The first thing we noticed when we got to gunshot creek…one of the many challenges of the telegraph track…were the large tree in the middle of the creek which had been turned into a shrine with car parts claimed by the passing. Number plates, signs, alternators, car door frames, you name it were nailed to the tree!
The second thing we noticed were the vertical drops to get to and through the creek. (YouTube gunshot creek!!). There are 6 ways to get through gunshot, and after placing more value on our life than rock climbing in our cars we opted for the less difficult. While we dint have to drop vertically down off a cliff, it was still an almighty steep, muddy decline to the creek with a few trees thrown in the route just for good measure!! After we were all through, tom donated his mud flap to the tree, which was ripped savagely from underneath his car in the attempt through the creek!!
The rest of the day was spent shooting through the telegraph track, which included a lot of river crossings, half of which warned against standing in due to crocodiles. According to the qld government sign these animals could result in injury or even death!! (Though check out this article of a snake eating a crocodile whole!)
With this in mind, 6 of us bravely waded in to an extremely deep river to create a safe pathway for the cars, indicating where the solid ground was so they wouldn’t drive into a hole. We were luckily not eaten!
After being airbourne a few times from the obstacle course of rocks, we’ve decided to create t-shirts at the end of the trip which read “I survived the telegraph track with tom Donoghue“!!
Toms car actually did really well with the track, so well it flew through the majority of it…literally!! We drove through 3 full campsites looking for a place to stay for the night, and couldn’t get over how many cars had smashed windows!! We camped in the bush for the night in preparation for the next day…we’d heard that nolans creek crossing was ahead and two vehicles had today been lost in the river…shouldn’t be a problem…we have toms flying car!!
Nolans crossing the next day (24/6) took us 4 hours to successfully pass. Jess Thomas, in testing the depth was in water up to her neck, with the major problem being she was constantly stumbling and falling due to moving sand making up the creek bed. Fantastic for vehicle traction!! While we were sussing out the river a car came through, swam for a bit, got to the other side and started emitting serious smoke from its engine!!
Calistas vehicle was first, and the water inside the car was ankle deep when we bogged halfway through the creek. People were running through the water frantically setting up the winch before we completely sank, by which stage the water was up to my knee and seeping onto the back seat where I was sitting. By this stage there was quite a build up of 4wds and family’s waiting to cross, all lined up on the banks with cameras filming. Toms car didn’t get to the middle of creek before we winched it out, despite the fact that his wheels were in full lock and he was in gear!!
Cam was about to take off when we realised they were missing a bow shackle for the winch on the other side. Having run across the river to go for another ride, I was voted to run the shackle across to them. As I was coming down the drop off I managed to slip, and my foot went straight through the mud, hitting and getting stuck under a tree root. FREAKING HURT!!!
While cam was still driving around to come down the drop off…fantastic!! In the end, I got a huge mud bath, and couldn’t walk so had to be carried out of the river, in my underwear (I had taken my trousers off to go through the river) in front of a huge bank of onlookers!! I can now walk again but have a blue foot!!
The rest of the day I spent in the car with my foot elevated, (you should also do this if you have a snakebite) and we finished the telegraph track, driving into bamaga for groceries. Having clocked up 4000 k over 5 days we drove forwards to punsand bay (Wong the furthest point you can legally camp) to set up our camp for 5 days.
The rules of punsand are no swimming in the ocean (we have a lovely beach view from our tents) due to sharks, crocodiles and jellyfish…aka large chance of death!! We had dinner at the restaurant and shot sown to the beach as one of the campers was setting off his stash of industrial fire works through the use of his car engine…as you do!!
Today (25th) as the first day spent out of cards, we’ve played cards, swam in the pool and declared war on green grass ants. Tomorrow we’ll hike to the top of Australia!!