Cape York Peninsula – The ultimate 4×4 adventure!
So you want to go on an incredible adventure? We have just returned from one of Australia’s most incredible 4×4 trips!
Australia is a huge country with vast expanses of land, and driving to some of the most incredible areas in Australia can take days. In the last month, we have travelled more that 9500km (5900 miles) on all sorts of terrain ranging from bitumen to sand, mud and rock including incredible scenery, river crossings and adventure!
So how do you prepare for a journey like this?
Planning - So you know where you want to go, but how do you get there? What do you need to do and what do you need to buy – and what happens when your plans need to change? Lets take a look at our experiences.
The first thing you need to look at is weather. Far North Queensland has two seasons – Wet and Dry. You do not want to get this one wrong because travelling through the Wet season can be disastrous and you could be stuck out in croc infested areas till help arrives – and believe me, you don’t want to put yourself in that situation! The “Dry” Season is between May and November. The “Wet” Season is between November and April – but these can change on an annual basis!
When visiting Cape York, you must be completely self sufficient. Because most of the places we will be visiting are so remote, and help can be hours (or even days) away, we need to ensure that we plan our route and secure camping areas along the way.
There are many options for camping areas, but you need to make sure that you book ahead as some of these areas can fill up quickly – some of the national park camp areas need to be booked months in advance! These can be booked through http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/ . You also need to make sure that you have everything – tents, bedding, cooking facilities etc. as these campsites are very basic and do not usually have anything more than toilets!
Another thing you need to prepare for is the fact that there are no supermarkets along these 4×4 tracks, so you can’t just “pop out to the shop” if you run out of bread! You need to make sure that you carry all of your supplies with you. But just because you are travelling through 7 days, you need to make sure that you carry food and water for more – as I said earlier, if you break your vehicle, help could be hours or even days away!
So, now that you are terrified by the facts presented above, let me tell you what we did…..
Vehicle preparation – this is probably one of the most important things you should do before embarking on any travel adventure. Find yourself a DECENT 4×4 mechanic (who knows what to look for) and get them to look over absolutely everything in your vehicle. I thought my 4×4 was in perfect order until I took my car to Peter at http://allterrain4x4.com.au based in Moorabbin here in Melbourne, Australia. Peter took the time to really look over my vehicle and identified some fairly important repairs that needed to be done – I know it cost me quite a few dollars to get the vehicle prepared for this trip, but I am positive that if I had not, it would have cost me thousands if (or when) I got stuck in Cape York. Thanks Peter – We got through our journey without a hitch! If you want to talk to Peter about your vehicle, you can contact him on 03 9532 5558 – Tell him that “Amir sent you!”
Here are a few product and gadgets that were extremely useful on our trip.
VMS – These guys provide some Awesome mapping packages that can be used as anything from an app download, through to handheld devices and in car installations. Click here to read about my experiences with the downloadable App for Apple devices.
Suction Cup windscreen mounts - Gear2Go iPad RAM Mounts – These are products that we normally buy to keep our cars neat and tidy, and they are usually the items that frustrate us the most because they keep on falling off! Have i just discovered the Suction Cup that actually works? Keep reading to see what happened!
Lock and Lock – These are probably some of the best plastic storage containers that I have used, and believe me when I say I have tried so many brands! Are these any good, or are they just the same as the others on the market?
Bad Elf GPS – What happens when you need GPS signals while you are navigating through some of the most remote areas in the country and there is no phone reception? Did you know that “Phone GPS” actually needs to have reception to locate you? Here is an easy workaround that has been proven over the years, used by pilots around the world and has been endorsed by Apple as “ Made for iPod”
Dobinsons – Suspension systems can make your trip comfortable or can create difficulties when travelling into remote areas. For me – and this is just my personal opinion – Dobinsons springs are a great choice!
ARB – These guys make and sell some of the worlds best 4×4 accessories ranging from small creature comforts in you vehicle through to items that you cannot do without on your 4×4 adventures.
Scrubba Washbag – Is this pocket sized washing machine really worthwhile? How can it possibly work? Read about our experiences with this amazing “Pocket Sized” washing machine and see our results!
LED Lenser – Are all LED lights the same? Apparently not. Over the years I have purchased and thrown out so many LED headlamps because the fail, break or are just simply junk. I took the plunge and spent big to buy these new headlamps – so now you ask, is it really worth it?
Saddleback Leather – When it comes to travel bags and leather goods, are they all created equal? Leather is not always Leather, and there is definitely a difference between manufacturers and craftsmen. Read more here
Rooftop Tents – Rooftop tents are an incredibly easy way to set up camp when you are on the go – they take only a few minutes to set up, and a few minutes to pack up. But there are so many on the market now, how do you choose the right one?
Hiking Boots – Hiking boots are not just shoes – they keep you safe and dry whilst hiking in what can be “unforgiving” conditions. Read some of the experiences I have had.
Camp Cooking – We all need to eat, but sometimes lack of space can make packing your “kitchen on the go” can be tricky. Let me show you what we take with us and why!