The Old Telegraph Track – Cape York Roadtrip (Day 6)

Today we were standing up at 7 o’clock on our camping place in the forest. We ate again oats and cereals for breakfast, packed our car and startet driving with the goal to do some of the Old Telegraph Track today. The Old Telegraph Track is a road in the middle of the Cape York peninsula only for 4WD because it’s a rough and unpaved street where you have to cross rivers and drive steep and difficult tracks. This track is pretty challenging and for some people the only reason to go here. We are unfortunately unable to do everything of it, but some parts are easy enough for our car so will do at least a little bit.

Location of the Old Telegraph Track

After about 2 hours of driving we reached the Bramwell Junction roadhouse, which is just before the Old Telegraph Track. You can decide whether you want to drive the Telegraph Track or drive around it on the main road. We had some lunch and then drove around the first part of the Telegraph Track to skip the most difficult spots and access the track a little later with a small access road.

We reached the Telegrapgh Track after about one hour and started driving without knowing what to expect. After only 5 minutes on the track, it got already more rough and we had to slow down. After a curve and a difficult gap in the road it happened: The car already got stuck. Mike tried to escape the hole just by driving but the wheels would spin. So Louka, Florent and me had to get out and lift the car up by standing on one side of the car. Mike was then easily able to get out and we could continue our journey with a little bit more care.

The car already got stuck

After another 10 minutes of difficult roads we came into a small traffic jam. The cars were standing, because everybody had to cross a pretty wide river. They checked how to get through and had to find a good way through, that’s why it created a traffic jam. We watched the people crossing but everybody seemed to make this part with ease. We waited for all the people to cross and then it was our turn.

River crossing action on the Telegraph Track 

We were pretty worried if our car will do a good job and we were meticulously trying to find a good way. We found a good route which didn’t go too deep, going over flat rocks just underneath the water. Mike slowly drove through the river, following our advices where to go. After just 30 seconds we successfully reached the other side and were pretty happy to having overcome the river without damage

The road after the river crossing got easier and we could pass some kilometres without geting into trouble. After another small river crossing where Mike also had his difficulties because it was a pretty steep exit from the river, we eventually reached the main road and headed to our next destination, which were the beautiful Fruit Bat Falls.

Rivee crossing with the steep exit

The Fruit Bat Falls are small waterfalls looking a little bit like a small version of the Niagara Falls in Kanada. We saw pictures of it before and we thought that we had to go there because it looked amazing. After a little bit of driving on the main road, we left the road again and drove a small road through the forest until we reached the falls. We parked the car, got our swimming stuff and walked until we reached the beautiful waterfalls. We did some swimming, jumping and showers under the falls and relaxed a while and enjoyed the nice waterfalls. It’s unfortunately not too good for swimming because the water is very flat and it is pretty rocky there but we could enjoy anyway. We relaxed a little bit there and also took some showers under the falls.

The Fruit Bat Falls

After some more swimming, we got told that there are supposed to be even better waterfalls where you can also swim quite good. So we decided to leave the Fruit Bat Falls and kept driving north to the Elliot Twin Falls, which is a small system of waterfalls with pretty deep water for good swimming.

We had to keep driving on the Telegrapgh Track so we drove carefully until we reached a big and deep puddle, almost like a river. We tried to drive around it but there was no way unfortunately so we had to drive to a spot pretty close to the other side and try to cross from there. We had two options to get through: Either we drive a steep road to the water and then have a flat way to the exit or take a flat way to the river and then drive through deep water. But because we didn’t want to take the risk of geting stuck in the river we decided to take the steep entry and go the flat way after that. In the end, Mike mastered the river easily because the steep road wasn’t as hard as expected and the crossing was flat and super easy.

Steep road to cross the water

After the crossing we continued to the Elliot Twin Falls with no more difficult parts and then finally reached the car park. We had some sandwiches like yesterday in Weipa and then walked to the waterfalls with our swimming stuff. We found a nice spot to put our stuff and everybody apart from me went for a swim. I didn’t go in because I was afraid to get water in my ears. I have a problem with my ears since I’m about 5 years old and it’s critical to get water in my ears. I have some ear protection but it was too uncertain for me. So I stayed outside and watched the other guys jumping and swimming and taking videos with thei GoPro’s in this indeed very beautiful piece of nature.

One part of the Elliot Twin Falls waterfall system. A good place to swim.

After about one hour of relaxing and swimming we kept driving north on the Telegraph Track to get to another small road to leave the Telegraph Track becuase we were told that the upcoming part will also be very difficult to make with our car and Mike already got sick of driving these routes because he always has to be careful to not damage his car.

So we kept driving and passed some really nice places. The Telegraph Track wasn’t too busy which is good so we could drive without getting annoyed and bad because if we would get stuck, there would be not many people to help us… One time, we didn’t know how to keep going and we had to look all together for a way to keep driving. There were many ways to continue but all too difficult to make for our car. We eventually found a way all around it and could keep driving luckily. After that we came to another spot, where we couldn’t possibly keep driving becuase the road was just too rough and the risk of getting stuck was too high. Fortuantely, there was another way around it but we had to find the junction to get to this way. So we walked the other way back by feet and hoped to find an access to this road. Finally we found the access road and drove a little backwards to eventually take the other route.

Steep and rough roads

It was around 4 o’clock when we came to a beautiful river with some camper people around it. One of the guys knew us already because we met him before at one of the waterfalls. He told us that there are some beautiful areas to swim so we decided to built up our camp for tonight and stopped with driving for today.

We swam for a while and enjoyed the atmosphere in this remote place with some other people and then went back to our car. Because it was still pretty early and still light outside, I decided to take a nap because I was very tired from all this driving, camping and work in all the past days.

After I woke up again at about 6 o’clock in the evening Florent and me started to make some Couscous with sauce for dinner. After a while Louka and Mike came back from the river and Louka showed us proudly that he catched a prawn from the river nearby. So Louka cut the prawn and for the frst time in my life, we boiled self caught fish and ate it afterwards which was realy good and tasted even better than in restaurants.

The riverside close to our spot

After the dinner we made a small campfire and Mike already went to bed. Louka, Florent and I were talking next to the fire and watching the stars which was again a very relxing and beautiful thing to do.

At 10 o’clock we went to bed to stand up early again tomorrow because we plan to reach the tip of Cape York tomorrow! Finally after 7 days we will probably make it, I’m very excited for that!

This day was different to the days before because we had some difficult roads. For the first time the car got really challenged and it was almost too much but the car could handle it. After driving through rivers, steep roads and hidden paths we finally made it to this camping spot. Mike is starting to worry about his car and already sick of this kind of tracks but we have to stand it all together 😁 Let’s see how it goes tomorrow…

Cheers, love and peace, Leo

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