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Cape York News #014 -- Road Conditions, Cheap Camping in Cooktown, Whale Watching Season Is On
June 17, 2013

Hi everyone,

I have been quiet because in the big picture, the road conditions have remained the same as I last reported. The main roads are open, the smaller tracks are either closed or challenging.

But I have had people asking so I decided to give you a more detailed report. I don't do that too often because the conditions on smaller tracks can change too quickly so a detailed report can only be misleading unless I do it every day. Local rains can temporarily rise creek waters and close a track within hours.

You get your best information about the current conditions on a track from other travellers, once you are on the road.

But I know you want to know while planning, so below is what's happening right now.


In This Issue

• Road Conditions Report

• Cheap Camping in Cooktown

• Whale Watching Season Is On

• Guide Book Feedback Always Welcome



The main road north is open and good. Same for the road to Weipa. North of Weipa, the road to Mapoon is open and good.

The road to Lockhart River is open but there have been local rains, and this is one of the roads where the small fords can rise within hours. I once got stuck between two and had to wait about 10 hours for the waters to go down, so be aware that can happen.

Frenchmans Track is open but challenging.

The Old Telegraph Track is open and not as wet as it was right in the beginning of the season. Bypass Roads are open.

Up the Tip the main roads are open, some smaller tracks are not.

Back down around Cooktown, CREB Track is closed, Battle Camp Road is good, and Bloomfield Road is getting graded.

Running Creek Track is open but could be challening, Old Coen Track is not good; and Burke Developmental Road is open but not in the best condition in parts.

The main roads to Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw are open, but the track between the two is not.

Cape Melville and Starcke Wakooka Track I have conflicting information on, in case you are there and know, please let us know!


In the Destination Guide, I previously said that there is no free or cheap camping in Cooktown, only caravan parks and other, even more expensive accommodation.

Well that has changed. You can now camp along the unsealed Adelaide Street for $5 a night :-)

It's unpowered, of course, and you have to be totally self sufficient, but at least there is now a cheap option.

Destination Guide has been updated on this and other information. If you already have it, you can always get the latest version by going back to your original confirmation message and downloading it again. As soon as I do any updates, I upload the latest version there.


If you like whale watching, well the season has oficially started. Cairns and Port Douglas run whale watching tours.

But you can watch them for free from the coast, and some of the good lookout points are Grassy Hill in Cooktown, Captain Billy Landing Lookout, and Ussher Point (bring binoculars).

You can only see them along the eastern coast, not the west of the peninsula - as they migrate up north along the eastern (and western) coast of Australia, during the winter months when the waters get too cool for them in the south. They come up here to give birth to their young so you may also see some baby whales :-)


I really appreciate any kind of feedback on the Destination Guide.

Please let me know if you enjoyed it while planning before the trip, and while using the information once on the trip.

If you get any questions about anything, please feel welcome to contact me.

That's all for this time - happy planning, or happy travelling if you are already on the tracks!!

Have a great day :-)


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