For 4WD enthusiasts, travelling the Cape will always be high on a list of desirable destinations.  Cape York offers some challenging four-wheel driving, fantastic camping and some of the best coastal scenery in Australia.


Click here for a mud map

A journey to Cape York needs to be well-planned, and it is essential for travellers to be fully prepared.  Information on how to prepare your vehicle can be obtained by reading one of the numerous publications which are available.  We carried plenty of water and a basic first aid kit.  We also carried extra fuel although it was not required on the route we took.  To safeguard against vehicle damage and personal injury please ensure your vehicle is in good condition and recently serviced. 



The distance from Cairns to the Tip is approximately 1050 kilometres.  Using the Peninsula Development Road and the Bamaga Road, it is possible to reach the top of the Cape relatively easily, towing a rugged caravan or camper-trailer.  There are no major obstacles along this route, and travellers can still thoroughly enjoy the beauty of the region at the tip.  The roads are heavily corrugated in places, and bull dust holes are common.   If you take this easier route, it will still require at least three or four days to travel to the tip.  A special note must be made that the detour from the main Bamaga Road to Fruit Bat Falls, Elliot Falls and Twin Falls is highly recommended.  This section of the Old Telegraph Track is in good condition and these two falls are wonderful highlights.  Click here for more details and photographs of the falls.

The Peninsula Development Road


There are a number of roadhouses along the main road which offer basic supplies and fuel.  Most also have camping facilities with grassed areas and toilet/shower facilities.   The Jardine River crossing is made easy by using the ferry.  Buy your ferry ticket at the store just before the river, and from there it is only a short distance to the township of Bamaga.  All major services can be found here, including a supermarket and mechanical repairs.  Bamaga has a number of accommodation options, including a resort.  The short drive to Seisia or Loyalty Beach will bring you to good campgrounds, both of which are right on the beach-front.  Punsand Bay also has an excellent camp ground, with resort-style facilities, including a restaurant and pool. 


The Old Telegraph Track

The other route to the tip is the Old Telegraph Track.  This 4WD-only track is approximately 360 kilometres long, from its starting point at Bramwell Junction to the Jardine River ferry.  The track is narrow and rough with numerous creek crossings which need to be carefully navigated.  Choose the link above for more details and photographs of the OTT.



The route we chose to use to reach the tip was to travel the Old Telegraph Track from Bramwell Junction.  We did not cross Gunshot Creek, but took the by-pass road around this most difficult creek crossing.  After crossing the creeks to the north of Gunshot, we crossed the Jardine River on the ferry.  We spent quite a number of days exploring the tip from Loyalty Beach.

The trip south took us straight down the Bamaga Road and then across to the east to Captain Billy Landing.  After rejoining the Bamaga road, we headed south again.  Our next detour was to Portland Roads and Chilli Beach via the Frenchman's' Track.  This track takes you through Iron Range National Park. 


It is essential to allow at least 2 weeks to get to the top and back again.  You could spend months exploring all of its hidden treasures and one day we'll get back to explore more of Cape York.  There are many fascinating detours for adventurous travellers east or west of the central roads.  See the mud map for the route covered in this web site.  We travelled the Cape in August.  It is recommended that you travel the Cape during the months of May to October, when the creeks are at the lowest, and temperatures are mild.

Coastal view near the tip

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