If you want to watch the video instead of reading the blog then here it is!
So after 17 days on the road and 6 nights up at the top end of Australia, it was time to say good bye and head south again.
Day 17 – 17 Sept 2017 Seisia to Captain Billy’s Landing via Fruit Bat Falls
197km 3hr 28mins driving time
So leaving Seisia we headed back across the Jardine River and ducked into Fruit Bat Falls for a day visit. I’ve seen some stunning pictures of it but the day we went the water level was low and it was quite overcast and blowy so it didn’t make an impression on us compared to Eliot Falls. An hour here was all we needed.
We decided to then head out to Captain Billy’s Landing to catch up with the Brisbane 4wd Club guys. Captain Billy’s Landing is a very exposed campsite and has no shelter from the trade winds and the day that we went was a bit miserable. The other guys stayed one night and then took off whereas we stayed 2 nights.
In retrospect I wouldn’t stay here again and only visit it as a day trip.
Day 18 – 18 Sept 2017 Captain Billy’s Landing
Captain Billy’s Landing is famous for a bat cave which is only accessible on the low tide. It also has a very rocky foreshore and the beach is extremely wind swept all the time by looking at how the foilage has grown.
We noticed the whole beach covered in Dazzle Bleach bottles which we have no idea why they had washed up. We suspect it is from PNG or passing boats. Sad to see it though.
Day 19 – 19 Sept 2017 Captain Billy’s Landing to Weipa
294.4km 5hrs 32mins driving time
After a cold blowy night at Captain Billy’s Landing we headed back to Bramwell Station and then onto Weipa where we chilled at the Weipa Caravan Park. We basically saw the sun rise over the ocean on the east coast of the Cape followed by the sun setting over the ocean on the west side of the Cape.
Day 20 – 20 Sept 2017 Weipa
Weipa is a boring arsed mining town with not much to do so we hung around the shopping centre and the caravan park pool and just chilled.
Day 21 – 21 Sept 2017 Weipa to Pennefather River
100.4km 2hrs 39mins driving time
After getting sorted in Weipa we then headed north to an absolutely magical place called Pennefather River and I would have to say that this place is the most stunningly beautiful place that we have been to on this trip so far.
The river mouth is actually turquoise blue with powder white sand and reef just off shore. It’s known as an exceptional fishing area and massive fish just jump out of the water everywhere. And of course we caught nothing…
The only problem is that it is pure torture in that the day was 37 degrees and the water was beautiful but there are crocs and schools of sharks and deadly jellyfish all waiting to kill you if you went for a swim.
In fact it’s the only place I’ve seen a school of sharks swimming with their fins above water like you see in Jaws movies.
Now amazingly we also did a couple of things I never though I would do.
First we decided to camp on a headland next to a small tidal lagoon which just so happened to have a few crocs just hanging out on the sandbanks… Man if you ever told me I’d be sleeping in my tent only 80 meters away from a croc infested lagoon I’d tell you that’s crazy… mainly because there is a famous story up here of a man taken out of his tent by a croc and if you want to read about it, here is the link…
And then just because I thought it would be cool, I flew my drone over the croc’s head to get some video footage but it was such a windy day that a wind gust just dropped my drone into the water in front of the croc and friggin drowned it!!!!!!!
Man I loved that drone!!!!! That drone was awesome and all the aerial pics we have sent through was from that drone.
And so despite having seen youtube videos of people who drowned their drones in salt water and they always tell you that they corrode and are unfixable… there is still a stupid part of a male brain that wants to rescue things so of course I just jumped into the croc infested waters to recover it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well I thought it was perfectly rational until I looked over at Avril who had a massive scowl on her face and then Kitson who was bawling in tears since we had just spent 3 weeks telling her not to go near croc waters and she was just imagining her dad being taken by a croc…
Well I guess at that stage I realised that it may have been just a tiny bit irrationale and irresponsible… ooops… Bad Daddy!!!
Day 22 – 22 Sept 2017 Pennefather River to Coen
415.4km 6hrs 16mins driving time
So we left the stunning Pennefather Rive and headed back to Weipa and then aimed at getting to Laura. However just north of Coen a shudder in my drive shaft made me realise that the flange was buggered. There is an RACQ mechanic in Coen so we stayed the night to get some advice from him and he felt that I could drive through to Cairns with it rattling. That in retrospect was terrible advice as it could have broken off and speared up through the passenger seat.
Day 23 – 23 Sept 2017 Coen to Laura 279.2km 3hrs 43min driving time
We decided to drive to Laura instead but the rattle was so great that when we pulled up in Laura I decided that we would have to stay so I could pull my drive shaft off to drive home.
Laura is a place we wanted to go to because there is the Quinkan Aboriginal Rock Art galleries here and there is a famous tour to some hidden sites that we wanted to do. Unfortunately the guide wasn’t working today so that was an excuse to repair the Jeep in 40 degree heat in a small aboriginal town.
Man being a bush mechanic is not a superpower that I want to have. After I got the shaft off, we did an afternoon visit to Split Rock which is the public rock art site just south of Laura.
Day 24 – 24 Sept 2017 Quinkan Rock Art and then Laura to Mission Beach
574.6km 7hrs 2min driving time
Quinkan is a site just outside of Laura at the southern part of Cape York and it is a well kept secret. It has aboriginal rock art that has been amazingly well preserved in an unassuming volcanic rock area and it is listed in the top 10 Unesco sites in the world.
Not only that but the paintings are thought to be 30-35 thousand years old and some other sites in the area are now considered to be 40-50 thousand years old which would rewrite the history books of man’s migration around the world.
Man… That’s friggin amazing!!!!!!!
And as all you long term readers of our blog know, we love really old shit!!! We have travelled to 67 countries around the world mainly to look at archaeological sites and prior to this the oldest man-made stuff we had seen where the Chinchorro mummies in Northern Chile at about 8000 years old.
So to now be looking at 35000 year old cave art in our own state of Queensland just blew us away. Especially considering how well preserved they are. It is such an amazing place and yet we had only heard about it when we started planning this trip. It is such a well kept secret.
So we joined a tour with an aboriginal elder John who did an amazingly passionate tour for us to Quinkan galleries which is in a hidden site outside Laura. You would never find it without local knowledge which is a great thing to protect it.
$160 per person for the tour but it was worth it and it was money to a good cause.
After the morning tour we officially left Laura and Cape York and drove right down to Mission Beach.
Day 25 – 25 Sept 2017 Mission Beach to Ayr
327.6km 4hr driving time
Day 26 – 26 Sept 2017 Ayr to Airlie Beach
202.8km 2hr 43min driving time
Day 27 – 27 Sept 2017 Airlie Beach to Whitsunday Tour
Day 28 – 28 Sept 2017 Chilling around Airlie Beach
Day 29 – 29 Sept 2017 Airlie Beach to Tannum Sands
682.7km 8hrs 13mins driving time
Day 30 – 30 Sept 2017 Tannum Sands to Brisbane via Hervey Bay Whale Watching
597.6km 7hrs 51mins driving time
Hey you’ve reached the end of our 5 blog series going to the Tip of Australia! Man! This road trip was simply amazing and our Jeeps were fantastic on all aspects of the trip. This would be one of the best holidays that we have ever had and we will do it again sometime.
It’s back to real life now and we’ll blog on tips and tricks in the next blog!