This Trek Note provides the most challenging route to Cape York
via the Old Telegraph Track, or OTT as its known. There are other easier ways to get to the tip of Cape York
, however this route will allow those who have exceptionally sound 4WD skills to experience the journey in its most natural form.
The alternative route to the one shown in this trek note is to use the Bypass Roads. We provide a separate trek note for those that wish to use this easier route. The trek note is called Cape York via Bypass Roads
. You can still access sections of the Telegraph Track if you refer to the map for entry/exit points.
There are many other interesting places
to visit on the Cape York Peninsula
that we've not included in either of these main thoroughfare routes to the top. Instead, you'll find details about these in separate Trek Notes
because they can all be accessed off the two main routes at noted exit points. We suggest you should research all these side trips and build your own itinerary. See the full list of Cape York side trips here
Once you've reached Seisia
, you still have a little way to go to reach the true "tip" of Cape York
's most northerly point. Refer to our Cape York - Seisia to the Tip
Trek Note for details on how to get there, and other things to explore in the area.
How to Use this Trek Note
The idea of a Trek Note, is that we provide a recommended route to explore an area with point-to-point guidance and extensive trip planning information about when to go, what to see, and where to camp. However, all the facts and data files are available should you prefer to build your own route/itinerary.
To see the route we recommend, click on the "Map" tab. Then, use the Moving Map Control to take a virtual tour of the route. You can reverse the order of the direction notes by clicking the arrow alongside the words Start/Finish at the very top of the information on this page.
Click on the "What to See" & "Where to Stay" tabs to see more about each Place that the route follows. Click each listed Place to open a separate page (and download for Members only) to enrich your understanding of the area.
A text list of Place to Place distances (see Directions tab) is given, plus you can download the route file to load into your GPS/Navigator. Go to our shop
to obtain the complete EOTreks Route Files
If you just want the raw data files (for use with mapping software or to load into a GPS/Navigator), then the track file and waypoints are downloadable for free (Members only), using the Download Treks button at the top of this page.
You can also print this page (use the print icon button) and text from all sections (Description, Preparation, What to See, Where to Stay, Directions, Related, Feedback
) will be reformatted into one easy-to-read document (except for detailed Place information – do these separately).
is the name of the most northern point of the Australian continent and is often referred to as "The Tip". In fact, the whole peninsula of land that lies above the 16°S latitude is called Cape York Peninsula
- this narrow peninsula is bound by the Coral sea to the east the Arafura sea and Gulf of Carpentaria to the west and the Torres Strait to the north. Locals however, refer to Cape York
"proper" as the area north of the Jardine
A trip to Cape York
must be carefully planned. You need to plan for the worst and be prepared to handle repairs and maintenance in the bush. Your vehicle will need to be extensively prepared for remote area travel and you will need to ensure you have made essential modifications and carry specific safety equipment & communications.
Most people travel in convoy throughout the Cape not just for company, but for safety and backup. Just remember that overly large convoy groups can be hazardous on narrow dual-direction tracks and due to the bulldust on many Cape Roads, large groups may need to spread out so far apart that the leader lose radio communications with the tail-end charlie. For these reasons, you'll find a smaller convoy more enjoyable and practical.
Permits are required to access all areas of Aboriginal land. The permit is provided when you pay your ferry fee to cross the Jardine River
at near Bamaga
Camping permits are required in all National Parks and Reserves
on the Cape York Peninsula
and these must now be purchased in advance before arriving at your campsite. Self-registration for camp sites is no longer possible. To obtain an e-permit book online at www.qld.gov.au/camping
, or phone 13 74 68.
Fuel Supplies & Usage
Best Time To Visit
Closest Climatic Station
Lockhart River Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 67.72km NW
Best time to travel Ok time to travel Travel NOT recommended
|Mean Max. °C||31.6||31.3||30.6||29.7||28.7||27.4||27.1||27.7||29.0||30.4||31.8||32.2|
|Mean Min. °C||23.7||23.6||23.4||22.9||21.9||20.1||19.4||19.2||20.5||21.9||23.0||23.6|
|Mean Rain mm||395.9||390.8||452.3||296.9||106.8||58.4||43.4||29.2||15.7||29.1||72.2||208.4|
Services & Supplies
The following locations have various services and supplies: Musgrave Roadhouse
, Bramwell Junction