We take the road less travelled
CAPE YORK 2017 TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND
Camping at the Cape CAPTAIN BILLY'S ELLIOT FALLS PUNSAND BAY AND MORE...
A WORD OR TWO FROM
We travelled the length and breadth of the Cape to film 47 different campsites for you at home so you can see Well, we finally made it. After years of them in HD video before you tackle the dreaming and months of planning we corrugations of the Peninsular finally made it all the way to the tip of Development Road and we want to Cape York in Far North Queensland! share with you our experiences from And what an adventure it was! this trip.If you are planning a camping Before leaving on this trip, we could find trip to Cape York in not too distant very little information about the future, then sit back, relax and read campgrounds up at Cape York and this month’s edition from front to back. everyone you meet along the way has I’m sure you will not only find some very different opinions about where you great camping spots but some should or shouldn’t camp whilst you are fantastic tips on making the journey as up there. To say this was confusing, is well. Also remember to make sure you an understatement!! jump on our website for more So, we have decided to dedicate this campsites and subscribe to our month’s edition of Live2Camp Australia monthly magazine for FREE! Magazine entirely to Cape York. Happy Camping!
MATT'S EDITORIAL A word or two from Matt
UPCOMING CAMPING SHOWS November 2017
PUNSAND BAY CAMPING AREA The ultimate base camp!
TIP OF THE MONTH Vacuum seal your food
MATT'S COMMENTARY Our Cape York Experience
DEN HOTEL est.1875 13 LION'S This month's outback pub
ELLIOT FALLS CAMPING AREA Jardine River National Park
A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE Navigation simplified
CAPTAIN BILLY'S LANDING Jardine River National park
CAMPING EVENTS Bendigo Leisurefest Dates: 24th - 26th November 2017 Venue: Bendigo Racecourse, Bendigo Website: www.leisurefest.com.au
Gippsland Great Outdoor Expo Dates: 24th - 26th November 2017 Venue: Sale Racecourse, Maffra Rd, Sale Website: www.greatoutdoorexpos.com.au Sydney Caravan, Camping & RV Expo Dates: 3rd - 6th November 2017 Venue: Sydney Showground, Olympic Park, Homebush, Sydney Website: www.caravan-camping.com.au Perth 4WD & Adventure Show Dates: 10th - 12th November 2017 Venue: McCallum Park, Victoria Park, Perth Website: www.perth.4wdshow.com.au
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A s you all know, here at
Live2Camp we don’t do reviews of campgrounds. We simply film the campground and let you, the camper make your own decision about it. Everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to camping and we are not here to tell you where WE think you should camp. This was never more relevant than on our recent trip to the very tip of Cape York in Far North Queensland. Everywhere we stopped people would ask us, ‘Where are you going to camp up the tip; Seisia, Loyalty or Punsund Bay?’ To be completely honest, we had not given this any thought but the more
we were asked this same question, we started to give it some serious consideration. It seemed everyone had a different opinion as to which campground we should camp at. This led to the conclusion that we would have to camp at all three and although it appeared that they are not the type of campgrounds we would normally film for live2camp.com.au, we felt that we should film them so
people could make an informed decision on which one they would like to camp at. After camping at all three, we found that they were all quite different from each other, each with their own good qualities. However, if I was to head back to Cape York I would probably head straight back to Punsund Bay. There are a number of reasons for this, and itâ€™s not just because they have beer on tap, which is a great luxury, but most of all I think it is because of the location.
The Punsand Bay Campground is located right on the beach with amazing views over the beautiful blue water (you just can't swim in it because of the rocs!). it is also tucked away a bit from the main thoroughfare of the Cape. We very much enjoyed the facilities, especially the swimming pool which provided a great respite from the midday heat and the bar area that is located right next to the pool that serves amazing wood fired pizzaâ€™s at a reasonable price. The showers and toilets were clean and there were plenty of them. The sites were spacious and there are are trees to provide plenty of shade to camp under.
The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, even allowing us to wander around and pick our own site. (I imagine this is not be possible during the peak season as they are extremely busy) and I will never forget sitting on the white sand at night time staring up at the millions stars glistening above the water. It truly was a great place to camp for a couple of days and relax whilst exploring Cape York. So please, donâ€™t take this as a review but more as me just stating that the Punsund Bay Campground is one of my favourite campgrounds at Cape York. And to all the people
who asked us where we were going to camp up the top, I can now answer. Punsund Bay.
Words by Matt Bloomfield
Click here for Punsand Bay Campground video
Tip of the Month When camping in remote areas like Cape York, where either you can't get to shops regularly or buying food is so much more expensive, it pays to vacuum seal or cryovac your food and make it last a little longer. There are a number of really capable machines available in shops and most butchers will do it for you as well. For best results I have found that pre-freezing food, prior to vacuum sealing, will keep them even longer.
When we go on a trip, the frozen food is placed at the bottom of our fridge until eaten. Click on the link below for a general guide to how long food will last vacuum sealed and refridgerated. Just remember this is a guide only and you should not consume any food you're not sure of.
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A camper's experience!
I f you’re like us and love exploring
Australia by way of camping, then I have no doubt that you have a trip to Cape York on your wish-list. We had been dreaming of doing it for years until finally this year we pulled the trigger and off we went. We spent months planning for this trip and of course, watched hours of the 4WD videos that are available, to get an idea of when we wanted to go and where we wanted to camp. But nothing really fully prepares you for it and now, after returning from the trip, there are a few things I would do differently the next time around. As you make your way up to the most northern tip of Australia you come across literally hundreds of people also travelling up to the tip of Cape York.
Whether it was in campgrounds or roadhouses you inevitably are asked the question, ‘Are you heading North or South?’ This usually leads into a conversation on where you should or shouldn’t go based on the other person’s experiences.
I wish I had listened to this advice, as I now know it was the best advice we received on the whole trip. ‘Just go straight up the Peninsular Development After many of these kind of conversations we soon realised Road and don’t worry about the Old Telegraph Track and that everyone had a very make sure you spend as different opinion on these topics. This made it very hard much time as you can up the to decipher exactly where we top’, one of the gentlemen said. I scoffed at this at the should go. There was one conversation though that has time but now in hindsight, he been stamped into my memory. was spot on. In a nut-shell As we sat on the banks of the our trip consisted of heading north from Cairns, along the Normandy River at the Kalpowar Campground in the Lakefield National Park, we were approached by a group of retired gentlemen who were on a fishing trip up to the tip. They had noticed we had our map out looking at different routes and decided they would offer some advice.
CAPTAIN BILLY'S LANDING
Yes, there are some beautiful creek Bloomfield Track, out to Lakefield crossings on the OTT but we found National Park then up the PDR to that you can get these same kind of Bramwell Station. From there we gathered up enough courage to take on experiences at Elliot Falls (a short distance up the OTT) and Fruitbat the Old Telegraph Track with a camper Falls without the risk of destroying in tow. A stop at Elliot Falls and then your vehicle. We found back onto the PDR that we enjoyed our all the way up to the time exploring the tip top. We spent five more than time we fantastic days spent on the OTT and exploring the tip of FRUITBAT FALLS wished we had used the Cape before that time elsewhere. heading back down I have always had thought via Captain Billy’s in my that the trip to the Cape Landing, Fruitbat Falls was a very difficult trip and Chilli Beach. As I and had put off doing the said earlier, if I was to BLOOMFIELD TRACK trip for years because of this. I soon have my time again, I would definitely realised though, that it really isn’t as leave out the Old Telegraph Track and difficult as I had thought for all those just take the PDR. I know it’s easy for years. As long as you have a vehicle me to say that, because I can now say that is in reasonable condition and I’ve done it and it is a big reason why are prepared to take it slowly every people go to Cape York but it certainly so often, then you should have no wasn’t the highlight of the trip for me.
problems at all. We found that the Development Road had long stretches of bitumen which are being extended all the time and the dirt parts that are left, were reasonably well graded. Yes, there are sections that are full of horrendous corrugations but if you are willing to slow down and take them at the right speed then they really aren’t that much of a problem. In fact, we have driven far worse roads in Australia before and I certainly wouldn’t let this put you off travelling this road. There were many highlights for us during this trip but some that really stood out as ones I would recommend to anyone going to the Tip were; driving the Bloomfield Track, visiting the Lakefield NP, swimming at Fruitbat Falls, camping at Punsand Bay and Captain Billy’s Landing and of course standing at the most northern tip of Australia.
It’s amazing the feeling of achievement you get when you stand beside the famous sign you have seen in so many photos and look out over the deep blue waters of the Torres Straight. It is not something I will forget in a hurry. So if you’re at home right now dreaming about making the epic journey to the tip of Cape York. Stop dreaming and start packing the car. I think you will find it’s not as hard as you think it is. And if you have any questions about heading to Cape York, feel free to send us an email to email@example.com and we will do our best to answer them.
REMEMBER: Most campsites must be booked prior to arrival at Cape York
Words by Matt Bloomfield
Lions Den Hotel
As you come to the end of the Bloomfield Track in Far North Queensland you run into a very welcomed pit stop. The Lions Den Hotel is the perfect place to stop, grab a cold beer and reminisce with your traveling colleagues of the journey you have just made. It’s also a great place to learn all about the history of the local area. Located on the Bloomfield Road between Cooktown and Cape Tribulation, the pub was opened in 1875 by a Welshman named Jack Ross and his wife Annie. The hotel was later renamed after the Lions Den tin mine that was located nearby and it appears as if it hasn’t changed much over the years. The pub is accessible all year round via the
inland road and not only offers cold beer, great food including pizza’s, but also has a large camping area out the back including powered and un-powered sites. They even brag about having one of the very few safe swimming holes on the Cape. So next time you are heading up the Cape, keep an eye out for the Lion out the front and make sure you stop in for a cold refreshment and a step back in time.
398 Shiptons Flat Rd, Rossville, Queensland Words by James Guerin
Click here for Lions Den Hotel Camping Area video
ELLIOT FALLS CAMPING
O ne of the most iconic and visually
spectacular locations on the way to Cape York is Elliot Falls camping area in the Jardine River National Park. Whether stopping in overnight, or staying for a week, it is an absolute must visit on your pilgrimage north to
Words by Josh Ford
the tip of Australia. Located a few kilometers north of the intersection of the Peninsular Development Road and the northern Overland (Old) Telegraph Track section on the OTT itself, Elliot Falls camping area is a strictly prebooked, designated site area with plenty of facilities to cater for the family. Drop toilets and fire pits are everywhere, and the walk to Elliot and Twin Falls is short and easy, and well worth the effort. Because the Elliot Falls Camping Area is within a National Park, dogs and pets are not permitted and you must pre-book before arriving. Keep in mind that phone reception up at the Cape is limited and it would be wise to book when passing through Coen where there is reception for some networks.
Another thing to consider is the first creek crossing on the Northern OTT that you must pass through to get to Elliot Falls.Scrubby Creek is deep and long, and a quick look on Youtube will show plenty of vehicles struggling to get through, or not making it at all. There is a track to the east that is shallower, but much steeper. 4wd experience and a snorkel are an absoloute must if you want to get through safely. Elliot Falls Camping Area is well worth a look, and a trip to the tip
just wouldnt be complete without taking the time to visit this magical area.
Click here for Elliot Falls Camping Area video
A Woman's Perspective Simple Navigation
Navigation on a remote trip can be a bit a daunting. Generally Matt does the driving and I do the navigating and not for any other reason that Matt likes driving more than I do. So, this is not aimed specifically at women but all those out there that are mostly in the passenger seat. Keep it simple! What’s really important to know when you’re navigating is where you’re going, but I’ve realised that it’s equally as important to know where you ARE! Especially when your paper map or GPS doesn’t know the roads you’re travelling on, and this happens more often than you think when travelling in remote areas and off-road.
There are some very capable systems on market the Hema off-road GPS, but these can be a bit on the expensive side. I've found that Google Maps is quite efficient and not too long ago I discovered that you can download maps of the area you’re going to and use them off-line later. Simple! You do this on your smart-phone or even better a tablet if you have one. This needs to be done while in an area with reception so I normally do it before we leave but if you have data on your phone or tablet you can do it anywhere there is data reception. Also, the maps are automatically expired after one month so you should do it just before you head out to that area. The maps can then be accessed while out of reception areas and a small blue dot follows you as you drive so you know at all times exactly where you are.
So here's how you do it: On your smart phone or tablet -
The great thing about this is that you can then cross-reference the off-line Google Map with your paper-map, or car GPS and make sure you're on the right track (excuse the pun!) Recently while Matt and I were travelling Cape York this came in very handy and saved quite a lot of time when we were able to take a side track from the Old Telegraph Track to the Peninsular Development Road and miss a few more treacherous creek crossings.
Open Google Maps Click on the three lines at the top left-hand corner Click on Offline Maps Click on Select Your Own Map When the map opens, move the map around, scroll in and out until you have the map you want to download. You can download up to six maps at a time and once downloaded, you can have the map running while in or out of reception, constantly allowing you to know where you are, what roads are near you and combining this with paper maps and GPS systems, you should never get lost!
Words by Lize Bloomfield
Captain Billy's Landing
Jardine River National Park
I had always heard of this campground called Captain Billy’s Landing. I guess it stuck in my mind due to its unusual name, but I have to be honest. I never knew where it was. It wasn’t until we were planning our recent Cape York trip when my wife Lize said to me, ‘I think we need to go and film Captain Billy’s Landing campground'. So that’s where it is, I thought and there was no way I was going to miss the chance of camping at a campground which has a name like that! The campground was named by Robert Logan Jack in 1880 when Jack and his group were led there by a local Aboriginal man calling himself
‘Captain Billy’ and is located on the east coast of Cape York. As we turned off the Peninsular Development Road onto the dirt track that leads the 30 km’s to the campground, it’s fair to say I started to have my doubts. Was it really going to be worth the drive in?
Itâ€™s a long way along a thin windy dirt track and I would have to say this is not a track suitable for caravans. These doubts quickly disappeared though as we neared the end of the track and stopped at the lookout that sits directly above the campground. The view along the coast line was magnificent and the campground looked fantastic. We eagerly jumped back in the Patrol and made our way down the last few hundred metres of track to be greeted by a large open grassed area perched right on top of the sand dunes. And as luck would have it, there was not other person to be seen. We quickly found a spot to set up camp, which was mostly decided by finding an area that was least affected by the gale force winds that were blowing in off the ocean. Yep, it was really windy and from what we have been told it is like that at the campground
a lot of the time.But that didn’t dampen our enthusiasm as we set up our home for the night. Once all settled in we hit the beach and lucky for us it was low tide which meant we could walk along the beach in front of the cliffs, exploring the rock pools as we went. It was then that we discovered the small caves in the cliff faces and the hundreds of small bats that inhabited them. What an experience it was. Captain Billy’s Landing may not have all the bells and whistles as a campground; the one toilet is falling down and the undercover area has seen better days, but the chance to camp right next to the beach
in a very remote area makes this one heck of a place to camp. I’m really glad I didn’t let my doubts take over the day before. I would have really regretted it if we had turned around and not made it to Captain Billy’s. I will never forget sitting under the stars that night watching the bats fly overhead catching small insects for their dinner. Or waking up in the morning to the sun rising over the white sand beach. It was a night of basic camping at its best.
Words by Matt Bloomfield Click here for the Captain Billy's Camping Area video
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THE MAGAZINE TEAM Editorial Matt Bloomfield Lize Bloomfield
Design Jack McCappin Lize Bloomfield
Photography Lize Bloomfield
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Authors Matt Bloomfield Josh Ford James Guerin Lize Bloomfield
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