Cape York Peninsula - national parks

Cape York Peninsula - national parks
Queensland National Parks

Cape York Peninsula
    national parks
Cape York Peninsula - national parks
    Park facilities....................................................................................2

    Be inspired; Welcome .......................................................................3

    Map of Cape York Peninsula .............................................................4

    Imagine your journey ........................................................................5

    Consider camping..........................................................................6–7

    Plan your escape ......................................................................... 8–9

    What do you want to see and do? ..............................................10–11

    Choose your route ....................................................................12–13

    Parks around Cooktown ...........................................................14–15

    Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL).................................16–17

    Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) ...................18–19

    Heathlands Resources Reserve,
    Jardine River National Park and Resources Reserve ..................20–21

    Palmer Goldfield Resources Reserve ..............................................22

    Errk Oykangand National Park (CYPAL) ...........................................23

    Cape Melville National Park (CYPAL) ...............................................24

    Oyala Thumotang National Park (CYPAL) ........................................25

    Journey with confidence ...........................................................26–27

    Further information ........................................................................28

                                                                                                                                                                                            Use of generators
                                                                                                                                             Lookout /viewing
                                                                                   booking facility

                                                                                                                              Day-use area
                                                                                                      Ranger base

                                                                                                                                                                               Long walks
                                                                                                                                                                  Short walk

    Park facilities


     Black Mountain NP

     Cape Melville NP (CYPAL)

     Errk Oykangand NP (CYPAL)

     Heathlands RR

     Jardine River NP

     Keatings Lagoon CP

     Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)

     Mount Cook NP

     Oyala Thumotang NP (CYPAL)

     Palmer Goldfield RR

     Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)

        close to park       specified camping areas only

                                                                                                                                                           Peninsula Developmental Road
                                                                                                                                                           Margot Warnett © Queensland Government

Cape York Peninsula - national parks
                                                                                  a ‘cultural landscape’,
                                                                                      interwoven with
                                  Explore                                            significant places,
                  a vast wilderness on long stretches of dusty                    traditional stories and
                roads, with dips and bends, ruts and bull dust                   deep spiritual meaning,
                       and challenging creek crossings.                           and sense the strength
                                                                                  of Aboriginal peoples’
                                                                                  connection to country.

                                                                                                                                           with family and friends as
                                                                                                                                            you immerse yourself in
                                                                                                                                          nature in this awe-inspiring
                                                                                                                                              landscape, far from
                                                                                                                                             everyday distractions.

                                                                     that exhilarating feeling
                                                                      of reaching The Tip on
                                                                       your epic adventure.
                                                                    Savour the achievement,
                                                                        soak up the view—
                                                                       you’re at the very top
                                                                            of Australia!
                                        (Clockwise from top left): Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events   a tantalising history, rich in stories of pioneering
                                        Qld; © Tourism and Events Qld; Maxime Coquard © Tourism and
                                   Events Qld; John Augusteyn © Qld Govt; © Tourism and Events Qld         spirit and overwhelming hardship, as you follow
                                                                                                           in the footsteps of many who have gone before.

             Welcome to
             Cape York Peninsula
                      parks and reserves
                  As a park ranger and Traditional Owner,
             I welcome you to ‘the cape’, on behalf of all the
             rangers of Cape York. Some of us have cultural and
             spiritual connections to these parks, some of us have
             worked here for many years, and all of us are happy
             to have a yarn, so come and say ‘G’day’ and we’ll give
             you our tips on where to go and what to do. We hope
             you have a good experience on ‘the cape’, and take
             home good memories. Respect the environment and
             our cultural places, and come back again!

                Barry Liddie, Ranger,
© Qld Govt

                on behalf of the rangers of Cape York Peninsula

Cape York Peninsula - national parks
Parks of
    Cape York Peninsula                                                                                    Map legend (these symbols are used throughout this brochure)
                                                                                                                National park               2WD access
                                                                                                                Conservation park,          Camping
                         Horn Island                                                                            Resources reserve
                Thursday Island              Cape York                                                          Water                       Camping—non national park
                                             (the Tip)                                                          Waterways                   Water on tap
                     Seisia                                                                                     Sealed road                 Day-use area
                     Bamaga                                            Jardine River RR
                                                                                                                Unsealed road               Short walk
                                            Jardine                    Jardine                                  4WD track
                                                                                                                                            Hiking track
                                              River                    River NP                                 Town
                                                      Eliot                                                     Place of interest
                                                      Falls                                                        Popular                  Vehicle ferry
                                                                                                                   travellers' stop
                                                                        Captain Billy                                                       Fishing
        Heathlands RR                                                   Landing                                 Ranger base
                                                                                                                                            Boat access
                                                           Bamaga Rd                                            Toilets
                Overland Telegraph Line
                                                                           Wuthathi (Shelburne                                              Payphone
                 Mapoon         Bramwell                                   Bay) NP (CYPAL)                      Fuel
                                                                                                                                            Over-the-counter camping
                       Wenl Roadhouse                              r      Bromley (Ampulin)                     Mechanical repairs          permit booking office
    Batavia NP (CYPAL)     oc                         Olive R i ve        NP (CYPAL)                                                        Self-service camping
                              k    R iver                                                                       4WD access                  permit booking kiosk
      Weipa                                                            Moreton Telegraph Station
                           Mission River                                             Chilli Beach
                 Napranum                                                                 Kutini–Payamu (Iron
      Bromley (Kungkaychi) Telegraph Rd                                                   Range) NP (CYPAL)
      NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                   Lockhart River
                              Developmental                                 Archer River                                                Scale
            Aurukun                                                         Roadhouse                                                   0             50     100km

                                                                                    Kulla (McIlwraith
               Oyala Thumotang                                                      Range) NP (CYPAL)
                    NP (CYPAL)
                                              Peninsula                                   Flinders Group                            Cape Melville
                                              Developmental Rd                    Port      NP (CYPAL)                              NP (CYPAL)
                                                        Lama Lama              Stewart
                                                        NP (CYPAL)                                                                      Rinyirru (Lakefield)
                                                                                                                                        NP (CYPAL)
                                                        Roadhouse                                                                         Juunju Daarrba
                                                                        Alwal NP                       Muundhi                          Nhirrpan NP (CYPAL)
     Pormpuraaw                                                                         Lakefield
                                   Olkola                               (CYPAL)                      (Jack River)
                                                                                                                                         Endeavour River NP
                               (Kurrumbila) RR                                            Hann River NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                           Roadhouse                                       Cooktown
                              Olkola NP (CYPAL)                                                              Hope Vale

                                  Errk Oykangand                                                   Laura                                 Mount Cook NP
                                  NP (CYPAL)                                                                                               Keatings Lagoon CP
                                                                                    Palmer                                                Annan River
                                                                               Goldfield RR                               Lakeland        (Yuku Baja-Muliku) NP
                                                                                                   Palmer River                            Black Mountain NP
                                                                                                    Roadhouse             Daintree
                                                                                                                                                Daintree NP
                                                                                                                                          Port Douglas
                                                  Staaten                                                   Mount Carbine
                                                  River NP                      Burke                             Mount Molloy
                                                                                Developmental                                                     Cairns
                                                                                        Chillagoe–Mungana                       Atherton
Karumba                                                                                      Caves NP
Cape York Peninsula - national parks
Stand at the top of Australia.
    Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Qld

Imagine your journey                                                                                   Best ways to visit
                                                                                                       The peninsula can be explored on a self-
                                                                                                       drive journey of discovery, in your own way
Featuring landscapes of unsurpassed beauty and immense diversity,                                      and in your own time. Use the checklists
rich with Aboriginal traditions and customs and European history,                                      and itinerary suggestions (pages 8–13) to
Cape York Peninsula offers adventure aplenty!                                                          help plan your ‘adventure of a lifetime’.

                                                                                                       If you prefer someone else to do the
Best time to visit                             Add some local flavour
                                                                                                       planning, consider a ‘tag-along’ tour with
The dry season, between May and                Experience the ‘real cape’ by visiting
                                                                                                       an experienced guide. If you don’t have
October, is the best time to enjoy Cape        local attractions, events and festivals.
                                                                                                       the correct vehicle or camping gear, or if
York Peninsula. From May to July, maximum      Choose from museums and cultural
                                                                                                       you lack the experience or confidence to
temperatures are around 30°C. As the           centres, rodeos and race carnivals,
                                                                                                       drive yourself, consider a commercial tour.
season progresses, the days become hotter      agricultural and country shows, fishing
                                                                                                       Tours range from 2–16 days, including fly/
and more humid.                                tournaments and cycling events,
                                                                                                       drive and drive/cruise options, and cater
                                               and cultural celebrations such as the
The peninsula is busiest between June and                                                              for special interests such as bird watching
                                               Laura Dance Festival and Cooktown
September, during the ‘cooler’ weather.                                                                and fishing. Visit for
                                               Discovery Festival. Find details at
School holiday periods (July and September)                                                            details of tour providers.
are best avoided if you seek solitude.

Parks on the peninsula are closed during
the wet season from around 1 December
until April or May but sometimes as late as
August, depending upon weather and road
conditions. While the main roads through
the peninsula may open from around May,
some park access roads are not passable
until later in the season. Check

                                                   All roads lead north! (left); Laura Dance Festival (above). © Tourism and Events Queensland

Cape York Peninsula - national parks
Melaleuca waterhole camping area,
                                                                                                                 Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                            © Tamara Vallance

    Consider camping                                                                              Travel tips
                                                                                                  Check out the camping area maps on
    Sitting by a camp fire and sleeping under the stars is an essential                           the web site to help you choose which
    ingredient of your Cape York Peninsula adventure! Consider your                               camp site you want. Some parks have
    camping options before you start planning your trip.                                          many sites!

                                                                                                  Mobile coverage on the peninsula
    Camping in national parks                     • For other camping areas, during school
                                                                                                  is limited to large towns so making
    National parks camping is very                  holiday periods book at least 2–3             online bookings is not easy. Create
    affordable—for the cost of a cuppa, you         months in advance.                            your camping booking account at
    can sleep in million-star comfort!            • Outside of holiday periods, book at           home before you head off, and book
                                                    least several days in advance.                as many nights in advance as you can.
    Camping opportunities vary from large
    developed camping areas with all the          Book online                                     You can change or cancel your
    ‘mod cons’ (well, toilets and showers)                                                        booking up to 2 days before your
                                                  Book your camp site and obtain your
                                                                                                  booking date and obtain a refund.
    to isolated bush camping areas with no        camping permit online, 24/7. Booking
    facilities. To find your perfect camp site,   online is a simple, five-step process.          Avoid ghost-bookings! Be considerate
    visit, select        1. Visit                    of other campers—make sure you
    Find a park or forest, browse by region                                                       cancel your booking if you don’t
                                                  2. Login or Create Account.
    (Cape York Peninsula) and search for                                                          need it!
                                                  3. Select Camping and find your site.
    camping areas that suit your needs—                                                           Make sure you camp in the correct
    select Camping as well as other facilities    4. Use a payment card to secure your
                                                                                                  camp site (if sites are numbered) to
    such as Toilets, Generators permitted, and       booking.                                     avoid confusion and conflict.
    Camper trailer sites.                         5. Record your permit number (for display
                                                     on your tent/trailer).
    Book camp sites in advance
    Once you have found your perfect              What if I don’t know my exact dates?
    camp site, you must book your site and        When planning your camping bookings,

    purchase a camping permit in advance.         you may want to allow for bad weather,

    If you arrive at a national park without a    breakdowns or extending your stay in a

    prior booking or camping permit, you may      place you love. If you are travelling outside

    miss out. Camping in Cape York Peninsula      of holiday periods, you can afford to be a

    parks is very popular, and many camping       bit flexible. We still recommend booking

    areas book out quickly.                       as much of your trip as you can before
                                                  you leave (to avoid disappointment), but
    • For popular camping areas, such as
                                                  where you need flexibility, you can book
      Chilli Beach and Eliot Falls, book as far
                                                  your sites closer to the time (a few days
      in advance as possible.
                                                  ahead) while you are on the road (outside
                                                  of school holidays).                              Travel with a detailed road map
                                                                                                    © Queensland Government
Cape York Peninsula - national parks
How do I book while travelling?                 Camping outside national                       Gear and supplies
You can access the online booking service       parks                                          When travelling on the peninsula you
via your mobile phone or tablet. But            You can also camp in roadhouses along          need to be self-sufficient with vehicle
because most areas of Cape York Peninsula       the Peninsula Developmental Road               recovery gear, a basic repair kit and plenty

don’t have mobile coverage you need to          (PDR) and caravan parks in towns such          of fuel, food and water.

plan ahead for when and where to make           as Lakeland, Laura, Coen and Seisia.           Fuel and most standard supplies are
your bookings.                                  Other camping options include stations         available in major towns and from
• Take advantage of mobile coverage in          such as Bramwell and Silver Plains, and        roadhouses along the PDR. Limited
   towns such as Laura, Lakeland Downs,         Moreton Telegraph Station. For more            vehicle repair services are available
   Cooktown and Coen, and book online           details, visit            in Cooktown, Coen, Weipa, Seisia and
   before you leave town.                                                                      several roadhouses.
• Use free Wi-Fi in Visitor Information
                                                Camping equipment
   Centres (Mareeba and Cooktown).              Vehicles and trailers                             You must carry your own drinking
                                                The main roads through the peninsula—             water (or water treatment equipment)
What if I can’t get online?                     the Peninsula Developmental Road (PDR)            as drinking water is not available in
If you can’t book online:                       and Telegraph Track Bypass Roads—                 national parks. Where water taps
• visit an over-the-counter permit              are graded and have no major river                are provided, the water supply is not
                                                crossings. Access roads into and through          suitable for drinking.
   booking office accepting cash, eftpos
   and payment cards at ARB in Cairns;          national parks are suitable only for 4WD
                                                vehicles. To visit the more rugged and         Navigation
   Atherton Visitor Information Centre;
                                                remote parks you need a high-clearance         Carry a detailed map of Cape York
   Cooktown Botanic Gardens (Kindred
                                                4WD vehicle.                                   Peninsula, such as a HEMA map, in your
   Cafe) and Moreton Telegraph Station.
                                                If you are towing a trailer, you need to       vehicle; you may also find a GPS useful.
• use a self-service booking kiosk at
                                                check which roads are suitable. You need       Consider purchasing an adventure travel
   Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
                                                a high-clearance off-road camper trailer       guide to Cape York Peninsula. These
   (QPWS) offices at Cooktown and Coen,
                                                to traverse access roads and internal          comprehensive guides contain detailed
   and Lakefield ranger base (Rinyirru); Iron                                                  road descriptions and useful advice for
                                                roads in national parks and reserves.
   Range ranger base (Kutini-Payamu) and        Internal park roads and camping areas          travellers.
   Heathlands ranger base (Heathlands RR)       are not suitable for towing caravans.
   using a payment card or camping credit.                                                     Communication
                                                If you plan to camp in national parks,         Mobile phone coverage is generally
• phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to book
                                                check which camping areas and camp             not available in Cape York Peninsula,
   using a payment card or camping
                                                sites are accessible for camper trailers,      although some networks may have
   credit. Payphones are provided at many
                                                and which can cater for rigs of your           service in major towns. Public payphones
   roadhouses and in towns.
                                                size. Visit,          are provided at several locations. Carry
See map (page 4) for locations of booking       select Find a park or forest, browse by        a satellite phone or UHF or HF radio. A
offices, self-service booking kiosks and        region (Cape York Peninsula) and select        Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) is also
payphones.                                      Camping and Camper trailer sites.              advisable in case of emergencies.

                                                                                                 Camping at Horseshoe Lagoon, Rinyirru (Lakefield)
                                                                                                 NP (CYPAL) (left); This could be you (above)
                                                                                            © John Augusteyn (left); Maxime Coquard © Tourism
                                                                                            and Events Queensland (above)
Cape York Peninsula - national parks
Escape to the open road
                                                                                                                                      © Tourism and Events Qld

    Plan your escape                                                                                                     Bamaga

    Like any challenge, the success of your Cape York Peninsula journey lies in                                                           Kutini-Payamu NP
                                                                                                                                      (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)

    the itinerary detail. Consider these essentials before you go any further.                                                            Archer Roadhouse


                                                                                                                                            Rinyirru (Lakefield)
    How long do we need?                             5-day ‘Encounter’                                                                          NP (CYPAL)

                                                                                                                                            Laura            Cooktown
    A Cape York Peninsula journey involves a         Dip your toe into southern Cape York Peninsula.                                        Lakeland
    lot of travel! The time you need to travel the                                                                                                          Port Douglas
                                                               Route                           Camp at                                         Mareeba         Cairns
    1,000km from Cairns to The Tip depends
                                                               Cairns/Mareeba to               Central or northern camping areas,
    upon road conditions, not distances.             Day 1
                                                               Lakefield ranger base           Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
    If you only have 5 days, its best to limit                                                 Central or northern camping areas,
                                                     Day 2     Rest and explore
    your trip to a park in southern Cape York                                                  Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
    Peninsula. If you have longer, say 8 days,       Day 3     Lakefield to Old Laura          Southern camping areas Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
    you could explore southern and central
                                                     Day 4     Rest and explore                Southern camping areas Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
    peninsula parks.
                                                               Explore Laura, return
    You need about 10 days to reach the              Day 5
    Tip of Cape York Peninsula and return                                                                                Bamaga

    comfortably. Any less than that means you
    will be spending most of your time in your                                                                             Weipa
                                                                                                                                          Kutini-Payamu NP
    vehicle, bumping over corrugations on a                                                                                           (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                                                          Archer Roadhouse
    long dusty road.                                                                                                               Coen

                                                                                                                                            Rinyirru (Lakefield)
    Perhaps you want to explore the roads            8-day ‘Explorer’                                                                           NP (CYPAL)

    ‘less travelled’ or have a special interest      Explore southern and central Cape York Peninsula.                                      Laura            Cooktown
    such as birdwatching? If so, plan a longer                                                                                                            Mossman
                                                                                                                                                            Port Douglas

    trip of 15 days or more.                                   Route                                       Camp at                              Mareeba        Cairns

                                                     Day 1     Cairns/Mareeba to Lakefield                 Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
    Use these suggested itineraries to help
    you start ‘roughing out’ your trip plan.         Day 2     Rest and explore                            Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)

                                                     Day 3     Lakefield to Coen/Archer River              Coen or Archer River Roadhouse
                                                     Day 4     Coen/Archer River to Lockhart River         Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                     Day 5     Rest and explore                            Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                     Day 6     Rest and explore                            Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                     Day 7     Lockhart River to Archer River/Coen         Archer River Roadhouse or Coen

                                                     Day 8     Archer River/Coen to Mareeba/Cairns

                                                     Number plate tree at Bramwell Junction
                                                     Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Qld
Cape York Peninsula - national parks
                                                                              Heathlands RR
                                                                              Jardine River NP

                                                                                   Kutini-Payamu NP
                                                                               (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                   Archer Roadhouse

10-day ‘Epic’                                                               Coen

                                                                                     Rinyirru (Lakefield)
Journey the length of Cape York Peninsula                                                NP (CYPAL)
to its northernmost tip.                                                             Laura            Cooktown
                                                                                                     Port Douglas
         Route                                     Camp at                               Mareeba        Cairns

Day 1    Cairns/Mareeba to Lakefield               Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)

Day 2    Rest and explore                          Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)

Day 3    Lakefield to Coen/Archer River            Coen or Archer River Roadhouse
Day 4    Coen/Archer River to Lockhart River       Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
Day 5    Rest and explore                          Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
Day 6    Lockhart River to Heathlands/Jardine      Heathlands RR/Jardine River NP
Day 7    Rest and explore                          Heathlands RR/Jardine River NP
Day 8    Heathlands/Jardine to The Tip             Bamaga, Seisia, Umagico, Loyalty Beach
Day 9    The Tip to Coen/Archer River              Coen or Archer River Roadhouse
Day 10                                                                                                                                                       Hiking at Cape Melville
         Coen/Archer River to Mareeba/Cairns                                                                                                                 Eric Wason © Qld Govt

15-day ‘Expedition’
Use the 10-day itinerary and choose ‘add ons’.

Destination                 Route                                     Camp at                                                           The Tip
                 time                                                                                                          Bamaga             Ussher Point
                 2–3        Cairns/Mareeba to Cooktown,                                                                                      Heathlands RR/Jardine River NP
Cooktown                                                              Cooktown or Laura
                 days       then onto Rinyirru (Lakefield)                                                                                        Captain Billy Landing
                                                                                                                       Bramwell Junction
Palmer           3–4        Cairns/Mareeba to Palmer Goldfield         Palmer Goldfield RR and                                              Moreton
Goldfield        days       and Laura, then onto Lakefield             Laura                                                 Weipa                Kutini-Payamu NP
                                                                                                                    Oyala Thumotang           (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
Oyala-                                                                                                                NP (CYPAL)
                 3–4        Coen to Oyala-Thumotang                    Oyala-Thumotang NP                                                         Archer Roadhouse
                 days       and return to Coen                         (CYPAL)
(Rokeby)                                                                                                                                   Coen
                                                                                                                                                                   Cape Melville NP (CYPAL)
                 4–5        Cairns/Mareeba via Cooktown to             Cooktown and                                    Errk                                               Rinyirru (Lakefield)
Cape Melville                                                                                                       Oykangand                                             NP (CYPAL)
                 days       Cape Melville and onto Lakefield           Cape Melville NP (CYPAL)                     NP (CYPAL)          Palmer                   Laura
Overland                    Kutini-Payamu to Moreton or                                                                Kowanyama      Goldfield RR                        Cooktown
                 3–5                                                   Moreton or Bramwell
Telegraph                   Bramwell Junction, drive the OTT
                 days                                                  Junction, and along the OTT                                                     Lakeland
Track (OTT)                 to Heathlands/Jardine                                                                                                                           Port Douglas
                                                                                                                                                            Mareeba           Cairns
                            Kutini-Payamu to Moreton or                Moreton or Bramwell
Captain Billy    2–3
                            Bramwell Junction and onto                 Junction, and Captain Billy
Landing          days                                                                                                                                                OTT
                            Captain Billy Landing                      Landing (Heathlands RR)                                                                       Cape Melville
                 2–3                                                                                                                                                 Oyala-Thumotang
                            Heathlands (Eliot Falls) to Jardine
Ussher Point                                                           Ussher Point (Jardine NP)                                                                     PDR to The Tip
                 days       (Ussher Point)                                                                                                                           Cooktown
                                                                                                                                                                     Captain Billy Landing
Thursday                    Ferry to TI; and/or explore NPA                                                                                                          Ussher Point
Island (TI)                 attractions such as Pajinka,               Bamaga, Seisia, Umagico,                                                                      Errk Oykangand
                 2–4                                                                                                                                                 Palmer Goldfield
and Northern                Lockerbie rainforest, Lake                 Loyalty Beach or Punsand
Peninsula                   Wicheura, Somerset ruins, Mutee            Bay
Area (NPA)                  Head and Jardine River mouth
Errk-                       Cairns/Mareeba or Normanton to
Oykangand        4–5        Kowanyama, Errk-Oykangand NP               Errk-Oykangand NP
(Alice-          days       (CYPAL), Pormpuraaw and onto               (CYPAL)
Mitchell)                   Musgrave Roadhouse

                                                                                             Sunset at The Tip (left);
                                                                                             Lotus lily, Red Lily Lagoon (right)
                                                                                       Peter Lik © Tourism and Events Qld (left); © Sarah Jess (right)
Cape York Peninsula - national parks
Birdwatching at Rinyirru
                                                                                                                         (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                                         © Kerry Trapnell

     What do you want to see and do?                                                            Top wildlife experiences
                                                                                                1. Spot estuarine crocodiles and
                                                                                                   freshwater crocodiles in rivers and
     Once you know how long you have, where you decide to go depends upon                          waterholes such as Catfish and Old
     your interests. Are you a ‘birdo’ or keen fisher? Are you seeking escape or                   Faith waterholes in Rinyirru (Lakefield)
     adventure? Use these special interest checklists to fine-tune your itinerary.                 NP (CYPAL).
                                                                                                2. View the giant ‘magnetic’ and
     Great birdwatching                             5. Spot Torresian crows, red-winged
                                                                                                   ‘cathedral’ termite mounds dotted
                                                      parrots, rainbow lorikeets, rainbow
     1. Watch migratory waders (black-winged                                                       across Nifold Plain in Rinyirru
                                                      bee-eaters, black butcherbirds, pied
        stilts and sharp-tailed sandpipers) and                                                    (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL).
                                                      imperial-pigeons, palm cockatoos and
        waterbirds (diving ducks, black-necked                                                  3. Watch agile wallabies and (more
                                                      the northern race of Australian brush-
        storks, pelicans and magpie geese) at                                                      elusive) northern nail-tailed wallabies
                                                      turkeys around Eliot Falls camping area
        Keatings Lagoon CP.                                                                        on grasslands at Rinyirru (Lakefield)
                                                      in Heathlands RR.
     2. View waterbirds (brolgas, sarus cranes,                                                    NP (CYPAL).
        black-necked storks, magpie geese,                                                      4. Spotlight for green pythons, and
        comb-crested jacanas and ducks)                                                            southern common and common spotted
        in Catfish Waterhole and Red Lily                                                          cuscuses at Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range)
        Lagoon; and watch for star finches and                                                     NP (CYPAL).
        honeyeaters in the grasslands of Nifold
                                                                                                5. Spotlight for spiny knob-tailed geckos
        Plain in Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL).                                                  in woodlands, look for blue tongue and
     3. View waterbirds (Pacific black ducks,                                                      frilled lizards around the camping area
        radjah shelducks, royal spoonbills                                                         and saw-shelled turtles in the creeks at
        and sarus cranes) in the waterholes,                                                       Elliot Falls, Heathlands RR. Spot Jardine
        spot palm cockatoos in the canopy                                                          River turtles in the Jardine River and
        above watercourses and see Australian                                                      nesting marine turtles on the beach,
        bustards in the open woodlands of                                                          Jardine NP.
        Oyala Thumotang NP (CYPAL).
     4. Look for eclectus parrots and palm
        cockatoos in rainforest; watch metallic
        starlings congregate at Chilli Beach
        (September to April) and spotlight for
        Papuan frogmouths and owlet-nightjars
        in rainforest at Kutini-Payamu (Iron
        Range) NP (CYPAL).

           Green python (above); Eclectus parrot
           (right); Termite mounds, Nifold Plain,
     Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL) (far right)
     © Jodie Bray (above); © Qld Govt (right);
     © Tourism and Events Qld (far right)

Best ‘nature escapes’                                                                              Aboriginal cultural sites
1. Welcome Waterhole camping area,                                                                 There are many Aboriginal cultural sites
   Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)                                                                 scattered throughout the peninsula—it is
2. Day visit to Errk Oykangand NP                                                                  a living cultural landscape. These sites are
   (CYPAL); camp outside park near                                                                 presented (with signs) in national parks.
   Shelfo Crossing                                                                                 1. Black Mountain, Black Mountain NP
3. Camp sites in Coen River section,                                                               2. Low Lake, Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
   Oyala Thumotang NP (CYPAL)                                                                      3. Mount Tozer, Kutini-Payamu (Iron
4. Rainforest camping area, Kutini-                                                                   Range) NP (CYPAL).
   Payamu (Iron Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                       Aboriginal cultural tour, Cooktown
5. Ussher Point camping area, Jardine RR.                                                              © Tourism and Events Queensland

                                                                                                     Other places to learn about
                                                                                                     First Nations peoples cultures
                                                         Must-see history sites                      • Split Rock rock art gallery and
                                                                                                       Quinkan Regional and Cultural
                                                         1. Mining ruins, Palmer Goldfield RR
                                                                                                       Centre, Laura
                                                         2. Old Laura homestead, Rinyirru
                                                                                                     • Wunthulpu Visitors Centre, Coen
                                                            (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                     • Lockhart River Art Centre,
                                                         3. Old Archer crossing, Oyala Thumotang
                                                                                                       Lockhart River
                                                            NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                     • Gab Titui Cultural Centre,
                                                         4. Overland Telegraph Track and
                                                                                                       Thursday Island
                                                            linesmen’s hut, Heathlands RR.
                                                                                                     • Torres Strait Heritage Museum,
                                                                                                       Horn Island.

                                                           Don’t miss these historic
                                                           sites outside our parks
                                                           • Musgrave Roadhouse (historic
                                                             fortress telegraph station) and
                                                             Moreton Telegraph Station
      Red Lily Lagoon, Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
      (top); Fishing at Cape Melville NP (above)           • Coen Heritage House and Mining
Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Qld (top);
Janie White © Qld Govt (above)                               Museum, Coen (in the historic Mein
                                                             Telegraph Station)

Top spots for fishing                                      • Lockhart River aerodrome and
                                                             Portland Roads jetty (WWII sites
1. Wet a line where tidal salt water mixes                                                             Fruit Bat Falls, Heathlands Resources Reserve
                                                             and relics)                               Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Qld
   with freshwater at Five Mile Creek,
   Saltwater Creek and Basin Hole                          • Historic Somerset Beach
   camping areas in Rinyirru (Lakefield)
                                                             settlement, Northern                  Iconic destinations
                                                             Peninsula Area.                       It’s hard to choose but this is our pick of
   NP (CYPAL).
                                                                                                   the top five iconic places to visit:
2. Fish from the beach from any of the
                                                                                                   1. Black Mountain National Park
   Bathhurst Bay camping areas, Cape
   Melville NP (CYPAL).                                                                            2. Nifold Plain, Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP
3. Drop a line in Horsetailer and Govenors
                                                                                                   3. Chilli Beach, Kutini-Payamu (Iron
   waterholes in Oyala Thumotang NP
                                                                                                      Range) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                   4. Fruit Bat Falls, Heathlands RR
4. Cast a line from the beach at Chilli
                                                                                                   5. The Tip of Cape York Peninsula.
   Beach, Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) NP
5. Fish from the beach at Captain Billy                                                                        Be crocwise
                                                                                                      		       Think twice—you’re in croc
   Landing (north side of camping area),                     Old Laura homestead,
                                                             Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)                   country (see page 27).
   Heathlands RR.                                        Adam Creed © Queensland Government

Driving the Overland Telegraph Track
                                                                                                                             © Kerry trapnell

     Choose your route                                                                                       Bypass roads
                                                                                                             Bamaga Road (Northern and Southern
                                                                                                             Bypass roads) offers an easier route to The
     Stay on the ‘straight and narrow’, following the Peninsula
                                                                                                             Tip, avoiding many of the creek and river
     Developmental Road, or get off the beaten track and take a challenging
                                                                                                             crossings of the Overland Telegraph Track.
     4WD route. Whichever way you go, it will be the adventure of a lifetime.

     PDR to the Tip                                          From/To                           Via                        Distance (approx. times)
                                                                                               Mareeba and Lakeland
     The Peninsula Developmental Road                        Cairns to Cooktown                                           327km (4hr)
     (PDR) is the main access route into the
                                                             Cooktown to Laura                 Lakeland Downs             143km (1hr 45min)
     peninsula. The road is sealed as far as
                                                             Cairns to Cooktown                Coastal route (Cape        234km (allow 5–6hr to enjoy the
     Laura; past Laura the road is unsealed but              (alternative)                     Tribulation)               scenery)
     graded, and has roadhouses conveniently                 Laura to Lakefield ranger base,
                                                                                               PDR and Lakefield Road     85km (1.5hr)
     spaced for fuel, food and rest areas. Your              Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
     route to The Tip follows the PDR to Archer              Lakefield ranger base,            North via Lakefield Road   110km (2.5hr)
     River, then continues on the Telegraph                  Rinyirru, to Musgrave             South via Laura and PDR    224km (3.5hr)
     Road and Bamaga Road (bypass roads)                     Laura to Musgrave
                                                                                               PDR                        139km (2hr)
                                                             (bypassing Rinyirru)
     to the Jardine River crossing into the
                                                             Musgrave to Coen                  PDR                        110km (1.5–2hr)
     Northern Peninsula Area, and the
                                                                                                                          99–103km (2.5hr) to Coen River
     northern most tip of Australia.                         Coen to Oyala Thumotang NP
                                                                                               PDR and Rokeby Road        section; and further 47km (1–2hr)
                                                                                                                          to Archer Bend
       PDR                                                   Coen to Archer River
                                                                                               PDR                        66km (1hr)
                                                             (bypassing Oyala Thumotang)
       The PDR follows the route of the
                                                             Archer River to ‘3 ways’,                                    133km (2.5hr); and further 4–6km
       historic Overland Telegraph Line (OTL)                                                  PDR and Portland Roads
                                                             Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range)                                   to rainforest camping areas or
       through central Cape York Peninsula                                                     Road
                                                             NP (CYPAL)                                                   30km (50min) to Chilli Beach
       before diverging west to Weipa, 50km                  ‘3 ways’ Kutini-Payamu            Portland Roads Road,
                                                                                                                          184km (4hr)
       past Archer River. The Telegraph Road                 to Moreton                        PDR and Telegraph Road
       continues along the OTL route to                      Archer River to Moreton
                                                                                               PDR                        123km (2–3hr)
       Bramwell Junction.                                    (bypassing Kutini-Payamu)
                                                             Moreton to Bramwell Junction      Telegraph Road             42km (45min)
                                                             Bramwell Junction to Eliot        Bamaga Road (Southern
                                                                                                                          127km (2–3hr)
                                                             Falls, Heathlands RR              Bypass Road)
       Musgrave Roadhouse                                    Eliot Falls, Heathlands RR to     Bamaga Road (Northern
                                                                                                                          58km (1.5hr)
       This historic fortress telegraph                      the Jardine River ferry           Bypass Road)
       station, built in 1887, was part of                   Jardine River ferry to Bamaga     Bamaga Road                42km (45min)
       the OTL. Today the roadhouse is an                    Bamaga to The Tip                 Lockerbie                  32km (1hr)
       important stop for passing travellers,
       providing fuel, food, accommodation,
       camping and facilities.

                  Chilli Beach, Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range)
                  NP (CYPAL) © Tourism and Events Qld
4WD adventure challenges
                                                The Tip
Follow in the footsteps (or wheel ruts)
                                                From the car park, a walking track
of many who have gone before, from              leads to the beach and over a bluff

                                                                                                                                           © Tourism Tropical North Qld
the earliest explorers to present day           to a monument, a further short walk
adventurers, with these challenging             brings you onto the rock that is
4WD routes.                                     the northern-most tip of mainland
                                                Australia. It’s time to celebrate—
Battle Camp Road from                           you’ve made it The Tip!
Cooktown to Old Laura
Once the historic route from Cooktown to
the Palmer River Goldfield, this unsealed     Drive 220km (up to 12hr) from Cooktown        with recovery gear. It is not recommended
road passes Isabella Falls and crosses        via Wakooka Road. Take a rest at Starcke      for vehicles travelling alone, or towing
the Normanby River. Drive 38km (30min)        River boat ramp recreational area before      trailers, or without snorkels or recovery
out of Cooktown on Hope Vale Road, then       continuing your journey to the camping        gear. From the ‘3 ways’ junction in
turn onto Battle Camp Road and drive          areas at Bathurst Bay or Ninian Bay in        Kutinti-Payamu drive 27km along Portland
73km (1.5hr) to Old Laura in southern         Cape Melville NP (CYPAL). To continue         Roads Road, then turn onto Frenchmans
Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL). This route   onto Rinyirru (Lakefield), drive 110km        Track and travel the difficult 52km to the
can remain closed until June due to the       (3.5–5hr) from the camping areas at           junction with Telegraph Road. From here,
crossing over the Normanby River.             Bathurst Bay or Ninian Bay to Kalpowar        drive a further 22km north to Moreton
                                              Crossing via Wakooka Road.                    Telegraph Station.

  Archer River Roadhouse
                                               Kowanyama-Pormpurraw Road                    Overland Telegraph Track (OTT) from
  This favourite travellers’ stop near
                                              to Errk Oykangand NP (CYPAL)                  Bramwell Junction to Jardine River
  the southern bank of the Archer River
                                              Visit this far-flung western Cape York park   This iconic route is suitable only for
  offers fuel, food, accommodation,
                                              as an alternative (western) route into or     experienced four-wheel drivers and
  camping and facilities. The nearby
                                              out of the Cape.                              requires a high-clearance 4WD vehicle with
  river bank is also a popular camping
                                                                                            recovery gear. The track is not maintained,
  spot. Remember to be crocwise.              Travel to Kowanyama along the Burke
                                                                                            has numerous creek crossings, with
                                              Developmental Road, driving 542km
                                                                                            informal camping spots near each
                                              (8hrs) from Mareeba or 360km (7hr)
Old Coach Road from                                                                         crossing. Remnants of the historic
                                              from Normanton. Contact the Secretary
Palmer Goldfield to Laura                                                                   telegraph line can be seen along the way.
                                              of the Abm Elgoring Ambung Aboriginal
The Old Coach Road between Palmer
                                              Corporation on 0459 982 170 for advice        From Bramwell Junction, the 80km
Goldfield and Laura passes through
                                              before heading to the park.                   southern section of the OTT extends to
rugged dry country and is only for
                                                                                            the junction with Bamaga Road (Northern
experienced four-wheel drivers with           Drive 32km (30min) from Kowanyama
                                                                                            Bypass Road) and takes about 6–8hr
high-clearance 4WD vehicles and recovery      on the Kowanyama–Pormpuraaw Road
                                                                                            driving time. The 32km northern section
gear. It takes about 6–7hr to travel this     to enter the park at Shelfo Crossing on
                                                                                            of the OTT is even more difficult. From
challenging 80km track. To reach Palmer       the Mitchell River, a broad rock bar with
                                                                                            Eliot Falls to the Jardine River takes about
Goldfield RR, turn off the Mulligan           fast-flowing water inhabited by estuarine
                                                                                            3–4hr driving time and involves several
Highway 67km north of Mount Carbine           crocodiles and sharks. Drive with extreme
                                                                                            challenging creek crossings.
onto Whites Creek Road. Travel 71km (3hr)     caution. The track continues for about
to Dog Leg Crossing on the Palmer River       11km through the park to the Alice River
and enter the reserve. The camping area is    crossing. From here, drive 83km (1.5hr)         Overland Telegraph Line and track
about 12km from the entrance.                 to Pormpuraaw on the Kowanyama–                 The Overland Telegraph Line (OTL),
                                              Pormpuraaw Road. From Pormpuraaw,               completed in 1887, connected Laura
Cape Melville coastal route                   drive 215km (3hr) east to Musgrave              with the tip of Cape York Peninsula,
from Cooktown                                 Roadhouse where your journey can                providing a communication link
Take the challenging coastal route from       continue on the PDR.                            between Brisbane and Thursday
Cooktown to Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP                                                           Island. Fort-like telegraph stations
(CYPAL) via the remote Cape Melville          Frenchmans Track                                were located along the telegraph line,
NP (CYPAL). This route is suitable only       If you are well-prepared for a true 4WD         which operated until 1964 and was
for experienced four-wheel drivers and        challenge, you may decide to tackle the         dismantled in 1987. Today a rough
requires a high-clearance 4WD vehicle         difficult 100km (6hr) Frenchmans Track          and unmaintained track, known as
with recovery gear. Carry adequate fuel—      to or from Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range)           the Overland Telegraph Track (OTT),
driving in low range on sandy sections of     NP (CYPAL). This route is suitable only         follows the OTL route from Bramwell
the road uses fuel quickly. The nearest       for experienced four-wheel drivers and          north to the Jardine River.
fuel stop is Musgrave or Laura.               requires a high-clearance 4WD vehicle
Aerial shot of Cooktown
                                                                                                               © Tourism and Events Qld

     Parks around Cooktown                                                                        Take the time to rest at the
                                                                                             gateway to Cape York Peninsula—
     Feel the excitement build as you begin your journey discovering some                    Cooktown—where the bitumen
     of the diverse parks on sealed roads around historic Cooktown.                          ends and adventure begins.
                                                                                                Ranger Craig
     The imposing boulder pile of Black               Access
     Mountain heralds your proximity to
                                                 Open all year (but Keatings Lagoon can
     Cooktown while the rugged rainforest-clad
                                                 be inaccessible due to flooding between
     Mount Cook provides a scenic backdrop
                                                 December and April).
     to the town. Keatings Lagoon offers a
     wetland refuge for waterbirds during the
     dry season.                                   Did you know?
                                                   The granite boulder-strewn slopes
                                                   of Black Mountain seem barren but
       Must Dos                                    large fig trees draw water from deep
       • Gaze at stunning views over the           within the mountain, and rainforest
          Great Barrier Reef and Northern          plants surround its base. Granite is
          Wet Tropics world heritage areas         usually pink-grey but these boulders
          from near the summit of Mount            appear black because of microscopic
          Cook on the 6km return walk. For         lichens and algae growing on
          a less strenuous walk, stroll 800m       exposed surfaces.
          to the first lookout then return.
       • Wander along the pleasant Wawu
          Balgal Bubu Walk, and from a
          snug bird hide watch waterbirds
                                                 discovery trails
          feeding in Keatings Lagoon,            A century after Lieutenant Cook repaired

          especially from May to October.        the HMS Endeavour on the river bank,

          Remember your binoculars and           ‘Cooks Town’ was established as a

          insect repellent.                      bustling port to service the Palmer
                                                 River gold rush. Today, Cooktown offers
       • Feel awed by the mysterious
                                                 travellers the chance to discover a
          looming boulders of Black
                                                 colourful past and connect with local
          Mountain and the Aboriginal
                                                 Aboriginal culture. Join one of the
          legends surrounding these lichen-
                                                 Aboriginal or historical tours around
          blackened slopes. There is no
                                                 Cooktown. Visit Laura’s Split Rock
          access to the mountain—don’t
                                                 Aboriginal rock art galleries and Quinkan
          risk injury by venturing onto the
                                                 Regional and Cultural Centre, 2hr via
          boulder field.
                                                 sealed roads from Cooktown.

Endeavour River
To Rinyirru                                                                      National Park
(Lakefield) and Laura

                                                                                                   er                                                           Places to go

                                                                                End e a v                                                                            Wawu Balgal Bubu walk—

                                             Co o
                                                                                                                                                                     easy, 1.4km (1hr) return,

                                              kt o
                                                                                                                                                                     Keatings Lagoon CP,

                                                            cI                                                                  See

                                                                       r Ri           d                                        inset                                 5km south of Cooktown
                                                                            ve r R oa
                                                                                                                                     2        Mount Cook         2   Mount Cook summit track—
                                             Keatings Lagoon                                                                                                         easy to difficult, 6km (4hr) return,
                                            Conservation Park                                                                   Mount Cook
                                                                                                                                National Park                        Mount Cook NP,
                                                                                            1                                                                        Hannam Street, Cooktown
                          Mount Barnett
                                                                     er                                                                                          3   Black Mountain viewing area—
                                                          n                                                                                                          great boulder views,

                Oak y Creek                                                                             Mul
                                                                                                              liga                                                   Black Mountain NP,
                                                                                                                                                                     25km south of Cooktown.
                                                             Annan River
                                                          (Yuku Baja-Muliku)
                                                             National Park
                                                                                                                                                         Annan River
                                                                                                                                                      (Yuku Baja-Muliku)
                                                                   Mount Ellen                                                                        Conservation Park

                                                                       Tr                                              A rc
                                                    Annan River

                                                                                                                               her              d
                                                                                                                                     Po i n t R

                                                                                                                                                                                Archer Point



                                           Cooktown inset




                                                                                Mount                                      d

                            Ida Stree                                                                                                                                    Walsh Bay

   Hope Str


                                                                                                   Black Mountain

                To Mulligan Hwy
                                                                                                   National Park
                                                                                                               Black Mountain
                                                                                                                                                                                       Amos Bay
                                                           a           n Hi
       To Lakeland
       and Cairns

                                   5                                            10km
                                                                                                        To Bloomfield
                                                                                                        and Cairns

                                                                                                                                                                  		    When walking, cover up in
                                                                                                                                                                        protective clothing and
                                                                                                                                                                  remember the insect repellent.

                                                                                                                                                                            Be crocwise
                                                                                                                                                                  		        Think twice—you’re in croc
                                                                                                                                                                            country (see page 27).

                                                                                                                                                                 Keatings Lagoon; Mount Cook lookout;
                                                                                                                                                                 Cultural tour (opposite page from top
                                                                                                                                                           down); Black Mountain (this page).
                                                                                                                                                           Qld Govt (opposite page top and above);
                                                                                                                                                           Tourism and Events Qld (opposite page below);
                                                                                                                                                           Tourism Tropical North Qld (this page)

Waterbirds on lagoon,
                                                                                                                      Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP (CYPAL)
                                                                                                                      Adam Creed © Qld Govt

     Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL)
     Feel like intrepid adventurers as you savour the iconic sights, and                               To see a croc, keep very quiet,
     discover hidden treasures and a colourful history in this enormous                         park your car near the lagoon but not too
     national park.                                                                             close (don’t close the door as the noise
                                                                                                will scare them off) and walk towards
     This park is renowned for its large river                                                  the lagoon, keeping your eyes on the
     systems—the North Kennedy, Normanby,                                                       banks where the crocs often bask.
                                                 Usually open from 1 June (south of
     Hann and Morehead rivers—with                                                                  Ranger Barry
                                                 Lakefield ranger base) and 1 July (north of
     spectacular wetlands, floodplains clad
                                                 Lakefield ranger base).                            Places to camp
     in open woodlands, and vast grassland
     plains dotted with termite mounds and
                                                                                               Kalpowar and Hann Crossing
                                                      Fishing                                  camping areas
     expanses of unique corypha palms.
                                                 You can fish in rivers and waterholes         Large popular camping areas on river
     The landscape has important Aboriginal      at all camping areas in the park, and in      banks at Kalpowar and Hann crossings.
     cultural significance, containing sites     the marine waters of Princess Charlotte       Toilets provided.
     associated with occupation, ceremonies      Bay, adjacent to the park. Canoes are not
                                                                                               Bush camping
     and stories of ancestral spirits. This      allowed due to the presence of crocodiles.
                                                                                               Many secluded bush camping areas near
     park is jointly managed by the Rinyirru     Limit boat speed to prevent bank erosion
                                                                                               scenic waterholes and along river banks.
     (Lakefield) Land Trust and QPWS.            and water turbidity. Fishing regulations
                                                                                               No facilities.
                                                 and marine park zoning restrictions apply
                                                 (see page 27).                                     Make or change camping bookings
        Must Dos                                                                               at the self-service kiosk at the Lakefield
        • Spend a relaxing day fishing for a                                                   ranger base.
          big barra then share it around a
          campfire at night with friends.                                                                   Termite mounds of Nifold Plain (left);
                                                                                                            Horseshoe Lagoon (below)
        • Capture a great photo as you
                                                                                                       Maxime Coquard © Tourism and
          watch the setting sun silhouette                                                             Events Qld (left); © John Augusteyn (below)
          the termite mounds dotted over
          the grassy Nifold Plain.
        • Take your binoculars to watch
          waterbirds feeding in the tranquil
          early mornings or late afternoons
          at Sweetwater Lake or Rarda-
          Ndolphin (Low Lake).
        • Step back in time to the days of
          early European exploration and
          ‘gold fever’, as you explore Old
          Laura, the original homestead for
          Laura cattle station, and one of the
          first on the Cape.


                                                Charlotte Bay

   Lama Lama                                                                                                                                                      Cape Melville
  National Park                                                                                                                                                   National Park
    (CYPAL)                                                                                                                                                         (CYPAL)

                             Annie River

                                                           r th
    Five Mile

                                                                 nnedy R i
       Creek                                                                 Brown
                                                                             Creek                                                                                     ka R o a d
                                                Saltwater ver                                                       Bizant                                        Wa
                                                Crossing                                                            River
                                                          ke                                                                                          Bottom Whiphandle Waterhole
                                                            f                      Basin
     To Musgrave
                                               Nifold                              Hole

                                               Plain                                                                                                  Top Whiphandle Waterhole


                       d           6                                Road                                                                    Orange Plain Waterhole
             ins              Rarda-Ndolphin
  rina                        (Low Lake)
Ma                                                                                                                                          Melaleuca Waterhole
                7                                                      Hann
              Sweetwater                                             Crossing
                                                                                                                                        5        Red Lily Lagoon

                                                                                                                                                      Hanush’s Waterhole
                                     d River

                                                             Old Breeza
                                                             Homestead                   2                                                            Midway Waterhole
                                     he a

                                                                                                            5                       4

                                                                                                                                                                  Kalpowar Crossing
                                                                                                      White Lily

                                                                         Seven Mile                   Lagoon                                                                                             Muundhi
                                                    nn R

                                                                                                                                                                   Mick Fienn
                                                                                                                 Lakefield                                         Waterhole                           (Jack River)

                                                                                                                 ranger base                                                                           National Park
                                        Rinyirru                                                                                                                                                         (CYPAL)
                                       (Lakefield)                                                                                                                              Dingo Waterhole
                                      National Park
                                        (CYPAL)                                                                      Catfish
                                                                                                                   Waterhole    3
                                                                                                                                                                             Old Faithful Waterhole
                                                                                                                                                       Nor m an




                                                                                          th Kennedy


                                                                                                                                               i el

                                                                                                                                                                                        Twelve Mile Lagoon

                 National park                       n  in                                                                                                 R
                                                          su                                                                  New Laura                        oa
                 (CYPAL)                                       la                                                            ranger base                            d
                                                                                         No r

                 Aboriginal freehold land                             ve                                                                                                                                    Waterhole   Lake
                                                                         l   op                                                                                                                                         Emma
                 Environmental reserve                                            en
                                                                                       lR                                                                                                 Six Mile
                 Kalpowar Recreation Reserve                                              oa
                                                                                                d                                                                                         Waterhole

                                                                                                                                                                                                               To Cooktown
                                                                                                                                         Old Laura                                                     ad
                                                                                                                                                                  1                                  Ro
     Places to visit                                                                                                                    Homestead                                    Battle Ca m p
          1      2 Old Laura Homestead and Breeza                                                                                                                                                              Lagoon

                Homestead—historic European sites
          3     Catfish Waterhole—great wildlife
                watching (turtles and crocs)                                                                                                                                                    Scale

          4     Kalpowar discovery walk—easy
                                                                                                                                                                                                0              10            20km

                4km (1.5hr) return ramble along the                                                                                                    To Lakeland
                Normanby River                                                                                                                                                         Laura
          5     Red and White Lily lagoons—                                                                     Distances (approx. times)
                picturesque carpets of pink lotus
                                                                                                                Old Laura to New Laura         25km (40min)
                lilies and white water lilies
                                                                                                                New Laura to Lakefield
          6     Rarda-Ndolphin (Low Lake)—
                                                                                                                ranger base
                                                                                                                                               34km (40min)                                       Safety
                important spiritual and ceremonial                                                                                                                                      		 Be alert for snakes
                place for Traditional Custodians,                                                               Lakefield ranger base to                                                when exploring the park. Wear
                                                                                                                                               26km (45min)
                also great birdwatching                                                                         Hann Crossing                                                           protective clothing and footwear,
          7    Sweetwater Lake—excellent                                                                        Hann Crossing to                                                        use lights at night and keep tents
                                                                                                                                               31km (1hr)
               birdwatching.                                                                                    Saltwater Crossing                                                      closed at all times.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Be crocwise
           Did you know?                                                                                                                                                                		           Think twice—you’re in croc
           Before becoming a national park in 1979, this area comprised the Lakefield and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     country (see page 27).
           Laura cattle stations, first established in the late 1870s.

Chilli Beach at dawn
                                                                                                                          © Tourism and Events Qld

 Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL)
     Unwind and immerse yourself in nature in this exceptional park famed for
     iconic wildlife, rich in Aboriginal cultural significance and with a unique                         Severe Tropical Cyclone Trevor
                                                                                                         made landfall here in mid-March
     war history.
                                                                                                         2019. Damage to the landscape
     Featuring the rugged heath-clad Tozer               Access                                          was extensive—recovery may take
     Range, lush lowland tropical rainforest (part   Usually from July to November.                      many years.
     of the largest remnant in Australia) and
     long sweeping beaches, this park provides            Fishing
     a refuge for wildlife found only in northern    You can fish from the beach at Chilli
     Cape York Peninsula and New Guinea.             Beach; fishing regulations and marine
                                                     park zoning restrictions apply (see
     The area is rich in Aboriginal cultural
                                                     page 27). Fishing is not allowed in any
     significance, with story places, ceremonial
                                                     freshwater rivers or creeks within the
     sites and occupation places dotted across
                                                     national park (CYPAL).
     the landscape. The park is jointly
     managed by the Northern Kuuku Ya’u
                                                          Places to camp
     Kanthanampu Aboriginal Corporation Land
                                                     Rainforest, Cooks Hut and Gordon
     Trust and QPWS.
                                                     Creek camping areas
                                                     Shady rainforest camp sites on the
        Must Dos                                     banks of the Claudie River and Gordon
        • Find hidden meanings in the heath-         Creek. Toilet at Cooks Hut.
          clad landscape of Mount Tozer
                                                     Chilli Beach camping area
          through the Aboriginal story of Kutini
                                                     Shady and partly-shady camp sites
                                                     behind beach (some protected by
        • Let the sea air revive you as you
                                                     coastal plants; others exposed to wind).
          wander along the white quartz sands
                                                     Toilets provided. Popular site—book
          of wind-swept Chilli Beach, relishing      well in advance.
          the remoteness of this ancient
          coastline.                                     Make or change camping
        • Feel the thrill of wildlife-spotting for   bookings at the self-service kiosk
          the ‘big four’—cuscus, green python,       at the Iron Range ranger base.
          eclectus parrot and palm cockatoo—
          in their lowland rainforest refuge.
        • Enjoy the evening spectacle of
                                                                   Heath-clad foothills of Mount Tozer
          metallic starlings flying overhead at                   (top); Old Coen track (right);
                                                           Chilli Beach starlings (opposite page).
          Chilli Beach (September to April).
                                                           © Tourism and Events Qld (top);
                                                           © John Augusteyn; (right and opposite page)


                    Pascoe R i v

                                                                                                                     Weymouth Bay
                                                                                                                                                                    Coral Sea

                                                                                                                                                                     Rocky Island
 0                      5                                       10km
                                                                                                                                            Portland Roads
                                                                                                                                                                        Cape Weymouth
                                                                                    Kutini–Payamu                                                                        Ma’alpiku Island
                                                                                     (Iron Range)                                                                         National Park
                                                                                     National Park                                                                          (CYPAL)

                                                                                                                                                               Chilli Beach

                                                                                                                                                       3        3 4
                                                                 Cooks Hut                                                                                       Albatross Bay

                                                                                                   by Cre
To Telegraph Road                                                                                                               S
                                                                                                                                    c r u bby C k                     Cape Griffith


     Track                                                                2
                                                                                                                                Gordon Creek
                                                                                                   rdon Ck
                                                                        Old Coen
           Por tland Roads                                       2      track
                             Rd         W
                                                                                                                                                       Places to visit
To PDR                                              lau
                      1                                 d   i e River                                                                                      1    Mount Tozer lookout—scenic
                                                                                                                                                                heathland views
              Mount Tozer                                                               '3 ways' junction
                                            Mount Tozer                  Iron Range                                                                        2    Old Coen track—moderately
                                                                         ranger base                                                                            difficult 10km (5hr) return walk
                                                                                                                                                                through rainforest, with excellent
                                                                                              Lockh                                                             birdwatching. Arrange a vehicle

                                                                                       Line Hill                                                                pick-up at the end of the track,

                                                                                                                 rR                                             on Portland Roads Road.

                                                                                                                          Lockhart River                   3    Chilli Beach forest walk—easy

                                                                              River Airport    C
                                                                                                                          Community                             720m (10min) return walk behind
                                  Pasc oe R


                                                                                                                                                                the beach

                                                                                                                                                           4    Chilli Beach walk—for views

                                                                                                                                                                of Restoration Island, where
                                                                                                                                                                Captain Bligh landed after being
                                                                                                                                                                cast adrift from his ship, the
                                                                                                                                                                HMS Bounty, in 1789.
                                                                                                                                        Lloyd Bay

                Safety                                                              Did you know?
         		     Take care if driving on the                                         The Iron Range airbase was constructed in 1942. American 90th Bomb Group, known
                beach near creek mouths and
                                                                                    as the ‘Jolly Rogers’, described it as the worst airfield they were ever posted at
         between the tides where quicksand
         can develop.                                                               during the war. Difficult conditions were made worse during the monsoonal rains and
                                                                                    possibly contributed to several military aircraft crashes in the area. ‘The strips were
                 Be crocwise
                                                                                    a disaster… muddy and flooded most of the time.’
         		      Think twice—you’re in croc
                 country (see page 27).                                             W. Rollins, 197th Coast Artillery (AA) Regiment.

                                                                                   ‘3 ways’ junction to Iron Range
                                                                                                                                                2.5km via Lockhart River Road
                                                                                   ranger base
                                                                                   ‘3 ways’ to Lockhart River community                         11km via Lockhart River Road
                                                                                                                                                3.9km (Rainforest), 4.8km (Cooks Hut),
                                                                                   ‘3 ways’ to rainforest camping areas
                                                                                                                                                5.5km (Gordon Creek) via Portland Roads Rd
                                                                                                                                                23km via Portland Roads Rd to Chilli Beach
                                                                                   ‘3 ways’ to Chilli Beach camping area
                                                                                                                                                turnoff then 6km to the camping area
                                                                                   Chilli Beach turnoff to Portland Roads
                                                                                                                                                6km via Portland Roads Road
Eliot Falls, Heathlands Resources Reserve
                                                                                                               Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Qld

     Heathlands Resources Reserve,
     Jardine River National Park and Resources Reserve
     Be astonished by the sudden abundance of fresh water, soak up the                                     Take up the challenge of driving the
     beauty of the heath-clad landscape, and delve into the area’s colourful                        Overland Telegraph Track, if you are well-
     history in our northern-most parks.                                                            prepared. You can avoid the deep crossing
                                                                                                    at Scrubby Creek by taking Bamaga Road
     These parks are a vast remote                  The area is a living cultural landscape,        (Northern Bypass) into Eliot Falls.
     wilderness in an ancient sandstone             containing story-places and story-                  Ranger Stuart
     landscape, dominated by the mighty             beings, and occupation and ceremony
     Jardine River with its many small              sites. The parks are managed by QPWS,              Places to camp
     streams and swamps. Dry heaths,                in collaboration with the Aboriginal
                                                                                                  Captain Billy Landing camping area
     coastal heaths, grasslands, rainforest         Traditional Owners from the Atambaya,
                                                                                                  Camp sites beside the beach. Toilet provided.
     and woodlands are home to diverse              Angkamuthi, Yadhaykenu, Gudang and
     wildlife, including some found                 Wuthathi language and social groups.          Eliot Falls camping area
     nowhere else.                                                                                Spacious camp sites in woodland between
                                                         Access                                   Canal and Eliot creeks. Toilets provided.
                                                    Usually from June to November.                Popular site—book well in advance.
       Must Dos
       • Wash away dust in crystal-                      Fishing                                  North and South Jardine River
         clear waters at Twin Falls at              Fish in the Jardine River, except for the     camping areas
         Eliot Falls camping area, a                section of the river (and its tributaries)    Sandy sites on the banks of the Jardine River.
         surprising oasis in a vast open            from the old vehicle crossing (on the         No facilities.
                                                    Overland Telegraph Track) to a point 5km
       • Discover fascinating plant life—                                                         Ussher Point camping area
                                                    upstream. You can also fish from the
         sundews and pitcher plants                                                               Camp sites close to beach and cliffs.
                                                    beaches in marine waters adjacent to the
         on creek edges, banksias                                                                 No facilities.
                                                    parks and reserve. Fishing regulations and
         and grevilleas in dry heath,
                                                    marine park zoning restrictions apply (see         Make or change camping bookings
         towering cypress, and sedge
                                                    page 27). Fishing is not permitted in Eliot   at the self-service kiosk at the Heathlands
         swamps in low-lying areas.
                                                    Creek.                                        ranger base (before you arrive at Eliot Falls).
       • Camp beneath clear starry
         skies and feel connection with
         the ‘sandbeach people’ who                                                                 Did you know?
         lived here for thousands of                                                                Early European explorers called this
         years and knew Eliot Falls as                                                              area the ‘wet desert’ because it had
         ‘Yaranjangu’, a story place.
                                                                                                    abundant freshwater but lacked food for
                                                                                                    horses and cattle.
                          Tiny carnivorous sundew
                          © Queensland Government
Cape York
                                                                                   (The Tip)
                Possession Island
                  National Park                                                                          Albany Island

                                                                                                                                                                         Places to visit
                                                                                                          Coral Sea
                         Umagico                                                                                                                                          1   Captain Billy Landing—
                                                              Bamaga                                                                                                          remote coastline featuring sea caves
                                                                                                                                                                              and white sand beaches
                   r din                                                               Bamaga airport

                        e                                                                                                                                                 2   Fruit Bat Falls—
                                           Bamaga Road

      Jardine River                                                                                                 Jardine River                                             easy 500m (10min) return stroll on a

      ferry crossing                                                                                                 Resources                                                boardwalk, with swimming access

                                                                          North Jardine                                                                                   3   Twin Falls and Eliot Falls—

                                                                          River camping area

      No river

 crossing between                                                         South Jardine River
                                                                                                                                                                              easy 550m (15min) return walk, with

  camping areas                                                           camping area                                                              Ussher Point              swimming access at Twin Falls


     Nolans Brook
                                                                                                                                                                          4   ‘The Saucepan’—

     Bypass Road                                                                                  Jardine River


                                                                                                  National Park

                                                                                                                                                                              easy 670m (15min) return walk to
                               r ther
                                   Bamrn By
                                   r th

                                                                                                                                                     Orford Ness              Eliot Creek, with swimming access.

                                                                               3         4
                                         aga pass
                                            Roa Road

                                                                           Eliot Falls                                                                   False

                                                                                                                                                         Orford Ness
                                                                                   2                                                                                            		      At Eliot Falls, water


            Northern Bypass Road/                                             Fruit Bat Falls                                                                                   levels can rise rapidly and

            OTT junction


                                                                                                                                                                                there may be slippery rocks

                                                                                                                  He n

             Southern Bypass Road/                                                     (So a                                                                                    and submerged objects.

                                                                                                                                                       Captain Billy
                                                                OTT (so


             OTT junction                                                                           Ro                                                 Landing


                                                                                                 rn                                                                                     Be crocwise
                                                                                                    By                                                  1


             ka                                                                                                                                                                 		      Think twice—you’re

                  to                                                               Coc


                    oC                                                                ka
                                                                                                                                            ss R

                                                                                                               oa                                                               in croc country (see page 27).

                                                                                         t   o                      d)

                                                                                                                                t hern B o a d

                                                                                                 C re
                                                nshot Creek                                              ek


                                                                                                                           (S B a maga


                            Resources Reserve                                                                                                           Shelbourne Bay
                                                                                                  ti e

                                                               iver                       Be r
                                                           ty R                           Heathlands
  Scale                                     lh           un                               ranger base                    To Bramwell                      Double
  0                         20           Du                     40km                                                                                 (Etatapuma) Point

     Twin Falls (right); Captain
     Billy Landing (far right)
Maxime Coquard © Tourism
and Events Qld (right);
© Qld Govt (far right)

Distances (approx. times)
                                                                                                   56km via Bamaga Rd (Southern Bypass Rd) to turn off, then 13km west on Ranger
Bramwell Junction to Heathlands ranger base
                                                                                                   base track
Bramwell Junction to Captain Billy Landing                                                         93km (2.5hr) via Bamaga Road (Southern Bypass Road) and Captain Billy Landing track
                                                                                                   27m along Captain Billy Landing track, then 53km (2hr) along Bamaga Road
Captain Billy Landing to Fruit Bat Falls sign
                                                                                                   (Southern Bypass Road)
Heathlands ranger base to Fruit Bat Falls sign                                                     13km on Ranger base track, then 64km along Bamaga Road (Southern Bypass Road)
                                                                                                   14km north via Bamaga Road to Mistake Creek track turnoff, then 14km to Eliot Falls
Fruit Bat Falls sign to Elliot Falls
                                                                                                   camping area OR 8km via OTT (with deep crossing on Scrubby Creek)
Eliot Falls to South Jardine River camping area                                                    32km (3–4hr) north via the OTT
Bamaga Road (Northern Bypass Road)/OTT
                                                                                                   50km via Bamaga Road to ferry crossing, then further 11km
junction to North Jardine River camping area
                                                                                                   50km via Bamaga Road to ferry crossing, further 18km north on Bamaga Road, then
Bamaga Road (Northern Bypass Road)/OTT                                                             60km east to the coast. Travel time (4–5hr). This track is suitable only for experienced
junction to Ussher Point camping area                                                              four-wheel drivers and requires a high-clearance 4WD vehicle with recovery gear.
                                                                                                   Camper trailers are not recommended.
Palmer goldfield ruins
                                                                                                                                                           Nick Smith© Qld Govt

     Palmer Goldfield Resources Reserve
     Discover fascinating relics of North Queensland’s biggest gold rush,                                        To Laura
     reminders of the region’s prosperous and colourful history.                   R. L. Jack

                                  Old mines, rusting machinery and traces

       Must Dos                   of the once-thriving Maytown township,              Folders

                                                                                                                              r in
                                                                                      Hotel site                              Sp                   Scale
       • Step into an exciting    dating from the Palmer River gold rush of

                                                                                                                                                   0                            5km

                                                                                                 d Maytown a u r a R o
         past when fortunes       1873, are scattered across this landscape.         C ra d
         were won and lost as     Today the reserve is managed to protect            Cre
                                                                                                        'old co a c h ro

         you explore the mine     the area’s rich cultural heritage.
                                                                                                                               Palmer Goldfield

         ruins.                                                                          op                                   Resources Reserve
       • Wander around the
                                       Access                                       C k
                                                                                     re e
                                  Usually from April to November.

         Chinese cemetery

         and Maytown ruins to          Places to camp                          Jessop camp

         imagine life as it was   Remote camping area on the southern                                                                                                        Pa
                                                                                                                                          German Bar

         here 130 years ago.      bank of North Palmer River. No facilities.          North

                                                                                                                                          town site
                                                                                Palmer River
       • Swap yarns around                                                     camping area                                                 Chinese cemetery
         the campfire about                                                                                                                 Chinese alluvial workings
         the hardships endured       Did you know?                                                                                              Louisa Mine ruins
         by the diggers on the       The ‘old coach road’ to Laura was          Mabel Louise                                                       King of the Ranges Mine
         Palmer River.               the route to the port of Cooktown.
                                                                                                                                                     Comet Mine ruins
                                                                                                                                                    Ida Mine ruins
                                                                                                                               Charcoal                                       Pa
                                                                                To Chillagoe                                   burners                      Queen of the
                                                                                via Palmerville                                                             North Mine and
                                                                                                                                                            township ruins
                                                                                                                                     Dog Leg

                                                                                                                               er v
                                                                                 Mining relics                                                                       To PDR

                                                                                 © Qld Govt

                                                                                  		     When exploring, stay on signed
                                                                                  tracks marked on the map and don’t venture into
                                                                                  mining leases. Beware of previously mined areas,
                                                                                  as open and collapsed shafts are common.

Shelfo Crossing on
      the Mitchell River
Eric Wason © Qld Govt

Errk Oykangand National Park (CYPAL)
Journey into western Cape York Peninsula to experience the ‘Gulf
country’, and discover a landscape of incredible contrasts.
                                                                                                                   Did you know?
                                                                                                                   The hard dry cracked ground of
Bounded by two mighty rivers, the Alice           Access                                                           the savannah becomes an inland
and Mitchell, this savannah landscape is                                                                           sea in the wet season.
                                              Usually from August/September to October.
inundated with nutrient-rich floodwaters      Before you set out, contact the Secretary
during the wet season, as rivers spill over   of the Abm Elgoring Ambung Aboriginal
their banks. The park is jointly managed                                                                                     Safety
                                              Corporation on 0459 982 170 for advice.
by the Errk Oykangand National Park Land                                                                             		      Ensure you are well
                                                                                                                     prepared and self-sufficient with
Trust and QPWS.                                    Places to camp
                                                                                                                     adequate food, water, fuel and
                                              Camp outside the park in the campground                                basic vehicle repair equipment.
   Must Dos                                   near Shelfo Crossing. Bookings are essential.
                                                                                                                             Be crocwise
   • Picnic on the banks of the               Contact the Secretary of the Abm Elgoring
                                                                                                                     		      Think twice—you’re
       Mitchell River near Shelfo             Ambung Aboriginal Corporation on 0459 982
                                                                                                                     in croc country (see page 27).
       Crossing and spot a surprising         170. Camping is not permitted inside the park.
       variety of birdlife.
   • Find out about this park’s
                                                     To Kowanyama                                                    To Pormpuraaw
       traditional significance for the Uw
       Oykangand people (‘people of the
       outside waterholes’).                                                               Crossing                             Alice River crossing
                                                               Shelfo Crossing
   • Watch for emus, Australian                                  campground
                                                                                                                                                 Alice Riv
       bustards and eastern grey                                                                                                                             er

       kangaroos in the open
       savannah country.

                                                                                                                               Errk Oykangand
                                                         Scale                                                                  National Park
                                                         0                      5                 10km                             (CYPAL)
                                                                                                            ell R

                                                          Alice River near the crossing.
                                                          Eric Wason © Qld Govt

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