Old Coach Road is the hardest track in Cape York.
maps it may look like any gravel road, and many people do get caught
thinking this is like any Sunday afternoon drive between Maytown and
I've seen them pulling trailers, driving kids and grandmothers along what they thought was like any
other drive in the area.
The other drives are alright - just small gravel roads, but this stretch is different.
And you don't even
start working out how
the 'old coach' would have
done this track
as an extention to the old Cooktown -
Laura Railway! (the truth is - it's since deteriorated, and if we
weren't just using the old name, it would definitely be called a Track
and not a road!).
This track is as hard as any four
wheel drive track gets anywhere in Australia, and if
challenge is what you want, and if the Old
was not hard enough for you, make sure you do not miss the Old Coach
Road (it is more extreme,
and constantly so, than the pics
on this page make it look like until we
make another trip for better pics).
alright first but right
after Jowalbinna in the
northern end of the track,it gets hilly and it gets
In the first part of the Old Coach Road you are climbing up the
... along some fairly rugged ground.
Then you get up the hill and expect to descend,
... but it takes longer
than you think as the track keeps going up and down but
you are still high up on the mountain range.
There are some great views,historical sites,
... and the constant thinking of where to put your wheels along this
40+ km stretch that does take you longer than half a day, and more if
you want to enjoy it and have a good look around.
Coach Road is tricky
not recommended for people with no four wheel drive experience
(but yes - apparently with a good enough driver can
be done in a Pajero - we just tested ;-)
Full detail of this track (and all the others on the Peninsula) are in
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
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
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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