Cape York Expedition
One of the last wilderness regions of Australia is our destination on this fantastic expedition where we travel through some of the world’s most pristine waterways.
We cross a dozen small creeks and rivers while we are on the far northern end of Cape York Peninsula and this is a welcome relief after we have travelled across wilderness areas that offer no facilities for the few travellers who visit this wonderful part of Australia.
Many people make this expedition part of their plans for the future but far fewer ever actually undertake this journey.
The cape has many hidden secrets that are not often obvious to the first time visitor so traveling with one of Global 4wd’s experienced tour guides will assist you in seeing these places and unlocking many of the secrets of Cape York.
Global 4wd trip leaders will make sure that daily travel times are not long and arduous while generally departing camp at around 8.30am and arriving at our night stop by mid-afternoon.
Our expedition leaders do all the food preparation, cooking and cleaning up so that everyone else has time to relax and enjoy their Cape York adventure.
All camps have toilet facilities with showers or, at the very least, we set up a shower to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hit the hay clean.
Approximately one month before we depart on this trip of a lifetime we get together for a pre-trip meeting to discuss our preparations for the expedition.
In general we discuss vehicle requirements and preparation, spare parts needed, tyres, water, road conditions, camp sites, travel times, what to bring, vehicle to vehicle communications plus all other relevant topics relating to our trip to one of the most fantastic non tourist areas that Australia has to offer.
We recommend that all travellers undertake a Global 4wd Sand and Bush 4wd course before they depart on this expedition.
There is far more information discussed at the Global 4wd pre trip meeting so take the plunge and book with us for our next trip.
Information provided by Ralph Martell a veteran of approximately 16 Cape York expeditions.
The Cape packs into a small area, only about the size of Victoria, some of the best of Australian scenery. Mountains, deserted sandy beaches, waterfalls, rainforest, dry rainforest, open forestry, savannah, it is all there. The undoubted highlights though are the rivers and creeks, dozens of them, each unique and pristine!
Every scene change catches you by surprise. You will be puttering (or, to be honest, rattling) along and suddenly notice that you are in entirely different country.
The imaginative travellers will see in the ruins of Maytown a ramshackle, 19th century town at the peak of Australia’s second largest gold rush. They will understand the feat of the Jardine brothers driving 600 head of cattle through this very difficult country or perhaps picture the tragic battles between the Aboriginal people and the foreign interlopers. The Cape is probably the most visited of Australia’s remote areas. Annual visitor numbers well exceed the permanent population. This doesn’t mean that you will be constantly tripping over other travellers, far from it. It just means it is a highly desirable place to be. We use bush camps as far as possible and there is plenty of space to feel the area’s magnificent isolation.
Skipping right over the first 40 000 years or so of the area’s history, the first European overland contact was by Leichhardt in 1845 and Kennedy in 1848. Kennedy died for his efforts but others followed. In 1863 the Jardine family drove 600 head of cattle overland and established ‘Somerset’, near the ‘tip’, as the area’s first permanent settlement. It was a government outpost and their dream was to open a major trading gateway to Asia, describing it as ‘the Singapore of the south’. This didn’t all go according to plan but the station carried on with beef until quite recently. The discovery of gold on the Palmer River in 1873 sparked Australia’s second largest gold-rush. At its peak Maytown had a population of 20 000 and the port of Cooktown grew as its supply point. The overland Telegraph Line, completed in 1887 was the last chain in the link between Brisbane and the state’s northernmost point. It remained in telegraph service until 1964 and continued as a local telephone line until 1987.
Difficult to extreme, depending on track conditions. All roads in the region can be very badly corrugated depending on when they were last graded. The tracks we use avoid the worst of it (although you may not believe it at the time) but there are many creek and river crossings to be made.
For general information:
- Ron and Viv Moon Cape, York – An Adventurers’ Guide, Kakirra Adventure Publications, Pearcedale, Vic
- Hugh Finlay et al Queensland, Lonely Planet, Hawthorn Vic.
- The general readings give outlines of the history of the area.
For more details see:
- Glenville Pike The Last Frontier, Pinevale Publications, Mareeba
- Hector Holthouse River of Gold, Angus and Robertson
- Les Hiddins The Complete Jardine Expedition Journals, Corkwood Press, North Adelaide
- Les Hiddins William Carron’s Narrative of Kennedy’s Cape York Expedition, Corkwood Press, Bundaberg
- Jeannie Baker Where the Forest Meets the Sea, Walker Books, London.
- Estuary or deep-sea fishing from Weipa
- A mines tour at Weipa
- Deep Sea fishing from Punsand Bay
- Thursday and Horn Islands from Bamaga by ferry and/or air
- Quinken art tour at Jowalbinna Station
The Telegraph Track is a highlight of everyone’s trip to the Cape. We will use it both ways. We will also use the less known but very attractive Frenchman’s Track. Our return to the real world will be by way of the CREB Track with its Spectacular Mountain and rainforest scenery. We will visit Weipa and Bamaga and spend some time in Lakefield National Park and at Punsand Bay near the ‘tip’. To actually reach the ‘tip’ requires a fairly energetic 600m walk.
Tagalong Tour Prices Include
Our tag along tours provide a safe, enjoyable and economical way to travel to some of the most remote areas of Australia.
The basic arrangement is simple. You drive your own vehicle and provide your own camping equipment. We look after everything else.
The tours are fully catered so you don’t have the daily hassle of setting up, cooking, cleaning up and washing the dishes then packing away the stove, plates, pots and pans etc. This also not only gives every member of your group a holiday as well but it reduces the amount of gear and weight your vehicle needs to carry.
- Meals (except as noted)
- Camping fees
- Permit fees
- Ferry fares
- Local tours as detailed
Please contact us for any further information, pricing and bookings.