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Vacation - Cape York Peninsula Qld.

Updated on December 11, 2009

Vacation Cape York Peninsula.

Cape York and Cape Tribulation are part of the Peninsula, noted for its rugged World Heritage rated pristine jungle like wilderness. Cape tours will best enable the visitor to see this wild and beautiful part of our Australia!

Named after the Duke of York, the pointy top end of Queensland is known as Cape York Peninsula. The Cape is one of the worlds last true wildernesses.

More than half the population of only 18,000 on the cape are aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Natural tropical rain forests in the region are pristine as are the savannas.

It is only 99 miles across the sea to New Guinea from the northernmost point of the cape, with many Islands and coral outcrops in the Torres Strait.

If you are an adventurous type you may consider this to be a world class location with unspoiled beaches and terrain that is a stark reminder of how old this land is. The aboriginal people have been here for 40,000 years!

Nothing has changed in many places for all that time, and the history of this place is painted on rocks and in the stories of the local people.

Rivers and waterways become ponds and puddles in the dry season, then raging floods that are hard to imagine in the wet season, turning large depressions in to lakes and ponds into huge rivers that service a diversity of wildlife that appears out of nowhere as soon as the water arrives.

Daintree National Park in the rugged Cape York Peninsula.
Daintree National Park in the rugged Cape York Peninsula.

Laura Cape York Peninsula

Laura is a tiny town of about 120 people in the Cook Shire of the Cape York Peninsula.

The rock paintings around Laura are some of the worlds largest collection of prehistoric paintings in the world.

An Interpretation Centre allows visitors to understand the local rock art and the aboriginal culture. Laura is on the only road going north.

The wildlife that arrives with the wet season is diverse and in massive numbers. You have to see it to believe it, and I have been lucky enough to have been up there in the wet.

With over 700 vertebrates and 3,300 different flowering plant species, the Cape York Peninsula is truly a nature lovers paradise.

Dangerous, even treacherous in the wet season, although the Cape is exciting in the wet season, without good local knowledge you can die up here really easily!

As I have said about Darwin in the wet season, up north you can see rainfall overnight that is hard to believe!

The wet season and the North of Australia

I want to give you a feel for the wet season up here, so I will relate a personal experience of it here.

We were camped in the middle of a tropical forest, way inland, where there is not a sign of rain.

We had found a dry creek bed at sundown, and decided as there was some fresh water in holes further up the creek bed and it was dry and flat land, being somewhat experienced we chose high ground well back from the creek bed to pitch the tent.

We went to sleep under a clear northern sky where the stars almost looked like you could grab one! It was a magnificent night.

About three in the morning I awoke with wet feet!

Grabbing a torch I looked out the front of the tent to see that we were now camped in a raging river that was increasing in height by the second!

It was already 20 foot deep in the middle when I woke and was still growing in depth rapidly.

We let the river have the tent, not having time to do anything but get ourselves and vehicles to higher ground, not an easy task either, as if we went in the wrong direction, that could be 30 mile away!

This country is not for the faint hearted in the wet, nor is it a place for "semi" professional northern travelers as I was then.

I was bought up in the outback or bush as we call it in the southern part of Australia, but the northern country is a whole new deal, requiring local knowledge and skills to remain here during the wet season.

The main drag!

Even the dry season is hard going up here. That is quite a deep crossing as you can see.
Even the dry season is hard going up here. That is quite a deep crossing as you can see.


Polotok York

Polotok York on the Cape York Peninsula
Polotok York on the Cape York Peninsula

The Endeavour


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