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

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

Camping in Rinyirru (Lakefield)

All camping in Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) must be booked in advance prior to arrival. Campers must purchase an e-permit before arriving at the camping areas. Self-registration is not available and there is no mobile phone coverage on site (there is limited mobile phone coverage near the New Laura ranger base).

Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) offers numerous camping opportunities, ranging from secluded sites near scenic waterholes to large camping areas at major river crossings. Campers must be self-sufficient in this remote area as fuel, supplies and first aid are not readily available. Total self-sufficiency in food, water, equipment for treating water, fuel and vehicle spare parts is essential.

The maximum length of stay at all camping areas is 21 consecutive nights and bookings can be made up to six months in advance. The roads and camping areas within Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) are not suitable for caravans, campervans or buses.

Campers should book early to avoid disappointment—many camping areas are very popular. Bookings can be made up to six months in advance. The use of online bookings and e-permits will manage this demand sustainably.

Permits and fees

QPWS provides self-service kiosk camping permit booking facilities at Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) and Heathlands Regional Park ranger bases as well as QPWS Coen and Cooktown offices. Credit card and camping credits are accepted but no cash facilities are available.

Maps

Generators

The use of generators is permitted in all camping areas in the park except Kalpowar Crossing. Generators must only be operated at less than 65dB(A), when measured 7m from the generator, and only between 8.00am and 7.00pm.

Camp fires

Camp fires are allowed, except when fire bans apply. Fire rings should be used when provided. Do not collect firewood in the national park. Always put the fire out with water when you leave your camp site and obey fire restrictions and directions from rangers.

Wildlife

All Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) camping areas are close to creeks, rivers, swamps and waterholes. Estuarine crocodiles occur in these areas—always be croc wise in croc country.

Other native animals often patrol the camping areas and waterways for food scraps. Keep food and rubbish secure at all times and do not feed wildlife—it can affect their health and cause unnatural population increases and aggressive behaviour.

Read more about staying safe and looking after the park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Laura and along the Peninsula Development Road. For more information see the tourism information links.

Alka Bawar (Kalpowar) Aboriginal Corporation manages camping within the Kalpowar Aboriginal Land. For information regarding camping at Bathurst Head and Marrett River please visit the Alka Bawar (Kalpowar) Aboriginal Corporation website.

Park-specific conditions

Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL)) is closed throughout the wet season every year.

All camping areas south of Lakefield ranger base are closed from 1 December to 31 May. These camping areas include Dingo Waterhole, Horseshoe Lagoon, Kalpowar Crossing, Kennedy Bend, Mick Fienn Waterhole, Old Faithful Waterhole, Old Laura Homestead, Six Mile Waterhole, Twelve Mile and Welcome Waterhole.

All camping areas north of Lakefield ranger base are closed from 1 December to 30 June. These camping areas include: Sweetwater Lake, Annie River, Five Mile Creek, Saltwater Crossing, Bizant River, Brown Creek, Basin Hole, Top Whiphandle Waterhole, Bottom Whiphandle Waterhole, Orange Plain Waterhole, Hann Crossing, Hanush's Waterhole, Melaleuca Waterhole and Midway Waterhole.

These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions and camping areas and roads may also be closed after heavy rain.

Check park alerts and Queensland Traffic or Cook Shire Council for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.

  • Find your piece of paradise at the northern-most camping area in the park, sitting high on the banks of the beautiful Annie River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Set up camp high above Jam Tin Creek and spend your days fishing, exploring and soaking up the peace and solitude.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Camp under the stars above the Bizant River and explore the natural riches of the rivers and Princess Charlotte Bay.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Escape and unwind at this remote camping area sitting high on a ridge near the mighty Normanby River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Make this camping area your Rinyirru base, high on a bank at the junction of Brown Creek and the Bizant River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Soak up the solitude at this peaceful camp site on the banks of a deep and permanent waterhole on the Normanby River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Unwind and relax in this shady camping area, high on the bank overlooking tidal Five Mile Creek and close to Annie River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Hann Crossing camping area is located on the North Kennedy River, not the Hann River (which joins the North Kennedy River downstream). There are camp sites along both the eastern…

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • Toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • With plenty of space and three adjoining sites, this centrally-located camping area is perfect for groups travelling together.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • If birdwatching is one of your passions, be sure to book in at this peaceful lagoon, fringed by freshwater mangroves.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • This well-appointed and popular camping area is sprawled along an 8km stretch of permanent waterholes on the Normanby River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • Toilets
    • Showers
    • No barbecue
    • Picnic tables
    • Wheelchair access (may require assistance)
    • No generators allowed
    • No dogs permitted
  • Ideal for an overnight stopover, this roadside camping area has views over a gentle bend in the Kennedy River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Prized as one of the park's top fishing spots, take your pick from four secluded camp sites along this large and permanent waterhole.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Take your pick from this group of camp sites scattered along the beautiful Normanby River in the central area of the park.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • This centrally-located camping area is considered one of the best fishing spots in the park ... and you can have it all to yourself!

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Relax at this shady and peaceful camping area, sprawled along a deep waterhole on the Normanby River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Close to the Laura River, this camping area in the southern part of the park is a great place to overnight after a dusty day on the road.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Scattered along a large waterhole on the Normanby River, these camp sites are a fisher’s delight.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Set up camp under a canopy of delicate freshwater mangrove flowers on either side of beautiful Saltwater Creek.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Seven Mile camping area is adjacent to a large waterhole on the banks of the North Kennedy River, this spot is ideal for fishing.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Camp beside this large waterhole on the Laura River and explore the feature-packed southern part of the park.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • No camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • This secluded camping area, close to the northern entrance of the park, is a beautiful place to spend a few days.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Stay for a few relaxing days at this quiet and shady oasis on a shallow section of the mighty Normanby River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Choose from a variety of shady camp sites overlooking this secluded lagoon on the Normanby River.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • Camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted
  • Set yourself up on this shady flat overlooking the Normanby River and birdwatch in the nearby swamps and lagoons.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • No camper trailer camping
    • Campfires allowed
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
    • No dogs permitted