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

Your camp site overlooks a scenic, permanent waterhole. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

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

Kennedy Bend camping area

Ideal for an overnight stopover, this roadside camping area has views over a gentle bend in the Kennedy River.

Accessible by

  • 4WD

Campground facilities

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

Flanked by the road and a long waterhole on the Kennedy River, this shady camping area is a must for keen fishers and a pleasant rest stop after a dusty day on the road.

Camp sites two and three have manual boat launching (no trailers) but it’s just as easy to flick lures from anywhere along the bank. Keep an eye out for the very big resident croc!

At night, sit around the camp fire, pondering the day that has been and planning for tomorrow. You’ll fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the Rinyirru night, and be ready in the morning for another day in the park.

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

Getting there and getting around

Kennedy Bend 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 of Lakefield ranger base, on the eastern bank of the Kennedy 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 34km through the park, past the New Laura ranger base, and turn left at the Kennedy Bend turn-off.
  • The camping area is just off Lakefield Road.

From Battle Camp Road

  • Drive 85km west from Cooktown along Battle Camp Road to the park's eastern boundary.
  • Continue 59km through the park and turn right at the Lakefield Road intersection.
  • Drive north for 8km and turn left at the Kennedy Bend turn-off.
  • The camping area is just off of Lakefield Road.

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 95km south through the park, past the Lakefield ranger base and turn right at the Kennedy Bend turn-off.
  • The camping area is just off Lakefield 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.

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 Kennedy Bend camping area. Photo: Queensland Government.

Camp site one at Kennedy Bend camping area. Photo: Queensland Government.

Camping area features

Adjacent to a permanent waterhole on the steep eastern bank of the Kennedy River beside the main road, making it more suited to overnight stops than extended stays. Large crocodiles are frequently seen here—be croc wise in croc country.

  • Location: southern part of the park on the eastern bank of the Kennedy River directly to the west of Lakefield Road—by road, 8km north of New Laura ranger base and 25km south of Lakefield ranger base.
  • Map: Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) southern camping areas map (PDF, 139.2KB)
  • Access: the camping area can be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicle only. It is not accessible for caravans, campervans or buses. The road becomes impassable after rain.
  • Boat launching: manual launching (no trailer access) from sites 2–4 only.
  • Number of sites: four numbered sites
SiteCamp size
1Maximum 2 cars and trailers (6 people).
2Maximum 2 cars and trailers (6 people).
3Maximum 5 cars and trailers (15 people).
4Maximum 2 cars and trailers (6 people).
  • Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping beside your car and camper trailers.
  • Camp site surface: dirt and grass (seasonal).
  • Shade: all sites have part shade.
  • Facilities: nil.
  • Open fires: allowed (except when fire bans apply). 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, over-the-counter, at a self-service kiosk 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.