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Camping information

All camping must be booked

All camping in Oyala Thumotang National Park (CYPAL) must be booked in advance. Campers must purchase an e-permit before arriving at the camping area—self-registration is not available and there is no mobile phone coverage on site.

To obtain an e-permit, you can:

Making a camping booking may be difficult for campers who have not booked before arriving on the peninsula due to poor mobile phone and internet coverage. Recognising this, QPWS provides self-service camping permit booking kiosks at Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) and Heathlands Resources Reserve ranger bases as well as at QPWS Coen and Cooktown offices. Credit card and camping credits are accepted but no cash facilities are available.

The demand for camping on Cape York Peninsula parks and reserves is growing. The use of online bookings and e-permits will manage this demand sustainably.

Camping in Oyala Thumotang National Park (CYPAL)

Camp site at Horsetailer Waterhole. Photo: Queensland Government.

Camp site at Horsetailer Waterhole. Photo: Queensland Government.

Oyala Thumotang camping area incorporates 14 remote camp sites located throughout the park. These camp sites are set beside waterholes, lagoons and rivers. There are no facilities in the park.

Total self-sufficiency in food, water, equipment for treating water, fuel and vehicle spare parts is essential. It is recommended that visitors travel with another vehicle and have suitable vehicle recovery equipment on hand. Minimise your use of fresh water. Bury human waste (15cm deep) well away from waterholes.

Park-specific conditions

Oyala Thumotang National Park (CYPAL) is closed throughout the wet season every year from 1 December to 19 June (inclusive)—roads into and on the park become impassable for extended periods and are closed to public access. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and roads may also be closed after heavy rain.

The maximum length of stay is 21 consecutive nights and bookings can be made up to six months in advance, except for the camp sites at Vardons Lagoon, Governors Waterhole and Horsetailers Lagoon, which have a one month booking horizon.

Fires are allowed (except when fire bans apply) in existing fireplaces only. Do not collect firewood from the national park.

Read more about staying safe and looking after the park.

Oyala Thumotang camping area

Camping area features: 14 camp sites throughout the park with excellent birdwatching opportunities.

Location: camp sites are located beside waterholes, lagoons and rivers throughout the park.

Access: camp sites can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicles and off-road camper trailers only. Mango Lagoon 2 and Mango Lagoon 3 camp sites are tent only and cannot be accessed with a camper trailer.

Number of sites: 14

Langi section
Site name Camp size Other comments
Old Archer Crossing Maximum 3 cars and trailers (8 people). On the bank of the Archer River at the site of the old crossing. Good shade.
Jerry Lagoon Maximum 2 cars and trailers (6 people). In open woodland beside Jerry Lagoon.
Twin Lagoons 1 Maximum 3 cars and trailers (8 people). In open woodland beside the lagoon.
Twin Lagoons 2 Maximum 3 cars and trailers (8 people). In open woodland beside the lagoon.
10 Mile Junction Maximum 4 cars and trailers (12 people). Sandy site beside the Archer River.
Coen River section
Site name Camp size Other comments
Mango Lagoon 1 Maximum 3 cars and trailers (8 people). In open woodland beside Mango Lagoon.
Mango Lagoon 2 Maximum 3 cars (8 people). No trailers. In open woodland beside Mango Lagoon.
Mango Lagoon 3 Maximum 3 cars (8 people). No trailers. In open woodland beside Mango Lagoon.
First Coen River Maximum 3 cars and trailers (8 people). On the bank of the Coen River. Good shade.
Chong Swamp Maximum 2 cars and trailers (6 people). Cleared area beside Chong Swamp.
Second Coen River Maximum 6 cars and trailers (16 people). Cleared area beside the Coen River.
Vardons Lagoon Maximum 2 cars and trailers (6 people). Cleared area beside Vardons Lagoon.
Archer Bend section
Site name Camp size Other comments
Governors Waterhole Maximum 5 cars and trailers (12 people). In open woodland beside Governors Waterhole.
Horsetailer Waterhole Maximum 4 cars and trailers (10 people). On the bank of the Archer River. Good shade.

Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping beside your car and off-road camper trailers. Mango Lagoon 2 and Mango Lagoon 3 are tent only sites and cannot be accessed with a camper trailer.

Camp site surface: dirt, grass and sand.

Facilities: none.

Open fires: allowed (except when fire bans apply) in existing fireplaces only. Do not collect firewood from the park. Fuel stoves are recommended.

Generators: generators that operate at a noise level less than 65dB(A) at 7m are permitted.

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

Bookings: book online or learn about our camping booking options prior to arrival.

Mobile phone coverage: not available.

Last reviewed
23 October 2019
Last updated
22 May 2019