We left Cooktown late morning, and our first stop was the Old Laura Homestead. It was a big cattle farm that provided meat to the locals back in the 1800’s. Then we kept going to Musgrave Roadhouse to set up camp. To get there, we crossed 3 creek crossings and the road was really rough. Musgrave Roadhouse is where people camp when they’re heading up to the Cape, and there were lots of big trucks like my Pops. There was a big tank and it had all of the towns, and how far away they were. From Musgrave, the Tip was 570 km away and that’s where we were heading.
While we were camped at Musgrave we met Blaize, who is 14, and Jesse who is 7. They were playing soccer, and Lachie and I played with them. Blaizes’ parents names are Skin and Kara and they are from Mackay. Jesses’ Grandma is Tracey and his Pop is Bone, and they are from Townsville. Skin and Bone are good mates and both drive trucks.
The next day we all packed and headed to Bramwell Station, about 300km away, and nothing but corrugations. On the way we stopped at Moreton Telegraph Station and had an icy pole. The Moreton Telegraph Station was built in the 1800s, and was really important for communication to the people down south.
When we got to Bramwell Station, the All 4 Adventure (a television show) guys were there, and it was really cool because they cut sick on 4WD tracks.
That night we watched the Cowboys and the Broncos play (because we were in NRL country and they didn’t have Channel 7 for the footy!) Being in Nth Queensland, I went for the Cowboys, and they won!
The next day we packed and headed to the start of the Old Telegraph Track, also known as The Tele or the OTT. The Tele is one of the most iconic 4WD tracks in Australia. We filled up with fuel at Bramwell Junction. About half an hour later we were off. In total, we had to cross 16 creeks and I’II tell you about the difficult creeks.
The first creek was Palm Creek. It looked tough, so we went looking for a chicken track. We found there was no other way, so we had to go down it. There was a drop off at the entrance, but the creek itself had dried up. Skin went down first and showed us how it was done, then Dad came down with our camper trailer, then Bone followed.
There were lots of other creeks, but probably the most famous one is Gunshot. It’s basically a straight drop down, and very steep (only the sickest 4WDs would be capable to do that) There were actually 12 entries, or ways to get down, and they were all pretty steep. We took the chicken track, and it was still a tricky entry because you need good suspension and good flex.
After we crossed through, we backed into Gunshot #1 and took some photos. We hung out for a while, had lunch, and looked around at all the stuff people had left there (car parts, numbers and lots of beer cans).
From there we headed north to Eliot falls Campground. We got there around 4 o’clock. In all, it took about 7 hours for us to drive roughly 50km. When we got to Eliot Falls, there were 3 swimming holes. The first one was called The Saucepan, and Blaize, Lachie and I did some cliff jumping. Then the next one was Eliot Falls, and it had a 3 metre high cliff. Lachie, Blaize and I jumped it aswell, even though it wasn’t really a swimming hole. Next was Twin Falls, and it was shallow, and there was this really cool section where you could sit in the waterfall.
The next day, we continued along the Tele Track. The next creek we came to was Canal Creek. There were a couple of dips and we got through it, but Bones’ car, the Ford Ranger, didn’t. We all helped, and had to use the Max Trax to get him up the last bit.
We kept driving to Mistake Creek. When we got there, we saw that it was up to Blaizes waste at the entrance, so we had to back out and go down the other chicken track. The next creek was Cannibal. To get to the entrance, there was heaps of dip holes, then there was a really steep drop off and a sharp turn to the exit. Coming out and up the other side, Dad actually did a wheelie, and got a couple of tyres off the ground!
The next one wasn’t actually a creek, well it was under it, but it was a Log bridge long ways. It wasn’t very sturdy, and was pretty scary to cross over. After that, we kept going to a creek called Logans Creek. It was a little deep, up to my chest, which was up to the bullbar of the car. That time I was in the front seat, and we got a heap of water in the floor of the car. The last crossing we did was Nolans Brook. It’s usually the deepest crossing on the whole Tele Track, but it wasn’t really that deep. Dad let me steer this one, which was pretty cool! After we had all made it through, we played in the water at the swinging rope for a while, while all the adults had a break.
At the end of the Tele we took photos and celebrated. Then we kept going to the Jardine River, and crossed over using the Barge Ferry. That night we stayed at a campground called Loyalty Beach and camped there for 4 nights. We had mackerel and chips for dinner up in the Beer Garden overlooking the water.
Day 1 at Loyalty, we went to the Tip, which is the northern most point of Australia. On the way, we stopped at the Croc Tent and I got a Tele Track top. Blaize and Jesse met us up there at The Tip, and we took a heap of photos and looked at all of the memorials. There was a really big current in the water, and I reckon there would have been heaps of big fish in there. When we got home, the sun was coming down and it was really flat so Lachie, Dad and I went fishing. I caught a trevally, filleted it and put it in the freezer for the crab pot.
Day 2 at Loyalty we went fishing again early in the morning and dad caught a 2 metre Zebra Shark, but he had to throw it back. A couple of hours later Skin, Kara and Blaize arrived and set up camp near us. In the afternoon, we put the crab pot in the sea, with the trevally as bait. 10 mins later we checked it, and there was a Blacktip Reef Shark and a couple of little crabs, we ate the shark for lunch and the rest of the Trevally.
Day 3 at Loyalty, we had a pretty quiet day, and about 4 o’clock Blaize and I went fishing in the boat by ourselves, which was pretty fun.
The next day, we packed up and headed to Punsand Bay. Skin, Kara & Blaize started on their way home, and went to Weipa. We didn’t do much at Punsand Bay, but that night we ordered pizza, and watched the outdoor movie, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’.
Day 2 at Punsand Bay, we went to the secret hidden treehouse. It’s hard to find and no one will tell you where it is. Then we went on this 4WD track called the 5 beaches. It takes you to 5 different beaches along the east coast of the Cape. We didn’t stop at any, just drove through them. When we got home we hung out on the beach, and that night the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans played in the Prelim Finals. Luckily, they had Channel 7, so we got to watch it, and the kids watched Despicable Me in the outdoor theatre. The Cats lost in the footy and the Cowboys lost aswell in the NRL 🙁
The next day, we packed up and were planning on heading to Weipa. On our way, we got a message from Skin that the road was pretty bad, and they popped a few tyres, so we decided not to head there, instead just made our way home. On the way, we again saw the ‘All 4 Adventure’ guys, who were attempting to cross the Jardine River. They ended up making it, by putting floats on the tyres, and using an outboard boat motor on the back of the Hilux!
That afternoon, we stopped for a swim at Fruit Bat Falls, and then ended up going back to Musgrave Roadhouse that night. What a trip!!! We all had so much fun – the best time ever for our family 🙂