The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
We Finally Did It! We Conquered Cape York! – Letter Back Home
Posted on May 17, 2016 by Sophie Tabouel
Dear Jess & Sam,
We have finally done it! After all these years we can now tick of our dreams of a real four wheel drive adventure to Cape York in Queensland off our bucket list – and because we have had so much fun and there is so much more to see we are considering booking the 15 day tour and coming again next year – why don’t you join us?
I have finally stood on the northern most tip of Queensland Australia!
We have met such wonderful people on the trip – another couple from Sydney that we’ve become such firm friends with hopefully you’ll get to meet them at our next barbeque, a retired architect and his photographer son from Seattle, and a couple from Germany who wanted to see the ‘real Australian Outback’.
We travelled together with another vehicle and guide so we also had them to talk to around the camp fire at night. It was great getting to know the others in the small group, and yet not feel surrounded by people all the time. You know how your Dad likes to enjoy a bit of quiet time by himself!
We also got to swap seats in the vehicle every day so we had the chance to enjoy different views. We moved to a different place every day but never seemed to be in a hurry, and had lots of time to see everything we wanted.
Our guides Danny & Rick were amazing – Danny’s a true blue local Queenslander born on the Cape. Everywhere we went he seemed to know the best places, and how to spot the wildlife, and who to talk to in the local lingo.
Our vehicle was so tough on the outside but so comfortable on the inside with special suspension so the corrugated roads weren’t too bad. I’m so glad you talked your father out of driving himself because some of the roads would have really tested our 4WD (and your Dad’s driving!), but Danny didn’t have a problem.
It was really exciting driving on those long stretches of dusty roads and through rivers. We even saw a big crocodile on the bank of the Jardine River! But don’t you worry, Danny looked after us and made sure we knew where it was safe to go and when we should stay near the camp.
We slept in safari style tents with camp stretchers that were easy for me to get in and out of, and I can’t believe how well I slept. It was beautiful waking up to a chorus of birds every morning. And breakfast would be ready for us! Danny & Rick cooked fantastic camp meals, and we had some really amazing meals at places we camped in the middle of nowhere – I don’t know how they did it.
I feel like I’ve been on a fantastic adventure and been spoilt every minute!
Every day we saw new animals and birds that I probably wouldn’t have spotted if we drove ourselves, and I definitely wouldn’t have known all about them like the other guide Rick did. Rick was a real gentleman who knew so much about the birds and animals we saw.
Did you know that termites regulate the temperature inside those big tall mud mounds to within a few degrees Celsius? Amazing! We saw so many beautiful birds Jess – you’d be in heaven here! My new favourite is the Rainbow Bee Eater.
In the Iron Range National Park we even spotted the bright red Eclectus parrot in the day & around our camp fire 1 night we saw a very rare spotted cuscus looking down on us from the trees above (it’s like a cute little possum).
I’ve so loved to get out of the city and experience such vast open spaces, the changes of vegetation, the waterfalls and huge skies. Away from the city lights the stars were unbelievable! I feel like now I’ve seen the real outback of Australia. These small towns are built on such rich history that you still can feel, and the people really are so hospitable and interesting.
I never even knew that these towns near the tip of Australia played such a big part in World War II – I know my dad came here but there’s so much left to see – even plane wrecks! All set against the backdrop of the beautiful Torres Strait Islands – the photos can’t capture how beautifully blue that water really is.
And how surreal it felt to turn up in Cooktown & in the amazing museum see the real anchor James Cook dropped off the Endeavour in 1770!
All these wonderful places we visited but my favourites were washing off the dust with a swim in the crystal clear water at Fruit Bat Falls, and the Quinkan Rock Art. Seeing Aboriginal Rock Art in real life is nothing like seeing it on TV.
I was surprised how touched I was, and I had a real feeling of how important it was for that artist long ago to share their story and declare their presence. It was so special for me.
Well haven’t I gone on & on! You wanted a letter about our trip & here it is! We miss you all but we are having the most fabulous four wheel drive adventure – really the adventure of our dreams!
We’ll show you the photos when we get home and maybe you’ll want to join us when we come back next year for another Cape York adventure.
Take a peek here so you can read our itinerary for this Cape York tour.
Lots of love,
Mum & Dad xx
P.S. Here we are!
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