Cape York - 2006

Day 12 - Eliot Falls - Jardine River Crossing


We packed our cars, and wandered down for a swim at both Twin and Eliot Falls - just beautiful! - at Twin Falls, you can push your back into the waterfall at 45 deg, and lean onto the water - and be held off the rock by the water flow!

We pushed on once more to Fruitbat Falls for lunch (you can't camp there), and found that you can swim under the falls and sit behind them - we had almost a dozen of us in there and it was pretty cool!

Ivan had woken to a flat tyre, but after pumping it up, and even driving on it to Fruitbat, it held pressure perfectly.   In hindsight, no tyre goes down for nothing, and it should have been pulled off...

We dried off and pushed on from Fruitbat, but in the early afternoon, Craig had a problem with one of his Bilstein shocks - the right rear had snapped at the top of the shaft, but below (inside) the top shock assembly - Ian and Craig got under and swapped them out with one of the spares which we had been carrying, and we pushed on.

From Sandy's Diary:   At Cannibal Creek you have to do a U-turn mid creek, so I stood on one bank while Helen stood in the river to get the exit. Afterwards Helen said it’s alright it’s below bum depth!  My arse it is, it was then I realise the Helen’s legs are longer than mine"

We came across two dirt bike riders who had been trying to start their WR for half an hour - their right legs flapping like lacky bands they were so pumped from trying to start it!   They had water proofed their bike for the crossing, and walked it over - but couldn't get it going - we offered to tow it, and after a hundred metres or so, it back fired a couple of times and then turned over and roared into life - they were pretty happy with that.. (understatement ;-)   It was just starting to get dark, and they still had to get back to Vrilya Point where there camp was.

Not long after, Ivan had his second occurrence of that flat tyre, unfortunately over a particularly rocky section.   This resulted in three spots where the sidewall was pierced as the rear wheel rotated over the rock before he realised - one of the holes going all the way through the sidewall..  We didn't see it at the time, but the main cause for the tyre going down was a build up of sand on the bead of the wheel, which when compressed over time had formed into a hard mass about one third of the wheel diameter, about 8mm high and the same wide.   Some thought afterwards as to whether the tyres weren't 'dry fitted' might have been the cause, thus allowing some movement of the bead.   Perhaps the pressures were a little low (26psi), but you could see where the bead of the tyre had rubbed on the wheel more than once, as the bead was unable to remain where it should have been...   At any rate - one stuffed MTR!

We swapped the tyre out, and Rutman and Craig pushed on towards the ferry to let them know that there were three more cars which were on the way - the ferry closed at 5pm

With all of the delays, we were an hour late, so we all camped at the ferry crossing - not such a bad place, but the generator does run all night..

Eliot Falls

Downstream (Twin Falls is off to the left and joins into this river section about 50m further on)

There's a nice jump here - Craig giving Jordan a nudge

Ian pressing back on Twin Falls - you can lean in at 45 deg, and not touch rock!

The crew!

Fruitbat falls - quite deep in the middle there, but you can climb in behind the falls

Lots of hands!

Rutman and Steph at the top of Fruitbat

A sharp drop off just where Craigs front right wheel is - Helen making sure we are all good.

This ones a wide one!

Ian and Craig under Craig's car - broken rear right shock

The kids supervising Ian at work

The top of the shock - not in good shape

Ivan pulls out the spares and Ben carts it off to Craig

The exit of this creek had quite a few washaways


Ian is through no probs

The drivers contemplate Cypress Creek

The rest of the crew join in

Ian guides Craig over

The 100 fits on nicely

For the record, this is Helen!

The 90 series with a slightly different width

Ivan's tyre being changed out - all hands on deck!

Nolan Brook - we had heard on the radio that this was a 'doozy'

Jordan showing Dad the depth

Tarps out!!

With Craig safely across, we had a strap in front and behind for the rest of the vehicles - luckily, not needed.

And finally the ferry

The shop has fuel, icecreams and hot sausage rolls!