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

The Chilli Beach forest walk winds through coastal dunes and wetlands beside Chilli Beach. Photo credit: © John Augusteyn

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

Be inspired: Chase the adventure of a lifetime on Cape York!

Explore the landscapes and legends of Cape York Peninsula, one of Australia’s ‘last frontiers’, on a 4WD wilderness adventure of a lifetime! Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Chilli Beach forest walk

Discover habitats teeming with bird and insect life as you explore open coastal dunes and swamp behind the beach.

Journey type
720m one way A path where the start point is different to the finish point
Time suggested
Allow about 20min walking time
Easy (walk)

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD

Journey facilities

  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Walking

From the entrance to the Chilli Beach camping area, stretch your legs on a short walk through coastal dune and swamp vegetation. Enjoy spotting many kinds of birds and insects among the branches of acacias and eucalypts along the track, which ends at the northern end of the camping area.

Between July and September, you're sure to see palm cockatoos. These sought-after birds are often encountered along the track (and in the camping area!) when acacias and callophyllums are seeding. At night, if you tread quietly, you may glimpse a green tree python or common spotted cuscus in your torch beam.

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 forest walk 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 drive a further 6km to the Chilli Beach camping area and the start of Beach forest walk.
  • 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.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Drinking water

  • Collect bore water from the roadside tank 1km from Chilli Beach or from a tap at the Iron Range ranger base.
  • Treat all water before use.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Chilli Beach forest walk is open 24 hours a day.

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

Seasonal closures

The park may be closed during the wetter summer months.

Visiting safely

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

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.