Destination Cape York Travel Guide

This complete, 300-pages Destination Cape York Travel Guide is all you ever need to successfully complete your trip and enjoy it.

 
UPDATE - Saturday 5 May 2018

All the Prices (of accommodation etc) have been Freshly updated in the Guide. These were the Last updates of the Year - Brilliant time to Buy now :-)


UPDATE - Saturday 13 January 2018

The Destination Guide 2018 is out :-)

Just follow the steps through this page :-)

P.S. If you have the 2017 version (or even earlier versions as long as you still have downloads left), what you need to do is to go back to your original purchase confirmation email and download again - the 2018 version is now up there :-)


Scroll down to all the information, including what changes were made this year :-)
Visit Cape York

If you are planning an independent trip to Cape York:

* whatever your budget (FREE camping or top accommodation);

*
whether you are a first time four wheel driver or an expert;

* whether you are from overseas or elsewhere in Australia;

* whatever your travel experiences in Australia or elsewhere in the world;

You will find this guide INVALUABLE for your Cape York trip
.

Why? There are a lot of things in Cape York that most people don't know about and they are not on this website.

There are also a lot of things you don't know unless you are a LOCAL
.  

It's most likely your ONLY trip you will ever do to Cape York - compared to the cost of your trip it is a VERY cheap way to make sure you got all you wanted out of it!

And if you plan many - all the better - you've only got more time to make the most of it
.

Confused about a HARD COPY BOOK vs an E-BOOK and what kind is this guide? Must read! (opens in a new window so you keep this page open)
.

Plan really well by knowing:

* Full detail about what there is to see and do in each place, with maps; hints about why would you (not) include a place in your plan (everyone is different), and how long time you're likely to spend in the place.

* Full detail about all the extra fun in each place - scenic flights
, fishing trips, crocodile spotting tours (recommended to do on your way back if you didn't spot a wild one); and all the trips and tours to the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Islands (including how to get to even the remotest ones). Prices, description of what each company offers, and full contact details.

* Full detail about all the accommodation from top class to dongas with all the prices
, addresses and contact details.

* Full detail about all the camping on all price levels
, including FREE camping spots. If you know them, you can camp for FREE during your whole trip (and the first free night has paid for this book!)

Please note that Wiki Camps has no idea and I am not relying on them for a second. The local scene changes way too quickly for them!

* FREE camping spots along the way TO Cape York from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Northern Territory
.

Thankyou Katrin,
 
Much appreciated, and might I add your book was the best Cape York resource that I found.  Well done.
 

-- Geoff, Australia


I would love to say thank you!

Your guide book is by far the best on the market.

I know that because I am a very accurate person, and I spent hours with planning my trip and get all the information sorted.

Your book stands out between all the others and also the web information.

Congratulation!

-- Achim, Germany


We will tell other about your book and site - you provide the best information we have found.

We would love a similar source for other regions.

-- Richard Northway, Australia

Prepare really well by knowing:

* Practical information about vehicle preparation.

* Tips on what to bring
.

* How long is it between fuel stations - do you need jerry cans?

* Should you stock up camping food
?

* Do you need to bring cash
?

* Where to check if a road is open
?

* Where to check the current weather and cyclones
?

* How to contact all the tourist info centres
, national park rangers and indigenous councils?

* How to contact that remote roadhouse or cattle station
the contact details of which you just cannot find anywhere??

I have found the Guide invaluable in planning my trip.

-- Bill Horrigan, Australia


Dear Katrin, 

You have done a great job with it.  

I understand much more about it all now and feel much more informed to choose places to go. 

Your guide is not the first one I have read but it is by far the best.

Many thanks, 

-- Joan Rockliff, Australia


Love your guide and newsletter. Timely, full of essential information.
Planning to come up to the Cape in late August. Regards from an avid follower.

-- Willem Goeman, Australia


Click here for more feedback in case you are interested (opens in a new window so you can keep this page open)

Be informed on your trip by knowing:

* Full contact details and opening hours of your closest pharmacy, medical centre, hospital and Royal Flying Doctor Service.

* Full contact details and opening hours
of your closest car mechanic and RACQ.

* Full contact details and opening hours
of your closest post office, bank, and info on what places do/not have EFTPOS facilities.

* Full contact details and opening hours
of your closest grocery shop, pub and bottle shop.

* Full contact details and opening hours
of your closest restaurant and food outlet. Even what they serve!

Hi, just wanted to thank you for the website, guide book and newsletter. All are informative, fun and easy to read.

Love the no bull approach.

Please keep up the good work and may the wet be safe and as long or short as you would prefer. Thanks again.

-- Dave, Australia


A lot of people don't know about your book, but those who have it are singing its praises.

There's lots of information in it that just simply can't be found elsewhere.

-- Dee Bond, Australia


Thank you for your two wonderful books I have been madly reading.

-- Noel Whitford, Australia


Click here for more feedback in case you are interested (opens in a new window so you can keep this page open)

Stay safe by knowing about:

* How to safely cross creeks and rivers.

* What you should check daily on your vehicle.

* Tag along tour companies with prices and full contact details
.

* Remoteness, how it can be dangerous, and how to stay safe.

* What dangerous animals are found in Cape York and how to stay safe.

visit cape york
Why this Book by Me?

I did not write this book about a corner of Australia that I visited. I wrote this book about the corner of Australia where I live.

I have lived here since 2003 so the book, and this website, are written by a local.

I am a passionate traveller who always does all the back tracks so I surely do my research work in detail ;-)

But I haven't always been a local here, I have lived down in Sydney, so I also know what questions you will have as a traveller. And I am originally from Europe, so I also know what questions you, international travellers have before you visit Cape York and the rest of Australia.

holden jackaroo
My old Holden Jackaroo.

I am obviously also a woman, something that has not been of any disadvantage!

I did my first trip to Cape York on my own and with no four wheel drive experience. That means, I also know how you feel, and what you need to know if you are a total stranger to four wheel driving.

However, most of the time I talk for Mark, my partner, who is the one to drive us around nowadays :-)


Stay legal by knowing:

* Quarantine rules that also apply to you as a traveller.

* Aboriginal land alcohol restrictions and where exactly do they apply - there are tricky bits
, yet you are responsible (and the penalties are up to $75,000 fine, 18 months' imprisonment, and confiscation of vehicle - not joking!).

   alcohol restrictions penalties

* In which places on Aboriginal land do you need an entry permit
, and where and when do you have to apply for it.

* In which places on Aboriginal land do you need a camping permit
, and where and when do you have to apply for it.

* The new rules about camping in national parks
, and how to get around them by perfectly legal FREE camping.

* Fishing, yabbying and mud crabbing rules in full detail - size limits, bag limits, no-take species, closed seasons, restricted places, special rules for fishing in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which reaches right to the shore.

Hi Katrin

I'm planning a trip up there this dry season with a mate [towing his camper] and am amazed at the info in your guide.

Best I have ever read and thanks for all your hard work.

-- Graham Clarke, Australia


Am just returning from the top and am in Lightning Ridge on my way back to Melbourne.

Just a note to say how much I appreciated the Travel Guide on my trip.

It was invaluable.

Thanks again Katrin; your guide is so comprehensive; I don't know how you did it.

-- Terry Wade (Rye, Victoria), Australia


The destination guide is a great read, full of information, well done on a great effort.

-- Robert, Australia


Click here for more feedback in case you are interested (opens in a new window so you can keep this page open)

Make the most of your trip by knowing:

* What are all the good four wheel drive tracks that you should not miss?

* Where are the best spots for fishing, yabbying, mud crabbing?

* Where are the best swimming holes for a cool dip?

* Where are the best places for bushwalks?

* Where can you see the famous carnivorous pitcher plants?

* What are the best places to spot palm cockatoos, cuscus and other birds and animals unique to Cape York and Papua New Guinea (not seen anywhere else in Australia)?

 
A question that I do get - why buy an ebook?
 
Why this E-book Travel Guide Is Much Better
than a Normal Book:


Read the main reason in more detail here! (opens in a new window so you keep this page open).

But shortly:

1) You get it instantly
. No need to go to the shop or wait for the order to arrive at your house - plus no shipping costs. Pay and start reading straight away!

2) You can use the links - incredibly handy to be taken to the website of a tourist attraction
, accommodation, tour company etc - where you find even more information about the place.

3) LAST BUT NOT LEAST! You get much more updated detail in the guide! Ebooks are much easier to update and can therefore have much more detail than 'normal' books
. That's particularly important when it is a travel guide! You can have all the prices, phone numbers, opening hours etc and have them updated every year - never happens with 'normal' book guides!

Read about the disadvantages and the advantage number three in more detail (opens in a new window so you keep this page open).

You get all this for only AU$27:

* Full info for the best planning including FREE camping spots (the first FREE night has paid for the guide!).

* Full info for the best preparation including contact details to national park rangers
, indigenous councils, remote roadhouses and cattle stations.

* Full info for all you need on your trip including contact details and opening hours to your closest doctor
, hospital, car mechanic, RACQ, grocery shop and bottle shop. There are not that many!

* Full info on how to stay safe including remoteness
, snake and spider bites, and how to safely cross creeks and rivers.

*
Full info on how to stay legal including how to always know whether you are on the land with alcohol bans or restrictions.

* All the best spots for the best activities including spotting that cuscus or palm cockatoo you have never seen even if you are an Aussie
.

Just imagine how many hours you'd spend to get that info together - and there are many things that you would still NOT get - the ones that require local knowledge
.

Your trip will cost you thousands of dollars. Once you are on the road, you realise just how little money AU $27 is - you pay it for your first camping night, you pay more if you are a family. Fuel is more expensive than at home, food is more expensive than at home, everything is expensive in remote places.

Any tips that help you cut those costs are invaluable both during your planning and during your trip.
AU $27 is an incredibly cheap way to get the locals' tips to ensure you made the most out of your big dollars you will pay for the trip!

I would love your feedback about that point after your trip :-)

Also note that the price is in Aussie dollars
. Most often when you buy on the internet the price is in US dollars, which makes it a lot more expensive than it looks! Twenty seven Aussie dollars equals only 21 US dollars.

On top of all - it is TOTALLY RISK FREE - should you get the guide and not like it - just let me know and I will refund your money :-)


Thanks for the book, it is the best and most comprehensive I have come across.

-- Anthony Stewart, Australia


Congratulations on one of the most informative Cape York Guides I have ever seen

you just can't beat local knowledge.

Keep up the excellent work.

--  Kind Regards Tim, Australia


Your guide is GREAT value for money - especially since you allow previous purchasers to update as well!!!

--  Carolyn Gee, Australia


The information I had been receiving from your emails were handy and your book that I downloaded was just so informative.

Worth every cent of the $25-$30.

Recommend no-one should go without it.

Regards,

--  James Regan, Australia

Destination Cape York Travel Guide

Here is where you can buy the guide. Click on the icon below and you will be taken to Pay Pal, where you can simply and securely pay for the book (haven't got Pay Pal? Scroll down).

Right after your payment you will receive an automatic purchase confirmation email which has the link where you can download the guide into your computer, where you can read it on the screen as well as print it out to get a paper copy - all within minutes!!
Buy Now

AU $27
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            no risk money back guarantee


Occasionally, I get some people saying they cannot get through the process, things don't open or load. If that happens to be you - it is a glitch that is not in my end. Please try doing exactly the same thing on a different computer / iPad / phone / any other device .. and it will solve the whole problem! :-)


I do NOT believe that you will not like the guide! But, in the unlikely event that you would be disappointed with it, let me know and I refund your money, no questions asked!

In case you get any problems with anything in the process contact me and I will give you a hand..

2018 Updates - Brand New!

The latest - the 2018 edition of the Destination Guide came out in the early hours of Saturday 13. January 2018 (you now get the new edition when you buy through this page).

Li
ke every year before, the Guide has again been reviewed, improved and updated on every detail.

* This year was a massive overhaul because I made a more extensive research trip than the year before, so lots of places got added more detail, chapters rewritten, or even new chapters made, particularly (but not limited to) the places in the southern and central parts of the peninsula, including Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw, Running Creek and Kendall River areas, and the tracks through from the PDR to BDR (Burke Developmental Road) via Kimba - Gamboola and Dixie - Koolatah roads, and the back track between Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw, only to mention a few.

In the book, everything was updated (every single line) but some things got upgraded a little more, and here are only a few of them:

* Mobile phone and wireless internet reception, with new detail, including a map

* More vehicle accessories, spare parts and recovery gear were added to the list (reviewed by Mark O'Hagan, the RACQ vehicle recovery guy in northern Cape York)

* An extensive list on what to bring and how to pack your vehicle so that you don't have to spend your valuable camping time on looking for things, plus some simple things that become very useful

* The "Getting Here" chapter got new, straighter routes from Melbourne, Sydney, and the western side via the Gulf Savannah was also reviewed - all with FREE camping sites along the road.

* FREE camping spots on the Cape were again reviewed, and added some information about what is usually legal and illegal (deep down every situation is different and I explain how)

* All the four wheel drive tracks on the peninsula plus a map with all of them

* The means of communications chapter got added a write up about the difference between EPIRBs and satellite phones, and in what ways they help you differently in different situations

* Satellite phones got outlined which network and which provider is the best in Australia and on Cape York

* The "When to Go" chapter was added an important point about the difference between the late and the early season trips, depending on what you want out of your trip

* A chapter about where to get FREE drinking water, with a map

* Maps improved and updated, all the links checked and fixed like each year

* Plenty of money savers like where are the local cheapest fuel stations to fill your tanks before taking off from Cairns - that alone saves you more than the price of the book - let alone all the time, hassle and regret saving local tips :-)

* And much, much moreall the invaluable information that was in the Guide ever before, has been updated, improved, and added to!

If you haven't bought the Guide before, please make sure to read about everything else that is there as the above is only this year's updates :-)


 
Buy Now

AU $27
Currency Converter

            no risk money back guarantee


I do NOT believe that you will not like the guide!
But, in the unlikely event that you would be disappointed with it, let me know and I refund your money, no questions asked!

In case you get any problems with anything in the process contact me and I will give you a hand.

2017 Updates

The latest - the 2017 edition of the Destination Guide came out on Saturday 7. January 2017 (you now get the new edition when you buy through this page).

Like every year before, the Guide has again been reviewed, improved and updated on every detail (and if you look lower down on the previous years additions - all the older improvements are of course still there).

Only some of the things added in the 2017 edition were: 

* More FREE camping spots (info about others updated)

* More local radio stations

* More detail in the mobile phone and internet coverage chapters

* More remote stations' contact details (yes, the full detail of how to contact places like Silver Plains and other remote stations/homesteads)

* Maps improved and updated, all the links checked and fixed like each year

* RACQ phone numbers now also to each local work shop so that in addition to the general road assistance number you can also talk to the particular workshop directly

* The chapters by Mark O'Hagan of vehicle recovery gear, spares, accessories and tools to bring reviewed and updated

* Plenty of money savers - I even tell you every year where are the current cheapest fuel stations to fill up before you leave Cairns (it changes) and - that alone pays you more than the price of this book ;-)

* When To Go chapter was added paragraphs about when does each track open for the season, as well as the local school holidays.

* The Do You Need Cash Chapter - the EFPTOS facilities map was added the information of banks (north of Cooktown there are less than 5!), post offices (= Commonwealth), and also ATMs (as up here EFPTOS does most often not mean that you can get cash out).

* The swim spots chapter was added the swimming opportunities in towns and camping grounds - it's hot here - and ocean is not a place to swim!

* While on the subject I even added fitness opportunities in places like Cooktown, Weipa, Bamaga and Thursday Island ... there is not that many and it might be handy to know :-)

And last but not least ...

* If you need to rent your vehicle/van - what companies allow you to do the Old Telegraph Track, and all the other fun tracks?

Very few allow the OTT - the big companies do not. Rules about the other tracks vary, and in many cases make no sense - they don't allow you to do the Old Telegraph while allowing a lot harder tracks - showing they have no idea about the actual challenges and risks on every track, heck - many don't even know about the other tracks! :-)

* Chapter on Bringing your Dog/s

* Chapter on Bringing your Caravan

The last two subjects are the first that I am planning to turn into separate booklets during this, 2017, Wet Season (hoping to get them out in February - March). There is no need to wait until then with the purchase of the full guide, as the conditions of getting them will not be affected by when you bought the full guide.

* Plus all the invaluable information that was in the Guide ever before, has been updated, improved, and added to!

P.S. From now on the Guide has the year of the issue and the purchase details on each page - making things easier for you as well as myself :-)


 
Buy Now

AU $27
Currency Converter

            no risk money back guarantee


I do NOT believe that you will not like the guide!
But, in the unlikely event that you would be disappointed with it, let me know and I refund your money, no questions asked!

In case you get any problems with anything in the process contact me and I will give you a hand.

2016 Updates

The super fresh 2016 version of the Destination Guide came out on Saturday 9. January 2016 (you now get the new version when you buy through this page).

Only some of the things added in the 2016 version were: 

* New tracks, new places - Kondiparinga, Fairview/Palmerville, and other tracks; also Turtle Camp, Stones Crossing, Crab Island; tracks in the NPA, and the Jackey Jackey and Escape River area; and many others were reviewed and added info.

* FREE camping spots reviewed in the light of the new Native Title Laws and land ownership changes

* Alcohol restrictions reviewed, national park openings updated, events 2016 updated, maps added and updated, and much, much more.

* Local radio stations to listen to on your trip :-)

* Is there LP Gas?

* Where do you actually have internet reception?

* Hunting info, places to put your rubbish reviewed and added, all the permits info reviewed and updated

* All emergency numbers now in the beginning of the book, including local police stations and hospitals; where to ring for vehicle recovery, flood and cyclone emergencies, and Royal Flying Doctors' Service.

* Northern Peninsula Area info and companies added - since it is now where I live :-)

And last but not least - for the Guys ...

* Vehicle spares, accessories and tools to bring - reviewed by Mark O'Hagan - the Old Telegraph Track recovery guy.

* The five most important recovery gear to bring - in the order of importance - by Mark O'Hagan - the Old Telegraph Track recovery guy.

* Tips on crossing Jardine River at the Old Ford - by Mark O'Hagan - the Old Telegraph Track recovery guy (well, I drove through following his tips, and I am sure if I got through without any trouble, they have to work! Video is in the Destination Guide :-)



 
Buy Now

AU $27
Currency Converter

            no risk money back guarantee


I do NOT believe that you will not like the guide!
But, in the unlikely event that you would be disappointed with it, let me know and I refund your money, no questions asked!

In case you get any problems with anything in the process contact me and I will give you a hand.

2015 Updates

... and the Older Additions Are Also there of Course 

The version you get now was launched in January 2015, after the guide was again updated, reviewed, improved, cleaned up from info no longer relevant, and added lots of new information.

UPDATE April 2015 - all the prices (accommodation, any extra trips and tours, museums, attractions, boat trips etc, etc, etc...) were all freshly updated one by one in April 2015 and will apply for the whole 2015 season - you can trust you have the correct price!

Only some of the things added in January 2015 were: 

* New tracks, new places - Falls Track, Skardon River,
Old Coach Road, Albany Island, Restoration Island, and many, many more!

* The peninsula's best
swimming holes, now with a map.

* Lots of FREE camping spots added :-)

* Others taken down, that are no longer free due to the latest changes of rules on some Native Title lands.

* Alcohol restrictions updated, some more detailed than before.

* National Parks camping updated with information on where to book once you're closer to the park - they have made it easier by providing phones, agents, and touch screen facilities.
 
* National Parks Wet Season closing times - the re-opening time for the Dry season is different in every park - find out what park may still be closed in May, June, some even July.

* 4WD tracks that open later were also added the info about when they usually open, and the note that you should not plan one into an early season trip.

* RACQ - what does it actually give to you for your Cape York trip, considering the fact that the distances and conditions are different from most other places. After I talked to all the local RACQ mechanic shops, read what they do/not and decide whether it is worth for you.

* And finally, with so many people writing to me that they did not see one single croc on their trip, I decided the info was needed - why do locals see lots of crocodiles while most travellers do not - you have to know where to look, when to look, how to look!

* And the same info went in for some other north Queensland icons like cassowaries, tree kangaroos, and amethystine python - Australia's largest snake.

* And the same info also went in for our Cape York icons - palm cockatoo, eclectus parrot, cuscus and green tree python.


Destination Cape York Travel Guide

Here is where you can buy the guide. Click on the icon below and you will be taken to Pay Pal, where you can simply and securely pay for the book (haven't got Pay Pal? Scroll down).

Right after your payment you will receive an automatic purchase confirmation email which has the link where you can download the guide into your computer, where you can read it on the screen as well as print it out to get a paper copy - all within minutes!
 
Buy Now

A$27
Currency Converter

            no risk money back guarantee


I do NOT believe that you will not like the guide!
But, in the unlikely event that you would be disappointed with it, let me know and I refund your money, no questions asked!

In case you get any problems with anything in the process contact me and I will give you a hand.

2014 Updates and Older ...

I have not kept on this page but they are all there :-)

This book has been gradually growing since I started the website in 2009.

Each year it is updated on all detail, plus always added new information - to make sure that for each and every year, it improves !!!


Haven't Got Pay Pal?

If you haven't got Pay Pal, you will still be taken to the same page, and on that page you have the option to sign up with Pay Pal.

And you should do that anyway. Pay Pal is the safest way to pay, where nobody will see your bank account details.

When you pay with a bank card, your card details are forwarded.

When you pay with Pay Pal, all you use is an email address that is connected to your Pay Pal account.

It is the safest way to pay, and
a website that does not offer PayPal payments is nowadays unusual (and considered suspicious).



NEW - March 2018

destination cape york caravan book

There is now a brand new Caravan Guide which is a supplement to the Destination Guide, and found inside it.

With 42 pages of detailed information about:

* Should you bring your caravan

* The reasons why you should seriously consider not bringing your caravan (so you can really make a well informed decision!)

* How much of the road is actually sealed and what is the prediction by a local
who drives it more than 10 times a year and sees the progress constantly

* The unsealed parts and their condition

* Where to leave your van at the bottom of the Cape – there are several FREE storage
places
, there are also the locked / undercover spaces, and the ones in a shed

* Bring your caravan 

* How to avoid the damage

* How to still get to do the adventure: places where to leave your van up the Cape and go off to do the tracks

* What mechanical workshops do fix
caravans up the Cape

* What roads and tracks are you going to get through with your caravan

* Ferries that you have to take

* RV events to enjoy

* Where are the FREE camping spots that are large enough for
caravans

* Dump points –
where are the public ones, and also which camping grounds have them (not nearly all up
the Cape!)

* What commercial camping grounds / caravan parks accommodate vans –
and what length can they fit – for each park

* What places actually have powered sites – the majority do not up the Cape!

All for the very cheap price of $7 !! 

Completely unique information found nowhere else. 

Put together inside the Cape, based on first hand experiences, local knowledge and direct research (not from other books or web information - just like the full Destination Guide itself!).

The Caravan supplement is available inside the Destination Guide :-)

NEW - March 2017

destination cape york dog book

There is now a brand new Dog Guide which is a supplement to the Destination Guide, and found inside it.

With 33 pages of detailed information about:

* Should you bring your dog/s

* Leave your dogs at home

* Leave your dogs in Cairns

* Bring your dogs to Cape York

* Practical Information

* Vets throughout Cape York and the area (up the Cape they are far between!)

* Where to buy pet gear

* Dog events with dates

* Dog Services

* Where are dogs allowed on the Cape

* Which national parks are you actually allowed to take your dog/s through, and what about camping?

* What about dogs on the FREE camping sites?

* Where are the leash free areas in town parks

* What 4WD tracks are they/not allowed through!

* With maps and photos of the signs, including the remote spots :-)

* Which are the places that you are going to miss out completely if you travel with dogs?

* and what about Thursday Island and other Torres Strait Islands?

* And all the accommodation and commercial camping grounds that accept dogs, each with their own doggie rules :-)

* UPDATE 2018 
As the Doggie Guide was updated in January 2018 - amongst all the other things - information was added about where to (specifically, and generally) - find the 1080 poison bait areas on your travels on the Cape - so that you can travel with your dog/s safely :-)

All for the very cheap price of $7 !! 

Completely unique information found nowhere else. 

Put together inside the Cape, based on first hand experiences, local knowledge and direct research (not from other books or web information - just like the full Destination Guide itself!).

The Doggie supplement is available inside the Destination Guide :-)