Southern section of the OTT

25/7/13 – We slept good, packed up and on the road by 8.15am with our companions behind us.

First creek crossing for the day was North Alice. First entry had a steep drop into the creek a bit further around was another entry both used the same exit, all got through  no worries.

North Alice 1 North Alice

There are few dips, bumps, slopes and tight corners along the track but it’s all great fun and some of the old telegraph poles are still standing.

Old-Telegraph-pole

Dulhunty River crossing was beautiful. Lovely waterfall just below the crossing, deep water for swimming. Chris went for quick dip in the cool waters; there is also a large camping area. A ranger pulled up and said it was good and safe swimming here but further down, scary.

Dulhunty Waterfall-at-DulhuntyDulhunty-CrossingDulhunty-Creek

With Bertie Creek you have to drive down the bank a short distance before crossing the creek due to big granite holes. All made it through no worries, another beautiful creek crossing great for a paddle.

Bertie-CreekBertieCrossing-Bertie Rest-of-the-gangParking

Next was Cholmondeley Creek which was not listed on the Hema map but is named as this in Ron & Viv Moon’s book “Cape York an Adventurers Guide”, it had a bit of a rough entry but the crossing itself was easy. One of the other guys did have to watch that his auto gas tank didn’t hit bottom.

Cholmondeley-CreekCrossing-Cholmondeley-CreekIn-we-goNextCareful

Next the infamous Gunshot, whoo hoo we came, we saw, we conquered, yeah. Road in is a bit gnarly in places.

Infamous-GunshotWhich-OneAnother-WayOur-entry

Some of the entry options.

Let's-GoGunshotSteve-and-Sue

Bit of entertainment as we watched others come down, one came down an entry that was a little bit more adventurous.

Splash

Exit

We all use the same exit.

Slow going on this track, loads of fun 🙂 Next up was Cockatoo where we were planning on stopping for the night. Cockatoo creek was a bit more challenging than expected. There was a steep descent over some rocks with a big drop of on one side. Chris had to guide 3 4wd down the drop. Our convoy of trailers decided we would do a bit of track work and fill in the hole with rocks and dirt.

Rocky-EntryCockatoo-entry Roadwork

Next challenge was the crossing itself, the people Chris helped down told us where the big holes were but our guys still walked the creek. People were placed near the deep holes with the driver doing an “S” through the creek. All got through no worries it was great having a few extra people as spotters. Everyone helps each other on these roads.

Crossing-CockatooAround-the-spotters Cockatoo-Creek

Steve

Steve one of the other My Swaggers joining us on this leg. What a dag 🙂

Several other people just ploughed through the middle bashing their way through doing damage to their vehicles.

Campground is a great spot with many different areas which were full for the night. We walked around and chatted to a few people hearing of their war stories of damage. The water in the creek crossings might be down this time of year but the track is still rough, maybe even rougher in some parts than the first lot of people through as the tracks get churned up.

Cockatoo-Camping Cockatoo-Camping-Spot

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Eliot Falls

26/7/13 – It was a quiet night and we had a good night sleep. Most people were on the move early, we didn’t have far to go today so we stayed and charged up batteries and did some washing before heading out.

We parted with our fellow companions of the last few days, nice people, great company and security for all concerned when doing the crossings if something should go wrong.

Flies are still a pest up here.

Scrubby Creek was a reasonable deep crossing a few km along the start of the northern section of the OTT and only a few km before the turnoff to Eliot Falls. It was reasonably deep and caught a few people out. We know of several who turned back at this point, someone was reversing back up the hill when we arrived not prepared to do it. Most weren’t aware the crossing was that deep or long. It was about 900 mm in the deepest part where we crossed. We went along the right side where it was a bit shallower. There is also an exit very close to the entry that goes up a steep hill and a sharp turn that we couldn’t do with the trailer so had to do the long crossing.

Scrubby-CreekScrubby-Creek-2

We taped up the fridge and shower vents so no water went in there. Wiped the Ute door seals and sprayed them with silicon spray as we were advised to do and put on the water bra/blind. All worked a treat no water got in trailer or Ute. One guy took a photo of the water blind.

Crossing-Scrubby-CreekCrossing-Scrubby-Creek-1

Was actually a tad deeper than this.

Water-Blind

The camping area at Eliot Falls is great, we are very happy with our camp site, long enough that we don’t need to unhook and wide enough to set both awnings up, quite private, with a tap across the road. It Is a bit further from the falls than some sites but this should also make it quieter. The sites are well spaced out, all seem to have fire pits.

Wow wow wow wow I am blown away. Often you see photos of things that look awesome but when you turn up you are disappointed as they are not quite the same. Well the photos of the falls here do not do the place justice. The Saucepan blew my mind. The deep water was jade coloured and clear crystal waters cascaded over the falls, was so amazing. The water is deep and clear in some places; others have large rocks you can stand, there are also little falls here and there that feel warmer than the main pool of water.

The-Saucepan-1The-Saucepan

Further up the creek the water is shallower and you can walk ankle deep in places along the creek. Other areas are deeper with sandy bottoms. There was a “V” section that seemed out of place in the shallow water with a big drop that when we stood in it came just below our shoulders, must of looked funny to others near the falls just seeing these heads above the water.

Lovely-SpotHelp Under-foot

After a cuppa we went for a walk to Eliot Falls and Twin Falls, both were amazing. People were swimming at Twin not too sure about swimming at Eliot, the flow and the current is quite strong. They would be an amazing site to see in the wet season.

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Fruit Bat Falls

27/7/13 – Would not have even known there were others around last night it was so quiet. We went for a swim this morning at Twin Falls, good time to go as there weren’t many around, like having a natural spa, awesome.

Twin-Falls-2

Swimming-at-Twin-Falls Swimming-at-Twin-Falls-2

Twin-Falls-3

Twin-Falls-4

Took a few photos at the Saucepan before it started to rain and we headed back to camp.

The-Saucepan-3

After lunch we checked out the next crossing up Canal Creek, should be no worries. Met a few local people who were talking about being careful with Nolan’s due the depth, one guy camped there last night and watched a few people ruin their cars, so he said.

Then a trip back to Fruitbat Falls. We pretty well had the place to ourselves. So timing where people were concern was perfect but the weather wasn’t kind, with overcast skies. It has actually rained on and off all day.

Fruitbat-FallsFruitbat-Falls-3Fly-CatcherFruitbat-Falls-4

Fruitbat-Falls-5

Fruitbat-Falls-2

Swimming-at-Fruit-Bat

Fruitbat-Falls 1

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Falls falls beautiful falls

28/7/13 – We woke to blue skies and for a short time thought we would have a nice sunny day. Not to be, by the time we got to Twin Falls with the cameras by 8am the skies were turning grey again.

Twin-Falls Twin-Falls-01

We pretty well had the place to ourselves up to lunch. We spent the day taking photos and going for a swim in between the drizzle of rain.

Elliot-Falls Elliot-Falls-1 Elliot-Falls-2 Elliot-Falls-3

Eliot Falls, great to photograph not too sure about swimming in there.

Saucepan 1 Saucepan

The Saucepan, we had great fun swimming and exploring all the little pools and rocks. The water was very clear.

Beautiful Breathtaking Waterfalls

Some videos of the amazing waterfalls and swimming areas in the Jardine River National Park. We really loved our time here and look forward to going back and spending a week in the National Park.

Eliot Falls

Twin Falls

The Saucepan

Fruit Bat Falls

Northern Section OTT

29/7/13 – Today we complete the northern section of the Old Telegraph Track. We were packed up by 8am and then went down to The Saucepan for a quick dip to cool off.

First creek crossing was Canal Creek, no problems, just had to watch out for a few holes when approaching the creek.

Canal-Creek Canal-Creek-1 Canal-Creek-2

Next was Sam Creek, the entry had a few dips, we took the path to the left as straight ahead had a big drop off. There was also a bit of a tight around a corner on the way out.

Sam-Creek Sam-Creek-1 Sam-Creek-2

Mistake Creek had a long windy road down to the creek it was another beautiful creek. The ground is white sand, pretty easy crossing.

Mistake-Creek

Mistake-Creek 1Mistake 2

Cannibal Creek. We were cautious with this one as we had seen a photo where someone had rolled their 4wd and landed on its roof in a big hole. The tightness of the corner around the bend in the creek was our main issue with Chris having to do like a 5 point turn in the creek to get around. Water was over the bottom of the trailer doors while he was doing that. Will test the seals, the vents are still taped up. We saw the massive hole on the left where the person went in and wheel marks where people had gone awfully close, we made a wide birth.

Cannibal Cannibal-Creek Cannibal-Creek_1

The road and creek crossing on the north are more challenging and even more so with a trailer in tow. Lots of ruts, dips, narrow and tight corners. Often finding ourselves on quite an angle. Chris would pump the airbags up on the dip side to help level us up a bit.

Freak me out, talk about a heart pumping nerve cracking crossing Cypress Creek is. A log bridge that is not much wider than the Ute tyres. My heart was in my mouth every inch. Bit by bit slowly does it, checking lines making sure the wheels were where Chris said he needed them to be. Phew Ute over, the trailer tracked across beautiful.

Cypress Cypress-Bridge Cypress-Bridge-1

Next was the turn right after the bridge with a dip on one side. Chris had to take a wide birth to get both vehicles around and not in the dip. Only a 3 point turn this time. Crikey that was a challenge, Chris did very well.

Cypress-Exit

Cypress-Cnr

Rather slow going, bumps, turns, holes, ruts, creek crossings, just an average day driving on the Cape.

Logan’s Creek. We had heard by several different people that Logan’s was murky dark water and they didn’t walk it due to the risk of crocs. Well we weren’t going to walk it either if there was a risk of crocs. Trouble is there was still a risk as we had no idea how deep it was and what line to take. We decided to put the water blind on just in case. Chris put the diff lockers on and gave it some juice straight through the middle. Struth, it was deep, right over the bonnet, hit the windscreen, we worked out it was about 1.2m deep in some of the holes we seemed to find. Whoo hoo the Ute is doing awesome, as is the driver. Next up the big one Nolan’s Brook.

Logans-Crossing

Logans

Nolan’s Brook was deep, about 1.1m deep, we think Logan’s was deeper. Issue is the sandy bottom. 3 4wds had gone before us and were drying out one car that got stuck going up the sandy bank and got stuck in the deepest water. His mates had to snatch strap him out. We asked them if they would mind being the support vehicle. A long plasm rope was attached to both vehicles ready if we need pulling put. Some guys in the water were taking up the slack, keeping the rope out of the way. All set, let’s go 🙂

Nolans-getting-ready Nolans-in-we-go

As you go into the water there is a bit of a drop.

Nolans

Up a slight hill before dropping into the deep water.

The support vehicle kept the tension on the rope but he didn’t pull us out. We would not have crossed without that support vehicle in place.

Nolans-deep

We had heard it was 1.7m deep here earlier in the season. People were using an alternative entry to the right of this main entry. That entry was pretty rutted out by the time we got there.

Nolans-up-she-comes

Up she comes.

Nolans-Yahoo

Yahoo Chris made it through on his own steam. Wow so awesome we have made it. You can see the water marks on the Ute doors and the depth on the trailer than had we got stuck we would have certainly got water in both vehicles.

The drive out was like driving on the creek, some very steep sideways bit.

We drove up to the Jardine River and had lunch and checked out the old Jardine crossing. It’s a long way to cross in croc infested waters.

Jardine-old-crossing

Ferry over the Jardine cost $130 for cars only and $145 for car and trailer for a 40 sec ride. It’s so quick you do not get the opportunity to take photos on board.

Jardine-Ferry

We have pulled into Loyalty Beach Campground for 3 nights. Bit like bush camping, no designated campsites, plenty of room, generators can be used up until 8pm, no mention of a start time which they should have. Cost $24 a night. We are back off the beach a bit but will a view of the beach and islands. Trying to get out of the wind.

We were pleased to see our fellow my swaggers from the south OTT here and they have made it up the northern OTT too, really excited for them too, well done guys a huge achievement.

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Cape York – OTT Videos

Finally got these done, on a roll. 🙂 Lots to learn with all the editing, and you learn a lot about your videoing. 🙂 The Go Pro was either fixed on the outside of the Ute or on the side of the trailer. Next trip we will be moving the camera around a bit more. It’s hard when it’s only the two of us, one has to drive, the other directs and takes the photos. I’ve just bought a item that will let me hook the Go Pro onto the camera’s hot shoe so it will see what I see and we are looking at a bean bag thing to be able to quickly move the Go Pro to other positions. Just about need 2 camera’s to get all angles. 🙂

In July 2013 we towed an Aussie Swag Camping Trailer up the Old Telegraph Track. There are 2 parts, Southern Section and Northern Section. We travelled solo but help is never far away if needed. Our trip was uneventful but we do know of many who had some issues along the way.

Southern Section

Northern Section

The Tip of Cape York

30/7/13 – We woke to blue skies, no wind and an amazing view that is so hard to take, trip up to the tip today and a look around the area.

Loyality-Beach

The roads are here are still mostly dirt. We took a shortcut to the main road that leads to the tip. First stop along the way was the Croc Tent. Stocks were a bit low so it was a little disappointing but as we found out it is the only place in the area that you can buy things that don’t have someone’s name all over them. We also got a free map of the area.

Croc Croc-Tent

The road from there has dips, ruts, creek crossing and some muddy holes. Once we got there the car park was pretty full. We did a quick look at the beach before climbing the rocks to the tip takes about 15 mins. It was hot and breezy. We had the place to ourselves for 5 mins and set the camera up on the rocks with the timer for some photos. Was awesome to be there and was the main focus of this trip. There are great views, out to the islands over the blue water, with a dolphin frolicking in the water.

Cape-View Cape-York

We-made-it

We walked back via the beach route, which we found easier and quicker.

Beach-at-the-Cape

Next we drove to Somerset which has historical significant to the people in this area but not a lot there now. We went down to the beach for lunch, there is also a camping are there and toilets that are not maintained, there were very dirty.

Somerset Somerset-Wall

After chatting with some people over lunch we went to find the WW2 plane wrecks. First one we found was the WW2 Beaufort Bomber.

Bristol-Beaufort-Mark-VIII Bristol-Beaufort-Mark-VIII-1 Bristol-Beaufort-Mark-VIII-2 Bristol-Beaufort-Mark-VIII-3

Next was the WW2 DC3 wreck. Both planes have fences around them and memorials to the crews who died in the plane crashes.

DC-3-Aircraft DC-3-Aircraft-1 DC-3-Aircraft-2 DC-3-Aircraft-3 DC-3-Aircraft-4

The third plane wreck has now been removed.

We then took a drive in to Seisa. Have to save we didn’t take to it, not a lot there. From what we could see we thought the park here looked better, but we have also heard other people say it’s really nice.

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Thursday Island

31/7/13 – Up early to be in Seisa for 7.30am ready for the boat trip to the Island. We went on the Peddlers boat which apparently was only 6 mths old. Trip takes just over an hour and was a pretty smooth ride going over and was also fairly full. We were divided into 2 groups, some with pink stickers others with green stickers to show which bus time tour you were on. As it turned out all the pink ones were the ones who were doing the 2 island tour, which included Horn island, had the morning run at 9.30am. We were doing the 11.15am one which gave us time to look around the town area.

Thursday-Island Thursday-Island-turtles

There were more shops here than we have seen in over a week, but still not a lot. Petrol was cheaper here than at Seisa. Place was clean and the people friendly giving you big smiles and waves. The place has a big history of pearl trade and diving but there isn’t a lot we saw for sale.

The bus tour lasts for around 1.5hrs in an air conditioned bus 🙂 the driver gives a bit of a history lesson about the place as he drives around the island before we went to Green Hill Fort. Green Hill Fort was built as part of Australia’s defence to protect Thursday Island and Australia from the north. It was eventually decommissioned in 1927. Green Hill is a small grassy hill at the western end of Thursday Island. There are some amazing views to be had up here.

View-at-Green-Hill-Fort

Green-Hill-Fort Green-Hill-Fort-2 Green-Hill-Fort-3 Stick-them-up

Underground are several buildings with many displays and a museum. It was very interesting and well worth stopping to explore the fort.

Green-Hill-Fort-1 Green-Hill-Fort-Map

Pearl Diving was very big in the past. Divers risked their lives every time they went down to look for pearls. On board the boat we watched a short movie on the diving history of the area, it was informative and moving.

Thursday-Island-Diving-Suit

Next stop was the cemetery where many of the early pearl divers are buried, including a memorial to the Japanese. Hard way to earn a living.

Japanese-Memorial Japanese-Pear-Divers-graves

We had an hour or so to fill in after the tour so had lunch, checked out the air conditioned arts and cultural centre, well worth a look. Another walk down the street, found the laundry that sold Chinese food.

Back to the boat with a rough trip home as the water was choppy, with some large swells.

We finally got a bit of a sunset. Yeah.

Loyality-Beach-Sunset


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