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

Birdlife is abundant around the waterhole. Photo credit: © Queensland Government

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

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Explore the landscapes and legends of Cape York Peninsula, one of Australia’s ‘last frontiers’, on a 4WD wilderness adventure of a lifetime! Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Midway Waterhole camping area

This centrally-located camping area is considered one of the best fishing spots in the park ... and you can have it all to yourself!

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.

Set up camp under the tall, shady trees right on the bank of this large, permanent waterhole on the mighty Normanby River.

Enjoy the peace and solitude of the area and spend your days relaxing under the trees and fishing in the waterhole. You can launch a boat or just flick lures from the bank.

Spend a day or two exploring the nearby park. Red Lily and White Lily lagoons and Catfish Waterhole aren’t too far away and there’s heaps of other sites within an easy drive.

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

Getting there and getting around

Midway 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 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 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 66.5km south through the park and turn left at the Midway Waterhole turn-off.
  • Drive 4km north to the camping area.

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 65.5km north through the park, past the Lakefield ranger base, and turn right at the Midway Waterhole turn-off.
  • Driver 4km north to the camping area.

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 at the Lakefield Road intersection.
  • Drive 5.5km north and turn right at the Midway Waterhole turn-off .
  • The camping area is 4km along this 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 Midway Waterhole camping area.

Camp site one at Midway Waterhole camping area.

Photo credit: Queensland Government

Camping area features

Adjacent to a large permanent waterhole on the steep western bank of the Normanby River, this spot is ideal for fishing. 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, 4km west of Lakefield Road—by road, the turn-off is 5.5km north-west of Lakefield ranger base and 22.5km south-east of Hann Crossing.
  • Map: Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL) central camping areas map (PDF, 273.2KB)
  • Access: the camping area can be 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).
  • Number of sites: one numbered site—maximum two cars and trailers (six people).
  • Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping beside your car and camper trailers
  • Camp site surface: dirt, rock and sand.
  • Shade: full 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 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.