There are many self-drive touring routes in Queensland that lead to Cape York Peninsula. One is the Great Inland Way, which starts at Sydney and goes all the way to Cairns, through the likes of Dubbo, Lightning Ridge, Emerald, and Carnarvon National Park, before connecting with the Great Tropical Drive north to Cooktown.
Another is the Matilda Highway, which is further west, and takes in many of Queensland’s outback towns such as Cunnamulla, Charleville, Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton, and then up to Normanton and Karumba. This drive connects with the Overlanders Way (Tennant Creek east to Townsville), and the Savanna Way (Normanton east to Cairns).
Information on the Overlanders Way, the Savanna Way, the Great Tropical Drive (pp 15-21), and the Epic Cape York drive, can be found on the Drive North Queensland site – www.drivenorthqueensland.com.au.
Driving times will always vary, depending on the road conditions and the type of vehicle/trailer, but you can usually count on averaging around 50-60km/hr. This is just a rule of thumb, and it is
important that you DRIVE TO THE PREVAILING ROAD CONDITIONS.
Hire cars are available in Cooktown, Coen, Lockhart River, Weipa, Seisia and Bamaga. Taxis are available in Cooktown, Weipa and Bamaga. See ‘Services’ section of each region under the ‘explore’ tab on front page.
If you are looking for a hire vehicle to tackle the rough stuff on the Cape CLICK HERE
Caravans and Trailers
All types of caravans and trailers can be towed on the sealed roads to Cooktown, or Laura (inland route). In Laura, you can leave your caravan at either the Ang Gnarra Campground next to the Quinkan Cultural Centre, or at the Quinkan Hotel/pub. Cooktown has an RV friendly site, and other places you can leave your caravans and RVs, so you can start exploring Cape York! Heavy duty camper trailers and high clearance off road caravans are suitable for the unsealed road conditions of Cape York, however they shouldn’t be taken along the ‘Adventure 4WD’ journeys. Only off-road ruggedised boat trailers are suitable for Cape York expeditions beyond the sealed highways (check adequate support/tiedowns for boat and outboard). Tourism Cape York recommends only high clearance off-road trailers are taken on Adventure 4WD Journeys.