Crossing Jardine River October 1988

Crossing Jardine River October 1988

by Trevor Gunter
(Bathurst, NSW, Australia)

In Sept to Nov 1988 our family and other went to Cape York. We visited lots of other places on the way, Brisbane Expo 1988, Fraser Is, Great Barrier Reef and the Gulf Country.

We had 2 weeks available to go from Cairns to the tip and back to Cairns. Went up the OTT and came back on Development Road. Crossed the Jardine on Sat 15th Oct 1988. Went to the tip the next day and re-crossed the Jardine the following day on Sun 16th Oct 1988.

We camped on the bank of the Jardine overnight on the return leg. A great trip. Glad I got to cross Jardine via the ford. Felt very special.

I had a Landcruiser HJ47. For the trip north I let the tyres down. In hindsight, not enough. 2nd gear low range. Hit the really soft sand about 3/4 of the way across. Rapid change to 1st low and wheels just kept on turning and pulled through. My mate had a FJ45 (Petrol), he did 2nd low as well. He also nearly got stuck in soft stuff but managed better that me.

For return trip, I let the tyres down even more, (but still not enough). 2nd low again but still had to perform rapid change to 1st low.

Camped on south bank of Jardine overnight. Walked across river next morning across ford. Wheel marks of where we had traveled were still visible in sand bottom. Sand was very soft where we nearly got stuck. Water depth not all that great as we we late in season.

Both my mate and I carried Betamax video recorders for trip so video documented entire trip.

Youtube link to Jardine Crossing extract video.

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Jan 15, 2018
Hi Trevor,
by: Katrin

Love it !!!

Oct 19, 2018
Great Times
by: Mark

I also did Cape York in 1988 before they built the Wenlock River bridge and all the crazy tourists started wrecking the place like cutting down the original sign at the tip of The Cape. I remember camping on the side of the Airstrip at Musgrave Telegraph Station, no fancy camping ground then.

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