Top 5 Cape York Destinations that fall under the radar
The last thing anyone wants to hear after a 4WD bush-camping adventure is about all the places they have missed. What makes it even worse, is that it will be a year until you can make the trip again! Cape York Peninsula is one of the most iconic outback destinations of Australia found in Far North Queensland and has many spots that fall under the radar. It is a location well known for its fair dinkum, teeth-chattering, 4WD bush-camping adventure. We see bush bashing enthusiasts from all over Australia come to make most of it!
In this article, I will show you a five must see Cape York destinations that the usual outback traveler could quite easily miss.
1. Archer Point
Archer Point is a magnificent spot to visit before continuing your way north to Cape York. Located between the famous Lions Den Hotel & Cooktown, Archer Point is a short drive off the main highway to the coast. 4WD’s are recommended if you want to take the steep dirt road drive all the way to the Lighthouse which sits beautifully on top of a hill holding the most breath taking view on any type of day. Bush camping is allowed, however spots are limited due to the constant heavy winds, rocky surfaces and unexpected fast moving showers. A short visit to and from is enough to take in its beauty.
2. Finch Bay – Cooktown
If you’re the type where sand between your toes soothes the mind, Finch Bay is the perfect match. Tucked away behind the Botanical Gardens, a short dirt road will bring you to Finch Bay’s large open beach. This is the perfect place to explore, hunt for quirky crustaceans and take a break from your bush camping adventure; with a bonus picturesque view. On hot days, we recommend driving down to the beach access rather than walking from the botanical gardens.
3. Lake Patricia – Weipa
Lake Patricia is definitely worth the visit, even if you’re only in Weipa town for the day. Enjoy this peaceful piece of paradise while sipping a cuppa and having lunch by a lake full of bird life. The access road does a great big loop from the Industrial side of town to the Caravan park with a number of beach spots and the Jetty (where the famous Toot’s passed away) to check out which are also great for fishing! You will eventually reach Lake Patricia’s day use area with toilets and tables set up right under large shady trees ideal for those hot steamy days. For the bird lovers, get your binoculars and encyclopedias out to spot some of Cape York’s bird life.
When first visiting Umagico, I felt like I was in a different country. It didn’t make sense to me that for the last week I’ve been gallivanting through corrugated dirt roads and outback bush land to come to a beautiful beach with unforgettable crystal blue waters. There is plenty of free space to set up camp in the Caravan Park grounds with a supermarket nearby, which I found to be the cheapest in the area. If your looking for a place to escape the heavy crowed during the Cape York season, this is the place for only a cheap fee and lovely staff! These days there is also a cafe there: Thupmul Coffee Espresso Bar!
5. New Mapoon Information Centre – Siesia
There is one story that should be taught in schools as a part of our Australian History. The story of a small aboriginal town called Mapoon. I won’t get into great detail, however, back in the 1960s a small community of Aboriginal people were forcefully relocated from their original hometown (now called Old Mapoon; situated north of Weipa), North to a town established specifically for aboriginal housing called New Mapoon (situated between Seisia and Bamaga) due to Bauxite Mining. More of this history can be found here.
The Information Centre found at New Mapoon has an incredible amount of facts and information of that time. It is definitely something to check out with an Aboriginal Art Centre right next door.
Must-Do camping Adventure to Cape York
Cape York is one special place and is, of course, the most Northern Tip of Australia. For those who have 4×4’s, head up the Cape within the next couple of years to catch the full off-road experience before the Road Development program completes the bitumen road to the Tip. For those who don’t have a reliable vehicle, there are many Tours on offer! Visit cockatours for the affordable bush camping tour experience!