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Price hike for Cape York's Jardine River Ferry in 2024

If you're planning a road trip to the northern most tip of Australia on Cape York this year then you'll need to factor the cost of the Jardine River Ferry into your budget.

Unless you're willing to brave the 100m drive across the Jardine river then there is no other option to get to the tip than the ferry.

Along with most other things, prices for the Jardine River Ferry have increased for 2024 with the price for a vehicle plus trailer (caravan) now over $200 for the return trip (see full price list below).

The ferry runs year round but does not operate 24 hours a day so make sure to plan your arrival within the operating hours:

Jardine River Ferry Operating Hours 2024

  • DRY SEASON: 1st May to 31st October - 7am until 6pm
  • WET SEASON: 1st November to 30th April - 8am until 5pm

During the dry season, the ferry will get very busy so expect to wait in line for your turn to cross. It is advisable to arrive at least a couple of hours before the closing time to avoid missing out.

If you do find yourself arriving late and missing the last ferry, there is a camping area at the Jardine River Campsite.

Watch the video below to see us using the Jardine River Ferry on our way to The Tip on our Big Lap in 2006 (when it cost 'only $99').

Where is the Jardine River Ferry?

You'll arrive at the Jardine River Ferry as you travel north along the Northern Bypass Road. There is only one road to the top so you won't miss it.

How much does the Jardine River Ferry cost?

The price of the ferry crossing covers your return trip on your way back down the Cape and also camping permits in Council Camping Areas.

2023 Prices2024 Prices
NPA Residents (Car only)$55.00$60.00
NPA Residents (Motor Bikes)$30.00
Pedestrians (hikers with no vehicle)FREEFREE
Bicycles$27.50$30.00
Motor Bike$55.00$60.00
Single vehicles/Cars$121.00$130.00
Vehicles with trailer/van$192.50$205.00
Tour bus 10 tonne or less$242.00$260.00
Tour bus > 10 tonne$308.00$330.00
Other vehicles 10 tonnes or less$242.00$260.00
Other vehicles > 10 tonnes$308.00$330.00
Camping fee /night at Jardine Roadhouse camping ground 13 years and up$15.00$15.00
Camping fee /night at Jardine Roadhouse camping ground 13 years and under$7.50$10.00
SOURCE

Can I pay online?

Yes you can pre-purchase your tickets online at this link.

Who runs the Jardine River Ferry?

The Jardine River Ferry is run by the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council.

Do you have to use the Jardine River Ferry?

The site where the telegraph track reaches the Jardine River
The end of the Old Telegraph Track and the point where you need to drive across the Jardine River to reach the northern tip of Australia

Back in the days before the Northern Bypass Road and the Jardine River Ferry was installed in the 1980's, to drive to the tip of Australia you needed to drive your car across the Jardine River which wasn't for the feint hearted.

The Old Telegraph Track was the road to the top of Australia and it took you straight across the Jardine River.

To get to the Jardine River crossing point just follow the Old Telegraph Track until it reaches the Jardine River.

If you'd prefer to save your hard earned dollars and have a crack at driving across the Jardine River instead of using the ferry then it is possible but be aware of the risks.

The river is around 100m wide and there is the real potential to get bogged on your way through. You'll want to have at least one other vehicle with you that has a winch to help recover your vehicle if you get stuck.

You'll also need a good snorkel to avoid your engine getting flooded.

Be aware that the Jardine River is home to dangerous saltwater crocodiles so walking through the river to test the depth prior to driving across would not be advised.

This video from 'Built Not Bought' should give you an idea of what to expect.

Further information

For more information, contact the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council:

Ferry Roadhouse: 07 40691369
Email: [email protected]

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Steve Baile
Steve Baile
I’m the founder of Expedition Australia, a writer, filmmaker & adventure travel junkie. Passionate about my family, health and fitness, hiking, 4WD touring, adventure motorbikes, camping and exploring as much of the planet as I can.

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