After five weeks away travelling to Cape York in North Queensland we are back at our home base on the Sunshine Coast. We have travelled some six thousand two hundred kilometres over the 37 days we were away including approximately one thousand seven hundred kilometres over gravel roads.
Places we visited during our trip included Charters Towers, Undara National Park, Cooktown, Weipa, Loyalty Beach and the Tip of Cape York, Mareeba and Agnes Water with lots of centres that we passed through or camped at on the journey.
The caravan was towed to Weipa and parked there while we travelled on to the tip of Cape York and back again and we spent five nights camped in a tent sleeping on an air mattress at Loyalty Beach Camping Area – we did prefer sleeping in the caravan to sleeping in the tent but would be happy enough to use the tent again in the right circumstances. Our camping experience was enriched by the company of good friends who shared the campsite with us and the bush turkeys and the horses that roamed wild through the camp ground (mainly at night).
During the trip, between Margaret and I, we took over two thousand six hundred photographs (thank goodness for digital cameras) but obviously didn’t publish them all in the blog. We stayed at fourteen different locations (some of them twice) with the longest stay being a combined six days at Weipa in two stints of three days each. We were on our own for half the trip but enjoyed the company of good friends Bevan and Denise for eighteen days before they headed west to Hughenden and Richmond while we headed south to Emerald.
By far the biggest cost on the trip was that of diesel fuel. The top price we paid was $2.25 per litre at Archer River. We also had to replace the battery in the truck at Bamaga; we were told that the corrugations prevalent on the roads in the north play havoc with batteries; however the battery was four and a half years old and was the original battery from new so we can’t complain about the longevity of it – let’s hope the new one lasts as long.
Money was spent on tours, tolls (crossing the Jardine River) and trips and we paid to stay at caravan parks and camping grounds. The cost of food and drinks was not a great deal different to what it would have cost had we been at home.
The highlights of the trip included reaching the Tip of Cape York, fishing off Albany Island (for Bevan and me), a tour to Thursday and Horn Islands, and a LARC tour from the Town of Seventeen Seventy and of course the scenery along the way. We will long remember the corrugations on the roads of Cape York (although by and large the roads weren’t too rough) and the dust, the dust, the dust. Since we returned home we have spent a lot of time washing and cleaning trying to eradicate the red dust of Cape York which seems to permeate everything – still it’s all part of the experience.
We are planning our next major caravan trip to take us around Australia visiting every State and Territory other than Tasmania over a three to four month period from March 2015. This will see us travel around seventeen thousand kilometres revisiting places that we like and visiting a few new places that we want to see. In the meantime there may be a few short trips that will probably not be reported in the blog.
Until next time!