Central Cape York Peninsula


Central Cape York starts north of Musgrave.

From here the penisula is narrower, which means the coastal spots are closer. 

The places along the main road are small.

Furthest south are Coen and Stewart Point.


In the middle are Archer River and Mungkan Kaanju National Park, and in the north are Weipa and Iron Range National Park.


princess charlotte bay

Princess Charlotte Bay
and Marina Plains, then The first area north and north east of Musgrave is the Princess Charlotte Bay. In the southern end of it are Annie RiverRunning Creek Track; and in the northern end are Port Stewart and Silver Plains; and a back track to Coen - the Old Coen Track.



coen australia

Coen
If you don't do the Running Creek Track or Princess Charlotte Bay, along the main road north of Musgrave you have the turnoffs to Kendall River Road and Hamilton Goldfield, and Port Stewart. The next north is Coen - your only town in the area, and it's not a big town.



mungkan kandju national park

Mungkan Kaanju National Park
North of Coen is the Cape York Quarantine Station, and north from here are a few turnoffs to Mungkan Kaanju National Park. It is a huge park - 60km in just to get to the camping grounds. It has a dry vegetation, but the camping is next to rivers and waterholes.


Archer River in Central Cape York

archer river roadhouse

Archer River Roadhouse
North of Mungkan Kaanju is Archer River Roadhouse. It is a great roadhouse with accommodation and a large camping ground, as well as a licensed bar and a restaurant. It serves some big meals (Archer Burger is popular) and gets crowded in the season.



East Coast of Central Cape York

frenchmans track

The Iron Range Area
North of Archer River you have the turnoff to the eastern coast (past Batavia Goldfields and Chuulangun Camping Ground). Other ways to get in are Frenchmans Track and Falls Track - some of the best 4WD tracks in this part of the peninsula.
 And some of the best kept secrets is Restoration Island.



lockhart river

Lockhart River
The administrative centre of the whole Iron Range area is Lockhart River, which  is the largest community in this area, and it has a historical WWII airport, an Arts Centre, and the most spectacular is of course the much photographed Quintell Beach. It is an Aboriginal community with alcohol restrictions.



iron range national park

Iron Range National Park
North of Lockhart River - also here on the coast - is
Iron Range National Park. It is a very special place if you are into bird and other wildlife watching, containing the largest amount of species Cape York shares with Papua New Guinea and not the rest of Australia.
 


portland roads

Portland Roads
North of the central section of Iron Range National Park is a road to its northern section - Chili Beach, and Portland Roads (outside the national park) - a tiny community with a lovely small beach. There is not much for travellers, it's more of a local spot, but a beautiful one.


West Coast of Central Cape York

weipa queensland

Weipa
Back on the Peninsula Developmental Road, further north it turns west to Aurukun and other places south of Weipa, past Merluna Station. Weipa is a
bauxite mining town, there is nothing much particularly for travellers, except beautiful beaches and great fishing.



mapoon

Mapoon
North of Weipa, there is a road to Mapoon. You pass by turnoffs to Stones Crossing, Barrage and Pennefather River.
In Mapoon, there are a few nice beaches that are great for fishing.
It is an Aboriginal community and alcohol restrictions apply.



Archer River

Archer River stretches pretty much across the whole peninsula in central cape York.

It starts in the eastern rainforests, in northern Kulla - McIllwraith Ranges.

Then it crosses the Peninsula Developmental Road near the roadhouse by the same name.

archer river bridge
Bill Hanson bridge.

Then forms the northern border of the Rokeby Section of Mungkan Kaanju National Park and goes right through the Archer Bend Section of the same national park, before it mouths at the Aboriginal community of Aurukun, south of Weipa.

archer river crossing
Crossing in dry season.

Most Cape York travellers only come across it once, when driving north along the Peninsula Developmental Road, just north of Archer River Roadhouse.

archer river
Archer river.

But you also get to it if you go camping in Mungkan Kaanju National Park.

Archer River Roadhouse

Archer River Roadhouse is a popular stop in central Cape York.

It is on the Peninsula Developmental Road north of Coen and Mungkan Kaanju National Park, and south of the turnoff to Portland Roads, Lockhart River and Iron Range National Park.

Most roadhouses sell food but not all have a restaurant and bar area where meals are served.

archer river road house

And it gets crowded during the night time too (in the season of course).

archer river roadhouse

It also sells takeaway food and drinks, some souvenirs and basic groceries.

archer river roadhouse restaurant

.. and, of course, the famous Archer Burger...

archer burger

There is accommodation...

archer river roadhouse accommodation

..
as well as a large camping ground in the back.

archer river roadhouse camping





Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

cape york travel

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 around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.


Bring to the Trip... the full Visit Cape York Destination Guide

visit cape york

This comprehensive 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. It has information on the peninsula's history and wildlife, climate, dangerous things and other things you should know ( availability, fuelbanking facilities, quarantine requirements, Aboriginal land entry permits and alcohol restrictions..); detailed information on places to see and things to do as well as accommodation and FREE camping spots that will save you the money you paid for this book at least tenfold ;-).



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cape york mechanics

portland roads

west coast hotel cooktown

cape york businesses

A little off the most beaten track, but you can still get some of these into your annual leave length of a trip (you can get most if you have all the details to plan right):

You find them all in the Site Map, along with all the other pages on the site and many more great gems :-)

Old Coach Road

old coach road

Frenchmans Track

frenchmans track

CREB Track

creb track

Falls Track

falls track

Starcke Wakooka Track

starcke wakooka track

Bathurst Head

bathurst head

Running Creek Track

running creek track

Silver Plains

silver plains

Old Coen Track

old coen road

Pennefather

pennefather

Stones Crossing

stones crossing


Skardon River

skardon river

Jardine River Ford

jardine river ford

Ussher Point

ussher point

Sadd Point

sadd point

Mutee Head and Jardine Mouth


mutee head

Escape River and Newcastle Bay 

escape river

Five Beaches Track


beaches loop road

Roko Island Pearl Farm

roko island

Friday Island Pearl Farm

friday island