Get to the heart of Tropical North Queensland on these adventure-filled tracks.
The tracks through the Palmer River Goldfields in Cape York’s highlands are some of the toughest in the region. The drive over the Great Dividing Range between Laura and Maytown features some testing sections, with a range of mining remnants to discover along the way. The Palmer River Goldfields was the largest and most productive alluvial goldfield in Australia, and the journey throughout the area is as much a fascinating historical experience as it is a 4WD challenge.
Rolling through dense rainforest south of Cooktown is the CREB Track (which stands for Cairns Regional Electricity Board), an undulating drive that quickly becomes impassable after rain. The journey is more than 60km long and memorable for the surrounding Daintree rainforest and its reputation as a baptism of fire for those travelling to the tip of Cape York. A stop at the iconic Lions Den Hotel is reward for those who make the journey, with fellow travellers sure to be enjoying a cold drink and swapping stories regardless of when you arrive.
For those heading up to the Old Telegraph Track, splitting east along Frenchmans Track is a worthwhile side trip for a number of reasons. The drive requires some technical four-wheel driving, with some (potentially) deep water crossings and sandy tracks to be negotiated before reaching the shores of Chili Beach along Portland Road. The final leg of the drive cuts through the heart of Kutini-Payamu National Park, meaning the journey as a whole contains a range of unique environs and track conditions for adventurers to experience.
The journey to the remote east coast of Cape York takes travellers through Jardine River National Park’s tight rainforest to the cliffs, beaches and clear ocean vistas of Ussher Point. The drive requires some skill and concentration, but your efforts will be rewarded with the sight of the Point’s bright orange bauxite cliffs, which clash magnificently with the blue gradients of the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.
Cape York’s seminal 4WD track is a rite of passage as much as it is the route to the northernmost tip of Australia. With steep embankments and deep, crystalline creek crossings to negotiate, the OTT can be a stern off-road test which, in combination with its picturesque waterfalls, excellent scenery and remote campsites, make the trip a thoroughly memorable one.
Content courtesy of Hema Maps. Hema Maps has been crafting folded maps, guides and digital navigation products for exploring Australia off the beaten track for over 30 years. Visit the Hema Maps website to find out where your next adventure could take you.