Final Report – How we fared
See how the journey continues for David Cook on his Cape York Adventure. Make sure you check out Blog 1, Blog 2, Blog 3, Blog 4, Blog 5, Blog 6, Blog 7, Blog 8, Blog 9, Blog 10, Blog 11, Blog 12, Blog 13 & Blog 14.
All good things must come to an end, and for us, Our Cape York Adventure has done just that. After nearly five weeks away, it’s taken a bit of time to adjust back to the reality that is the working week. Everyone has experienced it, that time where it takes one extra coffee to get things moving in the morning. Whether you work at a desk or out and about, you look at your everyday surroundings and wistfully remember the days spent on holidays.
Dave and Deb at the Tip
If you’ve been following us here on the Mickey Thompson Blog, you’ll know we started our journey in Sydney, travelling north via Brisbane and the coast road to collect some of our crew before making tracks for the tip of Australia. All told, our journey covered some 6,540km, and about 1,100 of those kilometres were on some of the harshest and most corrugated roads this great country has to offer.
The Rear wheels on the Nissan currently have 11.4mm tread left, while the Fronts have 12.8mm left. The spare tyre, which has been left untouched is sporting 14.3mm tread depth. This is an expected result in a rear wheel drive with a large load in the rear of the car. We’ve run our tyre pressures approximately 2-4psi higher to make sure the tyres wear consistently and ride evenly from front to back.
We managed to tackle a decent handful of the more iconic and well known low range tracks, including the Old Telegraph Track the Five Beaches Track near the Somerset Ruins, and the infamous Frenchman’s Line out to Chilli Beach on the Eastern Shores.
Five Beaches Drive
Owing to the dryness of the land at the time we chose to head North, relatively speaking, our journey was fairly uneventful. Apart from a few minor mechanical mishaps, we didn’t have cause for alarm behind the wheel much at all. The Nissan has sprung a small oil leak from the rear section of the rocker cover, which is in need of attention and monitoring, but not a cause for instant alarm. Because of that same dryness though, our tyres certainly didn’t have the easiest of journeys. While rain will turn the roads to soup, and leave dried ruts in the centre, no rain allows the corrugations to get bigger and bigger with every passing vehicle. The MTZ’s we used on the GU Patrol faired very well.
The Side lugs, designed to aid traction in the mud as well as protect the sidewall from damage did exactly that on the Cape Roads. The tears and scrapes that the side lugs endured meant that the tyre sidewall remained unscathed. Over the whole trip we didn’t get a single puncture, slow leak or de-beading.
Tyre pressure management is one of the most critical factors to making sure that traction is available on demand, as well as tyre protection, tread wear and tyre life. We found that even small adjustments made a huge difference to both ride quality and tyre heat. For the weight in the Patrol we found that between 28 and 32psi in the high speed corrugations was right on the money. In the softer sand, the weight of the patrol meant we could get away with only a small reduction in pressure to around 22-25psi to create the largest contact patch possible.
A trip that long in such a remote area is bound to produce some of the best life experiences you can have. We’ve also been through some great challenges, and the journey wouldn’t have been so memorable had it been uneventful. Hands down the best of the bunch was the swim in Elliot Falls. It’s such an epic location, surrounded on all three sides by waterfalls, you cannot ask for a better location.
Elliot Falls from the water
Elliot Falls in the Gorge
The road that follows (loosely) the coast from Cape Melville to the Starcke River mouth was one of the hardest pieces we’ve driven off road, and not for the right reasons. It wasn’t a difficult track to drive, but because of the storms that swept through in the months prior, the trees down left right and centre made the journey very slow, and mentally taxing. Even a moment’s lapse in concentration would have ended in a staked tyre, wheel placement to keep the sidewalls away from the splintered wood was the order of the day, and after seven hours of it, we had well and truly had our fill.
Starcke River Mountain View
Starcke River Track
The group at the tip