Join Ron Moon and take the roads less traveled with special access on this bucket list Cape York Trip.
Ron Moon literally wrote the book (multiple) on Cape York. Ron will be sharing all his knowledge on 4WD’ing, the history and local people of the Cape as well as some secret fishing holes, tracks and hidden gems off the tourist route.
This trip is fully catered by gourmet 4WD dining chefs. Tag along for this great adventure and enjoy the sleep inn’s and sunset and drinks by the fire!
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 heaps of adventures off the beaten path.
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 has many pristine beaches that can be easily accessed, and excellent bush camping, inside and outside of the National Parks, can be enjoyed throughout the region, and facilities are available at certain destinations.
For fishing enthusiast, there are plenty of options, from along one of the Cape’s majestic rivers, fishing off the local wharf or taking advantage of the local knowledge of the many fishing charter operators.
Ride or Drive
Cape York has almost every landscape that is available in Australia, with the exception of snow. Between Cairns and the northern most point of the Australian continent, “Cape York”, will surprise and delight any 4×4 or motorbike enthusiast. Riders will experience the best off-road trails and tracks that the Cape York Peninsula has to offer, it is the real adventure.
There is an abundance of opportunities for 4WD enthusiasts to test your off-road driving skills in Cape York. To tackle the numerous off-road tracks in Cape York successfully, you’ll need a ‘proper’ 4WD vehicle with low-range gearing and good ground clearance.
Day 0: Own arrangements
Meet at Cooktown in the evening before trip begins, camp at Orchid CP in heart of town, go to the pub for dinner to share some beers and get to know each other. You will need to book your own accommodation and pay for any meals.
Day 1: Battlecamp Rd to Lakefield NP
Camp at Hann Crossing. Early explorers, geologists and surveyors, including Kennedy, Hann, Mulligan, Logan Jack, Bradford and Embley, traversed parts of what is now Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park in the mid to late 1800s. Hann Crossing is named after the explorer William Hann, who was employed by the Queensland Government to explore Cape York Peninsula in 1872. He had with him a geologist, Norman Taylor, and they found a little gold in the sandy bed of the Palmer River. The find attracted the attention of James Venture Mulligan, an experienced prospector, who followed Hann’s footsteps and struck it rich. The Palmer Gold Rush began in 1873. Lunch & Dinner (Breakfast, own arrangements. Most of us will go to the bakery)
Day 2: To Running Creek – Camp on Beach
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3: Running Creek Tk to Coen and onto Merluna HS (camp)
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4: To Weipa (120km). Sunset Cruise with Western Cape Eco Tours – (Camp at Weipa caravan park)
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5: Mine Exploration (8.30am – 2.5 hours.) Lunch then leave for Bertiehaugh, via Stone Crossing (Camp)
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6: Bertiehaugh HS and Jardine Station ruins. Camp at Bramwell Station park (camp)
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7: Old Telegraph Track to south bank of Jardine River (camp)
Breathtaking lookouts, magnificent waterfalls, dense rainforest and ancient Antarctic beech trees. The park is part of Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area. Until the Jardine River Ferry was instituted, vehicles had to drive across this fast-flowing 140m wide saltwater crocodile-infested river. These days, a few crazy travellers still wade across the metre-plus deep water and attempt the crossing. However, the Injinoo Aboriginal community have requested that travellers do not cross, as a man was killed by a crocodile in 1993 swimming out to the ferry with a replacement part. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8: To Bamaga (via ferry) and onto Somerset (camp)
One of the earliest settlements on the Cape, Somerset was established in 1864. John Jardine was placed in charge of the settlement, and after an epic ten month cattle drive from Rockhampton to Somerset, his son Frank Jardine would continue the family connection to this settlement until 1873. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9: Beach run south, then to Tip, and return to Seisia (Camp)
The walk out to The Tip is a ‘must-do’. It traverses some fairly steep rocks, and along the way there are cairns aplenty that grow each season. The fishing from the rocks around The Tip can be exceptional. Remainders of Cape York’s 18th and 19th century history litter the area around Somerset, which was once a homestead run by the Jardine family. Aside from its historical remnants – including some stunning cave paintings in the area – Somerset is now home to a fantastic beach campsite, which includes a boat ramp and basic facilities, not to mention some vintage Cape York coastline. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10: Private Charter day trip to Thursday Island – (Camp at Seisia)
Start your day at Seisia joining Cape York Adventures on board the Strait Runner. A Moon Tours private charter cruise through Torres Strait on a dedicated tour vessel to Thursday Island. Thursday Island, colloquially known as TI, or in the native language, Waiben, is an island of the Torres Strait Islands archipelago located approximately 39 kilometres north of Cape York Peninsula. It has an area of about 3.5 square kilometres. The Muralag peoples are the traditional owners of the land and seas surrounding Thursday Island. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11: South Via Bypass Roads to Coen – big day – 540km. (camp behind pub)
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 12: Coen to Laura (lunch) and onto Old Coach Road to Jowalbinna Rock Art camp (camp) Rock art tour with Steve Trezise
World-class Aboriginal rock art and wonderful locally-grown coffee are two of the drawcards of the small towns of Laura and Lakeland. This area is renowned for the famous Quinkan Rock Art Galleries, which are considered to be some of the most significant Aboriginal art sites in the world. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13: Old Coach Rd to Maytown (lunch) then onto Mitchell River crossing – SW of Mt Carbine (camp)
Old Coach Road. This track climbs up and over the range, delivering steep ascents and descents on rocky terrain, and includes unnerving washouts and rutted sections that can bring about a rollover if you’re not careful. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 14: To Mt Mulligan & Thornborough Goldfields (lunch)
Optional tour of Tyconnell Gold mine and stamper. On to Marreeba (Camp and farewell dinner) Breakfast & lunch ONLY.
|Trip Dates||8 – 21 August 2019|
|Arrival/Departure Location||Cooktown, Cape York||Mareeba, Queensland|
|Included||Personally guided by 4WD legend and Cape York guru, Ron Moon
Learn about the history, local people and secret spots shared by Ron
Additional support and guidance from Trent Moon and his wife Stephanie
Two very capable guides and support vehicles and lead motorbike
Chef catering vehicle, all meals include freshly brewed coffee and baked bread, cooked breakfast, morning tea, lunch, pre dinner afternoon snacks and dinners
|Professional Videographer / Photographer. Photo and movie package included
Sat phone and emergency equipment
Additional recovery equipment
National Parks permits
Aboriginal land council permission (subject to issue if required)
Private land owners permission (if required)
|Not Included||Camping equipment
Vehicle and bike hire
Soft drink & alcoholic beverages
|Rates||Children under 12 years travel free. 1 vehicle / 2 person $11,800AUD inc GST 3 + additional adult passenger per car, 18 + years $2200AUD inc GST per adult.|
|1 vehicle / 1 adult $5900AUD inc GST Teenagers 13 – 17 $880AUD inc GST|
|*One vehicle two adults travel with two children under 12 for free.|
|*One vehicle, one adult travel with one child 12 years and under for free.|
Professional chef-prepared meals include tea and coffee, breakfast, morning tea, lunch, antipasto and dinner. Think pork belly, poached eggs benedict, homemade bread and baguettes, roast lamb. Each vehicle will be required to have a good fridge and will be given a food pack from the chef to carry. You will be required to carry your own water and nonalcoholic beverages such as soft drink, beer or wine.
Are you and your Vehicle prepared?
Its a big journey we can guarantee a few tyre punctures at minimum, its vital you have your car prepped properly, and adequately insured.
Safety is our number one priority
In the Moon Tours kit it’s likely we will have some extra items on board you may not, this is for your and our piece of mind.
- Satellite phone
- Large first aid kit including broad spectrum antibiotics, painkillers, muscle relaxants and morphine whistles
- Welding equipment
- Tool kit Inverter
- Stainless steel knives
- Stainless steel forks
- Stainless steel teaspoons
- Salt & Pepper shakers
- Cutting boards
- Bottle openers
- Fleece blankets & Table cloths
- PVC Wash bag (for dirty dishes)
- Melamine plates
- Cotton and paper napkins
- Polycarbonate wine goblets
Every vehicle will be required to have, at the absolute minimum the following.
- Pre trip inspection carried out by a reputable 4WD work shop, not your local car mechanic. (We recommend Outback 4WD if you’re in Melbourne)
- Radio with external aerial GPS with appropriate maps (we recommend downloading the HEMA Australia app and maps)
- Bull bar
- Upgraded suspension
- Heavy Duty all terrain tyres
- Dual Battery system (we will be moving every day with other vehicles so you may get away without this, make sure you have a good battery and low current drawing fridges and lights)
- Fridge Camp lighting If your using a roof rack it needs to be HEAVY DUTY
- Two spare tyres on rims
- Basic tyre repair kit with plugs
- Basic recovery equipment.
- Snatch straps, shackles, shovel, axe, heavy duty jack or air jack
- Compressor and tyre gauge
- Basic tool kit
- Fire extinguisher
The bike preparation
- Pre trip inspection by your local workshop, your bike should be in tip top shape We recommend Moose Tubes Protective wear.
- Helmet, boots, gloves, armour
- Spare front / rear tubes, air filter, levers, spark plug. As you would a weekend trip.
- Chain / Sprockets in good condition (no lube)
- Pre oiled replacement air filter
- Two Strokes should be re-jetted so they don’t run lean.
- Suitable fuel and pre mix oil for
- Two Strokes Gear oil
- Tool kit to suit your bike
- Hand held UHF Radio
- Hydra pack
- Fuel for 750km (the average bike will use 10Lt per 100km)
How much fuel do I need
- Minimum 200 litres depending on your vehicle
- Minimum 70 litres based on 10lt/100km, that would get across most of the good stuff
How much water do I need
- 40 to 50 liters per person, 80 – 100 liters per car
What camping equipment do I need?
- Swag or tent, warm bedding for cold nights
- Recommend a stretcher these days
- Camp chair
- Cutlery and dish washing
- Head torch and camp light
- Axe, shovel
Minimum Spares Kit Recommended
- Fan belts
- Radiator stop leak
- Radiator hose tape
- Two spares tyres on rims
- Air Filter
- Fuel filter
- Brake Fluid
- Engine oil
About Moon Tours
The ‘Moon’ name has been synominous with adventure travel for this at least, the third generation. From guide books to guided tours, travel writing to MIA Hunters, Dive, Kite, SUP, 4×4 and Geographic magazines across the globe to the movie ‘Born Free’ and fortunate relationships with instrumental saviours of African Wildlife, the late ‘George Adamson’ and his equally important successor ‘Tony Fitzjohn’.
In one way or another this adventurous spirit and willingness to explore and discover has been passed down through the generations. Trent Moon spent his childhood in the footsteps of modern day explorers, parents Ron and Viv Moon. He’s covered nearly every corner of remote outback Australia, worked in Africa as a guide in multiple countries and visited 11 in total. Since 2012 Trent and his wife Stephanie, have combined their expertise, contacts and experience together with their passion of surfing, kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding, scuba diving, fishing, 4×4 off roading, camping, yacht charters and African Wildlife Safaris to bring you truly unique adventure travel experiences.
All the Moon Tours adventures are structured to accommodate the sporting and non sporting participants in absolute comfort with activities for the whole family. Let the Moon Tours team handle everything for you, from door to door they manage and tailor every part of your journey based on your needs.
About your Guides
Trent has been fortunate to follow in the footsteps of his old man Ron Moon (Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock sheltered from anything 4×4 for the last 30 years you’d know Ron Moon). Trent & Ron crossed the Madigan Line together with Denis Bartell in June 2017, and when Trent was 11 he had already become a more competent off road driver then most weekend warriors.
Having crossed most of this great brown land Trent also runs the Moon Tours adventure business with his wife Stephanie where they have been guiding clients across some incredibly remote areas, from Papua New Guinea, outback Australia and extensively across Africa among others.