Cape York

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesCooktown
FinishSeisia
DifficultyDifficulty 4.5/5
Suitable For4WD 
Distance848 km
Minimum Days24
Average Speed46.9 km/hr
Travel Time18 hrs 4 mins
Page Updated: 5 Oct 2017

Description

This Trek Note provides the most challenging route to Cape York via the Old Telegraph Track, or OTT as its known. There are other easier ways to get to the tip of Cape York, however this route will allow those who have exceptionally sound 4WD skills to experience the journey in its most natural form.

The alternative route to the one shown in this trek note is to use the Bypass Roads. We provide a separate trek note for those that wish to use this easier route. The trek note is called Cape York via Bypass Roads. You can still access sections of the Telegraph Track if you refer to the map for entry/exit points.

There are many other interesting places to visit on the Cape York Peninsula that we've not included in either of these main thoroughfare routes to the top. Instead, you'll find details about these in separate Trek Notes because they can all be accessed off the two main routes at noted exit points. We suggest you should research all these side trips and build your own itinerary. See the full list of Cape York side trips here.

Once you've reached Seisia, you still have a little way to go to reach the true "tip" of Cape York. Australia's most northerly point. Refer to our Cape York - Seisia to the Tip Trek Note for details on how to get there, and other things to explore in the area.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
  • Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from the applicable store for your device -
    either the Google PlayStore, the App Store, or the Windows Store (for Windows 10 devices only). The ExplorOz Traveller app is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app and includes all the ExplorOz Trek routes ready for you to simply click and follow with auto-guidance available whether you are online, or offline. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

Cape York is the name of the most northern point of the Australian continent and is often referred to as "The Tip". In fact, the whole peninsula of land that lies above the 16°S latitude is called Cape York Peninsula - this narrow peninsula is bound by the Coral sea to the east the Arafura sea and Gulf of Carpentaria to the west and the Torres Strait to the north. Locals however, refer to Cape York "proper" as the area north of the Jardine river.

Preparation

MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.

A trip to Cape York must be carefully planned. You need to plan for the worst and be prepared to handle repairs and maintenance in the bush. Your vehicle will need to be extensively prepared for remote area travel and you will need to ensure you have made essential modifications and carry specific safety equipment & communications.

Most people travel in convoy throughout the Cape not just for company, but for safety and backup. Just remember that overly large convoy groups can be hazardous on narrow dual-direction tracks and due to the bulldust on many Cape Roads, large groups may need to spread out so far apart that the leader lose radio communications with the tail-end charlie. For these reasons, you'll find a smaller convoy more enjoyable and practical.

Permits

Permits are required to access all areas of Aboriginal land. The permit is provided when you pay your ferry fee to cross the Jardine River at near Bamaga.

Camping permits are required in all National Parks and Reserves on the Cape York Peninsula and these must now be purchased in advance before arriving at your campsite. Self-registration for camp sites is no longer possible. To obtain an e-permit book online at www.qld.gov.au/camping, or phone 13 74 68.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel SymbolMusgrave Roadhouse, Archer River Roadhouse, Bramwell Junction.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 106 litres *4cyl 137 litres4cyl 170 litres
6cyl 122 litres *6cyl 128 litres *6cyl 149 litres
8cyl 130 litres8cyl 141 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

Closest Climatic Station

Lockhart River Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 67.72km NW
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C31.631.330.629.728.727.427.127.729.030.431.832.2
Mean Min. °C23.723.623.422.921.920.119.419.220.521.923.023.6
Mean Rain mm395.9390.8452.3296.9106.858.443.429.215.729.172.2208.4
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

The following locations have various services And supplies:Musgrave Roadhouse, Bramwell Junction

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

Cooktown to Endeavour Falls Tourist Park Queensland
Driving: 31.55 km
Heading: 295°
Avg Speed: 60.25 km/hr
EST Time: 31:25
Endeavour Falls Tourist Park Queensland to Cooktown McIvor River Rd & Endeavour Battlecamp Rd
Driving: 4.54 km
Heading: 10°
Avg Speed: 49.76 km/hr
EST Time: 05:28
Cooktown McIvor River Rd & Endeavour Battlecamp Rd to Isabella Falls
Driving: 5.56 km
Heading: 316°
Avg Speed: 40.92 km/hr
EST Time: 08:09
Isabella Falls to Old Laura
Driving: 68.65 km
Heading: 265°
Avg Speed: 46.49 km/hr
EST Time: 01:28:35
Old Laura to Twelve Mile Hut
Driving: 18.95 km
Heading: 337°
Avg Speed: 55.3 km/hr
EST Time: 20:33
Twelve Mile Hut to Twelve Mile Waterhole
Driving: 0.52 km
Heading: 49°
Avg Speed: 80.93 km/hr
EST Time: 00:23
Twelve Mile Waterhole to New Laura
Driving: 5.24 km
Heading: 289°
Avg Speed: 57.09 km/hr
EST Time: 05:30
New Laura to Lakefield Rd & Kalpower Rd
Driving: 33.02 km
Heading: 330°
Avg Speed: 58.3 km/hr
EST Time: 33:58
Lakefield Rd & Kalpower Rd to Lakefield Ranger Base
Driving: 1.26 km
Heading: 343°
Avg Speed: 56.81 km/hr
EST Time: 01:19
Lakefield Ranger Base to Circular Swamp
Driving: 4.45 km
Heading: 313°
Avg Speed: 55.72 km/hr
EST Time: 04:47
Circular Swamp to Breeza Plains Outstation
Driving: 12.99 km
Heading: 322°
Avg Speed: 61.25 km/hr
EST Time: 12:43
Breeza Plains Outstation to Morehead River
Driving: 22.3 km
Heading: 319°
Avg Speed: 56.76 km/hr
EST Time: 23:34
Morehead River to Nine Mile Bend
Driving: 35.87 km
Heading: 269°
Avg Speed: 56.41 km/hr
EST Time: 38:09
Nine Mile Bend to Violet Vale
Driving: 21.54 km
Heading: 260°
Avg Speed: 41.36 km/hr
EST Time: 31:14
Violet Vale to Musgrave Roadhouse
Driving: 12.12 km
Heading: 238°
Avg Speed: 60.83 km/hr
EST Time: 11:57
Musgrave Roadhouse to Coen
Driving: 107.65 km
Heading: 341°
Avg Speed: 74.34 km/hr
EST Time: 01:26:53
Coen to The Bend Camp
Driving: 3.68 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 34.1 km/hr
EST Time: 06:28
The Bend Camp to Archer River Roadhouse
Driving: 63.07 km
Heading: 333°
Avg Speed: 70.47 km/hr
EST Time: 53:41
Archer River Roadhouse to Telegraph Rd & Penninsula Developmental Rd
Driving: 51.57 km
Heading: 335°
Avg Speed: 67.55 km/hr
EST Time: 45:48
Telegraph Rd & Penninsula Developmental Rd to Telegraph Road - Batavia Downs turnoff
Driving: 48.69 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 80.87 km/hr
EST Time: 36:07
Telegraph Road - Batavia Downs turnoff to Moreton Telegraph Station
Driving: 23.64 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 50.31 km/hr
EST Time: 28:11
Moreton Telegraph Station to Bramwell Junction
Driving: 55.97 km
Heading: 347°
Bramwell Junction to Palm Creek Tributary
Driving: 1.42 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 16.96 km/hr
EST Time: 05:01
Palm Creek Tributary to Telegraph Track - Palm Creek
Driving: 1.71 km
Heading: 347°
Avg Speed: 20.29 km/hr
EST Time: 05:03
Telegraph Track - Palm Creek to Ducie Creek
Driving: 3.17 km
Heading:
Avg Speed: 16.69 km/hr
EST Time: 11:23
Ducie Creek to South Alice Creek
Driving: 4.58 km
Heading: 343°
Avg Speed: 18.19 km/hr
EST Time: 15:06
South Alice Creek to North Alice Creek
Driving: 7.78 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 20.48 km/hr
EST Time: 22:47
North Alice Creek to Heathlands Resources Reserve Boundary
Driving: 7.82 km
Heading: 347°
Avg Speed: 17.66 km/hr
EST Time: 26:34
Heathlands Resources Reserve Boundary to Telegraph track - Dulhunty River
Driving: 3.75 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 17.29 km/hr
EST Time: 13:00
Telegraph track - Dulhunty River to Telegraph Track - Bertie Creek
Driving: 2.07 km
Heading: 344°
Avg Speed: 11.18 km/hr
EST Time: 11:06
Telegraph Track - Bertie Creek to Gunshot Bypass Track
Driving: 1.82 km
Heading: 352°
Avg Speed: 17.02 km/hr
EST Time: 06:24
Gunshot Bypass Track to Gunshot Creek
Driving: 0.52 km
Heading: 313°
Avg Speed: 12.24 km/hr
EST Time: 02:32
Gunshot Creek to Telegraph Track & Heathlands Access Trk
Driving: 6.33 km
Heading:
Avg Speed: 20.82 km/hr
EST Time: 18:14
Telegraph Track & Heathlands Access Trk to Junction OTT & Bypass Track
Driving: 7.75 km
Heading: 334°
Avg Speed: 16.89 km/hr
EST Time: 27:31
Junction OTT & Bypass Track to Telegraph track Cockatoo Creek
Driving: 7.59 km
Heading: 345°
Avg Speed: 23.72 km/hr
EST Time: 19:11
Telegraph track Cockatoo Creek to Telegraph Track & Southern Bypass Rd
Driving: 14.35 km
Heading: 353°
Avg Speed: 45.05 km/hr
EST Time: 19:06
Telegraph Track & Southern Bypass Rd to Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction
Driving: 9.14 km
Heading: 341°
Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction to Fruit Bat Falls
Driving: 2.7 km
Heading: 52°
Avg Speed: 44.89 km/hr
EST Time: 03:36
Fruit Bat Falls to Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction
Driving: 2.7 km
Heading: 232°
Avg Speed: 44.89 km/hr
EST Time: 03:36
Telegraph Track - Northern Bypass Road Junction to Telegraph Track - Eliot Falls Junction
Driving: 11.02 km
Heading: 349°
Telegraph Track - Eliot Falls Junction to Eliot Falls
Driving: 1.82 km
Heading: 26°
Eliot Falls to Telegraph Track - Eliot Falls Junction
Driving: 1.82 km
Heading: 206°
Telegraph Track - Eliot Falls Junction to Canal Creek
Driving: 0.32 km
Heading: 335°
Canal Creek to Telegraph Track - Sam Creek
Driving: 3.67 km
Heading: 355°
Avg Speed: 77.03 km/hr
EST Time: 02:51
Telegraph Track - Sam Creek to Telegraph Track - Mistake Creek
Driving: 1.51 km
Heading: 357°
Avg Speed: 40.7 km/hr
EST Time: 02:13
Telegraph Track - Mistake Creek to Telegraph Track - Cannibal Creek
Driving: 1.9 km
Heading: 358°
Avg Speed: 38.79 km/hr
EST Time: 02:56
Telegraph Track - Cannibal Creek to Telegraph Track - Cypress Creek
Driving: 1.83 km
Heading: 352°
Avg Speed: 39.2 km/hr
EST Time: 02:48
Telegraph Track - Cypress Creek to Telegraph Track - Bridge Creek
Driving: 12.78 km
Heading: 349°
Avg Speed: 60.97 km/hr
EST Time: 12:34
Telegraph Track - Bridge Creek to OTT Exit to Bypass Track
Driving: 1.42 km
Heading: 342°
Avg Speed: 38.79 km/hr
EST Time: 02:11
OTT Exit to Bypass Track to Jardine River
Driving: 5.14 km
Heading: 339°
Avg Speed: 44.37 km/hr
EST Time: 06:57
Jardine River to OTT Exit to Bypass Track
Driving: 5.14 km
Heading: 159°
Avg Speed: 44.37 km/hr
EST Time: 06:57
OTT Exit to Bypass Track to Junction OTT Exit & Northern Bypass
Driving: 9.76 km
Heading: 222°
Junction OTT Exit & Northern Bypass to Jardine River Ferry Campground & Service Station
Driving: 23.46 km
Heading: 348°
Avg Speed: 62.46 km/hr
EST Time: 22:32
Jardine River Ferry Campground & Service Station to Southern Bypass & Usher Point Rd
Driving: 12.51 km
Heading: 74°
Avg Speed: 55.01 km/hr
EST Time: 13:38
Southern Bypass & Usher Point Rd to Junction Bamaga Rd & Track to DC Wrecks
Driving: 10.86 km
Heading: 354°
Avg Speed: 79.77 km/hr
EST Time: 08:10
Junction Bamaga Rd & Track to DC Wrecks to Junction Bamaga Rd & Seisia Rd
Driving: 5.09 km
Heading: 359°
Avg Speed: 74.44 km/hr
EST Time: 04:06
Junction Bamaga Rd & Seisia Rd to Injinoo
Driving: 6.86 km
Heading: 313°
Avg Speed: 74.72 km/hr
EST Time: 05:30
Injinoo to Bamaga
Driving: 7.15 km
Heading: 77°
Avg Speed: 65.12 km/hr
EST Time: 06:35
Bamaga to New Mapoon
Driving: 3.38 km
Heading: 354°
Avg Speed: 42.55 km/hr
EST Time: 04:45
New Mapoon to Seisia
Driving: 2.53 km
Heading: 321°
Avg Speed: 67.44 km/hr
EST Time: 02:15
Distance is GPS recorded distance based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

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Travel Journals

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