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March 24, 2014

This is the Musgrave airstrip.

This is what I mean by having to slow down at these crossings then again another year they might be in good condition.

Coen (population 300) grew out of a goldrush during the 1880s and evidence of mining activity is plentiful around the town. Surviving as a service town for locals and tourists, Coen is the largest settlement on the peninsula after Weipa and it’s an interesting place with plenty of facilities for travellers. Every June or July the town also stages the Coen Races, a highlight of the peninsula’s social calendar and well worth seeing. If you’re after bush campsites, try along the Coen River north of town, which is where we stopped on the way back down.
Drove into Coen to get fuel to find that servos on opposite sides of the street had a difference of 10c/lt!
We filled up then drove to Charlie’s Mine #772 in Camps 7 for the night. We had also stopped here in 2009 and then it was a donation but this time it was $15/night, which was fine by us.
Set up our tents then had hot showers in these great corrugated iron amenity block. This site is on the southern approach to Coen.

These are a few snaps at Charlies from 2009 as well as 2012.

Now the 2012 photos.

This is the second amenity block.

Naturally Bruce would be chatting to him again. I do not think that he does any more mining.
The main street of Coen.

Next port of call was going to be Archer rv roadhouse where we were going to have our showers- save what water we have on board!.

The Archer River Roadhouse has the usual roadhouse facilities such as fuel, meals, accommodation, a camping area and amenities. There is a memorial to Toots Holzheimer, legendary female truckie of Cape York who died in a loading accident in 1992. She was always the first truckie to get supplies through to the Cape after the wet season.

North of the Archer there’s a turnoff 30km to Lockhart River and Portland Roads and to Iron Range National Park, a magnificent place covering 34,600ha of which around 17,000ha are rainforest stretching to the palm-fringed beaches of the coast. There are only limited facilities at Lockhart River and none at Portland Roads. It is possible to camp at Chilli Beach, a windswept spot in the national park. More about this on our way back down.

About 20ks further up we turned west towards Weipa where we were going to spend a few days. This road was a very good gravel road with frequent gradering.
Booked into the Weipa caravan park which was packed with all kinds of “accommodation- caravans, tents, camper trailers, wizz bangs ( combie type vehicles with sliding doors) . There is a large amenity block which, naturally, is hard to keep clean but it was OK. On one visit there one evening there was a “local” youth wandering out of the ladies! He also had his “wobbly boots” on!
Anyway I went to the office to report it only to fine the staff trying to send me away but kept knocking on the door until they opened – finally they chased the youth away with the threat of the Police. apparently he is one of the local nuisances.

Port at the approach to Weipa where Bauxite is loaded. everything up here is red!

These 3 are 2009 photos.


Looking back towards the van park- great spot to sit for happy hour to watch the sunset. No body was able to tell me what this funny grass with these nuts was but is was just on top of the sand.

After leaving Weipa we took the short cut through Batavia Downs Station to rejoin the main road again.
On the road a few ks further we passed this guy on his bike.

The country side does not change very much- just red roads, dust and trees either side.
Soon came to the Wenlock Rv approaching the Moreton Telegraph Station.

It is just under 300 km south of the tip, about 130 km from the nearest town of Weipa. There is comfortable camping in the grounds and there are on-site safari tents with beds, towels and linen provided. A kiosk hasbasic supplies.


After a cuppa here our next stop would be Bramwell junction which is the beginning of the Southern Bypass- this road deviates from the actual OTT (Overland telegraph Track), crosses over it further up then becomes the Northern Bypass.

As it was getting mid afternoon we decided to head about 4ks up the actual OTT to camp there for the night, as we had done in 2009. It is Palm Creek but not in the Camps Book unfortunately.

Shall finish this trip here & continue with what the next 2 days at Palm Creek was like. This creek is the first 4WD crossings on the old OTT.


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  1. Firefly permalink

    It really does look amazing up there Kay. On our to do list. Thanks again 🙂

  2. Plenty more to come Firefly.

  3. Daryl Nelson permalink

    Most enjoyable ride along I just had with you Thanks, Because being realistic I cannot see myself doing that same trip, as i am NOT geared up Vehicle wise,and cannot see myself changing, so I will just keep following you lot, ?? Thanks again

    • Hi Daryl. glad you are enjoying our trip, even a little late but did not know how to do blogs in 2012

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