Cape York trip

Cape York trip

Hi Katrin,

Just grabbed a copy of your detailed guide...looks great thanks.

We are planning a trip leaving the Hunter Valley NSW last week of May, thus getting into Cape country early June.

We'll be towing a off road camper trailer with our Prado which is reasonably set up (suspension upgrade, snorkel, dual batteries), and i'm interested in your opinion on travelling the likes of OTT, Iron Range NP, Rinyurru NP and Bloomfield track with the trailer.

Obviously weather will dictate choices at the time, but is the likes of the OTT for example best avoided whilst towing this time of year? Are we planning on going up too early given the more substantial wet season experienced this year?

Thanks, Ben.

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Hi Ben,
by: Katrin

Thanks for grabbing the detailed guide :-)

Your gear sounds good but you're right about the weather. Early in the season there are always chances for closed roads and the only sure thing is how impossible it is to predict. The first roads to open are the larger ones, the smaller the track the later it's likely to open. As much as i would like to tell you whether you can do the tracks you mention in early June this year, i simply cannot - it totally depends on the recent weather only weeks/days before you go (the total of the season does matter, but the recent weather is crucial). As i always say to early season travellers, your safest bet is to choose later dates.

Last year for example, we had a very late cyclone (that's all you need!) in May with lots of people sitting in Cairns waiting for even the main road to be ok to go. In 2010 there was a very late start unless my memory totally fails me the main road only opened on 7. June. You see around those dates in the early June, making it even a week later may help a LOT. By mid - late June the high season is happening, but only a few weeks earlier you are taking a big risk with the weather, particularly if your time is limited (so having to sit and wait hurts your plan). It's just because it's around the time the Wet season ends properly.

Considering the above it's too hard for me to try and predict whether you get through the OTT with a trailer. That said the OTT i always recommend to try - trailer or not, common sense is all you need (and SOME flexibility in your plan) - because there are bypass tracks to get out once you come to a point you cannot get through. It gets harder the further north you get, so you can always see how far you get. If you do want to go back home and say you did the WHOLE OTT, it's probably not a bad idea choosing a later date. And all that said there is nothing to say you don't have clear skies and no problems. That time of the year it could simply be from one extreme to the other.

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