After free camping just out of Mareeba at Mount Molloy we rose early and drove north. The huge sign at the start of the cape showed that all roads were open. We stopped at Split Rock and did the half hour hike to see the Aboriginal rock art on the walls of the rock. There were animals and human figures and spirits.
We then drove through to Laura to fuel up then found a side of the road stop to have lunch before continuing on to Musgrave Station to set up camp for the night. We arrived at the camp ground about 2.30pm. We could have driven on but really we are in no rush. Stopping and setting up early for the afternoon provides time for the kids to play, time for some washing to dry and time for me to sit here and write this!
The camp ground is behind the roadhouse and has filled up super fast with campers and tents. Only a couple of caravans have ventured this far. Lots of people with tinnies (boats) on the roof and a few groups of government workers have set up camp. As I sit here and type I can see more people pulling up to pay their $10 a night per person to have a shower and camp here. Cows surround the grassy camp site, desperate for some green feed. We are next to the gate in the shade and Craig has kindly opened and closed the gate about 50 times for people to drive on in.
|sign at Musgrave showing distances|
Road conditions from Laura to Musgrave were actually really good, we sat between 80-100km for most of it. We listened to some John Farnham and did a bit of singing to ‘take the pressure down’…. Quite apt since Craig has now let the tyres from 40 psi to 30 psi.
Yay, one of the kids wet the bed last night. So it was early to the laundry (shed with a washing machine in it) so I could wash sleeping bag, sheet and mattress protector and have it on the line so it could dry a bit before we left. Knowing there was no point in packing up straight away and rather than get angry at said child for not waking to wee, I went for a walk up the air strip, had a cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs then did some school work with the kids while Craig went and helped some old people start their van.
Even so we were still packed up, washing dry and away and ready to hit the road at 10.45am. Our latest morning start so far on this trip but lucky, as ive said before, we are in no rush!
From Musgrave we headed to Cohen were we stopped at the playground. There wasn’t much at this place. Just some houses dotted here and there a small school and this large playground. Afterwards we left and headed through Archer River, past the turn off to Weipa, then to our overnight camp here at Morton telegraph station. I just spoke to some ladies by the toilet block who had done the old telegraph track on the way up the cape and had to help some people off the roof of their car who had become stranded on a river crossing. Water had flooded their car and they had to climb on the roof to survive. Scary stuff!!
|trees at sunset, Morton Telegraph Station|
By far our biggest day driving on the cape so far. We went from Morton Telegraph station to fruit bat falls and Elliot falls, then over the Jardine river and up to our final camping spot at Loyalty beach.
Road conditions on the bypass were ok from Morton Telegraph to Jardine. But today we turned off and did a section of the Old Telegraph Track. This part of the road was rough, bumpy, deep water crossings and was best done in low range at about 20km an hour. Roads from Jardine to Bamaga were the roughest we have been on so far in our whole trip. Deep corrugations and hidden pot holes. We were shook around a lot and speed dropped to about 40/60km an hour. And that was probably a bit fast!
Craig has had a fair bit of 4WDing experience in his life but he says this road and the water crossings on the OTT were the toughest and deepest he has ever driven.
Spent our day at the caravan park doing washing and relaxing. Went for a drive into Sesia to a playground then to Bamaga to have a look around.
|Our camp spot by the beach!|
|The kids playing on the beach out the front of the camper. |
Today we touched the tip! Walked all the way out to the very northern point of Australia’s mainland. I was also lucky enough this morning to take a helicopter ride over the top of the tip and along the edge of the ocean, looking out at the small islands of the Torres Strait.
|One of the islands that surround the cape|
|Chopper selifies!!, note that there were NO DOORS on this helicopter!!|
|Cape York Peninsula! from the sky|
We went to the ‘Croc tent’ and got a Tshirt saying we had reached the cape. Kind of gimmicky and we look like a dork family, but Im good with that!
Took a drive in the afternoon and found the wrecks of the Word War II planes that crashed over the cape. Things are untouched up here and it is really eerie to see.
|World War II plane, this is pretty much how it crash landed. There were five men on this plane, all died on impact|
Had fish and chips by the beach for dinner tonight with fellow campers and watched the sun go down.
Today we headed down to the beach to get our mugs on the telly! Sunrise was filming at Loyalty beach and we thought we might get in the background. Turns out my kids must be so darn cute as Edwina asked them to be on the 7am live cross!
|The kids with Edwina off sunrise and their sign for nana!!|
After our five seconds of fame we headed to Sesia to catch the boat for our day trip to Thursday Island, which is part of the Torres Strait. We had a bus tour of the island and visited the old military site before heading to the ‘most northern pub anywhere in Australia’ for a beer and lunch.
Heading off tomorrow, it should take us another three days to get down, making our Cape ‘detour’ a nine-day journey, the same amount of time as we spent on the Gibb River Road. This trip was a lot harder than the Gibb but I think we are more organized this time (food, water and car wise).
|At the look out on Green Hill|
|The Jetty at Thursday Island|
So tomorrow we head down the cape road and back to the coast somewhere… not really sure where yet…. But I’ll keep you posted!!
|Again the car and camper did a super job on the dirt! Now time to clean!!!!|