is not a bad idea to buy a 4x4 vehicle for your Cape York trip.
If you are from overseas,
or an Aussie who doesn't need to own a 4WD, your options are
to rent, or buy one especially for your trip.
With the option of renting,
what would make you to want to
Obviously it is a lot more hassle and worry to make sure it is
mechanically good enough, and
that you get it sold in the end of your
renting a four wheel drive
campervan (or even a 4x4 vehicle) is not cheap. That's
the only reason.
You may well
save yourself thousands
of dollars by buying one
and selling it after the trip, or if you live here, keeping it -
because it's a lot more expensive to rent (and after all renting
dead money even if it wasn't).
course, how unbenefitial renting is depends on the length of your trip
- the shorter the trip
the better is renting, but a proper Cape York trip should
not be shorter than four weeks.
on that, let's do the maths. There are different prices, but
realistically, during the Dry season in Cairns, if you pick a cheaper
4WD vehicle, with all
included you pay for a rental 4WD about $200 a day
(and easily a lot more but let's try with this price, since you are
renting for 30 days there should be some discount because of the length
of the time).
Ok, 30 x $200 = $6,000
(and remember, could be a lot more, easily $9,000 and more)
You don't think you get a 4x4 vehicle to do Cape York for that price?
You better pay this kind of price
instead of taking a $50,000 vehicle through creeks and rivers - or you
will be too worried to enjoy your trip!
How do we know? Well, have a look what we had over the years ...
My Old Holden Jackaroo
In the old days, I had my Holden
Jackaroo. Even that
did the trip.
It did have low range gears, but hardly
any extras and nothing fancy at all. Average clearance, no
special suspension, no snorkel, basically good it had a bullbar and
that was about it.
Yet I didn't hesitate to
take it for the trip, and even though I don't remember
exactly what it costed me when I first bought it, it definitely was
cheaper than $6,000.
And (yes with some help but) it
did all the crossings on the Old Telegraph Track,
and it was definitely the driver (me) who needed more help than the
The old Holden Jackaroo
had no problems doing the trip, if there would have been a
couple of crossings you needed to miss, it definitely did by far the
Rob's 80 Series VX
Rob has had his 80 series for a
long time and always swears he'll never get rid of it.
Ok, this vehicle is a bit
more expensive, but if you have money for 20K range, it is
still in the cheaper end, and for that money it is a strong and
With its four wheel diff
locks it easily goes through some climbs that a lot of
others don't, and over the years it has been our best
When the above vehicle
of his broke and needed engine rebuild, while it was getting
done we needed a
temporary one to do the tracks, and we decided to make a
point of just
how cheap you can go with a vehicle to take to Cape York.
Well, this Pajero costed
us $2,000 - bought off backpackers in Cairns.
It did not only do all
the tracks we wanted to do that year, including all the
way to the tip and back.
It also did the Old
Coach Road - the
hardest four wheel drive track on the peninsula, and did
it easier than the Landcruisers we passed (we were already camped when
they arrived in the end of the track).
As you probably know, the advantages are lighter weight and shorter
wheelbase, so there is
really nothing wrong with this kind of vehicle for your trip
- no matter what Landcruiser and Patrol people say to you - a 4WD is a
4WD and they all have been made to do the same job!
Rob's 79 Series Landcruiser
We also tried higher up the price
when Rob bought his 79 Series Ute complete with a canopy, solar panels,
batteries ... you name it, everything a vehicle needs for comfortable
The problem was the price
didn't let him to relax on the trips.
We couldn't go into places we normally go because he was scared to
scratch it, so it didn't
take him long to decide he needed his old bush basher back!
The Ideal Vehicle for Your Trip
The ideal vehicle for
your Cape York trip is the one you can scratch, which means the low price range is only right!
Just make sure you make
a good purchase,
watch the kilometres, watch the mechanics, and make sure you buy one
you can still sell and get your money back in the end of the trip.
Don't buy from any shops,
not even the travellers' ones, they are all after making
Buy from private sellers,
a good place to start is www.gumtree.com.au
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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