Cape York 2014.

Dr Dave
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Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » September 7th, 2014, 4:19 pm

G’day folks.

My son and I recently got back from our trip to Cape York. We had been planning and preparing for it since last year, and I can’t believe it’s over already and we’re back at work. We left Toowoomba on Sunday the 3rd of August and were gone for 3 & ½ weeks. A lot of time, effort and money was spent on my 1985 Hilux 4Runner to get it into a capable condition to do the trip, and the little lux never missed a beat the whole time. We did the old telegraph track with ease. Palm Creek, Gunshot, Nolan’s Brook and all the other creek crossings were no obstacle at all :waycool: .

The fishing wasn’t as good as we had hoped but we got a few small ones here and there. I ended up with a fish hook through my thumb and had to cut it out with a scalpel, and also took off a toenail with a tent pole, but other than that we had a bloody fantastic time :D . Saw plenty of crocs, and a few sharks where we didn’t expect to see sharks (Kennedy Bend campsite in Lakefield N.P).

The biggest downer of the entire trip was having to pre-book the National Park campsites. I had a few heavy discussions with various N.P. offices before and during the trip about this stupid system :irked: (I will be making an official complaint to the department when I get the chance).

I’ll be putting up a few photos and videos soon so keep an eye out here.

Dave.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

Dree Mon
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dree Mon » September 7th, 2014, 4:39 pm

Same.. we planned for a yr to do the trip, so much prep ! ! soooo worth it ! we got back 3 weeks ago but had just over 6 weeks all up and still wasn't long enough , we did the same tracks and what fun it is up there, my alt had enough water,dust and dirt and gave out goin back into weipa, booking is a no lube kind of pain, look foward to the pics and vids ,Cheers

Dr Dave
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » September 7th, 2014, 9:15 pm

Our camp at Kennedy Bend was so good that we stayed there again on the way back.

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My son Jake caught a few of these Archer Perch at Kennedy Bend. We also saw a couple of sharks swim past, but didn't see the croc that people had told us to watch out for.

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This is what can happen when you get a fish off the line for someone else. From now on he has to get his own fish off. I sat there for a while with a scalpel from the first aid box and eventually cut it out. It was too good a lure to cut the hook off and push it through.

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About to head off up the Old Telegraph Track from Bramwell Junction roadhouse. This is where the real fun began.

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Last edited by Dr Dave on January 21st, 2015, 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

Tim_MacDaddy
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Tim_MacDaddy » September 8th, 2014, 9:57 am

Nice one Dr Dave, got anymore pics!?

mudjunkie
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by mudjunkie » September 11th, 2014, 5:16 pm

Got the makings of a good report. Keep it coming.... :rolleyes:

Dr Dave
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » September 11th, 2014, 7:38 pm

Thanks for having a look in here guys and I will be adding more photos and stories of what we did & where we went.
But, please be patient with me as I don't get much time to do this. I will add stuff now and then when time allows. This also lets me re-live the memories of the trip.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

Dr Dave
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » September 13th, 2014, 10:26 pm

I’ll give you a few brief notes on my 1985 4Runner to start the trip diary as I guess this is where it all started. About a year ago my son and I decided to fix up the Hilux for the trip. We knew that we had to do a lot of work to prepare the Hilux so we pulled out the 2.4ltr diesel and replaced it with a 2.8ltr diesel and a CT20 turbo from a Surf, plus a 3 inch exhaust. Put in an Ironman 2 inch suspension lift (leaf springs all round) and did my own 1 & ½ inch body lift. Fitted an old ARB bull bar and put a 12000 lb winch in there. Replaced the smaller tyres with 32x11.5x15 Maxxis Bighorns. Made my own fridge slider. Heaps and heaps of other stuff but I’ll put all that in another section of the forum later.
So the Luxy’s now ready to go, but I don’t have draws and shelves so we just got some heavy plastic boxes from Bunnings (and they worked well). We took 2 spare tyres and never got a flat, took 2 jerry cans and didn’t need them, the winch and recovery gear never got used and the spare parts box never got opened. The mighty Hilux, what a little beauty.

We made it to Rolleston for our 1st night, Charters Towers for our 2nd night and Cairns for our 3rd night. Stayed in a cabin there as it was raining, and that was the only night we didn’t use our tent. Beyond Cairns we had no idea where we would end up each day so we just made it up as we went along and, as it turned out, that was the best way to do it- make no plans. We went to the National Parks office in Cairns to find out about booking camp sites, and what a drama that was (found out that it's a $130 fine if you get caught camping without a booking). Did no good there so went round to the tourist information centre to try again and still did no good. We decided, after a phone call to the N.P. office in Cooktown, to go and see them when we got there.

Left Cairns the next morning and headed for Daintree. Jumped on the ferry and went up through Cape Tribulation. We had thought about doing the CREB Track but with the showery weather hanging around we gave it a miss and went up the Bloomfield Track. That turned out to be just a dirt road with a few steep hills, but it was still a little bit exciting as we were finally off the bitumen for a short time.


Virgin Rock at Springsure. If you use your imagination you can see the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. Well that's what the sign there says.
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The road from Clermont to Charters Towers was a good straight run. Got a few litres of diesel at Balyando Crossing Roadhouse for $2.05 a ltr. :urgh:
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We found these clouds on the hills at Cairns when we arrived, but they cleared a little by the end of the day.
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Pretty nice sunset at Cairns :) , then the rain came back during the night.
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I didn't know till I got here that the road to Port Douglas follows the waters edge for a while. You have to watch out for on-coming traffic cutting the corners.
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The rainforest was a nice change after the dry, hot trip from Clermont to Charters Towers a couple of days before.
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Last edited by Dr Dave on January 23rd, 2015, 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

Dr Dave
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » September 19th, 2014, 10:23 pm

Main Roads have just finished building a new concrete bridge across the Bloomfield River at Wujul Wujul so there’s no more river crossing there. Up the road a bit further we found The Lions Den Hotel and decided to stay the night at their campgrounds rather than go on to Cooktown. What a top spot, friendly people, nice atmosphere, great food and loads of cool stuff to check out. What made it a bit more special for me is that this place is in the Robert G Barrett book- Goodoo Goodoo, where Les Norton finds the writing on the wall.

Next morning we headed to Cooktown, and checked out Black Mountain on the way. First stop at Cooktown was the N.P. Office where the young lady was very pleasant to talk to and she tried to help, but we were still not satisfied, so she said to try at the Lure Shop. The guy with curly hair in there was great. He also had trouble getting into the N.P. system but after about 20 minutes he was in and made a couple of bookings for us. He had travelled up through the national parks so could recommend a few good places to stay, some good places to go fishing, and some helpful advice.


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Our camp site at The Lions Den Hotel.
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The creek behind our camp at the Lions Den.
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Jake with Black Mountain behind him.
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Last edited by Dr Dave on January 23rd, 2015, 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

RickOShea
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by RickOShea » January 2nd, 2015, 12:33 pm

Keep up the posts Dr Dave, I like reading about other people's fourby travels.
Not all hunting accidents are accidents...

terryhillbilly
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by terryhillbilly » January 4th, 2015, 12:44 pm

Hey mate,
Im from the gold coast and will planning a similar trip in the future. Could you give me rough idea of what the whole trip cost you?? (if you dont mind) Fuel, permits, fee's etc etc.

Cheers
Tez

Dr Dave
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Location: Toowoomba, QLD

Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » January 12th, 2015, 10:13 am

Hi Terry. I think it cost us somewhere between $3500-$4000 in total. That’s including extra fishing gear along the way, fishing charter, helicopter ride at the tip, expensive grog up there, a few bits for the Hilux (which we didn’t really need), and a few other unnecessary things. A few nights when it rained we got a room instead of putting up the tent, and we went to a few restaurants also, so all these things add up, and we probably could have cut back the spending a bit but we thought we may never get the chance to go again so spoiled ourselves a bit.

By far the biggest expense was fuel, which would have been almost half of the total trip cost. The most we paid for diesel was $2.05/lt at Balyando Crossing (between Clermont and Charters Towers). The 2nd highest price was at the Jardine River Ferry, $1.65/lt. At the ferry you pay $120 (or $130, I can't remember now) for your return ferry ticket which includes permits for travelling across Aboriginal land and camping anywhere you want (National Parks authority stops at the river).

The biggest hassle of the whole trip was the stupid pre-booking of camp sites in National Parks. The fee was $10 per night and I think they said the fine if you get busted without a booking was $120 (or maybe $150?). We did get checked out twice by rangers and all was cool when they saw the tag on the bull bar. My argument at the N.P. office was “how do we know where to book a site when we don’t know where we’ll be at the end of each day? And what if we like a place and want to stay an extra day?”. I suggest you do a lot of research into where you want to go, what you want to check out and how much time you want to spend. I bought the Hema ‘Cape York’ book and spent oodles of time on the net and Youtube.
Made our 1st bookings at The Lure Shop in Cooktown (the guy there was so helpful) and our 2nd bookings at Moreton Telegraph Station. Much better than N.P. offices.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you want.

I guess I should get back in here and do a bit more on this trip. I’ve been pretty busy with work (and my other hobby (building scale models)).
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

BennyT50
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by BennyT50 » January 12th, 2015, 10:42 am

Dave,

Keep going with your adventure. Love to see what you did.

We did it in 2013, also from Toowoomba.

Where was that campsite in the first few photos?

BennyT50
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Canopy, Bullbar, Tub Liner, ERPS, Snorkel, UHF, Dual battery, Side steps, Towbar, In-car camera.

Dr Dave
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » January 12th, 2015, 10:48 am

Benny, that was Kennedy Bend site #3, Lakefield N.P. First stop after Cooktown. It was so good we camped there again on the way back. Saw 2 sharks swim by in the river but didn't see the croc we were told to look out for.
Last edited by Dr Dave on January 12th, 2015, 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

Dr Dave
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Joined: February 10th, 2014, 6:51 pm
Location: Toowoomba, QLD

Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by Dr Dave » January 12th, 2015, 11:37 am

After leaving The Lions Den and checking out Black Mountain we rolled into Cooktown. Had a bit of a look around and thought it was a nice little town. Got a fantastic view from Grassy Hill Lookout where Captain Cook had a look around from when he got there. It's a funny feeling knowing that you're standing in the same spot he did all those years ago. We stocked up the fridge with a few more fresh supplies and filled up the fuel tank to within a spoonful of overflowing before heading off into Lakefield N.P.
Up until Cooktown we felt we were only traveling, and just now starting to feel the isolation of far north Qld, but once we left here we felt that we were leaving civilization behind and the real adventure was about to begin.


From Grassy Hill overlooking Cooktown.
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From Grassy Hill overlooking the Endevour River.
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Last edited by Dr Dave on January 23rd, 2015, 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'85 Hilux 4Runner, 2.8 turbo diesel conversion, 2" lift, 1.5" body lift, 32" Bighorns, goes anywhere.

terryhillbilly
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Re: Cape York 2014.

Unread post by terryhillbilly » January 14th, 2015, 8:53 pm

Thanks for the info mate.

Terry

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