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Cape York News, Issue #001 -- The Very First Newsletter!
June 12, 2012

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for subscribing - here is the very first newsletter of this website.

I only started to put this website together about a year ago
(have owned the domain since a few years back but didn't get started any earlier), and ever since I started I have been flat out with travels and writing, so there has been no time for newsletters.

Finally now, I am ready for it

I know it's a bit late as most of the roads are open and the season has already started, and I was particularly planning to give you updates on how the road openings were progressing.. but I will get to do it properly next year.

I am not planning to make this newsletter monthly, not even regular.

I will write when there is something to say, when there are updates to make
about Cape York's road conditions, businesses, events, campsites, weather and so on.....

I will also let everyone know about interesting reader submissions.

And I will let you know any news about my guide books - when they are updated and if a new book is coming out.


In This Issue

• New National Parks Rules Starting from this Season.

• Current Road Closures

• The Best Events in Cape York

• The Pocket Guide and the Destination Guide Are Out!



Until the last season it was easy to include national park camping grounds into your trip
. All you had to do was to pull up at a self registration station, put cash into an envelope, and put your tent up.

Not any more
. From February 2012 all Cape York national parks changed back to the old pre-booking system (you can book online, or by ringing 13 74 68).

This is not funny because it is impossible for Cape York travellers to plan ahead precisely enough to know what day you'd be at a particular national park. Even if you did, the stress would take the fun out of your trip.

So what choices do we have?

If you have mobile phone or internet reception, you can make a booking at your arrival. But the thing is, in most national parks you have no internet or mobile phone reception.

Of course, if you don't mind a little bit of planning during the trip, you can always make a booking as you approach a national park, once you are sure when you'd get there, and while you happen to be in the internet or phone reception.

Telstra Next G has the best reception, in all larger towns, as well as Weipa and the Northern Peninsula Area. But still, the most of the peninsula is out of their coverage too. There are also public phones in all townships and Aboriginal communities.

If you cannot book, you have no choice but camp outside the park.

The good news is, that is often FREE :-)

(Details about the spots near each national park are in the Visit Cape York Destination Guide, along with other FREE camping spots all around the peninsula).



The main road up - the Peninsula Developmental Road (which in fact goes to Weipa and not to the Tip) - is of course open by now.

But what about other roads.. from south to north:

Bloomfield Road and CREB Track

Bloomfield Road is open. CREB Track is closed right now, but may open soon by the sounds of it. It's a great four wheel drive track, the only thing is, it's often closed.

Roads to Cape Melville

It's too early to go to Cape Melville yet.

The Starcke Wakooka Track, which starts from Battlecamp Road and goes to Wakooka is closed.

The road from Musgrave, that goes via Lakefield National Park, is open but very slow going yet. And the last bit into Cape Melville, after Wakooka, is closed.

Roads to Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama

The road from Musgrave to Pormpuraaw is open. The road from Chillagoe to Kowanyama is open. The track between Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw is closed.

Roads to Lockhart River, Portland Roads and Iron Range National Park

Both the main road to Lockhart River, Portland Roads and Iron Range National Park; and the 4WD Frenchman's Road are now open.

Telegraph Road, Bypass Roads and the Old Telegraph Track

Telegraph Road, Bypass Roads and the Old Telegraph Track are all open.

Northern Peninsula Area

The main roads to the Tip, Somerset and Punsad Bay are open. The track from Roma Flats to Punsand Bay is open but very wet and boggy.



The three big, famous, much-photographed events in Cape York are held in Cooktown, Laura and Thursday Island.

The Cooktown Discovery Festival
is held in June every year and is a fantastic event with re-actment of the arrival of Captain James Cook and his interaction with the local Aboriginal People. The three-day festival has been held for 50 years and includes, apart from the re-actment, a parade, fireworks, exhibitions, markets, movies and musical entertainment. Admission is FREE but donations are welcome. Unfortunately, for this year, the event is done. But I will be in better time informing you about the date next year.

Laura Dance Festival
is the largest Indigenous festival in Australia and it's great. It's held biannually, and the next one is in 2013, I'll let you know about the date in time. In alternate years the festival is replaced by Laura Rodeo and Horse Races, which are held on 29. June - 1. July this year. The races admission is about $15 per person.

Torres Strait Cultural Festival
is another great Indigenous event, and even this is held every second year, and replaced by Torres Strait Music Festival in alternate years. The Cultural Festival is held this year - on the 21. September, and admission is FREE.



And finally - the Destination Guide has been out for a little while, and now the Pocket Guide is finally out too! Some of you already have it, but if you were an early subscriber, before the pocket guide was out, I promised that you will still get the guide once it's out. My plan was to include it in this newsletter. But now, due to the technical side of it, I decided that I will email it to you in a separate email where I will attach the guide. The email should get to you some time quite shortly after you received this newsletter. So expect it, and if you didn't get it, please let me know.

That's it for this time. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

Also, don't forget to write about your travels, and/or ask questions at Cape York Forums (the only reason for the small amount of submissions there is that the site is new and was not made interactive too long ago).

You will build your own page on this website, with your own photos and story - a great way to publish your trip report to show to friends and family!

Yep, you can also add photos and videos to your story (You can upload four photos, if you want to add more, send them to me as email attachments. Also, videos I have to add manually too, so just email them to me, for example by answering to any newsletter, and I'll put them up on your page).

So bring your camera, and bring your video camera/phone/whatever that takes videos and film the greatest fun and river crossings :-)

(You can write about any place in Cape York, or the whole trip if you wish, any story is good, not only the subjects that are suggested on the forums page).

I would love to hear about your trip, and we all love to read reader submissions and stories!!!

Happy travels!


P. S. If you cannot see the photo banner in the top of this page, and instead of links you see url adresses throughout the text, the fault is not in my end. You are using email software that only reads text. Consider getting an email account with Yahoo or others that can read HTML (and remember to change your email address, which can be done in the end of every newsletter.

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