Bypass Roads


Bypass Roads are an alternative to the Old Telegraph Track.

If you want to take it easy and don't like to drive your vehicle through creek crossings along a rough track that takes you ages,
this is an easier and quicker option.

These roads are longer than the Old Telegraph Track, but they are in so much better condition that you save time.


That said, I would never recommend anyone to miss out the Old Telegraph Track,
which is by far the best part of a Cape York trip.


The best way to do it is to drive the Old Telegraph Track one way, and Bypass Roads the other - although they can be annoyingly corrugated, and boring compared to the Old Telegraph Track, there are a few things and side tracks worth discovering.

bramwell junction

Southern Bypass Road

The Southern Bypass Road starts in Bramwell Junction. It is longer than the northern half, but it is a bit better - some parts are even sealed towards both ends of it. It passes by Bramwell Station, a turnoff to Shelburne, and further north the turnoff to Captain Billy Landing - a nice but often windy coastal camping spot on the eastern coast of Cape York. 

southern bypass road

In the middle of the southern and the northern half, they join the Old Telegraph Track, or, rather - the Old Telegrph Track joins them - there is no adventurous four wheel drive track for a little while. T
hen there is a sign to Cape York's most famous waterfalls.

bypass roads

First you come to Fruit Bat Falls, which is a day use area with a picnic table and a small parking lot.

A few kilometres further north are Eliot and Twin Falls. Here, you can camp over night. It is a very nice place to camp and gets crowded during the high season.

All the three waterfalls are great for a cool dip, and a good break from the dusty roads

northern bypass road

Northern Bypass Road

The Northern Bypass Road starts north of the waterfalls, and goes another 62km north to Jardine River.

It passes by the turnoff to Vrilya Point on the western coast of Cape York.


The northern end of the Bypass Roads is south of Jardine River.


Later, after the Jardine River, you will pass by another turnoff - to Ussher Point and Sadd Point on the eastern coast of Cape York.

Fruit Bat Falls

Fruit Bat Falls is one of Cape York's best swimming holes.

It is a beautiful spot, with clear water, and a great place to cool down.

The only downside is that during the high season it can get more crowded than some other, less known swimming holes.

fruit bat falls

You can swim in the pool under the falls,

fruit bat falls swimming

... or you can find a swimming hole on top of the falls as well.

fruit bat falls swimming hole

I have heard well travelled people saying that it is the best swimming hole they have seen in the whole Australia.

Eliot and Twin Falls

Twin Falls are some of the best swimming holes in Cape York.

Just north of Fruit Bat Falls, another great swimming hole, they make a great break from dusty roads - it's a cool dip you will remember!

They are right next to Eliot/Indian Head Falls, which are nice too, but not as nice for swimming.

eliot falls

Eliot and Twin Falls
 
are a short walking distance from each other.

twin falls

Both are easily reached from the main road, near the junction of the Old Telegraph Track, and Northern and Southern Bypass Road.

Captain Billy Landing

Captain Billy Landing is a nice coastal spot.

It is on the eastern coast of Cape York and reached from the southern part of Bypass Roads.

captain billy landing entrance

The road in goes through some tropical rainforest ...

captain billy landing track

... and then a heathland with some views,

captain billy landing views

... as the road gets a little hilly.


captain billy landing road
 
It is a nice spot,

captain billy landing cape york

... with a
nice rocky headland ...

captain billy landing headland

... and a
white sand beach,

captain billy landing beach

.. but it's often windy, as many other places on the eastern coast of Cape York.

Vrilya Point

Vrilya Point is on the western coast of northern Cape York.

It is a beautiful coastal spot and a lookout point on the western coast of Cape York - you are in the Gulf Savannah!

It is reached from the northern one of the two Bypass Roads that bypass the Old Telegraph Track.

It is not so often visited by the average Cape York traveller, but it's not that far in from the Bypass Road.


Not long after turning in you come to a great swimming hole - the Crystal Creek.
 

It's beautiful with clear, clean emerald green water and it's a great spot to stop for a cool swim, and there are also camping spots both on the eastern and western side of it.

crystal creek

The bridge itself is quite broken so take care when crossing it and get your wheels right.

UPDATE 2015 This is currently where the road into Vrilya Point is closed.

crystal creek bridge

Next you travel through some open woodland with some forest palms and grass trees ...

vrilya point road

... until you come to a lonely old grave and a road junction where you can either turn north or south. Turning north takes you to a casuarina beach, and there is a beach drive even further north to an old shipwreck.

vrilya point

Turning south takes you to another casuarina beach, and past the lookout point that overlooks the northern beach from the top of some red cliffs.

vrilya point lookout
 
Vrilya is a great place, the only thing can be sandflies it's windy.





Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

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Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.


Bring to the Trip... the full Visit Cape York Destination Guide

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This complete 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)



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