Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) Tropical North Queensland

Choose an exposed camp site just behind Chilli Beach for a (windy) coastal camping experience! Photo credit: Gary Featonby © Queensland Government

Long sweeping beaches, lowland tropical rainforest and heath-covered ranges are features of Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL). Photo credit: © John Augusteyn

Chilli Beach camping area

Nestle down behind the coastal dunes, sheltered from sea breezes, and enjoy fishing and birdwatching in this popular beachside escape.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Campground facilities

  • Campfires allowed (conditions apply)
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Tent camping
  • Camper trailer camping
  • Tent camping beside car
  • Walking
  • Scenic drive
  • Fishing

Relax around your camp site tucked behind the sand dunes. Watch seabirds soaring overhead and, from September to April, enjoy the spectacle of metallic starlings flocking offshore. You’ll even see black palm cockatoos foraging around the camp sites. At night, spotlight for owls, Australian owlet-nightjars and Papuan frogmouths, as well as snakes, frogs, giant tree geckos, spotted cuscuses, striped possums and sugar gliders. The list is impressive!

Take a stroll on the Chilli Beach forest walk or beachcomb along the spectacular stretches of white quartz sand. Launch your boat from the beach or cast a line from the shore then cook fresh fish over the camp fire.

Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) is jointly managed by the Northern Kuuku Ya'u Kanthanampu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC Land Trust and the Queensland Government.

Getting there and getting around

The Chilli Beach camping area is in Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL), about 200km north of Coen on Cape York Peninsula.

  • From the park entrance, drive 36.9km along Portland Roads Road to the Chilli Beach turn-off, then a further 6km to the camping area.
  • You can access the park from the south via the Peninsula Developmental Road or from the north via the challenging and unpredictable Frenchmans Track.
  • For both routes, you need a high clearance 4WD with recovery gear and extra supplies; and you need to be proficient in four-wheel driving.
  • On Frenchmans Track your vehicle also needs a snorkel; and you should be experienced in challenging 4WD conditions.
  • If you're towing a trailer, take the Peninsula Developmental Road route; neither route is suitable for towing caravans.
  • To book camping at the self-service booking facility at the ranger base, drive 14km along Portland Roads Road and turn right into Lockhart River Road. The ranger base is 2.5km along this road.
  • Alcohol restrictions are in place in many of Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and apply to the towns and areas around Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL). For the latest information on restrictions, see Community alcohol limits. The camping areas in the park are outside the alcohol restriction zone.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Peninsula Developmental Road

  • Turn off the Peninsula Developmental Road onto Portland Roads Road, 35km north of the Archer River Roadhouse (175km south-west of Weipa), and drive 83km along this well-formed gravel road to the park entrance.

Frenchmans track

  • Turn off the Telegraph Road onto Frenchmans Track, 22km south of Moreton Telegraph Station, and drive 52km to the intersection with Portland Roads Road, then turn left onto Portland Roads Road and travel a further 13km to the park entrance.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Chilli Beach camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

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

Seasonal closures

The park may be closed during the wetter summer months.

Site eight at Chilli Beach camping area. Photo: Gary Featonby, Queensland Government.

Site eight at Chilli Beach camping area. Photo: Gary Featonby, Queensland Government.

Sites 21 and 22 at Chilli Beach camping area. Photo: Gary Featonby, Queensland Government.

Sites 21 and 22 at Chilli Beach camping area. Photo: Gary Featonby, Queensland Government.

Features: located behind the dunes and fringing coastal vegetation, including coconut palms, this popular camping area offers beach walking and fishing opportunities. Avoid camping and sitting under trees laden with coconuts.

Location: near the north-east boundary of the park on the coast. Follow Portland Roads Road to the Chilli Beach turn-off.

Map: Chilli Beach camping area map (PDF, 198.8KB)

Access: the camping area can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicles only.

Number of sites: 25 numbered sites. Camp sites are very popular during peak periods. Campers should plan their visit and obtain an e-permit well in advance.

SiteMaximum vehiclesMaximum peopleSite dimensionsComments
1One car and trailer.610m x 10mShady; sheltered from wind.
2One car and trailer.69m x 10mShady; sheltered from wind.
3Two cars and trailers.129m x 10mShady; sheltered from wind.
4One car and trailer.69m x 10mShady; sheltered from wind.
5One car and trailer.68m x 9mShady; sheltered from wind.
6One car and trailer.67m x 9mShady; sheltered from wind.
7One car and trailer.67m x 9mShady; sheltered from wind.
8One car and trailer.67m x 9mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.
9One car and trailer.68m x 10mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.
10Two cars and trailers.1213m x 15mShady; sheltered from wind.
11One car and trailer.610m x 10mPartial afternoon shade; exposed to wind.
12Two cars and trailers.1213m x 15mPartial afternoon shade; exposed to wind.
13One car and trailer.610m x 10mPartial afternoon shade; exposed to wind.
14Two cars and trailers.1213m x 15mPartial afternoon shade; exposed to wind.
15One car and trailer.610m x 10mPartial afternoon shade; exposed to wind.
16One car and trailer.68m x 9mPartial afternoon shade; partial shelter from wind.
17Two cars and trailers.1212m x 18mPartial afternoon shade; exposed to wind.
18One car and trailer.69m x 10mPartial afternoon shade; partial shelter from wind.
19One car and trailer.69m x 10mShady; sheltered from wind.
20Two cars and trailers.1215m x 15mShady; sheltered from wind.
21One car and trailer.68m x 9mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.
22Two cars and trailers.1212m x 18mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.
23One car and trailer.69m x 12mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.
24One car and trailer.66m x 18mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.
25One car and trailer.68m x 13mPartial shade; partial shelter from wind.

Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping beside your car or camper trailers.

Camp site surface: sand.

Facilities: hybrid toilets.

Open fires: allowed (except when fire bans apply) in existing fireplaces only. Fuel stoves recommended.

Generators: prohibited.

Essentials to bring: adequate food and drinking water, equipment for treating water, rubbish bags, insect repellent, screened tents or mosquito nets, a fuel stove and adequate fuel and spare parts for your vehicle. Read more about before you visit.

Bookings: book online, over-the-counter, at a self-service kiosk or by phone prior to arrival. Camp sites are very popular during peak periods. Campers should plan their visit and obtain an e-permit well in advance.

Mobile phone coverage: poor—there is limited coverage on the beach.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) safely and camp with care.

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.