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

Explore the Normanby River by boat. Photo credit: Doug Davidson © Queensland Government

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

Dingo Waterhole camping area

Soak up the solitude at this peaceful camp site on the banks of a deep and permanent waterhole on the Normanby River.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Camping area facilities

  • Campfires allowed (conditions apply)
  • Generators allowed (conditions apply)
  • Tent camping
  • Camper trailer camping
  • Tent camping beside car
  • Scenic drive
  • Boating
  • Fishing

The self-service kiosk at this park has been decommissioned.

Visitors need to book their camping permit before they visit. Book online, at an over-the-counter booking office or by phone.

Launch your boat manually at the camp site (no trailers) and spend days exploring the Normanby River and its tributaries. Try your luck at landing a barra to cook over the open fire, or creep around birdwatching and croc-spotting.

When it’s too hot to be on the water, jump in your car and explore other parts of the park—White Lily and Red Lily lagoons, Breeza Homestead and Catfish Waterhole are just up the road.

After a day in the park, sit back and watch the sunset colours splash across the sky and then swap yarns around the camp fire.

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

Getting there and getting around

Dingo Waterhole camping area is in the central part of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), 340km north-west of Cairns, and 140km west of Cooktown, on southern Cape York Peninsula.

  • This camping area is south-east of Lakefield ranger base, on the western bank of the Normanby River.
  • You need a 4WD to access the park and camping area.
  • 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 50km through the park, past the New Laura ranger base,
  • Turn right at the Dingo Waterhole turn-off and drive 9km east to the camping area.

From Battle Camp Road

  • Drive 85km west from Cooktown along Battle Camp Road to the park's eastern boundary.
  • Continue 75km through the park, past the New Laura ranger base.
  • Turn right and the Dingo Waterhole turn-off and drive 9km east to the camping area.

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 81km through the park, past to Lakefield ranger base.
  • Turn left at the Dingo Waterhole turn-off and drive 9km east to the camping 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.

Before you visit

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.
Camp site one at Dingo Waterhole camping area.

Camp site one at Dingo Waterhole camping area.

Photo credit: Queensland Government

Camping area features

Adjacent to a deep, permanent waterhole on the low (<1m high) western bank of the Normanby River. Large crocodiles are frequently seen here—be croc wise in croc country.

  • Location: central part of the park on the western bank of the Normanby River, 9km east of Lakefield Road—by road, the turn-off is 24km north of New Laura ranger base and 9km south of Lakefield ranger base.
  • Map: Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) central camping areas map (PDF, 273.2KB)
  • Access: the camping area can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle only and the access road crosses the Kennedy River. It is not accessible for caravans, campervans or buses. The road becomes impassable after rain.
  • Boat launching: manual launching (no trailer access).
  • Number of sites: one numbered site—maximum three cars and trailers (eight people).
  • Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping beside your car and camper trailers.
  • Camp site surface: dirt and grass (seasonal).
  • Shade: partial shade.
  • Facilities: individual and communal fire rings.
  • Open fires: allowed (except when fire bans apply) in fire rings only. Fuel stoves are recommended. Do not collect firewood in the park.
  • Generators: only generators operated at less than 65dB(A), when measured 7m from the generator, are permitted, and only between 8.00am and 7.00pm.
  • Essentials to bring: adequate food and drinking water, equipment for treating water, rubbish bags, insect repellent, mosquito nets, fuel stove and adequate fuel and spare parts for your vehicle. Read more about before you visit.
  • Bookings: book online or by phone prior to arrival. Bookings are essential and should be made well in advance for May to August and the September school holidays.
  • Mobile phone coverage: not available.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Rinyirru (Lakefield) safely and camp with care.