Thursday 8 August 2013

Cape York Adventure Part 3: The Old Telegraph Line and the Bypass to the Jardine River

Once you've left Weipa and continue up the guts of the Peninsula you will encounter Moreton Telegraph Station, it's not too far from Weipa, but we went to Mapoon first and thought it would be a good place to crash.
Good ameneties and it's at about this point you'll constantly bump into the same people every few days unless you are hiding somewhere way off the track!
Not much further north and you will run into Bramwell Junction, this is where you need to make sure your fuel and supplies are in check and decide whether you are going to tackle the Old Telegraph Line or take the Bypass. We went with a bit of each!
One of the other cool things about Bramwell Junction is the termite mounds across the road. You constantly see the termite mounds everywhere up the cape, however this little spot is really cool as everything else is cleared away and just the mounds remain. They seem much taller when there's no trees around and you are right up beside them!
 After topping up the diesel we took our first quick trip into the Old Telegraph Line, it's a pretty rough road, we went up to the first major river crossing before deciding it be best to continue on the bypass.
The Bypass road up to the Jardine River is quite long with no service stations or real stops, so it's nice to jump back onto the Old Telegraph Line from time to time.

The next major part of the Old Telegraph Line we saw during our travels was The Gunshot, it's a bit of a detour to get there from the bypass road, but well worth checking it out. We saw a couple of people go through the easy route but didn't see anyone take one of the killer "Gunshot" drops either way!
The Gunshot crossing is also littered with memoriabelia of parts that didn't make it and a few signs from different groups that have come through.
When we were there the river wasn't flowing much, but the tracks where very rough.

On the north side of the Old Telegraph Line is probably the most beautiful location in the Cape york Peninsula, Fruit Bat Falls.

A beautiful little water hole which you can swim and drink from, crystal clear waters and beautiful surroundings, supported by the fact Crocs can't jump up waterfalls makes this a great little spot to cool off. Despite us arriving at the end of July, the weather was sensational, you really need to remind yourself it's the middle of winter during the northern dry season!

The final leg of the bypass road to the Jardine was probably the roughest for us, very intense corrugations in some parts, however the scenery is constantly changing from rain forest to dry valleys which makes it well worth it!

- Cameron

Next The Jardine River

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