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Cape York News #043 - PDR Updates, Cooktown West Coast Hotel Reopens, Road Report
January 30, 2016

Hi everyone,

We are back home after a drive down to Cairns, so it's a good time for a first hand report on the PDR.

Also the good old West Coast Hotel in Cooktown is about to reopen the first section ever since the building was destroyed in the 2014 tropical cyclone Ita.

And I will also mention the rest of the roads' openings/closures.


In This Issue

• PDR Updates

• Cooktown West Coast Hotel Reopens

• Road Report

• Feedback Always Welcome



Starting from the north (actually, with Bypass Roads) .. Jardine River is low; the ferry is working from 8am to 5pm, and just south of the river there are big, deep corrugations as always.

bypass roads late january 2016

Then there is a new, sealed section on the Northern Bypass Road, that we saw getting done late last year.

pdr january 2016

South of the Bypass Roads, Bramwell Station is closed for the season, and Bramwell Junction is open. Further south, on Telegraph RoadMoreton Telegraph Station is open, and the landscape turns a lot greener - it has been raining more here than in the north.

bramwell station closed

After that, the PDR south of Weipa turnoff - more has been sealed than it was last time when we were through in October 2015. There are fairly long stretches between the Weipa turnoff and Archer River Roadhouse that are now sealed.

archer river roadhouse closed

Archer River Roadhouse is closed, and Archer River, which is often the one to flood and close the PDR, is very low. South of the roadhouse the road turns worse and gets more corrugated.

archer river crossing late january 2016

South of Archer, past Coen and towards Musgrave, the roadsides turn gradually wetter, it has been raining more and more the further south we get. The road between Hann River and Laura River is still soggy, and Laura River is still up and down from one day to another.

laura river late january 2016

The Lakefield - Cooktown - Daintree area is the wettest on the peninsula, and southern Lakefield is the area that feeds Laura River catchment, so at the moment, this is where the PDR is most likely to get cut off.

laura river late january 2016

The southern half of the peninsula is a lot wetter than the northern one (even though we have rainy days in Bamaga, the landscape further south is wetter and greener than up here).


On a different note, the West Coast Hotel in Cooktown, the beautiful old building in the main street that was destroyed in the 2014 Cyclone Ita, is finally reopening a section in February this year, so make sure to visit on your travels and have a beer :-)

cooktown west coast hotel january 2016

It is one of the two old pubs in Cooktown along with the Top Pub, and used to be a nice place to go, before its roof was ripped in the cyclone in April 2014. The upper level got soaked in the rain and was later taken down, and it has gradually been demolished since, in preparation to rebuild.


So the rest of the roads at the moment:

Portland Roads Road, Kendall River Road, Palmerville to Maytown Road, Kimba Gamboola Road, Dixie Kimba Road, Killarney Road and Starcke Wakooka Track until Starcke River boat ramp, are open.

Bloomfield Road, Musgrave to Pormpuraaw Road, Aurukun Road, Bamaga Road, Batavia Roads and the PDR are open with 5 tonne limit.

battle camp road closed

Lakefield Road, Battlecamp Road, Starcke Wakooka Track (north of Starcke River), Port Stewart Road, Whites Creek Road, Fairview/Palmerville Road, Dixie Road, and Lilyvale and Marina Plains Roads are closed except for local traffic.

 destination cape york
I really appreciate any kind of feedback, particularly 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!

Have a great day :-)


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