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

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

Things to do

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

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

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    There are four camping areas in the park: Rainforest, Cooks Hut, Gordon Creek and Chilli Beach camping areas. These are very popular during peak periods—campers should plan their visit and obtain an e-permit well in advance. Self-registration is not available. There is limited alternative accommodation around the park.

    Campers must be self-sufficient. The only facilities provided are toilets at Chilli Beach and Cooks Hut camping areas. Take plenty of drinking water—there is no fresh water available in the park. Roads and camp sites are not suitable for caravans.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply.

    Other accommodation

    There is limited accommodation available at Lockhart River and Portland Roads. For more information, see the tourism information links.

    The park offers many opportunities for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surrounds.

    Map: Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) map (PDF, 296.1KB)

    Walking

    There are several walking tracks in Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL).

    Old Coen track (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 10 km return
    Time: Allow 4–5 hrs walking time
    Details: Starting from the Rainforest camping area on the banks of the Claudie River, this walk follows the Old Coen track. Travel through rainforest and open woodland where birdwatching is excellent. Please advise someone of your planned route and return time. Arrange for a vehicle pick-up at the end of the track, on Portland Roads Road.

    Mount Tozer viewing platform (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 140 m return
    Time: Allow about 10 mins walking time
    Details: Starting at the Mount Tozer car park, walk the short distance to the viewing platform. Enjoy the scenic views of Mount Tozer and surrounding heath community. Signs are provided on the platform.

    Chilli Beach forest walk (Grade: easy)

    Distance: 720 m return
    Time: Allow about 10 min walking time
    Details: Starting at the entrance of the Chilli Beach camping area, this short walk travels through coastal dune and swamp vegetation. The track ends at the northern end of the camping area.

    Four-wheel driving

    Drive four-wheel-drives through Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) on the network of internal roads. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, cyclists, trail bikes and other vehicles.

    Vehicles are not permitted off-road or on internal roads and tracks that are closed for management purposes. Drivers must be licensed and vehicles must be road-registered. For more information, see four-wheel driving.

    Trail-bike riding

    Ride trail-bikes through Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) on the network of internal roads. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles.

    Trail-bikes are not permitted off-road or on internal roads and tracks that are closed for management purposes. Riders must be licensed and trail-bikes must be road-registered. Expect to share the roads and tracks with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles. For more information, see trail-bike riding.

    Views from the Mount Tozer viewing platform. Photo: John DeCampo, Queensland Government.

    Views from the Mount Tozer viewing platform. Photo: John DeCampo, Queensland Government.

    The day-use area at Chilli Beach. Photo: Gary Featonby, Queensland Government.

    The day-use area at Chilli Beach. Photo: Gary Featonby, Queensland Government.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    There is a day-use area towards the northern end of the Chilli Beach camping area with picnic tables and a nearby toilet block.

    Boating and fishing

    Fishing is not permitted in any freshwater rivers or creeks within the national park.

    Marine waters adjacent to Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) are internationally significant and are protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Zones in the two marine parks—the Great Barrier Reef Coast and Great Barrier Reef—provide a balanced approach to protecting the marine and intertidal environments while allowing recreational and commercial use. Check zoning information and maps before entering or conducting any activities in the marine parks.

    Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.

    Bicycling

    Cycle through Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) on the network of internal roads. Expect to share the roads with pedestrians, motorbikes, vehicles and other cyclists.

    Bicycles are not permitted off-road or on any of the walking tracks.

    For more information, see cycling.

    Palm cockatoos can sometimes be seen feeding on the ground around the camp sites. Photo: Daryn Storch.

    Palm cockatoos can sometimes be seen feeding on the ground around the camp sites. Photo: Daryn Storch.

    Viewing wildlife

    The park offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for seeing and hearing birds. See many coastal and seabird species at Chilli Beach, including pied oystercatchers, little terns and white-bellied sea-eagles. The spectacle of the metallic starlings flocking offshore from Chilli Beach can be seen during the warmer months from September to April. Palm cockatoos—large black parrots with distinctive crests and red cheeks—can sometimes be seen feeding on the ground around the camp sites. Double-eyed fig-parrots—small green parrots with pale grey beaks—may also be seen.

    Spotlighting at night around the road or camp sites at Chilli Beach may reward visitors with a glimpse of nocturnal birds, including owls, owlet-nightjars and Papuan frogmouths as well as snakes, frogs, giant tree geckos and mammals, such as spotted cuscuses, striped possums and sugar gliders. If planning a spotlighting trip, there are a few things that will make the experience memorable.

    • Keep bulb wattage to 30 or less. This will increase the chance of finding animals (by not warning them) and will extend viewing time.
    • Bring binoculars to get a good view.
    • Look for eye shine, listen for leaves rustling and inhale the smells.
    • Use a white light to explore the forest then add a red or orange filter (cellophane works) to view wildlife.
    • Remember that loud voices and sounds will scare away the wildlife and ruin the experience.
    • Lights should never be trained on nesting birds; this can cause them great distress.

    See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about the diverse wildlife in Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL).