Old Coach Road


The Old Coach Road is the hardest track in Cape York.

On some maps it looks like any gravel road,


... and many people do get caught thinking ...


... that this is like any Sunday drive between Maytown and Laura.

old coach road to maytown

We've seen them pulling trailers, driving kids and grandmothers,

old coach road australia

... along what they thought was like any other drive in the area.

old coach road track

The other drives are alright - just narrow gravel roads, but this stretch is different.

old coach road steep

And you don't even want to start working out how the 'old coach' would have done this track as an extention to the old Cooktown - Laura Railway.

old coach road hard

The truth is - it's since deteriorated, and if we weren't just using the old name, it would definitely be called a track and not a road.

old coach road stenuous old coach road tough

This track is harder than any other four wheel driving gets on Cape York,

old coach road steep hill old coach road tracks

... and if challenge is what you want, and if the Old Telegraph Track was not hard enough for you,

old coach road tricky old coach road valley

... make sure you do not miss the Old Coach Road (it is more extreme, and constantly so, than the pics will ever make it look like).

old coach road creek

There are some water crossings,

old coach road creek crossing mountain range

... but mostly this track is about crossing a high, steep moutnain range.

Northern Half of the Old Coach Road

It goes from Laura to Maytown,
   old coach road to laura

... which is the old centre of Palmer River Goldfields.

old coach road queensland old coach road queensland

It is alright first but right after Jowalbinna in the northern end of the track,

old coach road to laura

... it gets hilly and it turns into 4x4.

old coach road cape york old coach road cape york

In the first part of the Old Coach Road you are climbing up the hill, 
   old coach road

... along some fairly rugged ground.

old coach road 4wd old coach road four wheel drive

Then you get up the hill and expect to descend,
   old coach road laura maytown

... but it takes longer than you think as the track keeps going up and down,

old coach road hill

... but you are still high up on the mountain range.

old coach road to mountain range

Southern Half of the Old Coach Road

About half way you enter the Palmer River Goldfields Reserve.
   palmer goldfields reserve

There are some great views,

old coach road view

... historical sites,

old coach road historical site

... and the constant thinking ...

old coach road hilly

... of where to put your wheels. 

old coach road watch where put wheels

The Old Coach Road is tricky and definitely not recommended for people with no four wheel drive experience (but yes - apparently with a good enough driver can be done in an old Pajero - we just tested ;-)
   old coach road pajero

Full detail of this track (and all the others on the Peninsula) are in the
Destination Guide.





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This complete 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)



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