Austin 7 to Cape York

Austin 7 to Cape York

by Lang Kidby

1926 Austin 7

1926 Austin 7

We are driving a 1928 Austin 7 to Cape York in late June to recreate Hector MacQuarrie's first drive to the Cape in 1926. We are going unsupported.

We have driven veteran and vintage cars all over the world including Peking to Paris so have no problems with the vehicle mechanically making it. Our 4X4 experience covers 50 years over the whole of Australia and several other countries.

We are planning the Telegraph route which we would like to do for historic reasons but want the latest on the current creek situation and possibility of chicken routes around the hard spots.

The Austin 7 only weighs about 400kg loaded and we will have no problem carrying a long rope to be pulled through by probably amused four wheelers but we don't want to become a blight on the escutcheon of progress by blocking the track.

Thinking of doing the old Jardine crossing wrapping the car in a tarp and floating it across (I used this method on really big rivers in Papua New Guinea with some Suzukis). We don't have time to build a raft like old Hec and his mate Dick did in 1926.

Always happy to receive advice and would appreciate a real time report from the early 2015 travellers on conditions and your suggestions for avoidance of the deep crossings.


Lang and Bev Kidby

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Jul 11, 2015

by: Katrin

No worries Lang I have been no better, and sorry we missed you by so little.

I so agree on the locals - and don't even get me started on the speeders - I once had a huge rock sent right towards my head by a passing trailer wheel, lucky the windscreen just held - the large hole was scary to see. They don't realise they can kill someone!

Well done Daisy - looking forward to reading the blog :-)

Jul 08, 2015
Great circle completed
by: Anonymous


Sorry about our tardy replies and updates - Telstra WiFi dongle has not been capable of handling internet connections.

Well, we made it there and back and have just arrived in Cairns exactly 2 weeks since we departed.

We are about to update our detailed blog with photos on and it should be up by this evening (Thur 9th July)

Interesting trip, lots of nice people, lots of Prados with camper trailers who do not understand you don't cut back in closely after passing on dirt roads showering people with stones and creating a total visibility "dust-out". One of nature's failings is she did not make stupidity painful.

Having said that the great majority of travellers and locals were courteous and very interested in the history of Cape York motoring - particularly the kids. We could not have met a nicer bunch.

Mark at Top End Motors in Seisia and the boys at Bramwell station helped tremendously when Daisy faltered a couple of times with a sprained fetlock. She is purring now and we came back into Cairns through Mosman via Mount Molloy. A heroic effort from a 90 year old baby!


Jul 07, 2015
Hi Lang and Bev,
by: Katrin

Thanks so much for keeping everyone updated!

And sorry for my late reply - it's this time of the year, we are a lot on the road ourselves and often disappear into the bush and out of internet reception.

How are you going?

Where are you now?

Maybe a good idea to add a date :-)

What's the rest of the plan, i would love to meet you both and Daisy!

Thanks again and happy travels!


Jul 03, 2015
by: Meredith

Saw Daisy heading north on the Southern bypass road 2 days ago. Us in a well sprung, air conditioned and relatively dust proof Prado. Cannot believe how determined you must be to do this trek without such modern comforts. Good luck!

Jun 30, 2015
Driving Miss Daisy
by: Pete & Krys

We have been following the departure and the trip. We felt so lucky to see Diasy parked at Coen last night. What a great adventure. Wish we could tag along. Wishing you all the best.

Jun 29, 2015
by: Lang Kidby


The Austin (now christened Daisy by Bev) is still plugging on.

Went from Cooktown to Laura via Battle Camp Road on Saturday and spent Sunday night at a beautiful camp site at Hann Crossing in Lakefield Park.

This morning dropped in for a welcome cup of tea at Lotusbird Lodge before refueling at Musgrave. Not having been on the main Cape York route up until then we nearly fell over to see the bumper to bumper traffic!

The corrugations to Coen are a bit ordinary for a car with no shock absorbers but despite having no brakes and losing spark Daisy got us here ready for a big day to Weipa tomorrow.

Everyone is very interested in the car and the history so all is well.


Jun 26, 2015
Welcome to Cooktown
by: BIG4 Cooktown Holiday Park

Welcome to Cooktown and we wish you all the very best for your journey north. Safe travels......will keep track of your progress.

Jun 23, 2015
Austin 7 departure
by: Lang Kidby


The little Austin is loaded and ready to leave Cairns on Thursday. If we get up the range to Kuranda we will be at Lakeland that night, Cooktown on Friday, Laura (via Battle Camp Road) on Saturday and Hann River campsite in Lakefield Sunday.

This of course assumes a 90 year old car will operate flawlessly - so subject to itinerary massage!


May 29, 2015
Top End Motors - Seisia
by: Mark

Hope to see you when you reach the top, drop in & say hi...cheers! Mark - Top End Motors Seisia

May 27, 2015
Hope we see you
by: Greg and Dee

Yes, we're heading up the Cape the same time, so it would be great to see you and get some photos! Hopefully you will be able to keep everyone informed as to where you plan to be as there are a lot of people headed up that time of year, will add to the great experiences they will have.

Greg and Dee

May 11, 2015
Hi Lang and Bev,
by: Katrin


You likely know June is still relatively early season, which means the water levels are a bit higher than in the end of the year. That said you have picked a good year, the Wet Season was pretty much non-existent so the levels will be lower than we are used to.

Great effort - would like to see, would love photos and videos afterwards. We will be in Weipa in late June, and around Bramwell Junction area in early July, would love to meet you to take photos and make a page for the website :-)

People - any early 2015 travellers on the tracks now?

Old Telegraph Track? Know the latest on the current creek situation??

Please let Lang know what the tracks are like by clicking on "Click here to add your own comments" and adding one.

Thank you !!!

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