The sheer beauty of Far North Queensland cannot be understated. Its vast wilderness is largely untouched and preserved, and the area’s tropical climate makes it the perfect year-round road trip destination.
Whether you love lush green scenery, standing beneath the canopy of a tropical rainforest, or seeing Australian flora and fauna in its natural habitat, the Cape York region of Far North Queensland is a vast expanse that must be seen to be believed.
That’s why we’ve done all the research for you and have compiled a list of the top 5 reasons to visit this gorgeous peninsula.
1. The climate
Whether you are flying in from overseas or are a domestic traveller with a thirst for adventure, the climate of Cape York is going to be a major drawcard. With average highs of 28 degrees during winter (when the rest of Australia is suffering through often minus temperatures), you’ll be basking in the sunshine while writing home to gloat about the tan you’ve achieved. The months of December through to April are the wet months for this region, with monsoonal rains tempering the average highs of 30 degrees.
2. The history
The Cape York Peninsula was one of the last areas of Australia to be discovered and colonised by European settlers, and even now only 18,000 locals call the area home, of which 60% are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
The area has managed to retain its cultural history, with Thursday Island, located 30km north of the tip of Cape York, a major tourist destination. The Torres Strait Islanders have populated this magnificent island for hundreds of years, and the pearling industry here is a huge export for the region. There are also several galleries and cultural centres that showcase historical Islander artwork.
3. Outdoor activities
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, the Cape York region is the ideal location for your next road trip. The peninsula is bustling with camping, hiking, fishing, and bird-watching locations, where you can truly switch off and get back to nature in a completely tranquil setting.
Australia is home to thousands of species of reptiles, insects, birds, mammals and amphibians, many of which are located in the Cape York region.
Aside from much-loved Aussie icons such as the kangaroo and wallaby, you’ll find tropical birds and reptiles in this area that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in the world.
The east and west coast are both home to a variety of native marine turtles and fish, but be warned – crocodiles roam the area in large numbers. Always read signs that designate whether it’s a hotspot for crocs before venturing into the unknown.
If you are a keen fisherman, head to Laura River on the Cape for a chance to see (or catch) the best variety of unique tropical fish in Australia. Barramundi and mackerel abound in these waters, while the Western area of the Cape has sports fishing spots, such as Weipa. The locals evidently love it too, with over 50 world titles for sports fishing set in their very waters.
No matter what your penchant is when travelling, you’ll find something you love in the Cape York region.
Photography: Maxime Coquard, Tourism Australia