Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Magnificent weeping paperbarks line the river at Kalpower crossing. 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

Horseshoe Lagoon day-use area

Treasured as a birder's paradise, this peaceful lagoon is home to a vibrant mix of waterbirds ... and estuarine crocodiles.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Attraction facilities

  • Lookout (natural)

Find the perfect vantage point for birdwatching at this picnic area overlooking the freshwater mangrove-lined waterhole.

Search for brolgas and sarus cranes strutting through the shallow water and marvel at the flocks of ducks crowding the banks—how many different types can you see? Stately and distinctive magpie geese gather and feed in the reeds and sedges, honking back and forth. Look for the red bobbing head of comb-crested jacanas striding across lily pads.

Don’t just look for birds though, keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles, often seen basking on the water’s surface.

Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) is jointly managed by the Rinyirru (Lakefield) Aboriginal Corporation and the Queensland Government.

Getting there and getting around

The Horseshoe Lagoon day-use area is in the southern part of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), 340km north-west of Cairns, and 140km west of Cooktown, on southern Cape York Peninsula.

  • This day-use area is near the battle camp entrance in the south-eastern corner of the park.
  • You need a 4WD to access the park and day-use area.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

From Battle Camp Road

  • Drive 85km west from Cooktown along Battle Camp Road to the park's eastern boundary.
  • Continue 6km into the park and turn right at the Welcome Waterhole turn-off.
  • Drive 2km and take the left-hand track to the day-use area.

From the south

  • Drive 2km north past Laura on the Peninsula Developmental Road and take the Lakefield turn-off.
  • Drive 25km to the park.
  • Continue 1km and turn right into Battle Camp Road.
  • Drive 20km and turn left at the Welcome Waterhole turn-off.
  • Continue 2km and take the left-hand track to the day-use area.

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Horseshoe Lagoon day-use area is open 24 hours a day

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

Seasonal closures

Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) is closed throughout the wet season every year.

  • Camping areas south of Lakefield ranger base are closed from 1 December to 31 May.
  • Camping areas north of the Lakefield ranger base are closed from 1 December to 30 June.
  • These dates vary each year depending on weather and road conditions.
  • Refer to the park map for location of the Lakefield ranger base and camping areas.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Rinyirru (Lakefield) safely.