Sometimes, the idea for a vacation comes from something as simple as wanting to visit a country's northernmost point. In the case of Australia, this would make for a worthy vacation - as the country's most northern town sits at the point of Queensland, a state that's home to some of the country's most popular destinations. It just so happens that the northern tip of Queensland is absolutely stunning, with a remote landscape that's perfect for adventurers and lovers of nature.

Additionally, contrary to what many might think of when they hear the term 'remote,' there's also plenty to do there. Whether it's four-wheeling across expansive seaside landscapes or hiking to the top of a waterfall, Cape York is one Australian dream destination that's worth flying to Queensland for.


Getting To Cape York

Arriving in Cape York is nothing like flying into Sydney and being greeted with cars, people, and the noise of a city. Rather, the drive out to the northernmost tip of Queensland is quiet, secluded, and filled with vistas that are arguably some of the most beautiful in the north end.

Some might also believe that Australia's Outback is the most rugged and isolated part of the continent, and this would also be inaccurate. Cape York has much to offer for those who are committed to reaching it. Here are a few things to know before planning the trip:

  • A Vehicle with 4WD is a necessity. It's quite the drive down dirt roads and potentially through streams and rivers, depending on the season.
  • Phone reception is scarce and non-existent most of the time. Therefore, travelers should be prepared to pay for WiFi when they get to Cape York or prepare to be unplugged for the majority of the trip.
  • Gas stations are few and far between. It's best to plan out fuel stops prior to heading out so there are no surprises along the way.
  • Don't worry about finding food. Although Australia's northernmost tip is called the 'final frontier,' there are roadhouses along the way that provide good - even great - meals for weary travelers.

Related: These Photos Of Australia's Cape Jervis Show How Quaint And Beautiful It Is

Lodging Options In Cape York

Finding lodging on the Cape York Peninsula isn't impossible but it is extremely limited. There's a total of two hotels and one campground that are right at the very tip of Cape York, and these are the best bets for those planning to explore its coastline and rainforests.

Cape York Peninsula Lodge

  • Simple, basic accommodations in the form of cabins, standard rooms, deluxe rooms, suites, and studios, ranging from $145-$315/night USD
  • Features include a hotel restaurant serving breakfast, lunch & dinner, tour arrangements, daily housekeeping, bathroom amenities, bar fridge, air conditioning, tea and coffee bars, and outdoor pool & patio

Seisa Holiday Park

  • Located about 25 miles from the tip, offering accommodations in the form of villas, cottages, lodges, and camping (swags, tents, camping trailers, RVs)
  • Rates vary from $95-$280 per night for villas and cottages, up to $42 for campsites

Cape York Camping Punsand Bay

  • Offers a multitude of air-conditioned cabins with en suites, some right along the beachfront
  • Both powered and unpowered campsites are available
  • Rates vary from $20/night for unpowered sites to $170/night for beachfront cabins

What To Do Once You're In Cape York

Venture to the Northernmost Tip!

Of course, the first thing anyone should do when arriving in Cape York is make the trek to the northernmost tip of the peninsula. It's easy to find and taking a photo by the sign that reads, 'You are standing at the northernmost point of the Australian continent' is an iconic moment.  Once travelers have reached this checkpoint, it's time to explore the rest of the peninsula.

Take a Dip in Any of Its Six Scenic Waterfalls

On the way up to the Cape, travelers will pass by Isabella Creek which is fed into by Isabella Falls. It's worth the stop along the way just for the tranquility alone.

The next five waterfalls follow the Old Telegraph Track in Cape York, which is a great place to set out four-wheeling. Dulhunty River is first on the list and also doubles as a great swimming hole thanks to the small waterfalls that keep its water fresh.

Moving further along the trail, travelers will intercept Fruit Bat Falls which is arguably one of the most beautiful waterfalls - and swimming holes - on the trail. This wide waterfall is small yet stunning, and its waters are crystal-clear and shallow.

Both Twin Falls and Eliot Falls are within close walking distance of one another, near the Eliot Falls Campground. Four-wheelers will find Twin Falls just upstream, and both are stunningly photogenic.

Hidden Waterfall is the last one on the list and it's part of Sam Creek; the ride is another six miles down the road, but the payoff is worth the work. It's usually quite empty and the waterfall itself is framed on both sides by gorgeous river rocks, surrounding a single cascading flow.

Of Course, Don't Miss Out on the Beaches

The entirety of the Cape York Peninsula is shrouded in pristine sandy beaches. No trip would be complete without taking advantage of one of its many beautiful locations:

  • Chili Beach, located in Kutini-Payamu National Park
  • Ussher Point Cliffs on the eastern side of the Cape in Jardine River Regional Park
  • Frangipani Beach, which visitors will pass on the way to the northernmost tip sign
  • Wonga Beach, north of Cairns
  • Punsand Bay, just west of the tip
  • Secluded Beach in Cape Weymouth, just north of Chili Beach
  • Portland Roads, a small fishing village
  • Quintel Beach, accessible from the Lockhart River
  • Beaches at Weipa, home of the largest town on the Cape (no swimming)
  • Mutee Head, home to much Aboriginal & WWII history (accessible by 4WD only)

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