After experiencing the rollercoaster ride of the Maytown Track on our way to Cape York, we knew we were still to have fun times along the OTL track. But that was still a distance away, as we planned to spend a couple of days at Weipa to restock supplies and enjoy some down time.
There were long line ups for the Jardine Ferry during school holidays
Cloudy days and a little drizzle meant the Weipa sunsets weren’t at their best, but that still didn’t dampen our time there. In fact, the weather has been quite damp all through this trip which made some of the tracks interesting to say the least! When it came to moving on from Weipa, we didn’t need to travel far to reach the magnificent Wenlock River. As one of the grand rivers of the Cape, it didn’t look too formidable when we crossed the bridge this trip.
However, many years ago, it was a vastly different story. Back during our first Cape adventure in the early 1990s, there was no bridge and the river water level was much higher. So getting stuck in the river when traffic was pretty well non-existent all those years ago caused a few anxious moments! Looking back, we did so many things wrong, but plenty of lessons were learnt. Even after numerous visits to the Cape since then still gives me a funny feeling each time we reach the Wenlock.
Taking the OTL turnoff at Bramwell Junction Roadhouse, a few of the creek crossings were pretty well chewed up since our last visit, causing a few issues for the trailers. But I guess that’s the beauty of travelling with others – there’s always a load of helping hands to help out when needed. As it turned out, when one of our group broke a radius arm, what do you do when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere on the OTL? Weld it back together of course! Watching this first hand was simply bush mechanic work at its best and something our group was pretty proud of.
Magnificent bush welding on our trip
You can’t come all this way and not visit Fruit Bat Falls and Eliot Falls, so needless to say we called in at both and took the opportunity for a swim. Facilities here continue to progress, but make sure you book ahead online if you want to camp at Eliot Falls as sites can book out quickly.
Our Cape York trip also included a sensational drive out to Vrilya Point. The log bridge only a short distance from the main road can turn a few visitors back, especially where the western side of the bridge is washed out. It’s not the initial crossing that’s the issue, but the tight angle coming back can make it difficult to line up both vehicle and trailer before tackling the return crossing. But the trip to the coast is definitely worth it if you make the effort. The magnificent sunrises and sunsets were second to none, and the fishing wasn’t too bad either!
Vrilya Point Log Bridge - not for the fainthearted
Back on the main track, we continued to the small town of Bamaga. Once you reach this friendly town, you’re almost at the tip of Cape York. But when there’s so many WWII wrecks scattered around town, we spent almost a day exploring the area before making our way to our camp at Punsand Bay. Having stayed here on numerous occasions, our site which overlooked the beach was fantastic. And if you don’t feel like cooking while you’re there, we can highly recommend the pizzas from the restaurant!
Allow a day to explore the WWII wrecks around Bamaga
Perfect campsite along the beach at Vrilya Point
The day had finally come for us to reach our last destination for this trip, the Tip of Cape York. It doesn’t matter how many times we visit because it still gives us a special feeling to reach the top. And to celebrate this visit (and as we’ve done previously), it was out with the kite as there’s plenty of breeze to keep the kite up!
Flying a kite isn't just for the kids!
So after five weeks on the road, we’ve had a sensational time travelling the NT’s Binns Track, the Bourke Development Road in the Gulf of Carpentaria, the infamous Maytown Track, and finally the OTL to reach the tip of Cape York. Any of these tracks are stacks of fun, so if you’re looking for a bit of adventure, we hope we’ve inspired you to try one of these tracks (or more) for yourself. It’s now time for us to turn around and head home in readiness for our next adventure!
So we’ll catch you next time.
Grant & Linda