Far North Qld

The Tropics - Townsville, Cairns, Atherton, Daintree and the ultimate in adventure at Cape York the most northern tip of Australia.
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Page Updated: 18 Jul 2015

Go to top Description

Far North Queensland has always been a dramatic and wild place. Both Aboriginal and European history share tales of tragedy and triumph in attempting to tame and live in this region that is ravaged by tropical rains in summer, scorched by never-ending dryness in winter and inhabited by rare and dangerous species such as crocodiles, snakes and poisonous plants.

The city of Cairns however, is a thriving commercial town. Surviving on local sugar crops and a massive tourist industry Cairns, Townsville and Mackay enjoy a healthy trade. During the tropical wet season Cairns is just on the fringe and can occasionally be affected by cyclones.

Further north however, the rainforest is untamed. Roads turn to dirt and only 4WDs have access past Cape Tribulation. Unsealed roads in the tropics can vary from excellent to impassable depending on many factors. It is imperative to carefully plan your visit further north of Cairns, into Cape York.

The most northern tip of Australia is Cape York and every 4WDrivers ultimate destination. Only accessible during the dry months between May - October the trip can be very rough, with deep water crossings, deep ruts, varied terrain, few facilities and incredibly remote. Yet, over 10,000 4WDs will make the expedition from Cairns to "The Tip" and back each season. Vehicles have only been attempting Cape York since the late 1960s and only since the invention of the Landcruiser has it really become a feasible option for families.

Special vehicle preparation is compulsory, as is expert experience in driving a 4WD in challenging conditions. It is definitely the kind of trip to do in convoy. If you can't rustle together a few mates then 4WD clubs run regular trips to the Cape for members or there is the option of taking a tag-along tour where you drive your own 4WD but are guided and provided for by the tour organiser.

The major highlights of a Cape York trip include the rainforest area of the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, Cooktown where Captain James Cook sheltered for repairs to the Endeavour in 1770, Lakefield NP, the OTL (following the historic path of the overland telegraph line), Laura and the nearby Palmer River goldfields of Maytown, the Wenlock River, the massive mining town at Weipa, the Iron Range NP, wild Chili Beach, Captain Billy's Landing, swimming at Elliot Falls and Fruitbat Falls, getting your vehicle through Gunshot, attempting to cross the Jardine River, the most northernmost townships of Bamaga and Seisa and The Tip itself at Frangipani Beach.

For detailed information about Cape York, see our trek notes

Go to top Treks

Ayton to CooktownAyton to Cooktown
This Trek Note provides a connecting route between Cooktown and the Bloomfield area via the tiny settlements of Rossville, Helenvale and the famous Lion's Den Hotel.
Bloomfield TrackBloomfield Track
The Bloomfield Track offers a delightful Trek though the World Heritage listed Rainforest area of Far North Queensland on an unsealed track and provides a link between Cape Tribulation and Cooktown.
Cairns to Cape TribulationCairns to Cape Tribulation
Travel along one of Australia's most scenic coastal drives and cross the Daintree River by cable ferry to reach the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park in Cape Tribulation.
Cairns to DaintreeCairns to Daintree
This is an easy day-trip from Cairns to Daintree Village via Mossman. For experienced 4WD adventurers, you can connect this trek with the CREB Track and drive across the Daintree River at the Upper Daintree Crossing.
Cape YorkCape York
This is the true 4WD journey to the tip of Cape York following the Old Telegraph Track (OTT) and its many challenging river crossings.[Feature Story]
Cape York - Seisia to the TipCape York - Seisia to the Tip
Whichever route you choose to get to Seisia, this connecting Trek Note will led you all the way to the very tip of the Cape York Peninsula. You'll also visit Punsand Bay, Cable Bay, Somerset Beach & Fly Point, making this the perfect day trip.
Cape York - WeipaCape York - Weipa
This route to Weipa is a popular side trip for visitors to the Cape York Peninsula. You can start the trip at either end at Archer River, or the Batavia Downs turnoff near the start of the Frenchman's Track on the Telegraph Road.
Cape York via Bypass RoadsCape York via Bypass Roads
This is an alternative route to Cape York that bypasses the challenging 4WD river crossings found on the Old Telegraph Track (OTT). The Peninsula Developmental Rd (PDR) still requires 4WD and may be closed at times during the wet season.
CREB TrackCREB Track
The CREB track, winding its way through the Daintree Rainforest from Bloomfield to Daintree, is a world class experience for four wheel drivers.
Normanton to Coen via KowanyamaNormanton to Coen via Kowanyama
This trek traverses through the beautiful Gulf Savannah region which extends from the Great Dividing Range in the east to the Northern Territory border in the west.

Go to top Far North QLD Weather & Climate

Closest Weather Station

Cairns at 20/10:30am EST
Distance from Cairns 6.06km NW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Cairns Aero
Distance from Cairns 6.06km NW
Mean Max. °C31.431.230.629.227.626.025.726.628.129.530.631.4
Mean Min. °C23.723.823.121.619.917.817.117.418.720.622.323.4
Mean Rain mm395.3450.6424.2195.191.445.329.327.033.746.693.8178.8


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