A classic Cape York photo- though this is unusual for being Kerry's 2WD fording a creek on Old Telegraph Road!
Cape York is one of the very inaccessible regions of Australia, as most of the roads are 4WD only during the Dry and closed completely during the Wet. Unlike Cape Tribulation which I call home at the moment, Cape York is, literally, off the beaten track of international tourist destinations. When I started mentioning to friends that I'd been invited to join a family camping trip to the northern-most point of the Australian continent, I realised that hardly anyone has been there, including some of the most well-travelled people I know.
I spent the trip as a passenger with Kerry, who in his career has surveyed lots of the very roads we were driving on. Not only was he a fount of interesting and useful information, but he really knows how to drive in difficult conditions (Anne was also a talented and heroic 4WD bush basher, but I never got to ride with her). Kerry successfully took the 2WD through places that were supposed to be only 4WD access. Nonetheless, by the time we limped back to Cairns, the 2WD ute was held together with wire (including the battery) and the canopy of the 4WD was tied on with red rope after it broke off (shearing the shock absorbers).
Just as we finished unloading everything out of the broken canopy, a kind truckie stopped and shared his expertise and strength to (literally) tie it back on. His temporary repair held all the way home.
It's been an unusually dry year, and many of the rivers that would be expected to still be running were completely dry. Most of the rest have crocodiles. It's a harsh country, but we did manage to find a few campsites where green trees cling to the edges of wide deep river beds seamed with a trickle of warm water and inland enough to be croc-free.
I had a marvelous time, especially exploring the rivers and forests, but also playing charades after dinner, attempting to make bread in a camp oven, swimming with the girls, walking with the children, and endlessly staring out the window at the imperceptibly changing landscape as we drove hour after hour up and then down the Cape. More stories and pictures of the wonders I saw, coming up soon!