The Ultimate Guide To Driving The Old Telegraph Track

The Old Telegraph Track is the ultimate 4WD adventure for those who live for the thrill of the off-road. This 150km track in the Cape York Peninsula of Far North Queensland, Australia is the perfect place to put your 4WD to the test and see if it has what it takes to conquer the steep climbs, deep creeks, and rocky terrain. 

And let’s not forget about the thrill of telling your friends about the time you got stuck in a creek and had to be pulled out by a stranger. 

It’s a badge of honour. 

The Old Telegraph Track is also the perfect place to test your own off-road skills, just don’t be surprised if you come back with a few new swear words in your vocabulary. 

But, don’t let the challenges fool you, the Old Telegraph Track is also a great place to enjoy the beautiful wilderness, camp under the stars and tell tall tales around the campfire. So, pack your sense of humour and your sense of adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable experience on the Old Telegraph Track.


How long will it take to tackle this track? 

The Old Telegraph Track is approximately 150km long, and typically takes around 3-5 days to complete. 

This can vary depending on the skill and experience of the driver, the conditions of the track, and the driver’s individual pace. Some drivers may choose to take their time and explore the surrounding wilderness, while others may be able to complete the track in a shorter amount of time if they are more experienced and have well-prepared vehicles. 

It’s important to note that the Old Telegraph Track is a challenging and rugged track, so it’s important to be well-prepared and to have a good understanding of the risks involved. 

And always remember, the Old Telegraph Track is not a race, it’s an adventure.


What are you going to come across on the track? 

The Old Telegraph Track is a 4WD adventure that will take you on a journey through some of the most remote and beautiful wilderness in the Cape York Peninsula of Far North Queensland, Australia. Along the way, you will pass through a variety of different landscapes, including dense rainforest, open savannah, and rocky outcrops. 

Some of the sights and landmarks you may see include:


  • Bramwell Junction: The starting point of the Old Telegraph Track, located on the Peninsula Development Road. It’s a great place to stock up on snacks and beer, and to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey ahead.
  • The Jardine River: The endpoint of the Old Telegraph Track, the Jardine River is a popular destination for fishing and camping. It’s also a great spot to celebrate your victory over the track, or drown your sorrows if it didn’t go as planned.
  • The Philiphaugh Crossing: A deep and challenging creek crossing that requires a high level of skill and experience to navigate, or a lot of good luck.
  • The Rocky Rises: A series of steep and rocky sections that can be difficult for vehicles with low clearance and limited wheel travel. It’s a great opportunity to test the suspension of your vehicle and your own nerves.
  • The Gunshot: A steep and challenging descent that requires a high level of skill and experience to navigate, or a good set of brakes.
  • The Fruit Bat Falls: A beautiful waterfall located on the Jardine River, and a great place to cool off after a long day of 4WDing.
  • The Twin Falls: A set of two waterfalls located in the Jardine River National Park, and a great place to test your photography skills.
  • The Elliot Falls: A beautiful waterfall located on the Elliot River, a tributary of the Jardine River, and a great place to meditate and forget about the world for a bit.
  • The Eliot and Jardine River: These rivers are known for their crystal-clear water, and are popular spots for fishing and swimming, just make sure to watch out for crocodiles and other aquatic creatures.


How much fuel do you need to bring to complete the track? 

It might not be no Canning Stock Route, but do you still need to bring fuel? 

The amount of fuel needed for the Old Telegraph Track will vary depending on a number of factors, including: 


  • The type of vehicle 
  • The size of the vehicle 
  • The driving conditions
  • The driver’s individual pace 


It’s important to carry enough fuel to complete the track, and then some extra in case of emergency, as the nearest towns are around 200km away from the track. It is recommended to carry at least an extra 20-40 litres of fuel in jerry cans.

Tip: When travelling the Canning Stock Route, don’t forget to bring a jiggler so you can syphon petrol out of drums along the way. 


Sounds like a lot of kit – can you bring a trailer? 

Yeah, you can totally take a trailer on the Old Telegraph Track, but be prepared for some challenges. The track is pretty rugged and runs through some of the most remote wilderness in Australia. It’s got steep climbs and descents, deep creek crossings, and rocky terrain, which can be tough for even the toughest 4WDs, let alone a trailer. 

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure your vehicle and trailer are in good shape and ready for the journey, and that you’re prepared for the extra challenges that come with hauling a trailer. 

But hey, it’s all part of the adventure, right?


Do you need a permit to enter the track? 

No, a permit is not required to travel the Old Telegraph Track.

Just make sure to respect the area as you would any other track / camp site.


What sort of camping are you going to be doing on the track? 

The Old Telegraph Track offers a bunch of camping options, from roughing it in the wilderness to more fancy campgrounds.

You have basic camping, with designated areas where you can set up your tent or park your vehicle and camp overnight. These spots are usually near a water source and have basic facilities like fire rings and toilets.

For those who like more amenities, there are also developed campgrounds along the Old Telegraph Track. They have picnic tables, fire rings, toilets, and some even have hot showers and power points.

Bush camping is also allowed, but just make sure to respect the land of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people and the environment, so camp in designated areas and follow Leave No Trace principles.


What months is the Old Telegraph Track open for? 

The Old Telegraph Track is only passable during the dry season, which typically runs from May to October. During the wet season, the track can become impassable due to heavy rain and flooding, making it unsafe to drive on.

It’s important to check the road conditions before heading out, as the track can become impassable even during the dry season due to heavy rain and flooding. Also, the track can be closed temporarily for maintenance or for environmental reasons, make sure to check the official website for the latest information.

It’s also worth noting that the best time to visit the Old Telegraph Track will depend on your preferences. Some visitors prefer to visit during the shoulder seasons of April and October, when the weather is milder and the track is less crowded. Other visitors prefer to visit during the peak dry season months of June, July, and August, when the weather is hottest and the track is in its best condition.


What things do you need to bring on the Old Telegraph Track 

So besides the obvious ones of; food, water, and fuel, what are some of the things you should bring for your adventure? Here’s a list of the essentials: 


  • Sand flag 
  • Recovery gear for 4WDing 
  • First aid kit 
  • Compass
  • UHF radio
  • Epirb
  • Fire extinguisher
  • A lighter
  • Spare parts for your vehicle
  • Service manual for your vehicle 
  • Jack and base plate 
  • A satellite phone 
  • A fly veil 
  • GPS 
  • Physical maps
  • Your permit 
  • Medications 


For a full mechanical check and advice on what else you should bring, contact a 4WD professional. 


What vehicle do you need to cross the Old Telegraph Track? 

When travelling the Old Telegraph Track, it’s essential to make sure your car is in tip-top shape – so get it completely checked by a professional before you leave. In terms of what type of car you need to complete the Old Telegraph Track, make sure you have a 4WD with low range. Some of the common vehicles include: 


  • Toyota Landcruiser 
  • Toyota Hilux 
  • Nissan Patrol 
  • Ford Ranger
  • Isuzu D-Max 


Where should you get your car upgraded for your crossing?

For any of your supplies and upgrades for your upcoming trip on the Old Telegraph Track, Total 4×4 is the one-stop shop for all truck, passenger and 4WD accessories with over 30 years of experience in both recreational and commercial. Not only do we have the best brands for you to pick and choose from, we also have the friendly team to put it on your vehicle. We have the products, we have the installers, come give us a visit!


Give me a free quote!

Simply fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you on a detailed quote.

"*" indicates required fields

Step 1 of 10