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Rainforest camping area

© John Augusteyn

Rainforest camping area

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access

Legend

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
World Heritage Area

Relish a peaceful night’s sleep amongst lush lowland rainforest beside the river, and enjoy rewarding birdwatching around your camp.

Park alerts
Rainforest camping area near the Claudie River offers a cool oasis.
Rainforest camping area near the Claudie River offers a cool oasis. Russel Edwards © Queensland Government
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Park Kutini Payamu
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Relax around your shady camp site in rainforest on the banks of the Claudie River at this popular camping area, suitable for high-clearance camper trailers as well as tents.

Indulge many happy hours wildlife spotting here. Sit quietly, and well back, from the river bank and spot the resident crocodile. Grab your binoculars and watch the many different birds of the rainforest. You may even see a cassowary! In the evenings, walk quietly and spotlight for common spotted cuscus and green pythons—listen for rustling leaves and look for eye shine. Later, swap stories around the camp fire.

Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) is jointly managed by the Northern Kuuku Ya'u Kanthanampu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC Land Trust and the Queensland Government.

At a glance

Camping layout: Separate numbered sites
Number of camp sites: 3
Site surface: dirt
Camp sites are suitable for: Tent camping beside car; camper trailer
Facilities: camp fires allowed generators allowed bins
Permits and fees: camping permits

Getting there and getting around

The Rainforest camping area is in Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL), about 200km north of Coen on Cape York Peninsula.

  • From the park entrance, drive 17.9km along Portland Roads Road to this camping area.
  • You can access the park from the south via the Peninsula Developmental Road or from the north via the challenging and unpredictable Frenchmans Track.
  • For both routes, you need a high clearance 4WD with recovery gear and extra supplies; and you need to be proficient in four-wheel driving.
  • On Frenchmans Track your vehicle also needs a snorkel; and you should be experienced in challenging 4WD conditions.
  • If you're towing a trailer, take the Peninsula Developmental Road route; neither route is suitable for towing caravans.
  • To book camping at the self-service booking facility at the ranger base, drive 14km along Portland Roads Road and turn right into Lockhart River Road. The ranger base is 2.5km along this road.
  • Alcohol restrictions are in place in many of Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and apply to the towns and areas around Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL). For the latest information on restrictions, see Community alcohol limits. The camping areas in the park are outside the alcohol restriction zone.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Peninsula Developmental Road

  • Turn off the Peninsula Developmental Road onto Portland Roads Road, 35km north of the Archer River Roadhouse (175km south-west of Weipa), and drive 83km along this well-formed gravel road to the park entrance.

Frenchmans Track

  • Turn off the Telegraph Road onto Frenchmans Track, 22km south of Moreton Telegraph Station, and drive 52km to the intersection with Portland Roads Road, then turn left onto Portland Roads Road and travel a further 13km to the park entrance.

Road conditions

  • Roads and camping areas within the park are not suitable for caravans.
  • See traffic and travel information for road and travel conditions.
  • Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Parking

Park next to your camp site.

Fuel and supplies

Food, fuel and mechanical services are available at Lockhart River, 10.5km from the intersection of Portland Roads Road and Lockhart River Road.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

Rainforest camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Seasonal closures

The park may be closed during the summer wet months.

Climate and weather

Cape York Peninsula has a tropical climate. During the wetter months (December to April), the area can be deluged by heavy monsoonal rains and roads can become impassable for extended periods, preventing access to the park. The best time to visit is during the drier months of May to November. Extremes of climatic and seasonal variations prevail. Winter temperatures can drop below 10°C and summer temperatures can soar above 40°C. Daily variation at any time of the year seldom exceeds 15°C. The weather from October to November can be very hot and thunderstorms are common.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.

Pets

Domestic animals are not allowed here.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

None. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

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.

Be prepared

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
  • Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

Open fires

  • Open fires are allowed in existing fire places.
  • Read camp with care for tips on camping safely and camping softly.

Rubbish

  • Take all your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • There is a rubbish pit on Portland Roads Road, near the turn off to Chilli Beach.

Drinking water

  • Collect bore water from the roadside tank about 1km from Chilli Beach or from the tap at the Iron Range ranger base.
  • Treat all water before use.

Dump point

  • If you're in areas without toilets, move well away from camp sites, walking tracks and creeks, and use a trowel to bury waste at least 15cm deep. Bag all personal hygiene products including disposable nappies and take them away for appropriate disposal in rubbish bins.
  • If you're using a portable toilet, the nearest dump points are in Coen and Cooktown.

Camping

  • You can book up to six months in advance, and stay for up to 21 nights.
  • During peak periods (school holidays) the camping areas are fully booked. Do not travel to the park without a booking during these times.
  • Generators can be used between 8am and 7pm, and must not exceed 65dB(A) at a distance of 7m.
  • Be croc-wise in croc country.
  • Read camp with care for tips on camping safely and camping softly.

Walking

  • Stay on the tracks as this will keep you clear of the disused mine shafts that are scattered throughout the park.
  • Avoid stinging trees. These plants are found at rainforest edges, growing up to 4m high. They have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Touching any part of the plant results in a very painful sting. If symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Spotlighting

  • Try to keep your bulb wattage to 30 or less. This will increase the chance of finding animals (by not warning them) and will extend your viewing time.
  • Use a white light to explore the forest then add a red or orange filter (cellophane works) to view wildlife.
  • Bring your binoculars to get a good view.
  • Be quiet and keep your lights off nesting birds.
Last updated: 22 March 2018
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