Palmer Goldfield Resources Reserve Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: Photo: Nick Smith © Qld Govt

Visiting Palmer Goldfield safely

    Access from the east is via Whites Creek Road. Photo: Queensland Government

    Access from the east is via Whites Creek Road. Photo: Queensland Government

    Dog Leg Crossing on the Palmer River. Photo: Queensland Government

    Dog Leg Crossing on the Palmer River. Photo: Queensland Government

    Tracks within the park are narrow and rough. Photo: Queensland Government

    Tracks within the park are narrow and rough. Photo: Queensland Government

    Views across the dry landscape of the park. Photo: Mick Cockburn, Queensland Government

    Views across the dry landscape of the park. Photo: Mick Cockburn, Queensland Government

    Getting there and getting around

    Map: Palmer Goldfield Resources Reserve (PDF, 984.1KB)

    Palmer Goldfield Resources Reserve is closed throughout the wet season every year from 1 December, reopening on Good Friday—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. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and with Department of Transport and Main Roads or Cook Shire Council for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.

    The reserve is 280km north-west of Cairns but the journey takes many hours by road. Access from the east is via the winding, undulating and unsealed Whites Creek Road. Turn off the Peninsula Developmental Road 67km north of Mount Carbine (17km south of the Palmer River Roadhouse)—allow three hours to travel the 71km to the reserve.

    Access is possible from the north via the very rough Old Maytown-Laura Road (‘old coach road’) from Laura. This is an extremely challenging four-wheel-drive track, only suitable for experienced drivers with appropriate recovery gear—allow six hours for this route.

    The park can also be accessed from the west via the Palmerville Road—check with Cook Shire Council for information about current conditions.

    There is current mining activity in the reserve, with numerous side tracks leading to mining leases—stay on tracks that are signposted or marked on the map and be alert for other vehicles and machinery in the area.

    This is a remote area. Tracks are rough and suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only. Travel is slow. Roads become impassable in the wetter months between October and April when flash flooding can occur and water can become scarce in the drier months. Check with Department of Transport and Main Roads for road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for updated weather reports.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities in this reserve.

    Staying safe

    • Be careful exploring the reserve. Stay on tracks as signposted and marked on the map and be alert for other vehicles and machinery in the area.
    • Beware of previously mined areas, where open and collapsed shafts are common.
    • Always supervise children.
    • Avoid dehydration—carry and drink plenty of drinking water.
    • Take spare parts for your vehicle.
    • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.

    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:

    • a first-aid kit
    • fresh water for drinking and washing
    • all the food you will require
    • all the fuel you will need for your vehicle, and essential spares and tools
    • a fuel stove
    • rubbish bags — bins are not provided
    • a shovel to bury human waste.

    Opening hours

    Palmer Goldfield Resources Reserve is closed throughout the wet season every year from 1 December, reopening on Good Friday—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. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and with Department of Transport and Main Roads or Cook Shire Council for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.

    Permits and fees

    Camping permits

    Camping permits are required and must be booked in advance. Fees apply. Your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

    Other permits

    Permits are required for commercial and some organised group activities. See park permits and policies for more information.

    Pets

    Domestic animals are not permitted in the reserve.

    Climate and weather

    The reserve is subject to flash flooding during the wetter months between December and April. Conditions can be extremely hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 42°C. In the winter months, from May to September, days are more pleasant and nights are cool. The Palmer and North Palmer rivers may be dry depending on the time of year you visit and annual rainfall, which can vary. For more information visit the Bureau of Meteorology or see the tourism information links.

    Fuel and supplies

    The closest fuel and supplies are at Mount Carbine and Palmer River Roadhouse, or Laura at the northern end of the Old Maytown-Laura Road. Larger towns are 192km south-west at Mossman and 193km north-east at Cooktown. For more information see the tourism information links.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.