Cape York National Parks
York national parks
are all different from each other.
are some of the largest in Australia.
Some cover tropical rainforests,
others cover savannah grasslands,
tropical woodlands, coastal headlands or tidal wetlands.
Some have some great long bushwalks,
others have only short walks or no
walking tracks at all. Some are well known and easy to access,
while others are remote
and well known only for locals.
known one is of course Daintree
National Park, which is actually not
always counted into Cape York national parks. But, you are likely to
drive through it
on your trip to the Cape.
It contains beautiful, lush, dense tropical rainforests, which you will
drive through. There are also a few bushwalks, but the whole park,
particularly the northern, Cape
Tribulation section, is quite
commercialised and crowded with tours and different accommodation
Bay National Park (Ngalba Bulal)
park up is Cedar
Bay. It is north of Bloomfield
and the famous Bloomfield
You see the sign next to the road between Ayton and Rossville. You
cannot drive into Cedar Bay, the only way to get to it is to walk, and
the walk is long - 17km.
There is a camping ground, but no facilities, so you have to be self
Mountain National Park
Cooktown is Black
Mountain National Park. It is along Mulligan Highway,
north of the turnoff to Wujal
Wujal and the Bloomfield Road.
It is a black mountain, consisting of large granite
boulders, which you can have a look at from the highway car park. There
are no bushwalks or camping.
Cook National Park
of Cooktown is Mount Cook National Park. It is one of the
Cape York national parks, and it protects Mount
There is a few hour walk to the top of the mountain, but there
is no camping in this park. The walk is quite a climb at times and
recommended for people with at least medium level of fitness.
River National Park
This national park is just north
of Cooktown, and it protects the mangrove
habitats of Endeavour River - the river of Cooktown. The most
animals in this kind of habitat are of course the deadly saltwater
crocodiles, so be careful.
There are no visitor facilities in this park, and a great way to
discover it is on a boat.
National Park (Rinyirru)
National Park is north-west of Cooktown, and it is the
one of all Cape York national parks. It
covers different habitats such as savannah grasslands, wetlands,
mudflats, floodplains... and has some excellent bird life such as the
There are also some great camping spots and walking tracks.
Melville National Park
of Lakefield, Cape
Melville National Park can be reached either from Lakefield
and Musgrave, or via a smaller track along the east coast that starts
from Battlecamp Road
and goes through Starcke National Park.
It is popular with locals for fishing
and long-time camping, but many Cape York travellers don't turn in
here. Like Black Mountain, the headland
consists of large granite boulders.
Kaanju National Park (Oyala Thumotang)
is one of the remoter
Cape York national parks, with an entrance from the Peninsula
north of Coen in central Cape York.
It mainly consists of savannah
woodlands, and can seem boring unless you love nature and want to take
time to discover the plants and animals. There is a 60km road in to the
camping spots, which are adjacent to some nice waterholes. There are no
bushwalking tracks in this park.
Range National Park (Kutini-Payamu)
Iron Range National Park
is on the eastern coast, and unlike Mungkan Kaanju it protects
rainforests. It is famous amongst nature lovers, known for its
vegetation from Gondwana
continent, and animals that Cape York only shares with New Guinea. It
is also very popular with bird watchers who come here to spot some rare
species seen nowhere else.
River National Park
is another huge one - one of the largest of all Cape York national
parks. It takes up the eastern side of the peninsula between Captain Billy Landing
in south and Jackey Jackey Creek in north. The vegetation is mostly
tropical savannah with blackboys and Zamia Palms. There are
some nice remote spots here such as Sadd
Point and Ussher
Note that from February 2012, all Cape
York national parks changed back
to the old pre-booking system. Self registration stations don't exist
anymore and unfortunately we now have to pre-book either online or by
ringing 13 74 68.
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