To view this intense landscape, you will have to be
prepared to embark on one of Australia's great road
adventures. Keeping in mind that the peninsula is the
size of Victoria, with few sealed roads, you may wish to
employ one of the several tour organisations to show you
this unique part of Queensland.
Although much of Cape York
is sparsely populated, there are settlements at Cooktown,
Lakeland, Laura, Coen, and Weipa, and Aboriginal
communities at Wujal Wujal, Hopevale, Lockhart River,
Injinoo, New Mapoon, Umagico, Old Mapoon, Napranum,
Aurukun, Pormparaaw, and Kowanyama. Torres Strait
Islander communities on the mainland are Bamaga and
Cape York has some of the world's most extensive and
ancient rock painting galleries around the town of
Laura. 1/5th of Australia's remaining tropical
rainforests are found on Cape York. With its many
rivers, Cape York Peninsula contributes as much as a
quarter of Australia's surface runoff. The main
industries are tourism, mining, fishing and cattle.
Two distinct seasons exist at Cape York, the wet and the
dry. During the wet season all roads are cut of and
virtually all road transport stops. Therefore, the best
time to travel within the area is between June and
November. It is safer to take one of the tours offered
instead of a self-drive tour. Also without a 4WD most
roads cannot be taken as rivers need to be crossed.
Services are also limited.
Several places along the way have basic motel-style or
cabin accommodation, and there are some resorts as well
as caravan parks, but mostly you'll need your own tent
or (4WD) campervan, if you want to stay in any of the
more interesting places. [Cape