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Driving the Bloomfield Track

3 April 2023

Rated as one of Queensland’s most scenic short road trips, driving The Bloomfield Track (or Cape Tribulation-Bloomfield Road) can be a thrilling and adventurous experience. Pristine Coastline on one side and an ancient rainforest on the other, this track is definitely one for both local and international four-wheel drive enthusiasts.

Beginning at Cape Tribulation, the 100km journey winds its way north through the Daintree Rainforest where you will experience all the amazing beauty of this stunning location. Continuing on to the aboriginal community of Wujal Wujal and ending at Cooktown. There is also the option to make the north queensland adventure even bigger with the Bloomfield Track loop, taking Mulligan Highway from Cooktown to Cairns.

This beautiful part of Australia is definitely a must-do, but it’s important to be well-prepared before setting off on this journey. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Vehicle requirements

The Bloomfield Track is a rough, off-road dirt track that can be challenging to navigate. Therefore a 4WD vehicle is recommended. Make sure your vehicle is well-equipped for the journey, including good ground clearance, 4WD capability, and sturdy tires. There are some river crossings and steep climbs on the track so a 4WD would be best, but some 2WD vehicles can make the journey in the right road conditions. It’s also a good idea to have a companion vehicle, a winch and recovery gear in case you get stuck.

Supplies

Walu Wugirriga Lookout, Cape Tribulation Road

Bring plenty of water, food, and fuel with you, as there are limited opportunities to restock along the way. You should also have a first-aid kit, insect repellent, and sunscreen. Additional to the necessary supplies, make sure you bring some togs for the swimming holes and appropriate walking gear for the many walking trails along the way.

Weather

The Bloomfield Track is located in the far north Australian wet tropics and therefore the weather can be unpredictable. The 4WD track can become impassable during heavy rain, so be sure to check the weather forecast before setting off. Ensure to also pack warm clothing and rain gear just in case.

Driving conditions

4WD tracks in Douglas Shire are narrow, with steep inclines and descents and sharp corners, so drive slowly and carefully. Be aware of oncoming traffic and wildlife, as well as potential hazards like fallen trees or washouts. Respecting the surroundings and other travellers will make your trip more enjoyable.

Beauty is not without a price though; even in the dry season the track can be subject to sudden flooding, fallen trees and potholes, so always check conditions before heading off.

Water crossings

A big part of 4WD in tropics will include water crossings. You need to make sure your vehicle has a snorkel and is robust enough to do a water crossing. Make sure you know the basics of a water crossing and try some out before you end up in the remote part of Cape York where there is little phone service or support available.

Attractions

Emmagen Beach

Today, the area is now protected as a World Heritage Listed site. As the track is located in a tropical rainforest, it obviously includes some amazing must-see attractions from ranges to beaches to waterfalls. Some of the best spots along the track are:

  • Emmagen Creek Crossing and Emmagen Beach
  • Cowie Beach and Cowie Range
  • Bloomfield River and Bloomfield River lookout
  • Donovan Ranges
  • Bana Yirriji Arts Centre – art by local Indigenous artists
  • Wujal Wujal Falls
  • Woobadda Creek
  • Daintree River
  • Cooktown Museum (formerly James Cook Museum)

Please also keep vigilant around the Bloomfield River as crocodiles have been known to be in the area previously.

Permits

You do not need a permit to drive on the Bloomfield Track at present. But please note, alcohol limits apply in Wujal Wujal. 

Respect the environment

The Bloomfield Track passes through pristine rainforest and along the coast, so be sure to take care not to damage the environment. Stay on designated tracks and camping areas and take all rubbish with you when you leave.

Driving the Bloomfield Track can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to be well-prepared and respectful of the environment along the way. There are 4WD tours from Cape York that will take you to this amazing part of Queensland. Tours may appear expensive compared to just hiring the vehicle, but having a support crew and local knowledge makes it well worth it. If you can hire a 4WD and plan the trip, grab your supplies and do the drive on your own. Either way 4WD Hire Cairns can advise you of the best way to do this.