Today was Day 7 of our Cape York adventure and our last day on the Old Telegraph Track. It was yet another day of fantastic weather… until about 4pm when it decided to rain intermittently for the rest of the day.
Our first stop for the day was a quick back-track from our camp at Canal Creek to Eliot/Twin Falls. Be warned that if you decide to camp at Eliot Falls you must have a permit – rangers do patrol the area and you may be unlucky enough to get caught if you try to be sneaky or mistake it for one of the free camping areas (though it is well signed). There is no phone/internet reception with any carrier so pre-booking would be recommended. Both waterfalls are simply stunning and have lovely waterholes to swim in. It’s a really magical spot worth spending a bit of time at.
Moving on from Eliot/Twin Falls saw us crossing Canal Creek again. I didn’t get any photos of this crossing (however I do have GoPro footage of nearly every crossing, batteries allowing) but it is fairly straight-forward.
There’s a group of 4 crossings fairly close together after Canal Creek. Each of them have their quirks but are easily do-able – as usual I recommend you walk the crossings before attempting to drive them. I would also recommend having a spotter for the Log Bridge across Cypress Creek as it is rather narrow and drops off sharply either side into the creek below.
The next crossing is an unnamed creek crossing with muddy water. I’d be wary about crocodiles at this spot which does make walking it to check depth a little challenging. We picked a line entering the crossing towards the right hand side and all made it across easily enough, even the Shortie Pajero which doesn’t have a snorkel. It was one of the deeper crossings we came across on the Old Telegraph Track but was only waist deep at most.
Nolan’s Brook crossing (Bridge Creek) is well known for being deep and drowning cars. At the moment it’s not too bad – waist deep at most. It’s actually a gorgeous spot but crocodiles have been sighted there fairly recently. There was a good crossing towards the right hand side of the crossing area. Even the snorkel-free Shortie made it through without any issues!
The Old Telegraph Track finishes at the Jardine River at the old vehicle crossing. This crossing may look easy when the river is low like it is now, but its not for the faint of heart! We didn’t do it, but from talking to those who have we found out it is rough going on the northern side of the river with very soft sand.
We opted to take the Jardine Ferry across the river (there is Telstra reception at the ferry crossing only, just for reference) and camp the night on the northern bank under one of the old sheds. The shed provided great shelter from the rain which made setting up camp and cooking dinner much easier.
Tomorrow our hope is to make it to the Tip of Cape York, which is perhaps the most awaited part of the trip for me. As much as I’ve enjoyed free camping every night so far, I am looking forward to hot showers and flushing toilets more than I ever thought I would! We’re all excited by the idea of setting up camp in one place in one of the towns for a couple days, taking it a bit easier, and restocking supplies and getting some laundry done.