Crater Lakes National Park Tropical North Queensland

Lake Eacham day-use area. Photo credit: Michael Petersen © Queensland Government

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

Be inspired: Chasing volcanoes (and waterfalls) in the tropical north

They say ‘don’t go chasing waterfalls’ but we suggest you do, and volcanoes too! Photo credit: Steven Nowakowski © Queensland Government

Be inspired: Grab your boots and adventure outdoors—7 short walks around Cairns and Townsville

‘These boots are made for walkin’ and that’s just what they’ll do…’ If you like the sound of rambling through ancient rainforests, wandering along palm-fringed beaches and clambering around tropical islands, not to mention, spotting awesome wildlife, read on! Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Queensland Government

Lake Eacham day-use area

A clear, blue lake surrounded by cool rainforest, Lake Eacham offers swimming, birdwatching, canoeing, picnic areas and shady walking tracks. It is a popular recreation area for locals and visitors.

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle

Attraction facilities

  • Electric/fuel barbecue (free of charge)
  • Lookout (natural and constructed)
  • Picnic tables (some sheltered)
  • Toilets (flush)
  • Wheelchair access (may require assistance)

Enjoy a cool dip or snorkel along the edges of this clear, blue volcanic lake surrounded by lush rainforest. Bring your kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board to further explore this stunning lake. Steps, ramps and ladders provide easy access to the water and two viewing decks offer uninterrupted views of the lake and its inhabitants.

Picnic tables, shelters, toilets and barbecues are scattered across the day-use area, providing plenty of space for a relax with family and friends.

Wildlife is abundant in and around Lake Eacham and several species are endemic to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Saw-shelled turtles and eastern water dragons are common lake residents while over 180 bird species have been recorded. Musky rat-kangaroos are active during the day and are often seen from the walking track.

Walking tracks through the rainforest provide secluded forest-fringed views of the lake and excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife. Remember, feeding the wildlife is prohibited and everything within Crater Lakes National Park is protected.

Visit the Rainforest Display Centre at the Trees for the Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands (TREAT) Visitor Centre on McLeish Road. The display describes the clearing of tropical rainforest for timber and agriculture and the partial restoration of the rainforest today—particularly in linking isolated fragments. The visitor centre is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm.

Getting there and getting around

Lake Eacham day-use area is in the Lake Eacham section of Crater Lakes National Park, about 68km drive up the Gillies Range from Cairns.

Access roads are sealed and suitable for conventional vehicles.

  • From Cairns, drive approximately 68km up Gillies Range Road, turn left on Lake Barrine Road and then left into Lakes Drive. Alternatively, drive approximately 4km from Yungaburra township along the Gillies Range Road, turn right into Lake Barrine Road and then left into Lakes Drive.
  • There are multiple parking areas in the day-use area.

There is a restricted access area   (PDF, 186.6KB) between a section of the Lake Eacham circuit track and the lake. For your safety, visitors must remain on the formed walking track. Entry to the restricted access area is prohibited.

Wheelchair access

The Lake Eacham toilets and some tracks and boardwalks are wheelchair-accessible with assistance.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Lake Eacham is open 24 hours a day.

There is a restricted access area (PDF, 186.6KB) between a section of the Lake Eacham circuit track and the lake. For your safety, visitors must remain on the formed walking track. Entry to the restricted access area is prohibited.

Visit the Rainforest Display Centre at the Trees for the Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands (TREAT) Visitor Centre on McLeish Road, Lake Eacham, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Crater Lakes safely.