Cape York Info

On this page is some practical Cape York info for your trip.

They are the kinds of things that you don't think about in the early planning stages, but comes to the later planning stages, or if not - right before your trip:

Are there EFPTOS facilities or do I need to bring cash?

Are there enough fuel stations or do I have to carry jerry cans?

Is there anywhere to buy food or should I stock everything up?

And what about the bottle shops?

cape york fuel station

Fuel Stations
There are enough fuel stations that on most roads you should not have to carry jerry cans with a proper 4WD vehicle's fuel tank(s). There is a map of fuel stations and the distances between them all in the Destination Guide.

cooktown bank

Banks and EFPTOS
It is always smart to carry a bit of cash on a Cape York trip, since all the places don't necessarily have EFPTOS facilities. There is a map of all the places with EFPTOS facilities in the
Destination Guide, along with explanations in which ones, and how, you get the cash out.  

cape york shop

Shopping, Groceries and Bottle Shops
All the shops, grocery shops and bottle shops with opening hours and contact details are listed in the
Destination Guide.
They are not everywhere, but you will always know your closest one and when they are open. It's worth stocking up some, but consider the alcohol restrictions.

Other Info You Need to Know

alcohol restrictions

Alcohol Restrictions

Alcohol restrictions are in place in indigenous communities. All the bans and restrictions, and where do they actually apply, are outlined in the Destination Guide. Penalties are very heavy - up to 18 months in jail, $75,000 fine, and instant vehicle confiscation.

australian quarantine info

Australian Quarantine Regulations
Cape York is a quarantine area, to protect the rest of Australia from any animal diseases or plant parasites to come in here from Torres Strait and the areas north of it. They need to stay here or they can spread to the rest of the country. Read about what that means to you on your trip.

Other Info You May Want to Know

cape york bring a dog

Bring Your Dog/s to Cape York
Many people ask about info to bing your pets to your trip to Cape York, and wonder what are the disadvantages and restrictions. If you are a dog owner - details about where are dogs allowed, are now in the Destination Guide, along with camp grounds that allow them. NEW - March 2017 - there is now a 33 page Dog Booklet!

cape york bing a caravan

Bring Your Caravan to Cape York
Also caravan owners ask about bringing their vans, and while Cape York definitely did not use to be a caravan destination, more and more people now bring theirs. You have to bear in mind the main road north is not sealed - your van will get shaken, and it will take some damage. 
NEW - March 2018 - there is now a 42 page Caravan Booklet!

brisbane time

Current Brisbane Time
And finally, if you are from overseas you might wonder about the local time. Cape York is obviously part of the Australian state of Queensland, and Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, so we use Brisbane time, which is 10 hours ahead of the Greenwich time in London. Click on the link above (page coming soon) to see the current Brisbane time ticking.

Bring Your Dog/s to Cape York

cape york with your dogIn the Destination Guide, there used to be a three pages dog chapter.

In March 2017, I turned it into a supplementary Dog Booklet for those interested – and it ended up to be 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 there are no that many!)

* 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, including indigenous communities

All for the very cheap price of $7 – available inside the Destination Guide :-)

Bring Your Caravan to Cape York

cape york with your caravanThere is also a caravan booklet coming, and the things planned so far are (and some of them are already in the Destination Guide's caravan chapter):

* What are the biggest downsides with bringing a van

* Leave your van just south of the Cape - where to store - even for FREE - yes - FREE caravan storage while you are up the Cape!

* Bring your van up to the Cape - how to minimise damage, is there a best time to go?

* How to still enjoy the adventurous tracks even though you took the van?

* Places to leave your van while doing side tracks

* Places to stay in the van - caravan parks or not - all the places where you can stay in a caravan on the whole peninsula, anywhere Cairns and north :-)

UPDATE March 2018 - the Caravan Guide is out - and  like the Dog Guide, found inside the full Destination Guide :-)

Australian Quarantine

Australian quarantine laws are strict in Cape York and elsewhere.

Australia has been able to avoid a lot of diseases, pests and weeds thanks to its strict quarantine laws.

But it is not only about taking things into Australia.

Being such a large country, there needs to be protection within Australia, so there are state quarantine laws as well.

Western Australia particularly is very strict about taking any fruits or vegies into the state.

In Cape York, things are the other way around - you are not allowed to take certain fruits
out of the area.

   australian quarantine

This is because Cape York is so close to Torres Strait Islands as well as our northern neighbours Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Cape York acts as a buffer zone between Torres Strait and the rest of Australia.

There are a fair few fruit deseases north of us, and some of it gets into Cape York.

But they need to stop here because they could destroy Australian agriculture, if taken south from Cape York.
   cape york quarantine

If you drove up to Cape York, you remember the Quarantine Information Centre just north of Coen.

You did not need to stop there on your way up, but on your way down you do.

I know they are not open every time of the year seven days a week, but even if they were closed you are meant to stop, get the current info (it may change over the time), and leave the prohibited fruits (most likely any mangoes and bananas) in the bins provided.

If you are from the rest of Australia and ignore this, you are helping to bring the trouble into YOUR OWN back yard.
   cape york quarantine rules

If you enter Cape York from the Torres Strait, you are not allowed to take in:

* fresh fruits and vegies

* live plants and plant parts

* live animals and animal products

* meat and meat products

* poultry products

* dairy goods

* soil

cape york info australian quarantine rules

P.S. Oh, and with the information kit bags at the Coen Quarantine Centre, you do get a few FREE Cape York stickers :-)

Alcohol Restrictions

On your travels in Cape York you have to remember alcohol restrictions.

These are in place in most Aboriginal communities in Cape York.

There are two types of them.

How much you are allowed to carry can be limited to an amount of alcohol, or possession of alcohol can be totally banned in a community.

If it is limited, the limits apply per vehicle no matter how many people are in there.

However, what most people don't think about is that the alcohol restrictions also apply outside the communities themselves, where you are fully responsible for carrying alchohol in your vehicle.

And - you don't want to risk to get penalised! Alcohol restrictions are a law up here and by not obeying this law you can face instant vehicle confiscation, fines up to $75,000 and inprisonment for up to 18 months!
   alcohol restrictions

Full details about every place, with maps about where the restrictions apply, are in the Destination Guide.


Yarrabah is south of Cairns, and possession of alcohol is limited to one carton of light or midstrength beer and one bottle of wine.

wujal wujal

Wujal Wujal
Wujal Wujal is south of Cooktown, and possession of alcohol is banned, with a bona fide traveller exemption.

hope vale

Hope Vale
Hopevale is north of Cooktown, and possession of alcohol is limited to one carton of light or midstrength beer, and one bottle of wine.

lockhart river

Lockhart River
Lockhart River is near Iron Range national park, and possession of alcohol is banned with a bona fide traveller exemption.


Aurukun is south of Weipa, and possession of alcohol is banned and there is NO bona fide traveller exemption.


Napranum is south of Weipa, and p
ossession of alcohol is banned with NO bona fide traveller exemption.


Mapoon is north of Weipa and possession of alcohol is limited to two litres of wine and three cartons of light to midstrength beer.

northern peninsula area

Northern Peninsula Area

In Umagico, Injinoo, Bamaga, Seisia and New Mapoon, you can carry two litres of wine and one carton of any strength beer (/or premixed spirits).


Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw
These are two remote communities in south-western Cape York, and possession of any alcohol is banned in both, with NO bona fide exemptions.

P.S. The information on this page is only short, full detail on each place's restrictions and where exactly they apply are in the Destination Guide.

cape york travel

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

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.

Plan and Bring to the Trip... the full Destination Cape York Travel Guide

visit 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 ;-)

If you liked the books or this website, let others know about it! 

Link to it from your website, your blog, your forum post... Share it on Facebook, Tweet about it...

Every link helps other travellers!

Thank you for doing the right thing and letting others know :-)

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