Visiting Russell River safely
Getting there and getting around
Turn off the Bruce Highway at Mirriwinni, 65km south of Cairns, and follow the road for 17km to Bramston Beach. Turn left into Sassafras Street and travel along the unsealed road for 5.5km to the entrance of Russell River National Park. From the park boundary, the unsealed road continues 1.4km to the mouth of the Bluemetal Creek. This road is bounded by the creek on one side and the beach on the other.
Access to the park is by four-wheel-drive vehicles only. This is due to very soft sand, narrow roads and tight turnarounds. Care should be taken on the sandy road within the park as passing cars may get bogged.
Trailers can be towed with care, however they can only camp in sites 1-3 due to camp site sizes and tight turnarounds. Caravans and motorhomes cannot access this camping area.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities in this park.
Be croc wise in croc country
Estuarine crocodiles may inhabit waterways in and around Russell River National Park. Crocodiles are potentially dangerous. Never take unnecessary risks in crocodile habitat. You are responsible for your own safety, so please follow these guidelines and be croc wise in croc country.
- Obey crocodile warning signs—they are there for your safety and protection.
- Never swim in water where crocodiles live even if there is no warning sign present.
- When fishing, always stand a few metres back from the water's edge and never stand on logs or branches overhanging the water.
- Never clean fish or discard fish scraps near the water's edge or at boat ramps.
- Never leave food scraps at your camp site and always check that previous campers have left no food scraps.
- Never prepare food, wash dishes or pursue any other activity near the water's edge or adjacent sloping banks.
- Never provoke, harass or interfere with crocodiles, even small ones.
- Be more aware of crocodiles at night and during their breeding season, September to April.
- Never feed crocodiles—it is illegal and dangerous.
General safety tips
Take some simple precautions to ensure a safe, enjoyable visit.
- Always carry water, wear hats, sunscreen and sturdy footwear.
- Be alert for wildfires.
- Stay clear of feral pigs—they can be dangerous if provoked.
Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. If you cannot avoid entering the water, a full-body Lycra suit, or equivalent, may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Remember to be croc wise in croc country. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first aid information.
Take care around cassowaries. These large birds are potentially dangerous. Stay well away from any cassowaries sighted and never feed them. Be cass-o-wary.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Before you visit
Plan your trip carefully, be self-sufficient and ensure your vehicle is in good condition.
Essentials to bring
- Carry enough food, water, equipment and other supplies for your trip.
- Pack a first-aid kit, water, sunscreen, insect repellent, sturdy shoes, hat and raincoat.
- Bring suitable clothing as temperatures in the area are around 32°C in summer and winter nights can be a little cool.
- Rubbish bins are not provided—bring rubbish bags, and take all recyclables and rubbish with you when you leave.
- Campers should bring a screened tent or mosquito nets for protection from insects at night.
- Bring a fuel or gas stove for cooking.
Russell River National Park is open 24-hrs every day.
Permits and fees
All camp sites in Russell River National Park require a camping permit and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
- Find out more about camping in Russell River National Park.
- Book your camp site online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
Special permits are required for commercial or organised activities. View permits and fees for further information.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Russell River National Park.
Climate and weather
This region has a tropical climate, with generally hot and humid summers, and milder, drier winters. Most rainfall occurs between January and March; monsoonal conditions bringing the possibility of thunderstorms and tropical cyclones.
Summer temperatures are around 32°C. Winter averages a more pleasant 25°C, but nights can be cool. Although you can visit the park all year round, the cooler, dry months of the year (from May to September) are the best times to visit.
For more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available nearby at Bramston Beach. For more information see the tourism information links.