Danbulla National Park and State Forest Tropical North Queensland

At Platypus day-use area enjoy a picnic in the shade of hoop pines beside Lake Tinaroo. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Lake Tinaroo is the heart of Danbulla National Park and State Forest. Photo credit: Karl Seelig © Tourism and Events Queensland

Be inspired: ‘Slow camping’ at Danbulla where families enjoy the ‘little things in life’

‘Because one day you will look back and realise they were big things’. Writer Kurt Vonnegut was so right. Time is fleeting and we wish we could ‘bonsai’ our kids, but before we know it, they’ve grown and flown. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © 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: Legendary fish, aquatic adrenaline and waterfront vistas—Danbulla offers all this and more!

Does the smell of sunscreen and insect spray evoke childhood memories of dangling a fishing line with Dad, bucket-washing the dishes with Mum and building a camp fire with your siblings? Photo credit: Karl Seelig © Tourism and Events Queensland

Be inspired: Queensland National Parks’ best-loved camping areas

We are truly a nation of coast dwellers, so when it comes to camping holidays, where do we head? To the water, of course! Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Platypus day-use area

Pack the esky and bring a shady marquee for a fun-filled day at this sheltered lakeside picnic area.

Accessible by

  • Conventional vehicle
  • Boat
  • Bicycle

Attraction facilities

  • Toilets (flush)
  • Wood-fired barbecue (BYO wood)
  • Picnic tables
  • Wheelchair access (may require assistance)

Head out on the water for a ski, or to see if you can hook one of the lake’s famous monster barras. Remember to chuck in a few redclaw pots to catch your lunch. If something a little more sedate is your style, slip a canoe or kayak onto the water and explore the nearby creeks, coves and bays.

Cook lunch on the wood-fired BBQ (BYO firewood) and enjoy a lakeside feast.

After a refreshing swim at the end of the day, settle back in your chair and watch the sunset colours splash across the sky.

Getting there and getting around

Platypus day-use area is in Danbulla State Forest, on the central part of the Atherton Tableland, 70km (1.5hrs) from Cairns.

  • The day-use area is 4km from the western entrance and 24km from the eastern entrance on Danbulla Road.
  • Most of Danbulla Road is unsealed but it is accessible to all vehicles.
  • You can also get to the day-use area by boat.

Getting to Danbulla

From the north (Kuranda Range, Rex Range, Mulligan Highway) to the western entrance

  • From Mareeba, travel 29km south on the Kennedy Highway to Tolga.
  • Turn left in the centre of Tolga onto Kairi Road, and follow it for 7km to the T-intersection at Kairi.
  • Turn left onto Irvine Street and follow it as it winds through Kairi and becomes Tinaroo Falls Dam Road.
  • See directions to boat ramps below.

From the west (Savannah Way) to the western entrance

  • From Atherton, follow the Gillies Highway east and turn left onto Tinaroo Falls Dam Road.
  • Travel for 10.8km to Kairi where the road becomes Irvine Street.
  • Follow Irvine Street as it winds through Kairi and again becomes Tinaroo Falls Dam Road.
  • See directions to boat ramps below.

From the south (Palmerston Highway) to the western entrance

  • From Yungaburra, follow the Gillies Highway west for 7km.
  • Turn right into Marks Lane and follow it for 2.6km to Tinaroo Falls Dam Road.
  • Turn right onto Tinaroo Falls Dam Road and follow it for 4.2 km to the T-intersection at Kairi.
  • Turn left onto Irvine Street and follow it as it winds through Kairi and becomes Tinaroo Falls Dam Road.
  • See directions to boat ramps below.

Boat ramp directions

To Black Gully Road boat ramp

  • Follow Tinaroo Falls Dam Road for 3.8km.
  • Turn right into Black Gully Road and drive to the boat ramp at the end.

To Church Street boat ramp

  • Follow Tinaroo Falls Dam Road for 6.4km to the Tinaroo township.
  • Turn right into Lamb Street and follow it to the end.
  • Turn right into Church Street and drive to the boat ramp at the end.

Wheelchair access

The day-use area picnic tables and car park are wheelchair accessible.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Platypus day-use area is open 24 hours a day

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

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Danbulla safely.