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Cape York Tag-Along Adventure Tour with Hema Maps

The Australian outback is diverse, beautiful and life-affirming, but it is as harsh and unforgiving as it is spectacular, and as we discovered in the previous article – a well-planned trip is invaluable. Tag-Along tours offer the perfect opportunity to explore this unique country from the safety and comfort of your own 4WD, with experienced guides to help.

Hema Maps Cape York tour

Dorothea Mackellar was certainly onto something when she wrote the classic poem ‘Core of my Heart’. The land of sweeping plains and ragged mountain ranges has captivated travellers for centuries, but it is indeed a land of beauty and terror. So, what’s the best way to explore this wide brown land?
When taking the road less travelled in your 4WD, safety, planning aspects and 4WD readiness are important factors whether you are travelling solo or in a group. Taking on the far-flung and remote parts of the Australian landscape in a 4WD means you must consider the possibility of becoming bogged, encountering steep terrains, ploughing through water crossings, traversing unknown tracks and coming across potentially dangerous wildlife.

With Tag-Along tours, you have the peace of mind of knowing you have an experienced guide who is knowledgeable on the terrain, safety aspects and the best places to visit. Guides carry recovery gear and no matter your experience, there’s a tag-along tour that is appropriate for you. You can take on interesting trails, visit rarely seen sites and meet fellow travellers, all from the comfort of your own 4WD.

Hema’s First Cape York Tag-Along Tour

The Hema team was proud to participate in its first endorsed Cape York Tag-Along Tour in 2022. Chairman Sam Hayward and wife Karen packed their 4WD with the necessities and headed off with Ben and Hayley Carceller, owners and tour leaders of Adrenalin Off-Road.

Adrenalin Off-Road is a NSW-based company that specialises in the conversion of rugged tour-ready 4WDs. It also offers a range of Tag-Along tours to suit all abilities and appetites for adventure. Ben is one of Hema’s valued Alpha users. During his adventures, he inputs data using the Hema HX-2 Navigator to create and map new routes for fellow travellers.

Sam expressed his excitement about heading off to the iconic Cape York region, stating that the nine-day trip was the perfect adventure for the Hema Maps team.

“This was the first Hema-endorsed Tag-Along Tour. It was a real thrill to be able to explore Cape York with Ben and Hayley, who really understand the 4WD lifestyle,” Sam said.

“Hema Maps is all about exploration and we love a good adventure. It was a brilliant opportunity for us to put our knowledge, products and adventurous spirit to practical use.”

Hema Maps Cape York tour

Travelling from the Atherton Tablelands to Cape York, the tour stopped at many well-known sites and traversed challenging and remote roads and tracks.

Attractions, Natural Beauties and Historical Experiences

Not one to miss out on a good sight, Sam and Karen and their fellow travellers stopped to enjoy all the adventures the Cape has to offer. Indigenous tours in various regions offered an educational element to the trip, one that the group eagerly sought and enjoyed. These activities offer knowledge about the history of the Traditional Owners of the land and their use of the region for agriculture, social rituals and hunting. Yandilli, along the CREB (Cairns Regional Electricity Board) Track was a stand-out.

Always ready to take on the elements in the good ol’ Hema Maps 4WD, Sam and Karen and the tour members took on the famous CREB Track. Known for its challenging conditions, the track is 137km long and runs from the Daintree to Cooktown.

“Encountering obstacles in the CREB Track was a rewarding and social experience. While there was a great deal of waiting, everyone helped each other overcome the challenges posed by the conditions of the track,” Sam related.
The CREB Track is the traditional land of the Wujal Wujal people, and it is recommended for experienced 4WDers only. Under the expert guidance of Ben and Hayley, the team were left dusty and tired, but victorious. A speed of between 15-20km is advised, so it can be a long but ultimately rewarding slog.
The tour also traversed Frenchman’s Track and the Old Telegraph Track. These provided edge-of-your-seat experience, bringing its own set of unique challenges. This is where a professional, experienced guide was invaluable.

Hema Maps Cape York Tour

Camping as a Team

Camping out in nature is an excellent way to connect with the land. Tour members either slept in rooftop tents or in swags on the ground. The campgrounds included the Lion’s Den and the Stony Creek Track. Enjoying this environment brings with it the responsibility to tread lightly and respect your surroundings, something the Adrenalin Off-Road and Hema teams take very seriously.

“Tag-Along tours are a genuine social experience,” said Sam. “You learn from each other, lean on each other for assistance and work together to stick to the itinerary. These tours grant you the confidence to try new things and take on challenging landscapes. You certainly learn a lot about yourself and your vehicle.”

Tag-Along tours also offer a greater sense of safety. With experts taking the lead, you can follow their example and learn from their methods and caution. Encountering challenges such as steep drop-offs, creek crossings and the odd crocodile builds resilience and is par for the course on a Cape York trip.

Hema Maps Cape York

Cape York – a Diamond in the Rough

Join us next week for the final article in this series, where we’ll discover more about the region of Cape York and what it has to offer.

Next steps

At Hema Maps, we strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate maps and guides for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Australia's natural wonders.

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