Driving Trip Planner

On this page you have a driving trip planner.

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 and what 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 is most suitable to go.

In the later planning stages you will find yourself asking questions about practical information such as fuel
, banks, grocery shopping and alcohol restrictions - all these are in the fullest detail in the Destination Guide.

Driving Trip Planner and Checklist

australian climate

Australian Climate - When to Go?
Your only options to go are during the Dry season unless you fly. During the Wet the roads are closed and there is always the risk for tropical cyclones. During the Dry season the months vary and this is outlined in the full detail in the FREE Pocket Guide.

cape york flights

Cheap Flights to Australia
If you are from overseas
, you first have to fly to Australia, and if you are from elsewhere in Australia some people do fly to Cairns where they catch up with their travel mates. The flights within Cape York and from Cairns to different places in Cape York are in the Destination Guide.

cape york driving

Getting 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 has no reason to own a four wheel dive vehicle, your options are to rent or buy a four wheel drive van, or to rent or buy a four wheel drive vehicle.

cape york accommodation

Most Cape York trips are done camping and all the free and paid spots are detailed in the Destination Guide
. But there is accommodation so in case you wanted you can do your trip staying in lodges, resorts and roadhouses (basic dongas). These are also all listed in the Destination Guide.

cape york info

Practical Information
And finally there is the practical information. Fuel availability, banking facilities, medical facilities, grocery and bottle shops, as well as alcohol restrictions and where do they actually apply, along with all the contact details and opening hours, are in the Destination Guide.

Outback and 4WD Trip Planner

outback driving

Outback Driving
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 and river crossings.

4wd cape york

Four 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 prepare and what to bring, and all that is in full detail in the Destination Guide.

travel distances

Travel Distances

Travel 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 Destination Guide

How to Get Around

camper van hire australia

Campervan Rental

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.

4wd hire

4WD Hire
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.

buy a van

Buy a Van
, 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.

cape york tours

Cape York Tours
If none of the above sounds good
, your only option is taking a tour.
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 Guide.

train trips

Train Trips
You 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.

Buy a Van

Yes, you can even buy a van for your trip.

If you travel often, and live in Australia, it may not be a bad idea to buy a van.

It has some great advantages compared to just a 4WD vehicle, and it does not need to be a lot larger or clumsier.

camperman van

britz van

maui van

apollo van

wicked vans

Obviously there is a bed inside, there is also a table and a lounge which is a huge advantage on a rainy camping night.

And yes, you can get four wheel drives.

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 reasonably new.

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
does sell vans, but only large ones and they have no 4WDs.

Camperman sells vans, and they are great inside, but the only thing is that they are not four wheel drives.

Apollo sells their vans and they do rent 4WDs, however at the time of writing (early 2014) there were no 4WDs.

Maui and Britz sell their vans using dealers, and those do have a few four wheel drives.

Kea sells campervans, including four wheel drives, and they are absolutely great.

Buy 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.

sell a van

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

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 vehicle-recovery-guy partner). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)

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