Crater Lakes National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Darren Jew ©Tourism and Events Qld

Take your canoe and kayak for a majestic paddle along the edge of the lake. Photo credit: © Tourism Tropical North Qld

Walking tracks through the rainforest provide secluded forest-fringed views of the lake. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

About Crater Lakes

    Park features

    Crater Lakes National Park comprises two separate sections—Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. Each is centred around a volcanic crater lake called a maar. Maars are formed from an explosive process when confined water becomes super-heated by rising magma. These clear, blue lakes are 65m deep and surrounded by lush rainforest.

    Crater Lakes National Park is a popular stop for visitors. A walking track around each lake allows for forest-fringed, secluded views close to the water’s edge and excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife.

    At Lake Barrine, a pair of towering bull kauri pine trees, over 45m tall, are a feature of the park. Lake Barrine boat cruises operate from the privately-owned Lake Barrine Teahouse. The gentle boat trip gives a different perspective on the lake and its wildlife. The privately-owned teahouse offers meals with relaxed views over the water.

    Lake Eacham offers swimming, grassy picnic areas and shady walking tracks, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors to enjoy.

    Crater Lakes National Park is a part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and supports a wide range of flora and fauna. More than180 bird species have been recorded from the rainforest and you may be lucky enough to see one of the few species of marsupial active during daytime—the small musky rat-kangaroo.

    Looking after the park

    • Everything in the park, living or dead, is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
    • Camping, including sleeping in campervans and vehicles, is not permitted in Crater Lakes National Park.
    • Bins are not provided. You are responsible for your own rubbish. Take your rubbish with you.
    • Never feed wildlife, including fish, turtles, eels and birds. Human food can be harmful to wildlife and animals may become aggressive when fed. You may get bitten or scratched.
    • Fishing, including the use of lines, traps and nets, is prohibited in Crater Lakes National Park. Penalties apply.
    • Domestic animals are prohibited in national parks. Please leave your pets at home.
    • When cycling, stay on formed roads—bicycles are not permitted on walking tracks and boardwalks.

    See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

    Park management

    Lake Eacham and Lake Barrine were gazetted as national parks in 1934. In 1988 they were included within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, and in 1994, joined under the one name—Crater Lakes National Park.

    Crater Lakes National Park is managed on a day-to-day basis by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Management of the World Heritage area is coordinated through a partnership between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, the Traditional Owners and the wider community.

    The teahouse and gardens at Lake Barrine are on private land.

    Tourism information links

    Atherton Tableland Information Centre
    Corner Silo Road and Main Street, Atherton QLD 4883
    Phone: 1300 366 361

    Malanda Falls Visitor Information Centre
    132 Malanda-Atherton Road, Malanda QLD 4885
    Phone: (07) 4089 2583

    For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.