The countdown is on ….

We have just over 4 weeks left before we start our journey up north to Cape York.  We are both so excited to be heading back up to this amazing part of the country again.

Those of you who have been following us for a while will recall that we did this trip as part of our honeymoon back in 2013.  During that trip our friends who were meant to join us had engine trouble in the first few days and unfortunately couldn’t complete the trip so we ended up doing it alone.

IMG_1270

Here we are, 5 years later and we are about to embark on the amazing journey to the cape again, but this time we have another 5 4WD’s joining us (along with Stewy in his new, hopefully problem free vehicle!).

As we are all coming from different parts of Sydney and Queensland, we will all meet in Cairns on Sunday 15th July to start our epic ‘Tackling The Tele’ trip!

IMG_1212

Below is our itinerary

  • Cairns – Laura
  • Laura – Archer River Roadhouse
  • Archer River Roadhouse – Weipa
  • Weipa – Bramwell Station
  • Bramwell Station – Eliot Falls
  • Eliot Falls – Seisa (few days in Seisa)
  • Seisa – Captain Billy Landing
  • Captain Billy Landing – Chili Beach
  • Chili Beach – Musgrave Roadhouse
  • Musgrave Roadhouse – Elim Beach
  • Elim Beach – Lions Den Hotel
  • Lions Den Hotel – Cape Tribulation
  • Cape Tribulation – Cairns

IMG_1022

Of course we will be driving the famous Old Tele Track, as well as some of the other more well-known tracks up there such as Battle Camp Road, Frenchman’s Track and the CREB Track.

After what was apparently quite a ‘wet’ wet season up north, the track conditions are still quite damp and muddy and the water crossings seem fairly deep.  We have a feeling the new winch might be getting a bit of a workout!  Although a lot can change in a few weeks, so we will wait and see!

We can assure you there will be plenty of photos and videos of the trip, so stay tuned!  We will be writing blogs where possible, but most photos and videos will be posted on Instagram and Facebook so make sure you are following us on social media to keep up to date!

img_4287

Advertisements

Our Latest Project ….

Email Signoff

The latest project that we have become involved in is “Protect Cape York”.  We are so excited to be involved with such a great cause and we are getting a lot of positive feedback which is amazing.  This idea came about by a few people who have visited Cape York recently and saw the amount of rubbish left around by fellow campers and thought that something needed to be done.

IMG_1270Back in 2013 we headed to Cape York as part of our honeymoon adventure and, after seeing this first hand, we decided to jump on board and help out this great cause. Now this issue is certainly not confined to the Cape York area only, we see this quite often in our travels.   You all know the old saying, “Take nothing but photos, Leave nothing but footprints”, if all of us abided by that rule, the amount of rubbish would be significantly less.  If there isn’t a bin where you are camping, does that give you the right to leave your rubbish on the ground, NO, your responsibility is to take it with you and deposit into the next bin you find.  It’s really not that hard, but it’s a concept that so many people seem to forget about once they leave their home.

The amount of rubbish that is left behind on the tracks by fellow campers is disgraceful.  We have been sent photos of lizards IMG_1160with their heads stuck in cans, we’ve all seen photos of turtles and birds with plastic wrapped around them, not to mention the fact that no-one wants to camp next to your dirty used toilet paper and nappies!

While up at the Cape we took a drive along the beaches run and the amount of rubbish lining the beach is unbelievable.  Now in reality, a lot of this would have wash up onto the beach from offshore, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ok.  At the end of the day, it’s all still rubbish and if we can organize clean up days and educate people on where they can dispose of rubbish and how to do so safely, just maybe we can help in some small way.

ThIMG_1183e team and us have achieved so much already in such a short amount of time.  Word is spreading and the feedback and support we are receiving is amazing.  We already have some great sponsors jumping on board, including our major sponsors, TJM Cairns and The Albatross Resort, Weipa.  We are also lucky enough to have Keep Australia Beautiful on board to help promote our cause, as well as more and more places coming on board.

We have set up a website which details exactly what we are trying to achieve and how you can help to promote our cause to others http://www.protectcapeyork.com/

So who are we and what are we trying to achieve?

We are just a small group of like-minded people, everyday Australians located all over the country, but with one aim in mind ….. to protect and preserve the beauty of Cape York.  We want to clean up the area and educate people in the process.  This is the iconic tip of Australia, thousands of people make the epic journey here every year and we want future generations to be able to experience this aswell.IMG_1172

Our Goals

Our immediate goal is to be in a position to hand out 200-300 ‘Cape York packs’ in time for the 2016 tourist season.  We are hoping that by handing out these packs, people will be reminded to clean up after themselves (and others as the case may be!).  These packs will include a map of rubbish disposal areas and helpful hints, as well as rubbish bags, tongs, gloves etc.   We aim to provide campers with the tools to clean up after themselves.

There are so many ways that you can become involved, so please take the time to check out our website and contact us if you would like to become involved or if you have any comments or contacts that may be able to benefit us.

Please help us on our journey to clean up our country and educate people in the process.

……… Remember, It’s Everyone’s Backyard.

Email Signoff

The best holiday we’ve ever had!

IMG_1274

The Tip of Australia! Cape York

We have recently been reliving part of our trip to Cape York with our Instagram and social media followers, it was great to go back over the photos and be able to share them with others.  It was just one small part of such a great holiday we had.

IMG_1020

Weipa Eco sunset tour

For those that don’t know, back in 2013 we embarked on our honeymoon, a 7 week trip from Sydney to Cape York and then to the Northern Territory, South Australia and back home again.

Now 7 weeks of camping and 4WDing around Australia is probably not everyone’s idea of a great holiday, but for us it was perfect.  We wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Below is a basic outline of our itinerary

  • Margate, Qld
  • Rockhampton, Qld
  • Townsville, Qld
  • Mareeba, Qld
  • Laura, Qld
  • Archer River Roadhouse, Qld
  • Weipa, Qld
  • Bramwell Station, Qld
  • Eliot Falls, Qld
  • Seisa, Qld
  • Thursday Island, Qld
  • Captain Billy Landing, Qld
  • Chili Beach, Qld
  • Musgrave  Roadhouse, Qld
  • Kalpowar Crossing, Qld
  • Cooktown, Qld
  • Lions Den  Hotel, Qld
  • Cape Tribulation, Qld
  • Cairns, Qld
  • Innot Hot Springs, Qld
  • Undarra, Qld
  • Hughenden, QLD
  • Mt Isa, QLD
  • Tennant Creek, NT
  • Wycliffe Well, NT
  • Alice Springs, NT
  • Palm Valley, NT
  • Kings Canyon, NT
  • Uluru, NT
  • Marla, SA
  • Coober Pedy, SA
  • Port Augusta, SA
  • Broken Hill, NSW

IMG_1624We had our share of drama’s though, our mates who were meant to join us on part of the trip had to pull out after their engine died in the first few days.  All that hard work and planning was gone so quickly.  Luckily we managed to meet up with them for a few days on the way back from Cape York before we headed over to NT.

We had a frantic phone call from Weipa to our mechanic back in Sydney when the 4WD wouldn’t engage in our car and he instructed us over the phone as to how to fix this.

At different times throughout the trip we also had a badly cut hand, a dislocated thumb, a bad case of heat stroke and a few episodes of car sickness!.

We had our alternator die about 400km out of Alice Springs and we limped our way there watching the voltage drop in our batteries.  We watched as the radio, lights, taco, speedo all started IMG_1147gradually shutting down one by one!  Luckily by the time we car eventually stopped, we managed to coast into a servo in Alice Springs, just 5 min from our pre-booked accommodation.  We also had a few suspension issues and this all required us to beIMG_1212 stranded in Alice Springs for a few days while repairs were done.

Even with all of this, it was a great trip and we made it and that’s all that matters!  If anything, we learned exactly what type of people live in Alice Springs, the most friendly, helpful, genuine people.  We couldn’t have been happier with the service we received there.

Here is a small extract from our previous blog posts about this amazing trip.

IMG_1183

Fruit Bat Falls, Cape York

So what can we say, what an amazing holiday. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend our honeymoon. We are so IMG_1566privileged to have been able to spend time in some of the places we did, it truly is a blessing to have been able to travel our great country. The people of outback Australia are some of the kindest, laid back and most genuine people you could ever meet. It really is a totally different world out there. You could not get any further from the hustle and bustle of Sydney if you tried. We met some amazing people on our travels, both in the towns and our fellow like-minded campers. To think that we set up camp and then spend the whole day out exploring, leaving to tent unattended, unlocked, suitcases and belongings inside, chairs and table outside and you come back at night and everything is how you left it. There is a mutual respect and no-one would even think to touch your belongings. Yet at home we close the windows and deadlock the door before driving to the shops for 5 minutes! It really was refreshing being able to live in a world where everyone looks out for each other and respects others and their property …. even if it was unfortunately only for 7 weeks.

IMG_2319

Sunset over The Olgas (Kata Tjuta), NT

IMG_2294

Camel rides at Uluru

Everyone is amazingly friendly, you rarely pass a car without getting a wave (even from the truckies and coppers!). We even had a truck driver stop his truck and get out to warn us about a huge pot hole on one of the dirt tracks we were travelling on. The road train drivers are equally courteous of fellow drivers, a quick chat on the CB will often let you know if its safe to overtake or warn of any upcoming traffic/road issues. It really does remind you that there are still good people in this world, unfortunately in the city many people are just too busy to worry about anyone else but themselves. Each day we would set up camp and there was always someone walking by, beer in hand, ready to have a chat! Always someone who has been where you are heading and ready to answer questions or give advice and always someone waiting to hear stories of our adventures.

IMG_1726

Inside a lava tunnel

We visited some wonderful places, saw some amazing things and experienced so much. We stood on the northern most point of Australia, drank beer in Australia’s most northerly pub (on Thursday Island). IMG_1756We stayed in a refurbished train carriage and went on a tour through million year old volcanic lava tubes at Undarra Volcanic Park. We stayed in an underground motel at Coober Pedy (where 80% of the population live underground), we toured the Rio Tinto bauxite mines in Weipa, learned the history of the gold mines in Tennant Creek and explored an opal mine in Coober Pedy. We saw the sunrise over Uluru and watched the sunset over Uluru and Kata Tjuta from on top of a camel! We travelled in the footsteps of some of our early explorers, we followed the Old Ghan Railway line and we had the chance to drive some of the 4WD tracks on every true 4WDers ‘must do’ list. We drove through bushfires (and even had one surrounding our campground), survived gale force winds and major storm at Captain Billy’s Landing and 120km winds at Port Augusta.

IMG_2456

Coober Pedy mine tour

We ate camel burgers at Kings Canyon and Crayfish pie at Thursday Island! We felt the magic and beauty of being at the Devils Marbles and we were overwhelmed by the sheer size and presence of Uluru. IMG_2320We saw more wildlife than you could ever imagine, birds, eagles, crocodiles, emus, camels, dingoes, lizards, cows, snakes, goats, horses, dogs, sheep, kangaroos. We even had the awesome opportunity to hold and play with a baby orphaned wallaby at Wycliffe Well.

We swam under waterfalls, bathed in the 43 degree natural springs at Innot Hot Springs and  drove through many croc infested rivers.

We were covered in red dirt, went days without a shower, toilets were few and far between at places. We encountered more flies than you could ever imagine (even one in George’s beer … nice surprise!). We got used to eating the odd bug in our dinner and having sand and dirt throughout the car, the tent, the sleeping bags and your belongings was just normal. We encountered a 2 degree night and 40 degree days, wild winds and torrential rain, had dingosIMG_2075 stalking us for our dinner and we had spiders living on our chairs. We wore the same clothes more than one day each and washing with baby wipes was the done thing. But we loved every single part of it, it is all part of the adventure! And at the end of the day, every single person you meet is in the same position as you so no one even comes close to caring! So to say that we enjoyed our time away is an understatement, we loved every minute of it and cannot wait to get back out there again.

IMG_2030

Palm Valley, NT

So here is a bit of a summary of our trip.

Total KM travelled 13,367 km

Total time away 49 days (7 weeks)

Total amount of money spent on petrol $4,240.20

Average overall L/100km 18.49 (combination of weight, a batch of bad fuel, low & high range off road driving, highway driving, few days of bad headwinds)

What we missed the most while away The kids, the dogs, family and friends

Best Chips n Gravy Archer River Roadhouse, QLD

Best Coffee Cobar, NSW

Best Burgers Archer River Roadhouse, with Musgrave Roadhouse a very close second

Best Pizza Outback Pioneer Kitchen, Ayers Rock Resort & Alfrescos, Broken Hill

Best meal Loyalty Beach. Not just the food, the whole package …. Food, location, atmosphere and service

Biggest surprise How much we loved Alice Springs, could totally see us living there. Also the sheer size of Uluru.

Most Scenic Flinders Ranges, SA and Finke Gorge National Park, NT (Boggy Hole in particular)

Favourite campground (remote) Bramwell Station and Chili Beach

Favourite campground (city) Cairns Big 4 Coconut Holiday Resort – amazing service and awesome caravan park.

Most expensive petrol Jardine River and Bamaga (Cape York) – $2.55 / litre for normal 91 octane unleaded petrol

Most expensive beer $56 for XXXX Gold cans in Weipa1455152_10152148549311015_337035041_n

Most expensive place in general Ayers Rock Resort

Most expensive campsite Kings Creek Station ($19 per person).

Cheapest Campsite any of the National Park camping in Queensland ($5.45 per person)

Biggest rip-off Jardine River Ferry Crossing Ticket & Permit ($129 to cross the Jardine river – about 40 meters wide)! don’t have much choice though as the crossing is too deep and dangerous to attempt, and infested with crocodiles!

Biggest Adrenalin Rush Palm Creek, Old Telegraph Track (Cape York)

Best 4WD Track Old Telegraph Track, for its diversity. With the slightly damp CREB track a close second

4WD Tracks driven Old Telegraph Track, Frenchmans Track, Battle Camp Road, CREB Track, Oodnadatta Track (in part), Ernest Giles Road, Mereenie Loop (in part).

States travelled to NSW, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia

What exceeded our expectations Boggy Hole & Uluru

Strangest place Wycliffe Well, NT. Did enjoy our night there, but really is quite a strange little caravan park!

Where we wouldn’t go again Captain Billy’s Landing – the corrugations to get there were back breaking and the howling wind, crashing waves and pouring rain made for a not so fun night! Also the Pebbles (Kunjarra) outside of Tennant Creek – if you’ve ever been to Devils Marbles and also seen the Pebbles, you will understand!

Biggest disappointment That Stewy, Kristy and Rori couldn’t complete the Cape York portion of our trip with us, due to their car problems

What we wouldn’t take with us again The kitchen (our smaller table was sufficient and we never took the larger kitchen bench/table out at all!), the toilet/shower tent, so much food!

6806765_origBest Purchase before the trip Our satellite phone, SPOT tracker

Best 4WD modifications that have made our lives easier for off road travels Rear ARB Air Locker, custom made shelves to replace rear seats, CB radio, Raised King Springs/Bilstein Shocks on Bridgestone tyres & new touring seats.

Scariest Moment Camping at Captain Billy’s Landing – gale force winds, didn’t sleep at all! The severe weather warning of 120km/h winds while camping at Port Augusta, Palm Creek crossing on the tele track!

Nicest people Alice Springs in particular, but Northern Territory as a whole. Although while travelling we had many great encounters with people everywhere!

IMG_2052

The Finke River, NT

IMG_1455

River crossing in Cape York

IMG_1260

Cape York

IMG_1984

Chambers Pillar, NT

IMG_1852

Devils Marbles, NT

IMG_1965

Sunset over Alice Springs

To read the rest of our blog, please click here