this page is some practical Cape York info for your trip.
They are the kinds of things
don't think about in the early planning stages, but comes to the later
planning stages, or if not - right before your trip:
EFPTOS facilities or do I need to bring cash?
there enough fuel stations or do
I have to carry jerry cans?
anywhere to buy food
I stock everything up?
what about the bottle
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
fuel stations and the distances between them all in the Destination
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
with explanations in which ones, and how, you get the cash out.
Groceries and Bottle Shops
All the shops, grocery
and bottle shops
hours and contact details are listed in the Destination
They are not everywhere, but you
always know your closest one and when they are open. It's
stocking up some, but consider the alcohol restrictions.
You Need to Know
restrictions are in place in indigenous communities. All the bans and
and where do they
are outlined in the Destination
Penalties are very heavy - up to 18 months in jail, $75,000
fine, and instant vehicle confiscation.
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
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
Bring Your Dog/s to
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
Bring Your Caravan
to Cape York
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
finally, if you are from overseas you might wonder about the local
time. Cape York is obviously part of the Australian state of
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.
Dog/s to Cape York
Destination Guide, there
used to be a three pages dog chapter.
In 2017, I turned it into
a supplementary Dog Guide for those interested
– and it ended up to be 41
pages of detailed information about:
you bring your dog/s
Leave your dogs at home
Leave your dogs in Cairns
Bring your dogs to Cape York
Vets throughout Cape York and the area (up the Cape there are no that
Where to buy pet gear
Dog events with dates
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?
All the accommodation and commercial camping grounds that accept
dogs, including indigenous communities
* And in later updates - chapters added about poison baits, local ticks and tropical dog diseases!
Caravan to Cape York
- the Caravan Guide is
out - with 44 pages on:
* Should you bring your caravan
* The reasons why you should seriously consider not bringing your caravan
* 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
* 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
* Ferries that you have to take
* RV events to enjoy
* Where are the FREE camping
spots that are large enough for
* Dump points – where are the
public ones, and also which camping
grounds have them (not nearly all up
* 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!
Completely unique information – not copied from the web or other sources
– only first hand research and local experience!
Llike the Dog Guide, the Caravan Guide is found inside the
full Destination Guide :-)
Bring Your Trailer to Cape York
Since 2019, there is also
a supplementary Trailer Guide for those interested
– and it ended up to be 41
pages of detailed information about:
you bring your trailer (all
info covers camper trailers and other trailers)
reasons why you should consider not bringing your trailer
condition of the roads
The timing of the gradings
Where to leave your trailer at the bottom of the Cape – there are
several FREEstorage places, there are
also the locked / undercover spaces, and the ones in a shed
Bring your trailer
to avoid the damage
How to still get to do the adventure: places where to leave your
trailer up the Cape and go off to do the tracks
mechanical workshops do fix trailers up the Cape
roads and tracks are you going to get through with your trailer
points – where are the public ones, and also which camping
grounds have them (not nearly all up the Cape!)
Where are the FREE camping spots that are large enough for trailers
(not only on the Cape but on your way here from Melbourne, Sydney,
Brisbane and the Northern Territory)
What commercial camping grounds / caravan parks have sites large
enough for trailers
What places actually have powered sites – the majority do not up
Completely unique information – not copied from the web or other
sources – only first hand research and local experience!
quarantine laws are strict in Cape York and elsewhere.
been able to
avoid a lot of diseases, pests and weeds thanks to its strict
But it is not only about taking things into Australia.
Being such a large country, there needs to be protection within
there are state
as well. Western
Australia particularly is very strict about taking any fruits
or vegies into
In Cape York, things are the other way around - you are not allowed to
take certain fruits out
of the area. 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.
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.
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
are from the rest of
Australia and ignore this, you
are helping to bring the trouble into YOUR OWN back yard.
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
P.S. Oh, and with the
information kit bags at the Coen Quarantine Centre, you do get a few FREE Cape York stickers
travels in Cape York you have to remember alcohol restrictions.
place in most
in Cape York.
There are two types of them.
much you are allowed to carry can be limited
to an amount
of alcohol, or possession of alcohol can be totally banned in a
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!
Full details about every place,
with maps about where the restrictions apply, are
in the Destination
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 is south
of Cooktown, and possession of alcohol is banned, with
is north of Cooktown, and possession of
alcohol is limited
carton of light or midstrength
beer, and one bottle of wine.
near Iron Range national park, and possession of alcohol is banned with a bona fide traveller
Aurukun Aurukun is
south of Weipa,
and possession of alcohol is banned
is NO bona fide
is south of Weipa, and possession of alcohol is banned with NO bona fidetraveller exemption.
north of Weipa
and possession of alcohol is limited
to two litres of wine and three cartons of light to midstrength beer.
Mapoon, you can
two litres of wine and one carton of any
strength beer (/or premixed
These are two remote communities in south-western Cape York, and
possession of any alcohol is banned
in both, with NO bona
information on this page is only short, full detail on each place's
restrictions and where exactly they apply are in the
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
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 vehicle-recovery-guy partner).
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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