CAPE YORK EXPEDITION
Here’s the tip about getting to The Tip (Pajinka). Personally I’d rather walk over hot coals than tag along sections of the Peninsula Development Rd (PDR). So we have a Cape York 4WD tour for you. This EXPEDITION is all about getting up Cape York and avoiding the PDR as much as possible. It’s also about following the paths less travelled, visiting some amazing locations and driving some challenging 4WD tracks along the way. The result is a stunning and exciting 4WD tag along that’s bundles the best of the Cape into an expeditionary adventure that will leave a remarkable impression long after the journey’s done.
Track Class Difficult
Group Size Medium8
“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.”
– Captain James Cook
Welcome to the Cape, an untamed frontier region dotted with rugged national parks, pristine waterways and secluded beaches.
Every day is an adventure in Cape York, one of Australia’s pristine wilderness areas. Go camping, fishing, 4WD driving, walk along the beach and discover the incredible Aboriginal and early European history. Cape York is somewhere that everyone must visit once in their lifetime.
There are more national parks in this region than anywhere else in Queensland. Spread over the central and eastern parts of the cape, they feature a range of diverse landscapes.
Cape York is also a bucket-list destination for anyone serious about fishing. The Wenlock River has the richest diversity of freshwater fish in the country.
The culture here is an eclectic mix of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the local community have rich traditions dating back thousands of years. There is in the mix is a diverse European history with explorers, pastoralists and missionaries.
Waypoint Expeditions supplies a support vehicle fully equipped with recovery equipment, satellite phone, GPS tracking equipment, emergency locator beacon and remote area first aid equipment.
Each Waypoint Expedition is a carefully thought out, planned, and researched route to provide you with a unique experience where you not just “tag along” but participate in culture of place. We hope, by the time you have finished your journey with us, you will have a new appreciation of the cultural and historical significance of the Cape as well as its importance as one of Australia’s great wilderness areas.
Travel with Waypoint – experts in outback adventuring for over 20 years.
ALTERNATE BOOKING OPTIONS:
If you don’t want to use the online booking system there is an offline form below and a downloadable PDF form in the FAQ Section.
- 14 days of intermediate to advanced 4WDing
- Invaluable tips and tricks to combat Australia’s northern regions
- Local expert and touring guide
- Knowledge about indigenous and European history of the area
- Knowledge about flora and fauna native to the area
- 13 nights of million star camping
- All Camping fees
- All Queensland Park Fees
- Jardine River and Patinka Fees
- Private land owner fees
- Welcome (Cairns) and Farewell (Punsand) Dinners with complimentary drinks.
- Satellite comms & tracking
- Remote Area Qualilfied and Outback 1st Aid Kit
- 4WD Recovery costs
- Alcoholic beverages
- UHF Radios (can be hired)
- Camping equipment
1530 – 1630 Meet and greet at Half Moon Day (Yorkeys Knob).
1630 – 1700 XXX XXXX from the ASP 4×4 shares his tips and tricks for tackling the Cape.
1800 – Welcome Dinner at the Tenderhooks (Yorkeys Knob Marina).
Depart Cairns via the Kennedy Hwy towards Kuranda. We turn off onto Black Mountain Rd following it through the Kuranda State Forest and National Park and Mowbray National Park.
Head in towards Mossman then up to the Daintree for lunch and onto the Creb Track for some interesting 4WD driving. Somewhere along the Creb we find a spot to set up a camp.
Continuing on and finishing up the Creb Track we head into Ayton and up to Cooktown where we stop to fuel up and get whatever supplies are needed. Leaving Cooktown we follow the Barratt Creek Rd into Hopevale region and make our way up to Elim and Cape Bedford.
Leaving Elim we head back through Hopevale town and onto the Endeavour Battlecamp Rd and Isabella Falls. Not to far is the Starcke Track and we begin our journey northwards. Somewhere along this track we’ll look to make camp for the night.
Today we reach Cape Melville National Park and there’s some history here with old yards and sheds left over from the yesteryear. Turning to the Wakooka Rd we head down to the Bathurst Head turnoff and track beside the Marrett River on this 45km cul de sac. We camp at Bathurst Head.
Departing Bathurst Head we had back to the main road and continue our journey which takes us through Lakefield National Park where there will be frequent stopping (lots to see). We make camp off Ten Chain around Annie River or 5 Mile.
We follow Ten Chain up through Lilydale to Running Creek where stop for lunch on this beautiful section of coast. After lunch we head towards Port Stewart for a looksee and then onto Coen to refuel and resupply as required. We camp just outside the town at the Bend. (drinking water available in Coen).
Leaving Coen we pass through Archer River Roadhouse (home of the famous Archer Burger) and then we turn off for Chilli Beach and Restoration Island National Park via Iron Range National Park. It’s a very pretty drive in with a few stops on the way. Tonight we camp at Chilli Beach.
Chilli Beach Lay Down Day – time to just chill, relax, fish, walk, whatever and take in the sights of this gorgeous place.
We depart back the way we came through Iron Range then turn off onto Frenchman’s Track. Again this is great opportunity to hone those 4WD skills as we negotiate Pascoe River and some other tricky elements of Frenchman’s. We’ll make our way to the Wenlock River crossing which’ll be our camp for today.
Today’s the day we reach the infamous Old Telegraph Track. Departing Wenlock we run out to the PDR and head up to Bramwell Junction to refuel. Then it’s off to Palm Creek and this first crossing for those who are up to the challenge is still one of the more interesting. We continue north through Dulcie and the Alice creeks and look to make our first OTT camp at the Dulhunty River.
This morning’s first obstacle is infamous Gunshot Creek. 2017 it was all about getting out, not in. The two exits were both major challenges. We continue north and take a well earned break at Fruit Bat Falls, a look through Eliot and Twin Falls before heading down to Canal Creek to camp.
We spend the best part of the day on the northern section of the OTT with it’s myriad of interesting crossings and other challenges. The last is Nolan’s which is also an amazing camp spot to have a relaxing afternoon before running up to the tip.
Leaving the OTT we head to the Jardine River and Bamaga. In Bamaga we can refuel and resupply as required before running up to Punsand Bay which will be out camp for the next two nights.
Today is all about the Tip – We follow the Roma Flat track into the Tip and spend the morning exploring the area. The afternoon’s you own, leaving time to relax before we meet for our farewell dinner at Punsand’s famous woodfired pizza by the sea.
Expedition Cape traverses through up the Cape York peninsula and parts of it are quite remote. It is a bush camping expeditionary experience – and takes eastern and central CApe.
- Black Mountain Rd
- Creb Track
- Back country to Elim
- Isabella Falls
- Starcke Track/Wakooka Rd
- Cape Melville
- Bathurst Head
- Ten Chain Track
- Chilli Beach
- Frenchman’s Track
- Old Telegraph Track (south)
- Fruit Bat, Eliot & Twin Falls)
- Old Telegraph Track (north)
- Jardine River
- Loyalty Beach
- Roma Flat
- Punsand Bay
- The Tip (Patinka)
- European exploration
Please make best efforts to minimise impact on the desert environment
- Keep to well-defined access tracks across the Cape to avoid damaging the vegetation and fragile landscape
- Rubbish comes out – place in strong plastic bags (do not bury, it will be dug up)
- Keep the camp clean and tidy
- Burn or bury toilet paper
- Keep dirty/soapy water away from natural water supplies
- Conserve firewood
- Use of firearms and chainsaws is not permitted
- Abide by fireban regulations
- Do not feed animals
- Every animal, plant and rock is protected
- Aboriginal and European artefacts/sites are protected
Expedition Cape is 1376km
There are multiple fuelling points between Cairns and Cooktown
Cooktown [463km] Coen
Coen [231km] Bramwell Junction
Bramwell Junction [204km] Bamaga
No – the longest distance between fuel stops is 463km through mostly gravel and dirt track terrain. It is probably not necessary to carry extra fuel.
This question is about preference and capacity but recommended you carry at least 50lt of drinking water and 50lt of general usage water. There are opportunities to refill drinking and general usage and the longest time between drinking water refills is 4 days.
Unfortunately due the difficult nature of some of the tracks, the fragility of the environment and other considerations, Waypoint requests camper trailers and caravans be left in Cairns. However, there are no regulations preventing towed assets from travelling to the Cape.
4WDs that have medium to high clearance and a high/low transfer case, with a quality set of springs and shock absorbers as well as All Terrain / Mud Terrain tyres with at least 70% tread. UHF Radio either HH or in-car is a must as well. These expeditions are not suitable for AWDs.
Waypoint will assist and guide you in the basic skills of 4WD driving and sustainable 4WD driving to suit the terrain in which we will travel.
No more than 200km per day. Most days are between 50-80km. We discuss the following day’s events around the campfire at night, or at our morning briefing sessions before departure. We are normally on the road at 9.30am each morning and stop for lunch between 12pm-1pm. We stop at all points of interest throughout the day and try to set up camp around 4pm each day.
We will do our best to get you going again but if we can’t, we will get you to where your vehicle can be repaired or arrange to have it recovered. We strongly recommend you have cover with a nationwide motoring association and also take out travel insurance.
Absolutely! You will get plenty of time to explore, bushwalk, fish, photograph, stargaze and take in the beauty and grandeur of the places we visit.
EXPEDITION CAPE is available once a season, usually September. Bookings can be made online via the payment gateway or an offline booking form.
The most important thing to pack is a sense of adventure. Don’t worry if you have misplaced yours as you will soon find it on the tour! Once your place has been confirmed a Briefing Kit with all the information you will need will be sent to you. It will contain list of suggestions, spare parts, maps, camping requirements, etc.
If you become sick on the trip all effort will be made to maintain your comfort and enjoyment. Our Expedition Leaders are first aid trained (Remote Area First Aid) and experienced in emergency management. In the event of an emergency the tour leader carries a Spot Tracker emergency beacon for emergency assistance and a Sat phone. Vehicles are also fitted with UHF radios for local radio contact and satellite tracking.