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Breaking News: Cape York bridge planned to replace Jardine River Ferry

It has been heard on the grapevine that the Federal member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch has announced $10 million for a bridge across the Jardine River, rendering the current ferry  across the famous river, on the way to the northernmost point of Australia, useless.


It’s being called a victory for locals, tourists and tourism operators, who will be able to travel across the river without the associated costs of using the ferry.

Do you think it’s a good idea to replace the ferry with a bridge, or you do prefer the ferry?


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  • April 2019 and still no sign of any construction. Still the locals and tourists are being held to ransom. People’s lives put at risk as they speed on a very dangerous road, to reach the ferry before closing time, 12 – 1pm lunch, and 5 pm. The 8 am start is very restrictive for people wanting to get on their way in the morning, and the cost just does not bear belief.

  • The Ferry is basically a MAJOR RIP off.

    Plus its a VERY POOR service and must be the highest cost ferry in Australia, probably only beaten by the Melbourne to Tasmania “Ferry” across Bass straight.

    Its a major restriction on Tourism, Trade and people simply getting around our great country.

    Definitely a Bridge is needed and will bring economic benefits across the board. Its only restricting access to that last bit of the Cape which is the most built up and busy anyway, so does not effect the Telegraph track or other areas really.

    As far as entry fees and all the other stuff that seems designed more to pay a few organisations and restrict access, its becoming a major problem and stops families and kids from getting to experience the great Aussie bush and learn to appreciate it.

  • This repot came out in December 2015, I laugh about this it’s now April 2017, how long does it take to build a bridge ?, pathetic

  • while we were up there this year the ferry broke down I think 3 times. So just on the reliability grounds a bridge would be a bonus. The costs associated with the ferry crossing are indeed exorbitant and don’t appear to be going towards maintenance. On the other side of the argument, you always knew you were at the top when you boarded the ferry. So, I’ll miss the ferry but bring on the bridge.
    Merry Xmas.

  • Well the Daintree ferry is a $42 return and no one is complaining about it. How many cross the Sydney Harbour bridge, Bolte Bridge and the Gateway bridge with your tag on the windscreen. There are still river crossing ferries operating near our capital cities. The bitumen is also on its way. So build for the ease of access at times to the north by all. If you want your vehicle to have a swim then drive Nolan’s Brook.

  • I have been trying to get to the cape for as long as I can remember. Every time I make plans to go, the rivers are to high. 2015 was the same. I intend to take my van with me. I have been as far as Isabella Falls.

  • It was a unique experience, But if they had not of charged over the top prices and were looking after it instead of having 5 hour lunches it was ok.

  • A lot of you have forgotten or didn’t know that the ferry fee includes camping fees above the Jardine river at certain locations and Vrylia point south of the Jardine river on the western coast. So there will still be a fee involved somewhere along the line.

  • the bridge would be great even with a fee but then the locals will find another way to rip us whities off,it is australia is it not it should be their for us all

  • I paid $135 this year first trip $80. Don’t mind the ferry except for the price. Maybe a bridge is the ànswer or will it just bring in a new fee .I heard a entry fee of $100. per car is being considered.

  • I have been on many ferrys across australia and always loved the ride however it seems that ferrys a giving away to bridges its all about making it easier for traffic as more people are travelling around australia.

  • There is nothing wrong with the ferry except it is so damned expensive. Considering it is not a large expanse of water to cross. Half the price it is now is even a bit exy. Won’t be going over the Jardine again because of cost.

  • We paid $129 for a 43 second trip on the ferry. Cannot justify the cost. Like to know how many people ever use the other camp grounds that the permit covers. I would suggest 1:2000 which indicates it’s time for change.

  • Having been four times, crossing the Jardine, then using the ferry now a bridge, it’s all becoming quite tame, especially after the Wenlock River bridge in 2001, that ruined the trip for me then, now this will ensure I don’t go again, bitumen all the way will follow, you can count on it, it’s all about shifting those caravan tourists & their dollars around with ease, mark my words.

  • keep the ferry its great . What’s wrong with waiting for a ferry’ it gives you time to a appreciate what is about, fill the vehicle and buying your passes to the northern lands . Build a bridge and the it will just become a highway instead of an experience in your life . I agree with another e-mailer spend the money on something else which would be more beneficial to the local community .

  • We have 12 ferries that cross the might Murray River without tolls in SA. A donation of $10 per car to go to the RFDS would be perfect.

  • The more accessible an area is, the more people go there. The more people go there, the more facilities are erected, rules imposed, fees charged, and tracks closed. Blow up the ferry and dont build a bridge, if you like adventure!

  • Put the Money in an account and as people use the bridge draw the cost out of the account it will last for years and with interest on the account maybe forever

  • The ferry cost is very high for a short trip across. But if the money is being used wisely for its intended purpose, then OK. But if a bridge will encolurage the hoon types who have no respect for others, including locals, then keep the ferry.

  • I have mixed feelings. The cost is high, but if the money is being used wisely for the locals then possibly justified. But if it suits the hoon types that feel they can go anywhere withlout respect for others, then keep the ferry. Cheers all. Neville.

  • I have been up there and they will ruin the feeling.If a bridge is put there there should be a toll on it to give back to the community, as they manage the ferry now and if a bridge goes in then they have nothing, at least if there is a toll then it will help with the up keep of the area and they will still have jobs. The money could also go towards the upkeep of the camp grounds there.

  • A bridge would reduce the level of extortion that currently exists. I would also increase the opportunity for locals to move around in the wet season.

  • I don’t mind the ferry its quite a novelty but the fee to cross is way too high. If it were more like half what it is now people would not whinge.

  • Join the discussion No one minds paying a reasonable Fee but I think the Fee as it stands now was way to much , Bridge makes more sense even in Emergencies.

  • Ferry charge includes camping almost anywhere north of the Jardine…why is everyone down on the ferry fee? I’d nearly have a bet that there won’t be a bridge across the Jardine in my lifetime. LOL

  • I will believe it when I see it. Have heard this rumour before. The ferry expensive as it is it is part of the exprience . When you sit around the campfire with other campers and talk about “The Cape” the subject of the ferry is part of it. Leave it as is. There is just too much changing around Australia for the traveler

  • I think the idea of a new bridge is good providing it is toll or charge free i also remember having to wait for low tide to cross and when the ferry arrived awesome so a bridge is the natural progression. We have had the same just a couple of minutes late so we missed it which is fair enough but when its still running until about 7pm that evening ferrying locals and they won’t let you on, with the attitude your only a tourist wait till morning. The decision was easy see ya later and we changed plans and went somewhere else we always have a plan “B” as we come from Perth and weather,scrub fires can suddenly change plans.

  • The ferry used to cost $5 before the current operators got control to rip off tourists and deter many from making the trip north. All Australians should be able to enjoy the remote parts of the country without being ripped off. Thanks Warren for your initiative and make the bridge building happen quickly but don’t then allow the locals to rip tourists off in other ways please.

  • The ferry xrossing is a big part of the Cape Adventure . Its a good place to stop for a brief break and a stretch of the legs while you wait all of about 10 minutes for the ferry to come back if you’ve missed it.
    With the talk of the new fee’s coming in for land management, I say leave the ferry and drop the current xing fee and keep a couple of locals employed. If it aint broke don’t try and fix it .

  • Build a toll free bridge and stop the present rip off ! We already support the locals through enormous handouts to Aboriginal councils and communities via our personal taxes. All Australians should be treated equally–all of Australia should be open for all Australians to visit and explore !!

  • If it isn’t broke don’t fix it. Yes it is expensive but so is the daily fuel bill they are just the numbers associated with an adventure to the Cape.

  • Build the bridge, I have had the pleasure of travelling to Cape Yourk, at the time ferry cost $80 / vehicle, I understand it has risen to $93, which is absurd for what is offered.

  • I have been to the Cape 3 times and the journey has been delayed each trip due to the ferry shutting down for lunch and overnight from 5pm. Nothing worse than missing the last ferry by a few minutes and having to camp overnight on the south side of the Jardine. This is made worse when the operators start the ferry up during the night to take locals but not tourists across. I am happy to pay a fee for camping permits but support the idea of a bridge to cut out delays in crossing the Jardine.

  • About time!! Was up their six months ago, and line was over 2 km long waiting to get back across the Jardine in the morning. The toilet look like they had not been cleared for 10 years – made you sick. Rubbish is everywhere at the tip of Cape York. Tourist are poorly catered for in this part of Queensland. NT & WA are a lot better and welcome Tourist with excellent facilities.

  • I really do think it is a wonderful idea. I also believe that our great northern tip needs to be protected in all ways. I did the trip last year and had a fantastic experience. I will definitely return. I think it probably would need a store/shop/permit pass requirement building before one can go over the bridge. The cape is a wonderful place and definitely needs the protection of the tribal people of the area, and I am white OK. I love this country and I think it deserves looking after.

  • Aren’t facilities struggling already at the height of the season with numbers? What hope when a bridge opens up. I wonder how many the ferry actually deters?

  • Well thats what happens when you get too greedy. As another person commented though, if there is a toll or some other rise in permit costs you may just as well have left the ferry there. As was said it would amount to double dipping!

  • Bridge..meh terrible idea!!! Bitumen road all the way to the tip will be next then the cape will be turned into the gold coast.What a tragedy .

  • Yes it’s a good idea because then you can cross the river any time as long as they make it high enough so it doesn’t go under in the wet season

  • Going to the tip is unique and special,so is the ferry,going across the great Jardine using the ferry is part of australia’s cultural heritage. It should stay as it helps the local industry.

  • Yes I think it is great we have been ripped off for to long enough already I refused to go to the cape because it was going to cost $140.00 for the ferry and where did that money go?

  • I used to work for Comalco at Weipa,we enjoyed many weekends away to the top,was no ferry in those days,just had to wait for low tide to cross the Jardine,and watch out for the crocs…..

  • I have not been to the Cape yet, although it is on my ‘Bucket List’. I have put it off several times in favour of other destinations, purely because of the regular ‘horror’ stories of friends who have made the trip. All of the stories involve either the cost of the Jardine Ferry, or the behaviour of the operators. A Bridge would seem to be the solution. and wold certainly get me up there.

  • Most of the fee is for the permit isn’t it. Leave it there it’s part of the adventure and at least the community members are employed.

  • A bridge over the Jardine River would be good when I went up in 1976 no bridge on Wenlock no bridge on Jardine just drive through after a lot of preparation so Mick the ferry was the start of the loss of character and it is still a much talked about trek.

  • have travelled that road lots of times and I think a bridge is a good idea as it opens the road up 24/7 during the tourist season and will more than likely attract more tourists without them having to pay the exorbitant prices it costs to go across on the ferry

  • Build the bridge, the ferry is a major stumbling block for tourism to the cape. Extra tourism would far out weigh the ferry toll would be for the locals. Just think how much more they would be able to rip us off!!!

  • Whilst I enjoyed the ferry as part of my Cape York experience a bridge will only be better if roads are better and then that would increase tourism . So a bridge, should be widely discussed with local people first.

  • ferry would be ok if no charge or certainly not at the exorbitant price at the moment. Perhaps that was why the high charge to pay towards the cost of a bridge.

  • Hi,
    I have never ventured up that way, but if the Government has $10 million for a bridge across the Jardine River, then I think there would be much better ways to invest in local tourism than a bridge.

  • the ferry is a novel twist to travelling to the cape, pity it is so expensive tho, if the ferry was cheaper i would prefer the ferry

  • It’s about time. I agree, providing it’s not a toll bridge, but even if it is, I’d rather pay a $2 toll than the exorbitant cost of the ferry.

  • I hope it isn’t a till bridge, or any other fee for service technicality that makes it a toll. If tax payers (us) already built it, then paying again is double dipping.

  • ” who will be able to travel across the river without the associated costs of using the ferry.” Only a fool would believe that once there is a bridge over the Jardine that there will be no cost to go north of the Jardine.

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