Lake Eacham, Crater Lakes National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Qld Govt

Visiting Lake Eacham safely

    Avoid stinging trees. Photo: Tamara Vallance, Queensland Government

    Be aware of stinging trees. Photo: Tamara Vallance.

    Take plenty of drinking water when walking. Photo: Peter Nieves, Queensland Government.

    Take plenty of drinking water when walking. Photo: Peter Nieves, Queensland Government.

    Getting there and getting around

    Lake Eacham is on the eastern part of the Atherton Tableland, about 68km or just over one hour's drive from Cairns via the Gillies Highway. The Atherton Tableland is also accessible via the Kennedy Highway from Cairns, the Palmerston Highway from Innisfail or the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road from Port Douglas.

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

    Wheelchair accessibility

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

    Staying safe

    • Please remain on the walking tracks and boardwalks when in the forest.
    • Users may encounter hazards such as exposed rocks and tree roots, obstacles and loose gravel that make the walking track unsuitable for jogging.
    • Take adequate water when walking and protect yourself from the sun.
    • Do not jump or dive from viewing decks, the pontoon, lake edge or overhanging vegetation.
    • Take note of safety signs and distance markers.
    • Be aware that stinging trees are found alongside the tracks. Never touch this plant as it may result in a painful sting. If you are stung, and symptoms are severe, seek medical attention.
    • Treat all water before drinking.
    • A freshwater crocodile is known to be present in Lake Eacham. No incidents have been reported in relation to this crocodile and humans.

      • Freshwater crocodiles are widespread across waterholes and rivers of Northern Australia. Unlike their much larger Australian relative the estuarine (or saltwater) crocodile, freshwater crocodiles are considered timid and very few incidents have been reported involving people.
      • Freshwater crocodiles can become aggressive and cause injury if disturbed. Do not approach or interfere with these animals and take care if swimming.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    To ensure you have an enjoyable visit please remember to bring:

    • drinking water
    • sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt to protect yourself from the sun.

    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 circuit track and the lake. This area is signposted. For your safety, visitors must remain on the formed walking track. Entry to the restricted access area is prohibited.

    Permits and fees

    Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.

    Pets

    Domestic animals are not permitted in Crater Lakes National Park.

    Climate and weather

    Lake Eacham lies 720m above sea level and the lower humidity and temperatures are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. Maximum summer temperatures are around 30°C while winter temperatures can fall below 10°C at night.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available in Yungaburra and other towns on the Atherton Tableland. For more information, see the tourism information links.