18 Day Semi - Catered Cape York Tag- Along Tour (#257)

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Cooktown and Cape York » 18 Day Semi - Catered Cape York Tag- Along Tour (#257)

Type: Tours - Cape York Tag-Along Tours

On this Tag Along tour to Cape York you travel in a convoy of no more than 10 vehicles, you travel in the comfort of your own/hire vehicle and enjoy some challenging driving while being escorted and assisted by your personal guides.

Departure Dates 2016:

June 5th – June 22nd 2016
July 3rd – July 20th 2016
July 31st – Aug 17th 2016 
Sept 4th – Sept 21st 2016

How to Book: A detailed itinerary giving daily distances, daily events etc. will be issued upon booking and receipt of $400 per person deposit payment for this tour. The final balance will be due no later than 90 days prior to departure. All payments made are commitment payments and once paid are not refundable. If you need to postpone until 2014 and let us know 60 days prior to date of departure.

More Information:

Day 1

We gather this morning in Cairns for a short meet and greet and then we travel up the beautiful Kuranda Range to Mareeba, which enjoys over 300 days of sunshine each year. Then it’s on to Dimbulah for a morning tea break and then we head west to historic Chillagoe.

This town boasts a stunning mix of outback landscape, mining heritage, aboriginal art sites and fantastic limestone caves. After lunch we are booked in for a National Park Ranger guided cave tour.

There are many other interesting sites to see around Chillagoe, such as the Arts & Crafts Shop, Balancing Rock, the old State owned copper smelters and Tom Prior’s Ford museum. In the evening we sit down to our Welcome Dinner, which is provided for us and we begin to get to know each other a bit better. After dinner we set off on our Observatory Tour which rounds off a very busy first day.

Day 2

This morning we pack up our campsite and set off, leaving Chillagoe behind in the distance. We head for the historic Tyrconnell Gold Mine, where we see the 120 year old quartz crusher in action.

After lunch it’s off to the old ghost town of Mt Mulligan, where we explore the abandoned coal mine site where 75 miners lost their lives in a massive underground explosion in September 1921.

The town cemetery contains the graves of those tragically killed that day. We then travel north on some challenging 4WD tracks through Kondoparinga Station and arrive in the afternoon at a delightful crossing on the Mitchell River where we can enjoy a cuppa or a dip.

Once refreshed, it’s a short distance before we are on the tar sealed Peninsula Development Road where we soon arrive at Palmer River Roadhouse and set up camp. A hearty meal is provided for us at the Roadhouse and this is a fitting end to another interesting day.

Day 3

We break camp this morning and leave for Lakeland where we can refuel our vehicles if required. We soon say goodbye to the bitumen and head north west towards Laura where we visit the Split Rock Aboriginal art site and the Quinkan & Regional Cultural Centre.

After lunch we explore the old railway Bridge to Nowhere and the old Laura lock up. Native police from Laura were sent south to hunt the Kelly Gang in the 1870s and they were present at Ned’s last stand in June 1880 at Glenrowan.

Our journey takes us on the dirt road past Hann River Roadhouse and on to Musgrave Roadhouse which was originally built as a telegraph station in 1887. Here we see the well maintained airstrip with the big mango tree at the end of it, shading the lonely graves of some of the pioneers of the Cape.

We enjoy a break to refuel or have a cuppa before we set off for Coen. In just over an hour we turn off the main road to Charlie’s Gold Mine and set up camp. Here we get to meet one of the true characters of the Cape with his house made of bottles, and an opinion on everything from climate change to modern telephones.

Our camp for the night includes a hot shower which helps wash away some of the red dust.

Day 4

We say goodbye to our host Charlie, and continue our trip north west towards Archer River Roadhouse where we enjoy a pleasant stop at the café or down on the banks of the river.

Away again and we are soon heading west at the Weipa turnoff, where we find a good gravel road into this mining town on the western side of the Cape.

Arriving around midday, we set up camp in the shady surroundings of the main camping ground in Weipa and have lunch. In the afternoon we are booked on a guided bus tour of the largest bauxite mine in the world.

In the evening we enjoy a fabulous meal together which is provided for us. Later on, the waves gently breaking on the beach near our camp, settle us down for a good night’s sleep after another interesting day.

Day 5

This is a free day in Weipa. You can spend the day of relaxation doing a range of things including fishing, photography, reading, shopping, swimming in the campground pool or doing nothing at all in the thirteen acres of tropical trees and green lawns.

There are several operators providing fishing charters out of Weipa and we can supply their contact details to you upon request. A special treat for the photographers is the sunset over the tranquil waters of Albatross Bay.

Day 6

Today we are ready for action again as we pack up and leave Weipa behind and head for the famous Telegraph Road. Our morning takes us through the Batavia Downs cattle station as we travel east again and join the road not far from the Wenlock River.

This river crossing is a lot safer these days with a concrete bridge now spanning, what was a very interesting water crossing prior to its construction about 12 years ago. On the northern bank of the Wenlock is Moreton Telegraph Station where we pull up for a refreshing morning tea break and enjoy the sounds of the water rushing by.

In another hour or so, we arrive at Bramwell Junction where the Old Telegraph Track branches off Bamaga Road and the real 4WD adventure of a Cape York trip begins. There are several water crossings over creeks and rivers and some have particularly steep approach and departure angles.

We stop for a lunch break along the OTT and take in the wonderful diversity of the flora and fauna of the Cape. Our destination is Eliot Falls, a beautiful part of the Cape where we can enjoy a refreshing swim and wash that dust away.

Our camp site is in the camp grounds at the falls, where we can light a fire, if we remember to collect some firewood along the way.

Day 7

This morning you won’t have to pack up your tent and camping gear as you have the luxury of another free day. There is no driving scheduled and here at Eliot Falls you will have plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere of one of the most beautiful camp sites on the Cape.

Twin Falls and Indian Head Falls are both very popular swimming holes and many hours can be spent in these crystal clear pools of fresh water.

Firewood can be collected not far from the camp and the relaxing time here will have you well and truly refreshed for the following day.

Day 8

Today our destination is the seaside village of Seisia, right on the tranquil shores of Torres Strait. First we have to cross the mighty Jardine River, fortunately via the vehicle ferry which operates only during the daylight hours.

We arrive at the Seisia Holiday Park and set up camp, a lovely spot where we will be relaxing for the next few days.

A short exploratory walk around the campground shows us the jetty right next door and the beautiful white sandy beach where the sunrises and sunsets are a ‘must do’ for all the visitors who make it to this part of the world.

Our dinner tonight is provided for us in the restaurant at the camp ground.

Day 9

Today’s the day we get to stand on the most northern ‘Tip’ of mainland Australia. On the way there, we visit the Croc Tent, where souvenirs and refreshments are available on the road side at Lockerbie.

At last, we get to walk the last few hundred metres to the very top of the Australian continent. After our walk we head to the historic ruins of the Somerset Homestead. This is the site where the Jardine family lived in the 1860s and just down a small sandy track near the beach, we find the graves of Frank Jardine and his wife Sana.

We stop for lunch in a lovely shady spot where the old jetty once stood. On the way back to camp we stop at the WW2 wreck of an old DC3 aircraft. It crashed in May 1945, with tragic results.

We also check out some more WW2 plane wrecks near Jacky Jacky Airport. The afternoon is pretty much free after that, so there is an opportunity to throw a line in or relax on the beach. This is a great place to unwind after the challenging trip north.

Day 10

This is another free day to do whatever you choose, although we recommend a ferry trip over to Thursday Island and Horn Island which can also include guided bus tours and lunch.

There is a good deal of historic significance in the Torres Strait with the Green Hill Fort and the All Souls Quetta Memorial Church on TI, and the WW2 Museum on Horn Island. Tours can be arranged through the Seisia Holiday Park office but we strongly advise you to book early in order to avoid disappointment.

Remember to ask for your senior’s discount if applicable. As well, we are able to provide you with the contact details for several fishing charter operators who can take you out on a trip to one of the best fishing spots in Australia.

The beautiful aqua coloured waters around the Straits are sure to stick in your memory forever.

Day 11

Today we are well and truly refreshed as we pack up camp and begin our journey southwards across the Jardine River once again.

Our destination is Vrilya Point, which is out on the west coast. Along the way we have to cross a log bridge over Crystal Creek, only a few kilometers off Bamaga Road.

This is where we can have a swim and also where we must collect our drinking water as there is none available further on towards the coast.

Once we reach the beach, we turn south and find a suitable camp site under the casuarina trees where we get to see those fabulous sunsets again over the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Day 12

We wake up this morning to a million dollar ocean view and as this is a free day, we have plenty of time to kick back or go beachcombing along the water’s edge.

Up to the north, after a short drive there’s an opportunity to investigate the old rusting wreck of a stranded light ship. This area is a fisherman’s’ paradise, so remember to bring your gear.

These unspoilt beaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria make this place one of the highlights of the Cape.

Day 13

We travel to the beautiful Fruit Bat Falls this morning for a refreshing swim before we make our way across to the east coast of the Cape to Captain Billy’s Landing.

Its here we find a flat grassy area right on the beach, which was the loading site for Comalco’s cattle operation in the Heathlands area several decades ago.

This picturesque spot is our lunch stop and we can explore the remains of the old concrete landing ramp that has stood the test of time.

This location is also an excellent spot for a walk along the beach.

After lunch we head back to the main track and set out for Moreton Telegraph Station, where we set up camp for the night, once again on the banks of the beautiful Wenlock River.

Day 14

Today’s part of our journey is a fairly long run south towards Musgrave Roadhouse where it is an ideal place to refuel and freshen up before we head east again, this time into Lakefield National Park.

Our trip takes us into the second largest National Park in Queensland which covers approximately 5,500 sq kms.

It features historic sites, 4WD tracks, plentiful wildlife, diverse vegetation, large rivers and extensive wetlands. Many of these are fringed by tall paper barks and thick rainforest. Soon after entering the Park, we stop at a lily covered billabong, where we can spot some of the spectacular birdlife that lives here, including brolgas, jabiru, parrots and finches.

We collect our firewood along the way and when we get to Hann Crossing, we set up our camp near the river, with a crackling fire for company.

The sounds of the night in this peaceful place are sure to put us straight to sleep after our dinner.

Day 15

Today we pack up and break camp and we set off for Old Laura Station, which had its beginnings in the cattle industry dating back to the 1870s.

The homestead and several of the out buildings are still pretty much intact and it is a great place to get a close look at how our pioneers lived in the bush. On our way down Battle Camp Road just a few kilometers before we hit the bitumen, we stop at Isabella Falls and see another clear mountain stream on our way to Cooktown.

The lush rainforest indicates that we are heading towards the coast and pretty soon we are in the town named after the famous British explorer who mapped our eastern coastline over 240 years ago.

We arrive in Cooktown in the afternoon and make our way to our camp site and set up. In the evening, we are provided with a meal of delicious fish and chips on the wharf before turning in for the night.

Day 16

We have the day to ourselves in Cooktown and this gives us the opportunity to explore the many places of interest here, including the site where the HMS Endeavour was beached for repairs in June 1770.

We are given a tour of the James Cook Museum with its many items of historical significance, including the original anchor and cannon from the Endeavour. You can take a leisurely stroll around town and enjoy the relaxed charm of Cooktown.

The botanic gardens, the historic town cemetery, the arts and craft shop, the history centre, the beautifully restored buildings, and the spectacular Grassy Hill Lookout, are all well worth seeing.

Day 17

It’s another free morning to finish all that souvenir shopping and sightseeing and in the afternoon, we set off down the Mulligan Highway.

We turn off to Archer Point where from the lookout, we can see all the way out to the Great Barrier Reef. Then it’s off to Black Mountain, which is over 300 metres high, with its fascinating rock formations, the place of Aboriginal legends.

We soon arrive at the Lions Den Hotel at Helenvale, where we camp on the grassy banks of the Annan River. For our last night together, we are provided with our Farewell Dinner at this historic pub, which was built in 1875.

The food here is great and the atmosphere is unforgettable, as we celebrate our time together, conquering Cape York.

Day 18

Today, we head for the spectacular Bloomfield Track, which presents a challenging drive through the World Heritage listed rainforest. It’s a 4WD only track, traversing several creeks and river crossings including some steep climbs and descents.

We cross the river at Wujal Wujal, and soon we get to enjoy the view from the tops of the peaks as we make our way to Cape Tribulation. We stop for a lunch break at Cape Tribulation and here we get to see where the rainforest meets the reef.

This is truly a beautiful part of Australia and soon we are headed for the Daintree River Ferry, where we cross over and begin to make our way south towards Port Douglas. Pretty soon we are following the stretch of road that follows the Pacific Ocean for many kilometers as we get closer to Cairns.

We have enjoyed a truly memorable experience, travelling by 4WD to Cape York, building friendships that are sure to last a lifetime and sharing some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world.

We arrive in Cairns in the late afternoon and bid our farewells before heading home to share our amazing adventures with our families and friends.


Features & Inclusions

  • All camping, park entrance & landholder fees where applicable
  • Use of and assistance with Guide's recovery gear
  • BBQ plates for camp cooking if camp fires are permitted
  • Camp showers where possible
  • Daintree and Jardine River Fees
  • Satellite Phone use (small fee applies)
  • Assistance with trip preparation
  • Tour Information Pack
  • Tour of Bauxite Mine in Weipa
  • Tour of Thursday Island and a the tip of Cape York!
  • Welcome Dinner and Farewell Dinner

Rates and Tariffs

2016 Season
2nd May 2016 to 30th Sep 2016
Semi Catered - 18 Day Tour - Min two people per booking $4595.00 per person
$750.00 per child
Extra person $750.00 per person
* Booking terms and conditions may apply, please details below.

* All prices are inclusive of GST and in Australian Dollars ($AUD)

Booking Information

This tour is suitable for high clearance, dual range vehicles

The price covers 1 - 2 people. An extra person charge of $750 applies

Booking Policy

A detailed itinerary giving daily distances, daily events etc. will be issued upon booking and receipt of $400 per person deposit payment for this tour. The final balance will be due no later than 90 days prior to departure. All payments made are committment payments and once paid are not refundable. I

We reserve the right to alter travel times and routes depending on weather conditions and road closures or any other circumstances.
Not included in our tour costs are medical, personal, motor vehicle and travel insurances, nor are we responsible for any personal, vehicle repair and fuel expenses.

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Cooktown and Cape York » 18 Day Semi - Catered Cape York Tag- Along Tour (#257)