The Track to Captain Billy Landing

There are a number of tracks which head east from the Bamaga Road.  Captain Billy Landing is 27 kilometres from the main road along a reasonably good track which meanders towards the coast.

Views on Captain Billy Track

Coastal Views

Captain Billy Landing nestles in the corner of a small headland.  The coast is fringed by white sand and bushland and it is a most attractive place to spend a couple of days.

View towards Captain Billy Landing

Camping Area

The campground is situated right on the beach but is protected from the weather by the headland and the dunes behind.  It is a large flat area without shade, but nevertheless the view from your tent is worth the trip. Toilets are provided and a camping fee applies.

Captain Billy Beach

Captain Billy Headland

The white sands of Captain Billy Landing invite a sunset walk, and during the day you could try your luck with a bit of fishing.

The Landing

Frenchman's Track

A very popular spot on the east coast is Chilli Beach, which is north of Lockhart River.  There are routes which will get you to Chilli Beach.  The better road leaves the Peninsula Development Road 22 kilometres north of Archer River.  Frenchman's Track is the other route which begins near Batavia Downs.  The start of the track is not obvious so look closely if you wish to take this more difficult route.

Frenchman's Track

The Wenlock River

Frenchman's Track is rough, narrow, and eroded in many places.  Care needs to be taken and you are asked not to stop or camp anywhere along the road, since it winds its way through private land.  The Wenlock River is crossed along the Frenchman's Track, but is has a shallow, sandy base and can be crossed easily.  Check the depth and plan your exit carefully.

The Pascoe River

The major obstacle on the track is the Pascoe River.  It is advisable to ask about the depth of the river before starting out on the Frenchman's Track, because it is a long trip to get to the crossing, and if it is impassable you will need to retrace your steps to get back to the main road.

Steep Descent

Entrance to River Crossing

The Pascoe River was the most difficult of all the crossings that we tackled on Cape York.  The entrance is extremely rocky and steep.  The river itself has a rough, rocky base and it is impossible to get up speed to cross its waters.  You will need to move slowly and carefully over the span of the river.  The exit is also very steep, but a little easier to negotiate since it is smooth. 

Mount Tozer

Frenchman's Track joins the main road in to Lockhart River just west of Mount Tozer.  Take the short walk to the viewing platform for the best vantage point.

Iron Range National Park

Iron Range National Park has been set aside to protect the largest area of tropical lowland rainforest remaining in Australia.  The park has some beautiful camping grounds and a fee must be paid at the ranger station.  The bird life in this region is unique and it is one place where you may catch a glimpse of a Palm Cockatoo or an Eclectus Parrot.  Spend a few days in Iron Range to fully appreciate the rainforest and its wildlife.

Iron Range Flora

Chilli Beach

If you continue to travel through the National Park you will find the popular camp ground at Chilli Beach.  Toilets are provided and the camp sites are set amongst the trees on the beach front. 

Chilli Beach

Muddy access to Chilli Beach

Access to Chilli Beach can be hazardous when there has been rain.  The track turns to a rich red mud and vehicles can easily become bogged.

Portland Roads

To the north of Chilli Beach is the community of Portland Roads.  There is no camping here, but it is a nice place to stop for lunch and bed and breakfast accommodation is available.  Coconut Palms and mangroves line the picturesque coastline.

Portland Roads

The Wenlock River

The route which takes you back to the Peninsula Development Road is in reasonable condition at most times, since it is the main service road for the aboriginal community at Lockhart River.
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