Ussher Point - Cape York

The journey to Ussher Point and Cape York's remote east coast takes travellers through tight rainforest tracks out to spectacular coastline and high bauxite cliffs.

Ussher Point Cape York

Essential information

Grading High ground clearance and low range
Time Two days minimum
Distance 82km Jardine River Ferry to Ussher Point
Longest drive
without fuel
164km Jardine River Ferry return
Best time of year Dry season (May – October).
Warnings Allow four to five hours to complete the drive out to Ussher Point. As the track is very remote it is advisable to travel with another vehicle. Snakes are prevalent on this track. Severe crocodile hazard in this area.
Permits and fees Camping in Jardine River Resource Reserve requires a permit. Campers must buy an e-permit before arriving: book online at qpws.usedirect.com/qpws/ or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).
Facilities Jardine River Ferry
Camping

Bush camping at Ussher Point

Important contacts Jardine River Ferry Ph (07) 4069 1369

The track

The turnoff to Ussher Point is not well marked off Bamaga Rd, but is 14km north of the Jardine River Ferry. The track is notoriously tight, with overhung and overgrown branches all the way out to the coast, guaranteed to relieve your vehicle of some of its paint. Many travellers journey out to Ussher Point on quad bikes to make the journey easier.

Track towards Ussher Point Cape YorkImage: Tight tracks heading towards Ussher Point

At the end of the track there is access north to Ussher Point and south to Ussher Point South. It is possible to drive south down the beach, but only during the bottom of the tide, and there are numerous creek mouths to ford and mangroves right down to the mid-tide line, so beach driving is not recommended.

Most travellers camp quite close to the access track.

Bauxite cliffs at Ussher Point in Cape YorkImage: Vibrant bauxite cliffs at Ussher Point

A track runs north to Sadd Point and the Escape River mouth, but it is even worse than the track in to Ussher Point, and rarely travelled.

The beach run south to Captain Billy Landing is closed to travellers, as it is too treacherous.

Things to do

Numerous wrecks line this wild coastline, including planes and boats, and some of the best beachcombing in Australia can be done here, as few travellers make it all the way out and this coastline is exposed to currents that bring garbage from around the world to land here.

Termite mounds Ussher PointImage: Termite mounds along the coast near Ussher Point

Without huge fishing pressure on this coastline, the fishing for barra, trevally, jewfish, mangrove jack and queenfish, along with mud crabs in the estuaries, can be amazing.

A series of bat caves with small carnivorous bats can be explored in the cliffs of Ussher Point.