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

Red lotus lilies carpet picturesque Red Lily Lagoon. Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

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

Red Lily Lagoon

Enjoy close-up views of dainty waterbirds and the spectacular pink lotus-lilies that carpet this pretty lagoon.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Attraction facilities

  • Lookout (constructed)
  • Wheelchair access (may require assistance)

Stroll along a shady path flanked by slender paperbarks and onto the viewing platform extending into the middle of the floral display. The dazzling show of vibrant pink petals and thick yellow stamens will take your breath away.

For the ultimate birdwatching experience, visit the lagoon in the early morning or late afternoon. You'll see magpie geese and comb-crested jacanas fossicking for food in the lagoon's waters and elegant brolgas and sarus cranes striding through the lilies.

When you’ve had your fill, head straight across the road to see the contrasting display in White Lily Lagoon.

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

Getting there and getting around

Red Lily Lagoon 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.

  • Red Lily Lagoon is north of Lakefield ranger base.
  • You need a 4WD to access the park.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

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 64km through the park and turn left at the Red Lily Lagoon turn-off.

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 68km through the park, past the Lakefield ranger base, and turn right at the Red Lily Lagoon turn-off.

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 8km north and turn right at the Red Lily Lagoon turn-off.

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

The boardwalk and viewing area are wheelchair-accessible.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Red Lily Lagoon 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 (PDF, 510.3KB) for location of the Lakefield ranger base and camping areas.

Visiting safely

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