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Cape York 4WD Adventure

Cape York 4WD Adventure

Embarking on a 4WD adventure to Cape York is a journey like no other, offering thrill-seekers the opportunity to explore some of Australia’s most rugged and remote landscapes. Typically starting in Cairns, adventurers from around the world converge on this tropical paradise to kick off their epic journey into the wilderness.

For most travelers, Cairns serves as the gateway to their Cape York expedition. Upon arriving at Cairns Airport, located just a 10-minute drive from the heart of Cairns city, or an hour’s drive from the picturesque town of Port Douglas, visitors waste no time in picking up their 4WD vehicle and gearing up for the adventure ahead. Book accommodation for a night or two before your adventure. It’s wise to stock up on supplies locally before setting out, ensuring you have everything you need for your journey into the unknown.

Here are some ideas for your stay in Cairns before or after your Cape York 4WD adventure. Visit the must-see beaches around Cairns.

There are more 4WD road options than anywhere else in Australia. With 1200 km of roads connecting Cairns to Cape York. You will need at least 7 to 10 days to drive, visiting Cooktown, the Lockhart River, remote campsites and vast cattle stations. Swim in crystal-clear waters at Jardine National Park or visit the extensive wetlands of the Rinurru (Lakefield) National Park.

Two-wheel vehicles can travel inland to Cooktown via the Mulligan Highway which is sealed. To go further north you require a 4WD vehicle. You can self-drive or join a tour and sit back and enjoy the food, company, and knowledge of the guides.

The school holidays are busier in Cape York, but there is plenty of room for everyone. Approximately 60000 people visit the Tip of Australia each year. Camp at the most northern campsite in Australia at Punsand Bay where you can look out over the Torres Strait Islands, watch the sunset from the Coral Sea and set over the Arafura.

Preparation is key for any Cape York adventure. Extra supplies such as fuel and water are essential, along with basic vehicle maintenance knowledge and at least one spare tyre. While help is available along the way, it’s important to be self-sufficient and prepared for any situation that may arise. There is help around, but how far away?

We have a couple of guides to assist with planning your Cape York 4WD adventure. This one is our Cape York Travel Guide, a great place to start. Make sure you understand the travel insurance requirements for each vehicle – our local, Australian based team can assist with your travel plans.

Safety is paramount when exploring Cape York, particularly when it comes to encounters with crocodiles. Always heed warning signs and only swim in designated safe areas, such as Twin Falls in Jardine National Park. Whether it’s freshwater or saltwater crocs, it’s essential to remain vigilant and avoid lingering near riverbanks or creek edges.

The best time to visit Cape York is from June to October, when the weather is mild and the roads are typically free from flooding. During other times of the year, road closures due to flooding can pose challenges for travelers, making it essential to plan your journey accordingly.

Regional Attractions

Cairns Aerial View 4WD Hire Cairns

Cairns Day Trips

There are so many things to do locally. You can spend a day or a whole week around town. From good food to go-carts. There is something for everyone in Cairns.

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SkyRail to Kuranda 4WD Hire Cairns


Surrounded by the world’s oldest living tropical rainforest, the colorful village of Kuranda is known as the Village in the Rainforest. Just 25km northwest of Cairns.

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Cape Tribulation 4WD Hire Cairns

Daintree & Cape Tribulation

The Daintree covers 1200 sq km between the Mossman Gorge and Bloomfield River. Cape Tribulation is where the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef meet.

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Great Barrier Reef Trip 4WD Hire Cairns

Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Reef includes: snorkelling, scuba diving, aircraft or helicopter tours, glass-bottomed boats, semi-submersibles and educational trips, cruise ship tours, whale watching and swimming with dolphins.

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Atherton Tablelands 4WD Hire Cairns

Atherton Tablelands

Located just south of Cairns, the cooler-climate of the Atherton Tablelands has variety of landscapes and attractions – waterfalls, national parks and coffee plantations. Markets, food and wine.

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Cape York 4WD Hire Cairns

Torres Strait

The ultimate self-drive location – Cape York. You will find more 4WDs here than anywhere else in the country. A 1200km strip of road connects Cairns with Cape York allow at least 7 days to take the drive.

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Find your 4WD adventure of a lifetime