clothes, we couldn’t get them out.
We finally hit some half decent road the next day and by half decent I mean there were no more crossings, just kms of corrugated road and red dust.
We were nearly there, crossing the Jardine river on the ferry before arriving in Bamaga and stocking up on some food, very expensive food, a cooked chook was nearly $20. We camped at Loyalty Beach, Cam paying for our stay at the van park by doing some plumbing work came in handy for the budget. At one stage he had five young, girl apprentices, not sure how they went on the tools though.
The toilets/showers were a delight, with a beautiful green frog sitting in there, on the window seal. I sat there watching him waiting for him to jump on me, no time for mucking around, I was up and off, still pulling up my pants as walked out the door nearly. He was cute but I didn’t particularly want him on me unexpectedly.
Finally the tip of Mainland Australia. We had done it. It was a pretty special spot, especially thinking because we live right down at the bottom of Australia.
We spent a few more days exploring around the Tip and camped at a place called Somerset, virtually right on the beach, only to find out a few days later that it’s renowned for Crocs!
The time had come for the journey back down the dreaded corrugated red dirt track, camping at Elliot falls for a night and then calling into Cook town on our way home for a night.
Many thanks to the Statton crew for a great trip and lots of laughs and certainly a highlight of our trip so far.
We all definitely loved Cape York.