About Tourism Cape York
Welcome to Tourism Cape York !
Tourism Cape York is the officially recognized tourism organisation for Cape York.
This website is a resource for visitors, tourists and business travelers to plan their Epic Cape York experience. Follow in the steps of the early explorers on an epic adventure through natural wilderness to the top of Australia. Cape York encompasses the northern most tip of Australia in the state of Queensland and features un-spoilt beauty.
Cape York Peninsula contains the historic town of Cooktown, remote savannah and rainforest clad National Parks and really is the last frontier of Australia. From the Western Cape and the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef this remote part of Australia captivates visitors with amazing wildlife, cultural experiences, characters and adventure. Great Fishing, adventure 4WD, bush camping, plan your journey to explore Epic Cape York.
Explore Cape York
Cape York is on many people’s ‘Bucket List’ for good reason. Sure, it has the northern most piece of land on the Australian continent, but don’t rush to get there! The Peninsula is a vast and diverse landscape offering a myriad of adventures and side trips off the beaten path. Take a detour through Rinyirru National Park (Lakefield) and see the abundant birdlife surrounding lagoons and wetlands; better yet, throw a line in and try your luck catching the famous barramundi Cape York is renowned for.
Cape York also has many pristine beaches that can be easily accessed, and nesting turtles can be seen at the right time of the year. Excellent bush camping, inside and outside of the National Parks, can be enjoyed throughout the region, and facilities are available at certain destinations- see the National Parks Section; all camping in National Parks must now be booked in advance.
For the fishing enthusiast, there are also plenty of options, whether it’s fishing off the local wharf, along one of the Cape’s majestic rivers, or taking advantage of the local knowledge of the many charter tour operators. Have a look at the fishing section and experience some world class fishing today. Enjoy your trip!
The Cape has a fascinating history of exploration, pioneers, settlement, WWII and the thriving indigenous culture. There are many cultural centres and museums that present the Cape’s history and culture:
• Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre, Laura
• The Boathouse, Cooktown
• Cooktown History Centre, Cooktown
• James Cook Museum, Cooktown
• Western Cape Cultural Centre, Evans Landing, Weipa
• Peddells Thursday Island Tours [museum inside]
• Gab Titui Cultural Centre, Thursday Island.
The Cape is rich in World War 2 history. There are tours on both Thursday and Horn Islands.
Accompany One of the rangers from the Laura sandstone region and explore aboriginal rock art galleries which have been listed by UNESCO as being amongst the top 10 sites in the world. Tours are also available in the Bloomfield area with the ‘Walker Family Tours’, and out of Cooktown with Guurrbi Tours.
There are very good art centres at Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal and Lockhart River providing local Indigenous artists support and the ability to showcase their work. Local arts and crafts are on display at the Old Cooktown Railway Station. Free Bird Arts and Craft at Seisa offers local handicrafts and art. There are also some great non-indigenous art galleries in Cooktown featuring art and crafts made by local artists.
Laura Dance Festival
See the Indigenous dancers kick up a (dust) storm at one of the largest gatherings of Indigenous people in Australia. Held every 2 years.
When to Visit
For self-drive travelers, Cape York can be enjoyed during any of the months from May to December inclusive, depending on your tolerance for crowds (a matter of individual perception) and high temperatures (again depends on what you’re used to, but it gets very muggy before the December rains).
Most travelers are in the area from June to August, to coincide with the cooler temperatures and school holidays. This may appeal to those who enjoy sharing a yarn with fellow travellers, and those who are worried about getting stranded along the way- you will find the more remote the area, the more likely people are to help others in trouble. People wanting to experience the vast tracts of wilderness without bumping into other travellers can do so in the later months of the year from September- December.
April and May are great times to be on the Cape due to the greenness, the great fishing, and the freshly graded roads; however it is touch and go whether the roads will be open at this time, and some years they remain closed until June due to late monsoonal weather.
The Wet Season (usually January to April) brings much needed moisture, and the savannah landscapes transform into lush green grasslands and floral displays. The Wet is a great time to see Cape York’s vegetation at its most vibrant, with waterfalls and waterways in full flow and incredible fishing conditions. Unfortunately, the wet conditions force the unsealed roads to be closed, to prevent people being stranded, and to stop people damaging the roads and making them harder to repair for the next year.