Cape York Wrap Up
So you're planning on going up to Cape York?
Don't worry, it’s not as bad as everyone says. All you need is preparation and common sense. Don't rush and take it easy when you hit the dirt.
Majority of the roads are good. Some roads we had to pay special attention on.
Chilli beach (not frenchmans) - It has some big wash outs that can snap your car/ute chassis if you're not careful. So we took it extra slow when we could see them coming plus having the rivers/creeks come up on our map we were well prepared for them.
Bloomfield Track - The locals and some 4x4 enthusiast don’t call this a 'Track' as it’s easy to just fly through. However for someone that has never attempted a track like this it can be very daunting at first. If you have just a 4WD then this track is easy however we were towing a caravan so it made it for a challenge. It’s very important that you know how to handle massive inclines and descents before hitting this track. There have been some people who have come stuck halfway on the inclines and had to wait for a tow truck to pull them out. If this ever happens to you then put the brakes on and get your partner to run out and put chocks under the wheels to stop the vehicle and caravan from rolling. We approached these inclines in 4L 4WD with the hubs locked and in first gear. This meant that our Nav was in its lowest gear possible with maximum revs. On the descents I had my finger on the brake controller’s override to provide more power to the caravan brakes so as not to overheat the cars brakes. It’s very important on these inclines and descents to give your car a break if you think it needs it. Get out and check the brakes of all tyres and monitor the engine temp of the car. If anything is abnormal then you will have to wait until they have cooled down.
PDR (Peninsular Development Road)
The road is simple to tackle, it consists of corrugations, washouts and really bad drivers. You have 2 choices with corrugations, Drive at 20-30km/h or 80km/h+. If you drive slowly your car will love you for it as it gets minimal wear and tear. Drive fast then you ‘skip’ over the corrugations and obviously gets you there quicker.
The tyre pressure we choose to run was 28 PSI cold all round when we hit the dirt. This was a very happy medium for us and provided a soft ride, not all 4WDs are the same so seek advice on what you should be running. We constantly check all bearings on the rigs as it’s a simple check and a failed bearing can be disastrous. All you have to do is put your hand on the bearing cover and if it’s crazy hot then you need to fix the heat issue ASAP.
The good thing about Cape York is that there is plenty of people up there doing it so if you have any issues, chances are the next person can help you. We even had a tour bus pull over and ask us if we were ok when we pulled over to get fire wood. There’s plenty of tow trucks and mechanics especially up near the top so once ago that is peace of mind.
I could go on all day but as long as you take it easy then your dramas will be less.
Our Cost Wrap Up
[From Cairns up to the tip & back to Cairns]