Planning a Cape York trip can
be overwhelming, so on this page is a
trip planner checklist to help you to keep organised.
The main things to think about in the early stages of planning a trip
are how to get here
means to use to get
around; what kind of accommodation
to rely on; how
long time to plan for the trip, and what time of the year
suitable to go.
In the later planning stages you will find yourself asking questions
such as fuel, banks, grocery shopping and alcohol
restrictions - all these are in the fullest detail in the Destination
Driving Trip Planner and
Climate - When to Go?
Your only options to go are during the Dry season unless you fly. During the Wet the roads are
there is always the risk for tropical
cyclones. During the Dry season the
and this is outlined in the full detail in the FREE
Cheap Flights to Australia
If you are from overseas, you first have to fly to
Australia, and if you are from elsewhere
Australia some people do fly
Cairns where they catch up with their travel mates. The flights within Cape York
Cairns to different places in Cape York are in the Destination
Around Most Cape
York trips are done by Australians in their own four wheel drives. But if you are from overseas, or if you are an Aussie who
reason to own a four wheel dive vehicle, your options are to rent
four wheel drive van, or to rent
four wheel drive vehicle.
Most Cape York trips are done camping and all the free and paid spots are
in the Destination Guide. But there is accommodation so
you wanted you can do your trip staying in lodges, resorts and roadhouses (basic
These are also all listed in the Destination
there is the practical information. Fuel availability, banking facilities, medical facilities, grocery and bottle shops, as well as alcohol
where do they actually apply, along with all the contact
opening hours, are in the Destination
Outback and 4WD Trip
Outback driving is a lot of fun but there are also things that are good
to know and bear in mind. They include distances, road trains, floods and bushfires, wildlife and cattle on the
road, dips and corrugations, bulldust and dust holes, boggy sand mud, and and creek
Wheel Driving in Cape York
But a Cape York trip requires even more preparation than your average
outback trip - particularly if you want to do the fun and challenging
four wheel drive tracks. You have to know how to
what to bring, and all that is in full detail in the Destination
distances are huge in
Australia and Cape York is no exception - from Cairns to the Tip you
are making a 2000km return trip even without any side tracks.
All the distances and in
tables and in the full detail in the FREE Pocket Guide and the full
But if you don't have a four wheel drive vehicle, or you are from overseas, you have a few options still.
You can rent a campervan, which is nice and handy, because you have all the
necessary gear and even a bed in the back. Make sure you rent a four
wheel drive van.
The only downside of renting a van is that it is not cheap. You can cut your costs
considerbaly, even halve them, by renting a four wheel drive
vehicle and sleeping in a tent instead. If you shop around you can
buy cheap gear, even cheaper than what you
pay to rent the gear.
Or, you may want to buy a van or
a four wheel drive vehicle.
Buying a van is expensive and
not worth doing for one trip only, while buying a four wheel
drive vehicle may be worth buying for the trip, and selling after the trip -
something that is quite usual amongst international travellers.
If none of the above sounds good, your only option is taking a
I never recommend this option because you miss out driving the tracks
yourself and you miss out on your freedom to stop and camp where you
want, but if this is what you want
to do, all the tours are listed in
full detail in the Destination
can also do some side trips on the local historical trains.
I wish they
didn't get rid of the Cooktown-Laura railway, but there are some other
historical ones such as Gulflander, Savannahlander, and
Kuranda Scenic Railway. All do regular trips and are
very popular with tourists.
can even buy a van for your trip.
travel often, and
live in Australia, it
may not be a
bad idea to buy a van.
It has some great
to just a 4WD vehicle, and it does not need to be a lot
Obviously there is a bed inside, there is also a table and a lounge
which is a huge advantage
on a rainy
And yes, you can get four
The places to buy them are the
rental van companies.
Once a van is older than a certain amount of years, they sell it and
buy new ones.
That amount of years is usually not much, so you usually get the van
And if it's older, of course the good thing is that it is cheaper.
Let's have a look what the different companies do, and how they do it.
Buy a Van to Keep It
Around Australia Motorhomes
sell vans, but only large ones and they have no 4WDs.
sells vans, and they
are great inside, but the only thing is that they are not four wheel
Apollo sells their
vans and they do
rent 4WDs, however at
the time of writing (early
were no 4WDs.
Maui and Britz sell their
vans using dealers,
and those do have a few four wheel drives.
campervans, including four
wheel drives, and they are absolutely great.
a Van and Sell It
After the Trip
Wicked sells vans
and they are
cheap. No four wheel drives, but there will be one day, as they have
just started hiring 4WDs in Broome and Alice Springs. Selling online
is getting more and more popular, and I will be updating this with new
ones but so far a very good website to buy and sell cars, vans and
everything else in Australia 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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