The journey to Ussher Point and Cape York's remote east coast takes travellers through tight rainforest tracks out to spectacular coastline and high bauxite cliffs.
|Grading||High ground clearance and low range|
|Time||Two days minimum|
|Distance||82km Jardine River Ferry to Ussher Point|
|164km Jardine River Ferry return|
|Best time of year||Dry season (May – October).|
|Warnings||Allow four to five hours to complete the drive out to Ussher Point. As the track is very remote it is advisable to travel with another vehicle. Snakes are prevalent on this track. Severe crocodile hazard in this area.|
|Permits and fees||Camping in Jardine River Resource Reserve requires a permit. Campers must buy an e-permit before arriving: book online at qpws.usedirect.com/qpws/ or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).|
|Facilities||Jardine River Ferry|
Bush camping at Ussher Point
|Important contacts||Jardine River Ferry Ph (07) 4069 1369|
The turnoff to Ussher Point is not well marked off Bamaga Rd, but is 14km north of the Jardine River Ferry. The track is notoriously tight, with overhung and overgrown branches all the way out to the coast, guaranteed to relieve your vehicle of some of its paint. Many travellers journey out to Ussher Point on quad bikes to make the journey easier.
Image: Tight tracks heading towards Ussher Point
At the end of the track there is access north to Ussher Point and south to Ussher Point South. It is possible to drive south down the beach, but only during the bottom of the tide, and there are numerous creek mouths to ford and mangroves right down to the mid-tide line, so beach driving is not recommended.
Most travellers camp quite close to the access track.
Image: Vibrant bauxite cliffs at Ussher Point
A track runs north to Sadd Point and the Escape River mouth, but it is even worse than the track in to Ussher Point, and rarely travelled.
The beach run south to Captain Billy Landing is closed to travellers, as it is too treacherous.
Things to do
Numerous wrecks line this wild coastline, including planes and boats, and some of the best beachcombing in Australia can be done here, as few travellers make it all the way out and this coastline is exposed to currents that bring garbage from around the world to land here.
Image: Termite mounds along the coast near Ussher Point
Without huge fishing pressure on this coastline, the fishing for barra, trevally, jewfish, mangrove jack and queenfish, along with mud crabs in the estuaries, can be amazing.
A series of bat caves with small carnivorous bats can be explored in the cliffs of Ussher Point.