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

Step back in time and explore the historically significant Old Laura Homestead. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

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

Old Laura Homestead

Step back in time and immerse yourself in one of the park's most fascinating and historically-significant periods.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Wander through the homestead and read about Fergus O'Beirne, a young Irish immigrant who bought the Laura Station lease (12,800ha) in 1879 for just over £8. By 1894 he had over 8000 head of cattle—the success due largely to the contribution of the Aboriginal workers.

When Patrick Bernard and David Grogan took over the lease in 1925, they improved and added to the homestead and outbuildings. The Lakefield Cattle Company purchased the Laura and Lakefield properties in 1966, but abandoned Old Laura Homestead in favour of New Laura, 24km north. The homestead fell into disrepair.

In 1978, the Queensland Government purchased both stations and volunteers restored the homestead and the outbuildings, which are now recognised on the Queensland Heritage Register.

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

Getting there and getting around

Old Laura Homestead 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 historic site is near the junction of Lakefield and Battle Camp roads at the southern entrance to the park.
  • You need a 4WD to access the park.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

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 north to the Old Laura Homestead.

From Battle Camp Road

  • Drive 85km west from Cooktown along Battle Camp Road to the park's eastern boundary.
  • Continue 26km through the park along Battle Camp Road to the Old Laura Homestead.

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 129km through the park, past the Lakefield ranger base, to the Old Laura Homestead.

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

Old Laura Homestead 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.