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Old 20-04-2012   #1
Scorcher
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Default 2012 Cape York travel season

What's going on up in The Cape at the moment??

Any road reports? Open/Closed??

Perhaps some of our Weipa & Bamaga correspondents can let us know whether the tidal wave of southern visitors has begun.

My countdown has begun...only 17 weeks till my gang head off on our next trip up there.

Looking forward to many trip reports from first timers & Cape York stalwarts....road reports, fuel prices, fishing reports, and changes throughout the Cape.

Cheers

Scorcher
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Old 20-04-2012   #2
foggy
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Hey scorcher,

We leave in five weeks for our first ever trip. (4 weeks) The PDR is closed 2kms north of laura to coen at the moment, so hopefully it will open shortly.
Lakefield not opening till mid may, hopefully, as we have campsites booked there 29th May.
Pre booking national park campsite was a challange for first timers. Had to do a crap load of research on driving times etc to get our arrival dates right. Hopefully, fingers crossed, no breakdowns or weather delays stuffs our intinery, or we will be stuffed for camping.

Can't wait, like you I guess, only I don't have to wait quite as long.

Graham
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Old 20-04-2012   #3
geoffjy
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Locals are getting through althoug water went over the Archer River again lasy night. Its back down below the caise way again.

Taking it easy its about 16 hours from cairns to bamaga towing a trailer however the road is not officially open yet.

There are lots of wash outs at the moment as well and easy to get caught out on one. Last week we had a bit of rain but its fining up again.

As for fuel prices, i think unleaded is around the $2.40 mark but am not sure. Bat might be able to help there as i havnt been to the servo for ages and we recently had a price increase.

Had the first cape tour arrive yesterday. Only 2 cars and 5 people in troopcarriers. They will be back in 2 weeks time.
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Old 20-04-2012   #4
Scorcher
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Thanks fella's,

I'm sure all those getting ready to head off will appreciate updated info from both the locals & those early travellers.

It's alway's a bit "iffy" around the Easter period through to early May.

How has the fishing been going Geoff? Have you managed to get out, or too busy at work??

We are heading up mid August for 3 weeks....plan to fish the Ducie, Skarden River, Cotterill, and No 1 & 2 north of Vrilya....hopefully will get 2-3 days on each.

Cheers

Scorcher
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Old 20-04-2012   #5
gclan
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8 weeks til we head for The Cape. I'm assuming all roads will definitely be open by then, but will keep a close eye on the updates as we get closer.

Hopefully some trip reports may come in before we leave.

56 sleeps. Can't wait
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Old 08-05-2012   #6
aquilla1
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Default They are open!

Roads are open as of Friday - albeit with either a 5 ton or a 25 ton limit, depending on which site you check.

None to soon - I am leaving Brisbane on Monday for a trip up, towing a caravan. Will post when I get to Seisa (ETA Friday evening) to let people know how the roads are early in the season. (Note, only doing PDR, with a drop in to Twin and Elliot falls, and probably a quick scoot from Musgrave to Hahn Crossing and back - got to show my old man some of the tourist traps!)

I think heading back on the 28th, similar story (without the caravan) but heading back through Lakefield and Bloomfield. Again, update these on my return.

I am hoping the PDR is a freeway again this year, minus the deaths of course!
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Old 08-05-2012   #7
foggy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquilla1 View Post
Roads are open as of Friday - albeit with either a 5 ton or a 25 ton limit, depending on which site you check.

None to soon - I am leaving Brisbane on Monday for a trip up, towing a caravan. Will post when I get to Seisa (ETA Friday evening) to let people know how the roads are early in the season. (Note, only doing PDR, with a drop in to Twin and Elliot falls, and probably a quick scoot from Musgrave to Hahn Crossing and back - got to show my old man some of the tourist traps!)

I think heading back on the 28th, similar story (without the caravan) but heading back through Lakefield and Bloomfield. Again, update these on my return.

I am hoping the PDR is a freeway again this year, minus the deaths of course!

Might pay to check at Musgrave before taking the detour into Hann Crossing. Lakefield road is still closed with gates locked at Saltwater Creek and Kalpower crossing.

Look forward to the road reports as we are leaving plan to be travelling through Coen on about the 29th this month. Already had to change a few things around with Lakfield National park not being open until June 1st.

Have a great trip.

Foggy
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Old 16-05-2012   #8
aquilla1
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Hey all,

Presently at the Quinkan Pub in Laura. Got to say, the ugly van is towing surprisingly well.

Did a quick blat into old Laura this afternoon - the track is in fantastic nick - smooth and highway conditions. Chatting to the construction crew at the Laura Bridge this evening - they have been keeping that track in good nick all wet season, as they have been collecting material from a quarry along there. Also, confirmation that the grader has completed work from old Laura to Kalpower, but still to complete from there out to Musgrave. However it is on track to open on the first.

Ran into a couple from Adelaide who have just been up in an Apollo camper, and reports are that it is a highway up there.

Unfortunately, I predict that if roads are so great, we will see a number of deaths again this season from people just driving to fast and forgetting they are still on a loose dirt surface.

So I miss the brief drive into Hahn Crossing, but will still get to show the old man some highlights up here.

Report further in a couple of days from Seisa.

PS - if anyone spots a 100 series towing a 22 ft 1970's vintage caravan in the next few days, say G'Day!
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Computer Training.
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Old 19-05-2012   #9
gclan
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Hope you're having a great time. Can't wait to hear more.
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Old 20-05-2012   #10
aquilla1
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OK - update on the latest.

I was impressed at the roads last season - now I am even more impressed. The PDR is in excellent condition. There are lots of roadworks on the way - stick to channel 40 and they will chat on the way through. There are a couple of soft sandy spots (one caught me out a little with the caravan - it tried to overtake me) and a couple of very minor corragations. Even last years bad spot near twin and elliot falls has improved 1000% - although it is still a little rough. I have heard fourth hand that they have put a huge amount of effort in over the last 12-18 months, and shouldn't need to touch it for another 4 years. So corrigations are a thing of the past.

The OTL is a different story. Palm creek is definitely getting worse - easy enough to drop into, however the exit is very muddy and slippery. One group of 5 took about 3 hours to winch the first car through, and then snatched the rest through. Nolans has claimed at least a second vehicle as well - write off. (Not sure of the make or model, got a lift with the owners in a hire car, and she was pretty emotional about it so didn't push the issue)

Once across the Jardine - roads are also good. Track from Punsand bay to the tip is a no go if you are solo. (As I found out) - got a little stuck about 3 kms from the end, so had to walk out to get a tow.

Big thing on PDR - take it easy - the roads are like highways, but they have still got a loose surface, so if you need to pull up in a hurry or even take a corner, you will come to grief.
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Such a big country, such little time!
Once a tourist - now a regular in cape - working
with the locals doing First Aid, Child Care and
Computer Training.
www.clpa.qld.edu.au
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