Going up Cape York from the western coast?

Going up Cape York from the western coast?

by Ro

What is your advice going up Cape York from the western coast?

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Hi Ro,
by: Katrin

Thanks for your question.

Your question is a little vague - do you mean western coast of Australia?

Or western coast of Cape York?

Hi Katrin,
by: Ro

Sorry, I was a little vague. We are planning an around Australia trip for 12 months starting in central NSW in July, with our 4 children, and will be entering the cape country after being at Lawn Hill national park, across to Normanton, and then up.

Heaps to see on the routes you describe, but hoping to do them on the trip south.

Any advice about traveling north from Normanton
would be greatly appreciated.

Your booklet has been very informative, filled in a few gaps, and backed up other information sources.

Hi Ro,
by: Katrin

Glad the pocket guide has been helpful :-)

Sounds like a great trip you are planning there!!

Unfortunately there is no road all the way up along the west coast of the peninsula. Any north from Musgrave Roadhouse you pretty much drive the same road up and down, with a few temporary exceptions (Weipa, OTT, Bypass Roads etc).

But south of Musgrave Roadhouse you have a few more options. The most usual way to get in two different roads (instead of driving the same way up and down) is Mareeba - Lakeland - Laura - Musgrave one way, and Musgrave - Lakefield NP - Cooktown - Cape Tribulation - Daintree - Mossman - Port Douglas - Cairns the other (or vice versa).

From Normanton, for starters your only choice is to enter Burke Developmental Road, but after the first third of it you have the choice of either follow it all the way to Mareeba and do just what i described above (that is the best road and you get in Chillagoe which i find quite interesting); or you could take some of the shortcuts from the Burke Developmental Road to Peninsula Developmental Road, which does save you kilometres BUT they are smaller tracks, more remote and less reliable (then again more adventurous..), and they may not be open early or even in the middle of the season (they are open more certainly in the end). To get the best idea of them - and all the other places mentioned - i always recommend a HEMA map of Cape York - they are the most detailed ones available.

(There is also the opportunity to drive to Musgrave Roadhouse via Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw on southern west coast, although you cannot carry any alcohol that way as they are Aboriginal communities with total alcohol ban. To do that you turn off the Burke Developmental Road after Dunbar station, about one third in to the BDR).

Hope this helped, don't hesitate to ask if you have more questions.

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