Cape York – Part 2 – The Red Dirt

So after the beautiful views of Lawn Hill Gorge it was back onto the red dirt.  Next stop…Karumba.

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We stopped in at the Burke & Wills Road House for lunch
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Dust devils along the road

Right on the Gulf of Carpentaria coast line, this is one place we wished we had the time spend more than one night.  We set up camp at the Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park and set off to the Sunset Tavern for a delicious seafood dinner overlooking the water.

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The next morning we got up early and walked over to the water for a little bit of fishing before hitting the road again.

Then it was back into the ute for some more dirt! Today we were heading to Musgrave Station.  We were driving through gigantic properties, through heards of cattle and horses, past amazing farm houses and stopping to open and shut gates.  It was pretty awesome!

At one stage we had a feeling that we weren’t heading in the right direction, I checked our HEMA Maps on Marty’s phone (which I might add worked off the GPS even though there was no service) and it turns out that we’d missed a tiny little dirt lane that turned off to the right and were heading into a zero alcohol aboriginal settlement with a LOT of alcohol in our utes (Karumba was the last shopping stop before getting to Bamaga at Cape York) so we did a quick U-turn and headed back to find our turn off to cross the Mitchell River.

We made it to Musgrave Station that evening just on dark and quickly set up camp, the beauty of a roof top ten is that you just flip it over and your set up…setting up camp is always quick!

“Musgrave is the only overland telegraph station that remains as the old wire has been replaced with modern microwave radio systems and optic fibre”

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Musgrave Station has clean showers and toilets, a Roadhouse where you can buy meals and a shop where you can get a few supplies and souvenirs and is the last place you can get fuel before Bramwell Station at the entrance of the Telegraph Track.

That morning we also ran into a group of friends whom we knew were doing the same trip but were taking a different route.  We quickly learned that between here and the tip we would start running into the same groups of people at each place we stayed which was great as we got to hear stories of everybody’s adventures along the way.

Our next stop for the night was Moreton Telegraph Station, this was about 300kms of dirt/gravel road.  One very interesting  thing we saw along the way was a guy on a pushbike with a little trailer attached, we had to pull over for him because a road train came towards us and we completely lost sight of him with the massive dust cloud that flew up after the truck (we later found out that he was riding all the way to the tip, he peddled into Moreton Station the next morning as we were leaving! That’s one damn long bike ride!).

We had a quick stop in a Coen, a tiny town where you could drop into the Sexchange Hotel should you feel the need for a beverage and…..a sexchange? hmmm…maybe not!

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On arrival at Moreton Station set up camp and set off to explore.  There are wild cattle wondering about the place everywhere, they’re used to people and just cruise about unfazed, although obviously you’re not to approach them.  There is a little tuckshop where you also pay your camp fees and say hi to the resident green tree frogs that seem to line the walls and there is also a restaurant out the back that only takes group bookings when people stay in the cabins.

We had a fantastic time at Moreton, we met some of the workers there, most of them are back packers just stopping in for a few months to earn some extra dollars before taking off again.  We went for a swim and had a few drinks with them that evening to hear stories about their travels.

Lets just say that the next day was a bit of a slower start than previous stays….perhaps a few too many beverages with the stories from the night before or maybe it was too many stories…  But today we were hitting the tele track!

 

To be continued…

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