Camper Magazine's - Race to the Cape (featuring the best of Cape York in two weeks)

The mission objective was simple: assemble a crew including 4WDs, campers and a caravan, and burn rubber on the way up north to the Australian camping Mecca of Cape York. Over a pint or three it was christened Race to the Cape, and the plan soon evolved into a journey of epic proportions – which is bound to happen with any idea born in a pub. The itinerary quickly became jam-packed, and the next step was to form a crack team who would be willing to belt up the Bloomfield, rev through river fords, and more importantly, drink mid-strength beer for an extended period. It was an offer hard to refuse (aside from the beer), and it didn't take long to get the right people on board. We gathered from all over the country – Melbourne, Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and the Sunshine Coast – and met at our starting point of Cairns. We stocked up on essentials (beer, snacks, and enough toilet paper to equip the MGM Grand), and enjoyed our last night in air-conditioned comfort. We set off, headed for our first stop, Cape Tribulation. Morale was high, and the countdown to the first croc and cassowary spotting had started. The next two weeks stretched out ahead of us, on a red and dusty track. Exactly what we'd encounter on our trip to 'The Tip' was unknown. One thing was for certain though – adventure was on the cards.

Day 1 – Sept 10th

• Cairns to Cape Tribulation Camping

– depart mid-morning

• Cross Daintree Ferry

- $20 per vehicle and trailer

• Approximately 150km mostly sealed roads

• Food available on the road.

Day 2 – Sept 11th

• Cape Tribulation to Elim Beach, via Bloomfield track

• Travel through Hope Vale community –

max 1x30 case of light or mid strength beer

per person OR 1x750ml wine. Spirits and full

strength beer are not permitted.

• Approximately 180km on unsealed roads

• Final chance for supplies in Cooktown

• Refuel

• Optional – arrive at camp at 1.30pm,

un-hitch the campers and head along the

beach to explore Cape Flattery sand dunes

• Breakfast available at Cape Tribulation

Day 3 – Sept 12th

• Elim Beach to Musgrave Roadhouse via

Battlecamp Road and Lakefield National Park

• 117km to old Laura

• 165km old Laura to Musgrave.

• 282km total on unsealed roads with

scattered shallow river crossings

• Old Laura Homestead is long abandoned –

supplies unavailable

• Musgrave Roadhouse has hot meals,

showers, basic supplies and fuel

Day 4 – Sept 13th

• Caravans to Weipa

• Campers to Chilli Beach via Portland Road

– Lunch at Archer River Roadhouse

• 173km unsealed roads to Archer River

• Basic supplies, food and fuel available.

Please ensure you have enough supplies for

camp cooking this evening

• 193km unsealed roads to Weipa

– bitumen close to town

• Mining town so supplies and

workshops readily available

• 143km unsealed roads to Chilli Beach

• No supplies available – camp cooking

Day 5 – Sept 14th

• Caravans to Bramwell Station via main

roads – caravan walk throughs will be filmed at

the van park in the morning

• Campers to Bramwell Station via

Frenchmans Track

• Caravans – 271km unsealed roads

• Batavia Downs Road saves approximately

100km but can be closed

• Campers – 193km via Frenchmans Track

• Lunch will be on the road, please ensure you

have enough supplies

• Hot meals and showers available at

Bramwell Station. Expect campers

to arrive after caravans.

Day 6 – Sept 15th

• Bramwell Station to Cockatoo Creek

• Caravans via Bamaga Road

• Campers via Old Telegraph Track

• Hot food and fuel available at Bramwell Junction

Caravans will travel 137km on unsealed

roads – some back tracking to reach Cockatoo

Creek down Old Telegraph Track

• Will need to cross Sailor Creek – a timber

bridge is available to cross but will require

caution and may be in disrepair. At worst, turn

around and camp back at junction between OTT

and Bamaga Road. Re-convene in morning.

• Campers – 51km on Old Telegraph Track,

with eight creek crossings to take on. Winching

will be required and going will be slow.

• No fuel/food/phone reception after Bramwell Junction

Day 7 – Sept 16th

• Head to Fruitbat Falls and Elliot Falls

• Caravans to leave vans and go in with 4WD

• Campers to continue through Old Telegraph Track – meet at Jardine River Crossing

• Caravans to return to van then head up Bamaga Road – meet at Jardine River Crossing

• Camp at Mutee Head

• Caravans – 137km unsealed roads, with one long, deep river crossing on OTT to access

Fruit Bat Falls. Caravans are routinely left at Junction

• Campers – 139km if we proceed through to Nolan’s Brook. This will be a full day, expect

late arrival into camp.

• 119km if we cut short and leave

OTT after Sam Creek

• Jardine River runs 9am – 5pm but is a very

relaxed schedule so earlier arrival is preferred

• Fees will be $129 per vehicle

Day 8 – Sept 17th

• Mutee Head to Punsand bay or Loyalty Beach

• Half day to re-stock

• Half day for filming

• 32km to Bamaga – fuel and food available.

• 10km Bamaga to Loyalty Beach

• 50km Bamaga to Punsand Bay

• Hot food available for all meals

• Fuel available in Bamaga and Seisia

Day 9 – Sept 18th

• Filming day

• Food available at Punsand Bay and Loyalty

Beach for all meals

Day 10 – Sept 19th

• Trip to the tip

• Explore the region

• 5 beaches run

• WW2 plane wrecks

• Somerset ruins

• Approximately 150km round trip

• No food or fuel available

Day 11 – Sept 20th

• Day trip to Torres Strait Islands

• Green Hill Fort

• Anti-aircraft emplacements on Horn Island

• Most northern pub in Australia

• Food available on all islands

Day 12 – Sept 21st

• Depart Punsand bay/Loyalty Beach

• Travel to Bramwell Station – approx.

240km with a ferry crossing OR

• Travel to Musgrave roadhouse – big day, approx. 580km

• Fuel and food available at:

• Bramwell Junction

• Bramwell Station

• Archer River Roadhouse

• Coen township

• Musgrave Roadhouse

Day 13 – Sept 22nd

• Bramwell to Hann River Roadhouse –

400km unsealed roads

• Musgrave to Cairns – 450km mostly

unsealed roads

• Food and fuel available at:

• Archer River Roadhouse

• Coen

• Musgrave Roadhouse

• Hann River Roadhouse

• Laura

• Lakeland

• Palmer River Roadhouse

Day 14 – Sept 23rd

• Hann River to Cairns – 400km

• Fuel and food available at:

• Laura

• Lakeland

• Palmer River Roadhouse

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Camper Magazine's - Race to the Cape (featuring the best of Cape York in two weeks) - Destinations

  • NRMA Cairns Holiday Park
  • Cape Tribulation Camping
  • Elim Beach Campground

  • Custom location
    Battlecamp Road

  • Custom location
    New Laura
  • photo coming soon
    Saltwater Crossing Camping - Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP
  • Musgrave Roadhouse
  • Archer River Roadhouse
  • photo coming soon
    Chilli Beach Camp - Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP

  • Custom location
    Frenchmans Track

  • Custom location
    Frenchmans Track

  • Custom location
    Frenchmans Track
  • photo coming soon
    Bramwell Station Tourist Park & Licenced Bar
  • Gunshot Creek Camping Area
  • Cockatoo Creek Camping Area
  • Sheldon's Lagoon
  • Canal Creek Crossing Camping Area
  • photo coming soon
    Mutee Head - Cape York
  • photo coming soon
    Loyalty Beach Campground and Fishing Lodge
  • Cape York Camping Punsand Bay

  • Custom location
    Bramwell Station Tourist Park & Licenced Bar

  • Custom location
    Musgrave Roadhouse

  • Custom location
    NRMA Cairns Holiday Park