The Cape – P2 The Old Tele Track


You may or may not have heard of the Old Telegraph Track.  Initially, it was a telegraph line forged through the middle of Cape York up to the tip.  These days it is more famous as one of the most iconic 4wd tracks in Australia.  I’ll be honest, when we first started planning our  trip around Oz, I was a little apprehensive about going to Cape York and even more so about doing the Tele Track.  All those crocodiles and river crossings seemed a bit daunting to me.  But, as with most things, I started to do a bit of google research and as I found out more information about what the trip might entail, I slowly came around to the idea of  having a go.

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Okay – let’s do this!

Research aside, once we actually got to the start of the track we still didn’t really have too much of an idea of what we were in for.  We asked as many people as we could for information and decided that it should be fine and off we went.  I might add, we did prepare our car before leaving home with a various assortment of snorkels, diff locks, winches and other such four wheel drivey stuff, so we were very well prepared for whatever the track might throw at us.

The first crossing was Palm Creek and we lined up behind a few others to have a go, watching them first to make sure of the best plan of attack.  Once everyone else had a go and it was our turn, we found that our compressor wouldn’t work and needed a new fuse.  So after all repairs were complete, and everyone else had left us in their dust, Lockie and Phil jumped in the car to tackle the very steep entry and exit in and out of Palm Creek, while Lily and I bravely stood by and took photos!

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Crunch!

 

 

With a bit of crunching and other sounds you never want to hear your car and trailer make, they made it through and we set off with a little more confidence on our way up the track.

All in all there are about sixteen of these river crossings on the Tele Track so we still had a long way to go.  Each one presented its own set of challenges and I was feeling pretty grateful that after two fairly dry wet seasons up here, the rivers were not too deep.  In most cases the biggest challenges were getting in and out of the creeks, picking the best line of attack and keeping an eye on what the trailer was doing as well as the car.

 

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The option we took! The path of least damage!

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And we’re through Gunshot – Phew!

The first day we completed seven of the crossings, these were Palm Creek, South and North Alice Creek, The Dalhunty River, Bertie Creek, Gunshot and Cockatoo Creek, where we finally set up camp for the evening overlooking the creek.  Here we threw the nets in and managed to catch a whopping  four Cherabin (fresh water prawns), not enough for dinner, but tasty nonetheless!

The following day was only a short drive – heading towards the Elliot Falls campground where we had a site booked for the night.  On the way we crossed Sailor Creek before arriving at Fruit Bat Falls.    Fruit Bat Falls was amazing – we had a lovely swim in the crystal clear water which is apparently croc free!

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Fruit Bat Falls

After a lovely swim we headed off to the Elliot Falls campground, but not before we had to cross Scrubby Creek.  Normally this creek is so inconsequential that they haven’t even bothered to mark it on the map.  This year however it was very deep, very long and very murky.  We waited for a while to see if anyone else came along so we could watch them before attempting it ourselves.  Twenty minutes later we still hadn’t seen a soul so we decided that we would just have a crack.  Given that neither of us were game to walk through the water to see how deep it was or what the bottom was like, we just really had leave it to fate.  We got through fine in the end, the water was about 90cm deep and managed to seep into the car floor, my hands were shaking so hard at the end it was ridiculous!  Once over the other side we had to open the doors of the car so all the water could flow out!

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Bags not walking this one!

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That water flowing down the road is coming out of the car!

Then it was on to Elliot Falls campground where we arrived about lunchtime to enjoy the three lovely swimming spots of Elliot Falls, Twin Falls and The Saucepan.

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Elliot Falls

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Twin Falls

The next day was our last day on the track and we completed the northern section.  The crossings were again all different.  First up we crossed about five creeks in quick succession.  The road at the northern end was a lot rougher and we had to keep an eye on the trailer a lot more this time. We crossed Canal Creek, Sam Creek, Mistake Creek, Cannibal Creek, Cypress Creek and Nolan’s Brook.

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Cannibal Creek

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About to tackle Nolan’s Brook

The final destination on the Tele Track was the Jardine River.  There is also a crossing here, but it is very long and sandy.  That combined with the fact that the river is crocodile infested pretty much meant that we were catching the ferry.  Very few people attempt this crossing nowadays.  Before the ferry it used to be the only way to get across the river.  While we didn’t see anyone attempt it, we heard that there were a few that did it successfully.

We managed to reach the Jardine, where we sat and contemplated our adventure over lunch.  Then it was off to catch the ferry and complete our mission to reach the tip of Australia.

Stay Tuned for Part Three of our Cape York Adventure!

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6 comments

  1. Oh my goodness, how exciting. What an adventure you are having. Hope you get there soon

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks like fun up there, nice pics

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Probably best to choose the option that doesn’t involve crocs eating u for breaky

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow what an adventure you guys are on !!! Think I would need sedating to go through some of those rivers ha. 😀 Looking forward to your next blog xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good shit guys living the dream well written for a teacher lol 👍😜

    Like

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