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What to pack on a guided 4WD tour around Cape York

12 January 2023
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The Cairns to Cape York guided 4WD tour is one of the best ways to truly experience everything North Queensland has to offer. Before you embark on a journey through the rugged landscape along 4WD tracks to the tip of Australia, here are some top tips for ensuring you are prepared to tackle the Cape York peninsula.

Traveling on a guided 4WD tour of Cape York ensures that you can fully immerse yourself in the untouched beauty and culture of the trip without any added pressures of handling safety/recovery equipment for vehicles, accommodation, or camping equipment. There are still a handful of items to pack to be prepared for your 4wd experience to the tip of Australia.

Below are some highly recommended guided 4WD tours that take you through Australian national parks and rugged wilderness:

Safety Equipment:

Sunscreen should be the first thing you pack, the Australian sun doesn’t take days off!

Insect repellent is a must as the bugs run rampant in the tropical North Queensland climate. You’re more likely to be bitten by a mosquito than a crocodile so ensure that you take the time to pack good quality insect repellent and even soothing bite cream.

Antihistamines are also a great thing to have on hand for your trip to prevent any allergic reactions to bug bites or dust: because Cairns to Cape York has its fair share of both!

Luggage Requirements: 

Travel light! One soft-sided bag per person is accepted (no wheels or suitcases permitted). The recommended amount of clothing is 3-4 changes. Photo ID, personal medications, toiletries, beach towel, hat, sunglasses, and a small personal water bottle. 


Generally, clothing should be comfortable, casual, and suited to warm tropical climates. As you will experience cooler conditions overnight, you should bring warm clothing on your trip. Regarding footwear, enclosed shoes preferably a pair of fast-drying wet shoes will prove useful, as well as sandals and light walking shoes. Bring swimmers! Don’t miss out on the fruit bat falls after a long day of hot dusty driving. The emerald green waters are even more appealing due to their lack of crocodiles. 


Waterproof cameras or phone cases to protect from the elements will be a great addition to your trip. There is no cell service past Cooktown, guides carry radios and electronic mapping devices to guarantee road safety. You should pack a torch or headlight and extra batteries if required. You are welcome to carry money and/or a credit card for personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks, and optional extras.

Guided tours are the perfect way to experience the rich history and untouched Australian landscape firsthand with an experienced guide.


Is there cell service between Cairns and Cape York?

  • There is very limited cell service on your trip, you may find a glimmer of 3G if you are with Telstra, otherwise, you’re out of luck. This is why bringing a radio, or your guide having a radio is imperative on your 4WD tour.

What is the best time of year to travel from Cairns to Cape York?

  • The Cape York Peninsula is best between May and October during the dry season, the hotter weather reaches about 30 degrees. However, if the cooler weather is more appealing then between June and September is the ideal time to make the trip.

Can you hire a 4WD and journey to Cape York solo?

  • Yes! If guided tours aren’t your thing, you can hire a 4WD from 4WD Hire Cairns. You can choose between a 4WD Car with or without camping gear or a even 4WD Campervans.