We stayed in Punsand Bay for a 7 nights and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We explored the beaches and the WW2 plane wreck sites around the area. We spent more than a few hours at the bar enjoying some cold beverages. The food here was pretty good too. Our gazebo with the midgee proof insert was a real bonus here as we were able to sit outside without being bothered by flies and mozzies.
We left Punsand Bay and headed to Seisia where we planed to stay for a few nights. On the way, just before we reached Bamaga, Kylie had an OMG moment. She remembered she hadn't put the electric kettle away and had left it on the kitchen bench. This road is very rough and we both thought the kettle would surely have fallen onto the floor and be smashed into a thousand pieces, not to mention any damage to the kitchen it may have caused. We pulled over and Kylie went inside to check. To her absolute amazement, it was in exactly the same place we left it on the bench. Just proved how effective letting the tires down had been.
We pulled into the caravan park in Seisia. At first glance it didn't look too inviting but we were directed to the sites towards the north end of the park. These were absolutely magic and we had a choice of sites right on the edge of the camp adjacent to the beach. In some ways we wished we'd stayed here longer as our site was just amazing. Every night we had front row seats to some of the most beautiful sunsets we've ever seen. We enjoyed fishing off the beach and long walks at the end of the day. Again we had access to power although it was only 10 amp. Fortunately we had out AmpFibian with us so this wasn't a problem. Toilets and showers here were also pretty good.
One of the highlights here was having dinner at the nearby Loyalty Beach outdoor bistro. We had a terrific feed of prawns and fish whilst we watched yet another amazing sunset. You have to appreciate the experience of eating outdoors where there are signs warning of crocodiles..!
We left Seisia and started to head back south to our next destination of Weipa. Along the way we stopped at Bramwell Homestead. This is an operating cattle station and the most northerly in the country. They have opened up a camp-ground with basic facilities but they also provide meals and entertainment for visitors. It gets pretty busy here during the height of the tourist season so it pays to arrive early. We had a great night here singing, eating a hearty meal, meeting new friends and learning about the history of the station.
The road to Weipa is marked on the map as a rough 4wd track. Well it was far from it. In fact it was probably the best of the dirt roads we'd driven on in the Cape. It was a welcome relief from the rough Telegraph road. The only bad section was the last 20km or so into Weipa itself. It had some pretty gnarly corrugations on the corners but that was about it.
Driving into Weipa was a bit of a surprise. Its essentially a small town with a variety of small shops here. The population is mainly workers at the local mines. The caravan park is quite large and offers the best quality camping on the Cape with large grassed sites, great amenities and power and water connections. Its right on the local beach too. Unfortunately the pool was closed due to an issue with the filter so there was no opportunity to cool off from the heat of the day.
While we were there, someone lost control of their drone and it flew into a tree on the edge of the park. As if to remind us that we were in a more untamed part of the country, the police turned up and attempted to shoot the drone out of the tree. Only in Cape York...!
We stayed 3 nights in Weipa and then headed back to the Peninsula Development road. Just outside of Weipa would have to be the most remote set of traffic lights in the country. Apparently the monstrous mining trucks have right of way...!
Again we stayed at Cohen overnight at the same camp as the one we stayed on the drive up. While we were enjoying a few cold beverages, we heard a commotion at the creek crossing. Turned out a couple had tried to get across the creek with their small caravan and had gotten bogged in the soft sand. They had tried to recover themselves using sand tracks but only managed to dig themselves in deeper. Unfortunately no other vehicles were able to recover the rig so we unhitched our van and headed down. Unbelievably, no one had any recovery gear between them. We did so we were able to recover the stricken rig easily. Kylie took the opportunity to coordinate the recovery herself and she did an amazing job. She then showed everyone how a creek crossing should be done...! She was pretty happy with herself.
We finished our Cape York trip at Laura and took the opportunity to shake out some of the red dust from the car and the van. While we had an awesome time, we were both quite relieved to be back on the blacktop. After 3 weeks we'd had enough of the dirt and corrugations.
It will be very interesting to see what happens with access to the cape in the coming years. We were told that Rio Tinto were opening a new mine in the area and there are plans to seal the road all the way to Weipa. While this will make it very easy for others to visit this extraordinary part of the country, it will take away challenge of getting here and increase the number of tourists. I think it will loose some of the charm when that happens.
So, if you've been wondering if its possible to take your caravan to Cape York, it definitely is but only if you have at least a semi off road van. Make sure the vulnerable parts under the van are protected, fit a good set of all terrain tires, lower tyre pressures to 20psi and drive to the conditions. Or you could just wait a couple of years for the road works to finish. Either way....it is the adventure of a lifetime.