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Need To Knows for a Great Cape York Trip

One of Australia’s best 4WD adventure destinations is Cape York in far north Queensland.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, and it’s certainly not for the unprepared. But with the right planning and groundwork, Cape York can be the adventure of a lifetime.

But before you ‘send it’, it’s wise to know what you’re getting in for.

Dirt roads and river crossings

The main roads through the Cape are the Peninsula Development Road (PDR) and the Northern Development Road (Bamaga Road and Telegraph Road).

There are bitumen sections and graders that do come through regularly, but there are plenty of corrugations and washouts, so always drive to the conditions.

Make sure you have a good set of maps, whether it’s a printed HEMA or the electronic versions. There are also great apps out there that can be used, but be warned, internet off-road in the cape can be patchy.

You can take the PDR all the way to the tip and back if you like. But if you want to do Cape York the hard way, then the Old Telegraph Track is what you need.

The Old Telegraph Track

Commonly known as the OTT, the Old Telegraph Track follows a disused telegraph line that used to connect Australia to the rest of the world.

Famous crossings like Gunshot Creek see hardcore 4×4 drivers put their machines down ridiculously steep inclines and cross deep rivers. Whose overhanging trees are decorated with parts of vehicles that didn’t make it.

Whilst very challenging, the OTT is accessible with plenty of ‘chicken tracks’ around the hardest obstacles and plenty of fellow travellers to lend a hand.

Throw in incredible camping spots and natural wonders like Fruit Bat Falls and it’s easy to see why the OTT is one of the quintessential 4×4 destinations.

No fear gear to conquer the Cape

It’s essential that you have all the recovery gear you can muster, including a winch, a snatch strap with rated shackles, shovel and recovery tracks.

While there are a few mechanics in the Cape, spares are limited and repairs can be costly. So it’s wise to have your vehicle serviced and thoroughly checked before you head out.

Tyre choice will be determined by the weather and time of year you travel. Whether you’re running a set of muddies or all-terrain, make sure your vehicle’s tyres and spares are in good condition.

Finally, make sure you have emergency gear like a satellite phone or EPIRB, and a supply of water and food. The Cape can get busy, but it’s always remote.

With the right gear and preparation, you’ll be standing at the tip in no time. Taking that iconic photo and itching to do it all again.

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