From superb campsites to deep water crossings this is definitely one to put on your bucket list.
We started the Frenchman’s track in the afternoon travelling from West to East and were keen to get in a little way and find a nice camp spot by the river. We diverted off the main track for a couple of kilometers to a campsite which was an absolute winner. Camping on the Wenlock River has been our favourite campsite on Cape York so far! We had this large sandbar all to ourselves the night that we camped there. Steve was even able to reel in a couple of fish, we had Sooty Grunter straight off the coals for breakfast before we headed off to tackle the rest of the Frenchman’s track.
Soon we were back onto the main track and crossing the Wenlock River which isn’t a deep or complex crossing but does have a fairly steep exit on the other side.
The track in many parts has had a lot of trees blown over onto it, some of which have been cleared and others where people have made tracks around. The track varies from corrugated, to rough, rocky and rutted out. There are many parts of the original track which have small sections bypassed due to ruts and a rougher ride. We chose to drive many of these sections because otherwise it’s hardly a complex 4wd experience.
The Pascoe River crossing with its steep, rutted entry and exit has deep, fast flowing water and a diff destroying rocky bottom to make it without a doubt the most difficult section of the track. We had heard varying reports about the condition of the eastern bank of the river and the depth of the water over the weeks leading up to our trip across the Frenchman’s. We had heard of numerous people not making it up the exit and having to turn around. This was getting us excited to find out what it was like for ourselves and give it a crack! It didn’t disappoint, it’s a ripper of a river crossing, however the muddy banks had dried up from what I believe they were a few weeks earlier and we didn’t have any problems making it through the river and up the other side.
As you continue uphill the track soon opens up into a barren, rocky area with a variety of cliffs. It was a WOW moment looking out into the vast area with beautiful greys and reds scattered throughout the landscape. It was a fantastic way to end the track as we meandered through the last few kilometers.