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

Magnificent weeping paperbarks line the river at Kalpower crossing. Photo credit: © John Augusteyn

Low Lake (Rarda-Ndolphin)

This stunning lake is prized by birders and is an important cultural site for the Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Attraction facilities

  • Lookout (natural)

Low Lake is a beautiful, shallow lake blanketed by colourful lilies and alive with birdlife. Just off the main road, it’s well worth stopping to see the striking floral display and energetic waterbirds. If you can, visit in the early hours of the morning or late in the afternoon when the birds are active and the lighting is just right.

The Awu-Laya and Lama Lama Aboriginal people know this lake as Rarda-Ndolphin—a name derived from their two languages. This sharing reflects the strong link between these family groups, who have been a part of this country for thousands of years.

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

Getting there and getting around

NOTE: A seasonal closure is currently in place for Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL). Access to the park is prohibited and on-the-spot fines apply. Please monitor park alerts to keep up-to-date with the latest information on reopening dates.

Low Lake is in the northern part of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), 340km north-west of Cairns, and 140km west of Cooktown, on southern Cape York Peninsula.

From the north

  • Take the Lakefield turn-off at the Musgrave Roadhouse on the Peninsula Developmental Road and drive 38km east on Marina Plains Road to the park.
  • Continue about 15km into the park to Saltwater Crossing then turn right at the Low Lake turn-off.
  • The lake is 4km along this road.

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 117km north through the park, past the Lakefield ranger base, and turn left at the Low Lake turn-off.
  • The lake is 4km along this road.

From Cape Melville

  • Drive 70km from Wakooka in Cape Melville National Park to Kalpowar on the eastern boundary of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL).
  • Continue 1km and turn right onto Lakefield Road.
  • Drive 57km north and turn left at the Low Lake turn-off.
  • The lake is 4km along this road.

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

Low Lake (Rarda-Ndolphin) 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.