With its vast wetlands, rambling eucalyptus forests and sun-soaked beaches, the remote wilderness of the Cape York Peninsula is a heady concoction for adventure-seekers. Stretching up to the northernmost tip of Queensland, the region’s off-the-beaten-track location, annual monsoons and tropical climate keep the majority of tourists away. Those who do venture north, however, are rewarded with spectacular coastal views, miles of unspoiled jungle and an abundance of colorful wildlife.
The best time to visit the cape is during the dry season (May-November), when 4WD tours are the most convenient way to get around. At the southern end of the peninsula, highlights include the historic town of Cooktown, the tranquil Charlotte Bay and the Lakefield, Cape Melville and Starke National Parks. Further north, the Iron Range and Jardine River national parks are renowned for their unique wildlife, including endemic bird species like yellow-spotted honeyeater and golden-shouldered parrot. Marooned off the northernmost tip are the Torres Strait Islands, and the most popular, Thursday Island, is reachable by ferry from the mainland.