East Coast Drive


The East Coast Drive is an old goodie.

It starts at the popular spot Captain Billy Landing, and ends at Ussher Point.



Or do the other way if you like, the difficulty is no different.


PLEASE NOTE! This drive is only for the experienced, and preferably with more than one car. The rules, and the safety information you need to know before considering it are in the Destination Guide.

Rocky Headlands and Cliffs Area

We started at Captain Billy, just because having to get back home across the ferry, it suited us better that way.

east coast drive captain billy landing

The coast starts off very similar to the cliffs at the Captain Billy Landing itself.

east coast drive captain billy landing cliffs

For a long time, there are cliffs on your left hand side,

east coast drive cliffs

... nice looking,

east coast drive nice cliffs

... tropical vegetation as usual for up here,

east coast drive tropical vegetation

... and a lot of the time you drive on a rock shelf.

east coast drive rock shelf

Not only that, a lot of the time,

east coast drive southern section

... particularly in this, southernmost section,

east coast drive rocks

... there are a lot of rocks (more than on these photos),

east coast drive rocky

... and you always find your way through them,

east coast drive rocky section

... it's almost like there is always a track through.

To Hunter Point Area

Finally, the rocky and cliffy area ends.

east coast drive sandy section

You come to a sandy area,

east coast drive sandy area

... with thinner vegetation,

east coast drive thin vegetation

... mangroves in some creek mouths,

east coast drive mangroves

... and some pretty good sand dunes.

east coast drive sand dunes

It is the Hunter Point area, inland of which are Hunter Falls.

east coast drive hunter point

In the end of that area it changes again,

east coast drive thick vegetation

... as some thicker vegetation,

east coast drive rock shelves

... and some of the rock shelves come back for a while.

To False Orford Ness

Ahead is the coastline to False Orford Ness.

east coast drive false orford ness

It goes back to the sandy bottom and not so much shade.

east coast drive sandy bottom

There is plenty of treasure for the hunters of buoys, ghost nets and nautilus shells.

east coast drive treasure hunting

There are a few creek mouths,

east coast drive creek mouth

... and yes, we got bogged, twice.

east coast drive bogged

Not so much for any other reason than we brought the car that has already copped salt water,

east coast drive salt water creek

... meaning it stopped where a lot of cars wouldn't, and needed engine cooling (stopping dug us into the bogs, though).

east coast drive engine cooling

By now the drive has been on for long enough, that you start expecting the biggest challenge - the Orford Bay.

east coast drive cape york

That's where you work out the naming of the False Orford Ness and the Orford Ness  (which is where the Orford Bay starts :-)

To Orford Ness

So there is still more going,

east coast drive cape york australia

... along the sand dunes,

east coast drive bare vegetation

... bare vegetation,

east coast drive captain billy to ussher

... and creek mouths.

east coast drive creek mouths

Then the second bog,

east coast drive bog

... from which you get out of really quick with the local recovery guy :-)

east coast drive recovery

There were a few more creeks and,

east coast drive creeks

... at one point in this section, the rocks returned - bad enough that we tried driving in the sea for a while (obviously not recommended for your vehicle!).

east coast drive the rocks

And then, we finally, actually came to the real Orford Ness and the start of the Orford Bay :-)

east coast drive orford ness

Well! Here we are - the biggest challenge, the best part of this drive.

Crossing Orford Bay

It is 3pm - the lowest hour of the month's lowest tide.

east coast drive lowest tide

It cannot get any lower, but it also means that the water will come in fast, because the high tide will also be the month's highest.

east coast drive orford bay

The bay looks massive, and we think that even if we lost the car, are you even going to manage to walk out on the incoming tide?

east coast drive mark

On our own with no other car, and just been bogged twice - we wish we would be on the falling tide, not the lowest, so - no time to let the tyres down - let's go!

east coast drive crossing orford bay

Seventeen minutes of a nervous drive across sand bars,

east coast drive mud flats

... mud flats and shallow water,

east coast drive across orford bay

... and we were across totally safe :-)

east coast drive orford bay north

PLEASE NOTE! This drive is only for the experienced, and preferably with more than one car. The rules, and the safety information you need to know before considering it are in the Destination Guide.

Orford Bay to Ussher Point

Once across, there is the last bit to Ussher Point, and that drive we had already done previosuly from the northern end.

east coast drive orford bay to ussher point

There is first a sandy area with coastal dunes, and then it turns rockier.

east coast drive to ussher point

Right after are the Ussher Point caves,

east coast drive ussher point caves east coast drive ussher point caves
east coast drive ussher point caves east coast drive ussher point caves

... and then you get to Ussher Point.

east coast drive ussher point

Here was the first time we had the time to let the tyres down, and with diff locks the old "Salty" climbed up like no other one of our cars had done before :-)

ussher point drive off the beach

PLEASE NOTE! This drive is only for the experienced, and preferably with more than one car. The rules, and the safety information you need to know before considering it are in the Destination Guide.





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