Cape York Peninsula
Tropical North / QLD
Cape York Peninsula is one of the last remaining wilderness areas on Earth and located in Far North Queensland. Cape York Peninsula supports a complex mosaic of intact tropical rainforests, tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannahs, shrublands, heath lands dominated by meandering rivers, wetlands, wild rivers, mangrove swamps and vast floodplains. There are some very low hills rising to 800m in the McIlwraith Range on the eastern side around Coen. The backbone of Cape York Peninsula is the peninsula ridge, formed from the northern part of the Great Dividing Range.
Cape York Peninsula is a popular tourist destination in the dry season for camping, hiking, bird watching and fishing enthusiasts. There are many self-drive touring routes in Queensland that lead to Cape York Peninsula. All types of caravans and trailers can be towed on the sealed roads.
Tropical savannahs are rare and highly degraded in many parts of the world, but on the Cape York Peninsula they are abundant and fully functioning.
Tropical rainforests cover 5.6% of the total land area of Cape York Peninsula. Virtually untouched old-growth forests support a high biodiversity, with more than 700 vertebrate land animal species and 200 species of butterfly. Cape York Peninsula is also home to the eastern brown snake, one of the world's most venomous snakes.
The flora of the Cape York Peninsula includes original Gondwanan species, with most of the variety being found in the rainforest areas and are of high conservation significance.
The extensive wetlands on Cape York Peninsula are said to be among the largest, richest and most diverse in Australia.
The Cape York Peninsula is sparsely populated, with about half the population living in very small settlements and cattle ranches. The commercial centre for most of the Cape York Peninsula is Cooktown, located in the far south eastern corner. Cape York Peninsula's largest settlement is the mining town Weipa on the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Some of the world's most extensive and ancient aboriginal rock painting galleries surround the town of Laura, some of which are available for public viewing.
06 Jan 2017