by Bob Gilbert
(Albion park 2527 NSW)
My wife and i decided to take her 80+ parents to the cape because they have wanted to go there after hearing about the place from others who had been there on holidays.
We decided to hire a full off- road pop top camper to tow behind our landcruiser 76 series wagon with our rooftop camper.
We took a week to get to Cairns (only travelling 400-500 kms per day to not wear out the parents) stopping to look at waterfalls, undara lava tubes and other sites then once we left Cairns we stopped at every roadhouse and town we came to rest as much as possible along the way.
It was decided that the parents did not want to go off road (i would have been happy to take them).
After a week of travelling to get to Bamaga we arrived at the tip car park and the wife and i had purchased hiking sticks before leaving home for the parents to use for the trip over the hill to the tip at first they protested at using the sticks but with our insistence we carried on, (it was soon realised how useful they were) it took an hour to get there but the look on their faces was worth the effort we had our photos taken with the help of others who were there then took a similar trip back after a rest.
Another week back to Cairns after stopping in Weipa for a couple of days.
The only problems we encountered where on the way back at Bramwell roadhouse the fridge vibrated loose and fractured a copper pipe on the compressor, (there was a fridge in the back of the car as well so we managed ok because we were on our way home and other problem was a blown tyre but that was after 2 days back on the bitumen, (blew the side out about 100 m/m long the tyre guy said the tyres were lucky to make it that far they were over 10 years old).
The only things that we had to do extra to take the parents was make sure they had enough medication or at least prescriptions to get made up and help them with a list of clothes and shoes and the hiking poles were collapsable.
The pop top camper travelled well but i made sure it was at correct weight and tyre pressures and travel to conditions.
Thanks to the destination guide we had a reference to sites and flora and fauna.
So a great time was had by all and well worth the effort.
We didn't get to catch up with Katrim maybe next time.
Cheers Bob and Annette Gilbert