The Top End: Northernmost Point of Australia

On Wednesday I rounded up my recent miniseries on Australia’s 11 most liveable cities with a complete list of them all. One place you will not find on that list is Mapoon. If you think that Perth is isolated, wait until you hear about this place.

Here’s a map of Australia with X marking the spot for Mapoon…

mapoonYes, Mapoon is pretty much at the very tip of Australia on the west side of Cape York in Far North Queensland, or FNQ as it is known. To get to Mapoon from Cairns you will need to drive around 900 kilometres which will, according to Google, take you about 15 hours or so.

It’s a red dust road, which is why it will take you so long. The thing is though, nobody really drives up to Mapoon, anyone driving up that way is usually heading for Cape York, the northernmost point of Australia.

About 250 kilometres or so short of Cape York, there’s a fork in the road, you can turn left to go to Weipa and then on to Mapoon, or you can take the right fork and head for Cape York.

Now, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to make that trip, the one to Cape York, I can answer that question for you. No, I haven’t been, although I will one day, but today is Friday, it’s YouTube day, we can go anywhere.

There are two routes, an “easy” route and a “hard” route. To kind of capture the spirit of that, I’m going to show you two videos about driving to Cape York. A “glossy” one and a “real” one. Both are excellent.

Firstly, the ever dependable YouTube channel Fun Travel TV Show with their glossy version of the journey…

And secondly a real trip taken by two real families who really did this and made a really good video about it……so yes, this is the “real” version…

I just love the understated signpost awaiting all of those who managed to make it to the northernmost point of the Australian continent; you’ll see that at the 7 minutes 52 seconds point in the video. Now, back to…


I’ve read a lot about Mapoon; well, everything on the Wikipedia page for sure. So I know all of this:

  • Population 263
  • The place gets completely cut off during the wet season, December to April
  • It has a primary school
  • A nursing station
  • A shop
  • And camping facilities.

I believe it also now has a library. If you search Google for “things to do in Mapoon” absolutely nothing will come up. I was tempted to be the first to add something about things to do in Mapoon, even though I’ve never been. I thought I could say that the number one attraction is “Looking out at sea.”

But I didn’t.

So, what do the people in Mapoon do? This is great, find out…

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Mau October 5, 2013, 7:56 am |

    Hi Bob, a wonderful place, thank you for the post, a greeting from Mexico.

    • BobinOz October 7, 2013, 6:00 pm |

      Thanks Mau and greetings back at you, Bob

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