Trip to the Tip
It’s done – the trip to the top end and back. Click here for a picture story.
I left home at the beginning of July for a chilly trip across the Nullarbor and then followed a dirt track along the Darling River visiting the iconic pubs at the old ports at Tilpa and Louth, camping on the riverfront.
The SpareWheel celebrated her retirement by flying via Brisbane into Roma. From there we spent a few days in Carnarvon National Park – doing two consecutive 22 km day treks into the gorge. We then ambled via Mackay and Cape Hillsborough to meet up with family for a week’s charter in the Whitsundays.
After a few days in Cairns, we headed north up the Cape York Peninsula – doing the usual tourist stuff. We were lucky with our stay at Captain Billy’s Landing – hardly any wind so could camp on the beach edge. Fruit Bat Falls, Eliot Falls, Twin Falls etc. were fantastic and required us to take on some of the Overland Telegraph Track – rather timid stuff compared with the macho places!
The Jardine Ferry was a shambles – it didn’t start operating until after 11am with the consequent long queues. We stayed at Punsand Bay which is ’a beaut’. , and there ventured to the Tip, and lovely Somerset Beach. Pity about the crocs!
On the journey south we overnighted at a lovely free camping spot on the Steward River, birthday in Lakefield National Park at Kalpowar Crossing (where we sighted the only Saltie on the whole trip), then at Elim Beach.
A Saturday night at the iconic Lion’s Den pub was fun, and then followed the magic Bloomfield Track down to Cape Tribulation.
We used Port Douglas as a base to have some work done on the Prado and trip out to the Barrier Reef, before heading into the Tablelands, then dirt track down to Winton, to start the World’s Longest Shortcut back to Perth. After ruining 2 tyres on the Donahue/Plenty Highway heading from Boulia to Alice Springs, and 3 days in Alice, we tripped through the West Macdonald ranges, then to Kings Canyon via Mereenie Loop Road (Red Centre Way) and Uluru.
- The week’s charter in the Whitsundays
- Iconic pubs
- Fruit Bat Falls
- Lotusbird Lodge (near Lakefield)
- Staying at Eddie’s Elim beach
- Daintree Area
- Day trip out of Port Douglas for some scuba and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef
- Waltzing Matilda Museum (Winton) – serious!
- Alice Springs Desert Park
- Kings Canyon
- Gosse Bluff crater (Tnorala)
- Missing all the election hype
On the road one meets many interest folk – on this trip I am not sure who to give the “Redneck” award to:
- The turkey who said “no it’s not owned by aboriginals, its owned by real Aussies”
- The idiot found walking in thongs, no hat, no water down a dirt track to get petrol from the nearest town 50 kms away
- The bloke who carves his name on every tree where he camped up “It’s my brand, just like Burke and Wills”
So the score this time – 13,700kms, 2 tyres, broken Ipod and great memories