At Bramwell Junction, the Old Telegraph Track starts. The OTT is the
best part of your trip by far, so be
prepared for a lot of fun :-)
Creek crossings, beautiful scenery, the
best waterfalls, some history - you'll enjoy every minute! And here is
also a side track to Skardon
But if you don't want the adventure, there are bypass roads to
avoid the Old Telegraph Track
and still get to the Tip
of Cape York.
They are gravel roads and they do get corrugated. But they also do have
a few turnoffs to some great side tracks to both coasts.
River and National Park
the northern end of the Old Telegraph Track you enter the Jardine River
national park (you entered the Heathlands Resources Reserve half way
through the track).
Jardine is a large park, actually covering a huge
area - of Jardine River catchment. There are no walks but a few
off-the-beaten-road 4WD tracks.
While much of this vast national park is inaccessible, in the northern
end of the the OTT you drive through a part of it before you come to
Here is also the Old
Ford, where people used to drive across this river - nowadays
catching the Jardine
River Ferry is
Below are what used to be separate pages for each creek crossing. There
was a need to merge them and the OTT page was already too long to add
them there. With anchor links the navigation should be exactly as easy
as it was before.
Creek is the second southernmost creek crossing on the OTT.
It is not
crossing, but if
you are a total
beginner it will be your first challenge on this track. UPDATE
lower down the page! If it
feels scary, you are probably better off turning to Bypass Roads before
north from there will gradually
only get worse.
Palm Creek has quite a steep entrance
am talking from the south to north because this is the way you normally
Old Telegraph Track),
a bit less
... and is dry well enough into
- the Palm Creek crossing has gradually changed over the years, and by now it is deep enough that it
is a serious challenge, with people regurarly stuck in the
But that's only if you
take the wrong crossing - there is two of them.
The easier one
is the one that I did years ago (above),
... and it has en easy northern exit.
Going the other way though
- from north to south, even that crossing is hard to
Here is Rob trying ...
... and finally getting it ...
Always handy when you have others to pull you up :-)
river is a great place for a cool dip.
your way up along the Old
is the first wet
crossing you have, even when you travel during
the late Dry Season.
miles of red soils, termite mounds and dry open woodland, the
vegetation suddenly turns
green and lush, and the red soils change to
white, soft sands.
It's not a hard crossing
to do, not during the Dry Season.
though it's northern
first looks quite serious, the real exit is on the right hand side and
not steep at all. The bottom is rocky and easy.
It is a
beautiful river with
lush vegetation around it, and clear
clean water perfect for
a cool dip.
the southernmost place
where I have seen the famous carnivorous
a look right at the water's edge, on both banks, and you'll see their
Creek is a beautiful creek on the Old Telegraph Track.
It is in
the middle of some
exciting parts of the Old
Telegraph Track, north of Gunshot
and south of Sam Creek.
It is a great spot for a cool
dip (there are crocodile
warning signs so take care),
surrounded by lush green
including the carnivorous tropical
The crossing itself is not too bad.
bottom is mostly rocky,
there are bogholes in
the bottom that you
need to avoid.
Not a bad
idea to walk it
before you drive it for
the first time.
Creek is a great creek crossing.
right in the middle of
the Old Telegraph Track, where the OTT for a little while joins with
Bypass Roads. The
crossing is just
north of the
It is the southernmost creek
crossing in the northern
half of the Old
Track, which is more difficult than the southern half.
bottom is uneven so you
walk it and find the best
route through it
before you drive it.
crossing gets a
fair few onlookers - more than the other crossings on the Old Telegraph
Track, because it is so close to the Bypass
Roads and all the popular waterfalls.
Creek is a small bridged creek on the Old Telegraph Track.
while to find it.
It is on the map, but after my trips I seemed to never recall it, and
it was missing on my photos too. I finally
worked out that it is the creek that you cross on a
small bridge, right after Sheldon
before you come to
the junction where the Old
joins in with Bypass Roads
(and stays so until you come to the Fruit
Bat Falls and Eliot Falls sign).
Creek Bridge is an old Telegraph
and an old bush
is a small creek crossing on the OTT.
is in the
northern half of the Old
Telegraph Track. It is the
southernmost one of the
four crossings close to each other - Sam, Mistake,
is not too tricky, but you should go out and walk it and make your mind
up where exactly to cross it.
a bit uneven so find the best way through it.
On your right
hand side is a small waterfall,
... very nice for a cool dip.
Creek is one of the crossings on the Old Telegraph Track.
north of Sam Creek
and south of Cannibal Creek. Like the
others up here, it is wet even during the Dry Season, but it is not
It has a
sandy bottom, but it's not too soft.
slowly and you should get through no worries.
Creek is a the great crossing on the OTT.
It is in the northern half of the
Old Telegraph Track. It is the
third southernmost one of the four
creek crossings (Sam,
and Cypress) that
are right after
It is a beautiful creek
with lush green
on the banks.
The track around it is quite rugged and the entrance and exit points
are a little steep.
It is not
very deep though, not in the Dry Season anyway.
Nice for a quick dip
too, but always remember the possibility of crocodiles.
Creek is famous for its old log bridge.
It is the
northernmost one of the four creek crossings right next to each other
in the northern half of the Old
The bridge has seen better days
and the logs are half loose so you have to be careful and put your
It is a good idea to
guiding you because it's hard to see where exactly your
go while driving.
no problem though, if those OKAs
too heavy for the bridge, you should be alright.
Creek is good fun :-)
one of the deepest
ones - the
only one deeper (or about as deep) is Nolans
Brook. The water
is murky but people do walk through
it to check the bottom before driving.
Maybe I have been living with
for too long, but for me it looks too bad.
live in fresh water and I know too many examples.
trip when I was on my own and still had my old Jackaroo, I met these
Oka guys from
Jackaroo through because I had no snorkel.
I wouldn't have made it that time.
too deep at the time
you are there, you can
turn back to Mistake Creek
and there is a bypass track from there.
It is the second last crossing on the Old Telegraph Track.
Brook is the last crossing on the Old Telegraph Track.
And it is
also the hardest one,
considering how many vehicles it claims.
by Bruce Schmidt)
To make it safer, you
can put a tarp
across the top of the
bonnett if you're unsure.
The water is often deep
and what happens most often is that people get their engines drowned
because of leaks in
snorkels, or because they lack the snorkels like my old
Jackaroo did at the time.
it, check where is the shallowest
track to get through it, make sure your snorkel-side is higher up if
it's uneven, and make sure no water gets into your engine.
it, there is a very nice swimming
hole where the old bridge used to be.
hanging off what used to
be the much-photographed bridge
that gave Nolans the nickname
to be a
hairy one to cross, but this is all that's left now.
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should take, how to get
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to stay (general info), what
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This complete 300 pages
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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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