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Cape York News #071 - PDR Closed, Wet Season Dramas, Answers about the Trailer Guide
April 06, 2018

Hi everyone,

It has been anoher busy wet season month but I wish I could have been busy writing another book instead of being busy dealing with the wet season dramas.

This wet season has been full on and for ourselves so far meant we are into our third week without power.

For the travellers - right now it means the PDR is closed and Coen Police are fining anyone coming through who doesn't have a local Cape York address.

In the longer term, you do not have to worry (because I get lots of people asking) - the wet season impact will be gone by the time most travellers start heading up in June (and July or after).


In This Issue

• PDR Closed and Police Is Enforcing

• The Wet 2018 and the Dramas

• Answers about the Trailer Guide

• Feedback Always Welcome



Before anything else - at this stage the PDR is closed, and if you come to Road Closure signs on the PDR north of Laura (or anywhere else by the way), if you ignore them and pass them you will be caught and fined by the Coen Police.

Sorry that some wrong-doers have made this needing a mention: These newsletters are subject to the Law of Copyright - the only way to legally spread them is a link to this page or a proper Facebook share (cropping text and photos out of it to use them to build one's own Facebook post is ILLEGAL).

pdr closed coen police

They have been enforcing the closure since before the Easter, and we still hear up here now, that travellers have been stopped with on the spot fines of many hundreds of dollars (this does exclude locals with a Cape York residential address).


This wet season has been full on - with all the major rivers up from Jardine in the north to Mt Molloy in the south, and floods in Cairns that were the worst in a decade (you can see the reason why my photos are from the NPA this year, and not from driving up and down the peninsula like during the last Wet Seasons. We have been stuck, even more than last year).

2018 wet season northern cape york
The road between Bamaga and the Croc Tent this Wet Season (here is also a video).

So, a lot of travellers are asking - will they now be ok after this 'massive' Wet Season if they are coming up in April, May, June, July?

The difference between those months is explained in detail in the "When to Go" Chapter in the Free Pocket Guide (you should have it if you are subscribed to the newsletters, but if you do not, just give me an email and I will send you one).

And if you got away in April in the last couple of years - they were a couple of very light Wet Seasons. They made this Wet look heavy, but in fact this Wet is more of a normal one, more how our Wet Seasons should be and have been when you look at longer periods of time.

2018 wet season northern peninsula area
The road between Bamaga and the Croc Tent this Wet Season

It means in June and July you should be fine - by then the rains should be gone, and rain impact does not last for long (the water itself is usually gone within days after it stops raining, but it could be longer if there is damage to the roads that take time to repair).

In April and May - one important thing to consider is the official end of the cyclone season on the 1. May - which is spot on - with many cyclones that have happened in late April, closing the roads and getting people stuck - but none after the early May (the latest ones have been in the first days of May). If you travel in April, you do have the risk of a cyclone, there is no getting away from that fact. If you travel in May, if there was a late cyclone there might still be cyclone impact during the first week of May. But from mid May on your plan is a lot safer, except that there may still be some late rains.


So back to this Wet Season, and as if it already wasn't wet enough - Cyclone Nora came and passed us by in the third week of March.

cyclone nora cape york
Cyclone Nora passed us on March 23.

It was first predicted to head down to Karumba and hit as a Category 4, but ended up hitting the coast near Pormpuraaw as a Cat 3, and then getting to Kowanyama as a Category 2 cyclone.

cyclone nora pormpuraaw
... and ended up hitting Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama on the night between March 24 and 25.

As Nora was passing us - the rains it brought got into our main power board, and blacked out the whole place with a spectacular light show indeed!

We have been with no power ever since (with only so many electricians in town and parts sent up on the barge - there are downsides about living in the remote paradise!).


The most upsetting thing for myself is that during this time I was meant to finish writing the Trailer Guide - but found myself spending days reorganising our whole power system to generators cord by cord, charging batteries and throwing all the food out of fridges and freezers (and it doesn't stop there - with no proper lights, no air conditioning, and minimal power, being on generators and batteries - there are not the conditions to write).

On our third week with no power and still not knowing when we will get it back, I have finally, and with great regret, given up the idea of trying to get the Trailer Guide out before this season (there are other updating and business maintenance tasks that need doing during the coming months), so I am afraid that the Trailer Guide will not get out before this season is over - but it will be out the very next thing as soon as I can spare just enough time!

cape york with trailer
Trailer Guide - Coming out next but will not manage before the 2018 tourist season.

Meanwhile, I do recommend considering, if you are taking your trailer, and are interested in the information - many people have got back to me saying that they bought the Caravan Guide instead - saying that it was worth for the information, even though they are taking a trailer.

There is info about the tracks you can get through when towing, and it does help you to understand what applies for a trailer. There are the places where you can leave your trailer up the Cape to go off and do the tracks that you shouldn't do with the trailer (there are harder tracks than the OTT!). What mechanical workshops do fix caravans up the Cape - they will also be able to fix trailers. Where are the FREE camping spots (on the Cape and on your way up here) that are large enough for caravans - there are the ones that you cannot get a caravan in - so some of that info also applies for the trailers. And there are discussions about roads, and off-road towing capacities etc .. and - just like the other supplement - the Dog Guide - the Caravan Guide is found inside the full Destination Guide :-)


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!

Have a great day :-)


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