If you want to go as far north in Australia as possible, taking your rental 4WD up Cape York's famous coastline is the only way to do it. Most people access the Cape via Cairns or Cairns Airport which have numerous rental car depots from which you can set off up into wilderness. A tour up to the northern-most tip of the Cape can take anywhere from 18 hours (driving straight through - not recommended!) to 7 days, depending on how many photographs you want to take and how many rivers, lakes and beaches you want to swim in.
While 4WDs provided by the main car rental companies Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty and Europcar are not permitted offroad, you can pick up a Cape York 4WD through our partner Getaboutoz.
It has been touted as perhaps the most challenging of the 4WD terrains on Australia's east coast, meaning that not all companies rent 4WDs to go here. But if rocks, rivers, humps and bumps are what you are looking for then a 4WD trip on Cape York Peninsula has no peer.
Wildlife and wilderness unique to the Australian continent abound on the Cape, from near-desert landscapes, red, rocky and filled with cheeky goannas, to endless coastal rock platforms and hidden waterfalls a bit further inland. A guided tour will be sure to give you a unique and learned insight into what is so special about Cape York, but for the daring or just plain independent renting a 4WD and hitting the terrain on your own is just as feasible.
Be sure to check out some of the restrictions that apply to camping and hiring, however, most of which are covered in our 4WD guide to Australia.
1.Head west towards Airport Rd 600 m
2.Slight right at Airport Rd 7.3 km
3.Continue onto Lui St 550 m
4.Turn right towards Poi Poi St 200 m
5.Continue straight onto Poi Poi St 1.2 km
6.Slight left at Seisia Rd 5.2 km
7.Turn left at Tumema St 550 m
8.Take the 2nd right on to Mugai St
Destination will be on the right 64 m