Brisbane to Cape York via Toyota Coaster
We started from Brisbane after fixing up a couple of mechanical issues which John and Lathan bent over backwards to sort out. Our journey north was through the scenic route. The first stop was at Murgon, an RV free camp that was a former caravan park. Murgon Caravan Park is owned by the South Burnett Regional Council and entry is free for the first 48 hours. Duaringa was another free camp are fantastic free camps. We travelled via Emerald and Charters Towers to Townsville and Cairns.
Everyone knows Emerald for gem fossicking, but a lesser known fact is the Fairnbairn Dam holding the waters of Lake Maraboon covering an area of up to 150 km sq is one of the largest artificial lakes in the country. When full, it holds more water than the Sydney Harbour. Charters Towers in the late eighteenth century was reportedly the second largest city in Queensland after Brisbane with a population of 30,000 and affectionately known as ‘The World’. 21km from Charters Towers we came across a couple towing a caravan. They had not checked their fuel consumption and had run out of fuel. It really does pay to be cautious away from the coast.
The trip on the ferry over the Jardine River lasts less than a minute but it costs an amazing $99 return. The photograph at the northern most tip of Australia and a day trip to Thursday Island is mandatory and worthwhile.
We stopped at Weipa on the return trip and there were two other Coasters in the Caravan Park. Weipa is the largest town on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We had negligible problems with the van despite the corrugations. Vehicles whizzed past us including a Toyota Camry south of the Jardine. But we took it slowly as we wanted to protect our home and contents. We stayed at Punsand Bay (the most northerly camp ground on the continent) and while we did not need the 4wd we did need the ground clearance.
On our return trip we paid a visit to Fruit Bat Falls which has amazingly clear water and is good for a refreshing swim. We also visited Bramwell Station for an overnight stay on the way back. It was a lovely night of live entertainment and a tasty meal that we all enjoyed.
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