are areas on this site that are south of Cape York peninsula.
I included them despite the fact, because you will most likely be driving
least some of them.
Firstly, there is Cairns
the Burke Developmental Road all the way to Normanton.
And then, there are two
Cooktown - the coastal, and the inland way.
Even the tightest
definitions on what
actually is Cape York peninsula, agree that the 'peninsula
proper' starts in Kowanyama in the west, Lakeland in the middle, and
Cooktown in the east.
to Cape Tribulation Let
us start in the east. The majority of Cape York travellers come via
Cairns, and just north of this great city is the beautiful road to Cape
It goes all the way through the Wet
rainforests, sugar cane fields, and beautiful coastal scenery.
Cape Tribulation, it still goes through beautiful Wet Tropics
rainforest, the difference is now you are
on smaller road.
A few sealed bits, others unsealed,
a few steep
slopes and creek crossings, but no big four wheel drive challenges.
It's sealed again from Ayton
Another area that is south of the peninsula is the road
inland from Cairns. It goes through some outback country with dry
open woodland. The eastern half is elevated limestone country
a few townships, the western half is the flat country around Burke
Developmental Road (and Highbury Drumduff Road) to Gulf Savannah, Normanton, Karumba and Kowanyama.
Cairns Road is a beautiful tropical drive, south of Cape York.
through some lush dense rainforest. After
pass its northern suburb - Top of the Range - and the turnoff to Black
before the road starts winding
and climbing a bit.
Then you drive past the Rainforestation Nature Park.
after that your drive past
the Henry Ross Lookout.
before the road starts
descending and winding a lot.
It winds for a good while before you
get down to Smithfield - a northern suburb of Cairns.
from Ayton to Cooktown is just north of Bloomfield Road.
coastal road up to Cooktown, you will first drive through Daintree
Rainforests and Cape
Tribulation, then the so called "infamous"
and finally the road between Cooktown and Ayton, the southern part of
which is also called Rossville-Bloomfield
The coastal road
is known to be "harder"
than the inland way,
and it is, but it isn't
hard as they make it sound (you don't need a tour
operator to do
Bloomfield Road!). While 4WD
is "required" for Bloomfield
Road (you need the 4WD vehicle
for high clearance but not necessarily the 4WD gears, not all the
way anyway), the Cooktown-Ayton bit is mostly sealed and an
is the southern half of it, which starts at Ayton and Bloomfield, and
goes past Cedar Bay National Park, Rossville,
and Helenvale with its
famous Lions Den Hotel.
to the Bloomfield Road further
south, it is mostly sealed and suitable for 2WD vehicles.
This is the northern part of it, which is even easier and is the main
highway to Cooktown.
It passes by Black Mountain
turnoffs to Mount Amos and Archer
Roads, Annan River,
turnoff to Quarantine Bay and Walker Bay before it comes to Mt Cook and
need a 4WD in Cape Tribulation, south of Cape York?
Tribulation and are not planning to go any further north, you
need a 4WD.
Lots of people drive here from Cairns
in their two wheel
drives - the road is good and sealed all the way.
But if you want to continue up to Cooktown,
(or if you want to venture
into some small 4WD tracks around in the area), you will need a
coastal road to Cooktown is the famous Bloomfield Track, and there
is also another one that goes from Daintree
Village to Bloomfield,
which is the even more famous CREB Track.
a steep and narrow four wheel drive track
where you need both a four wheel drive vehicle and also use the four
wheel drive gears, at least on the steep slopes.
is a reasonable
gravel road, except that there are a few creek crossings
almost dry most times but this depends on the recent weather); and the
you cross a few mountain ranges which indeed are quite steep.
It depends on your skills and your vehicle whether you want to use your
four wheel drive gears
to keep traction on the steep slopes, but you do
need a four wheel drive vehicle
because you need high clearance at
least in creek crossings.
something to remember when you read about whether you need a
*four wheel drive* on a particular road or not.
Are they talking about that you need a four wheel drive vehicle to get
across or are they talking about that you need to engage your four
wheel drive gears?
That's two different things!
They may say that you get through in two wheel drive - but this may
mean that they got through without using the four wheel drive gears.
But you likely still need a four wheel drive vehicle because you need
A lot of the times in Cape York you will get through, even most parts
of the so-called real 4WD tracks, without engaging your 4WD gears (we
have tried this just for more challenge on some of those tracks and it
it does not mean that you will get through in a two wheel drive vehicle!
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 partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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