Lakefield National Park


Lakefield National Park is huge.

It is the largest national park on the peninsula, and the second largest (after Simpson Desert) in Queensland.

You manage to see it briefly during your Cape York trip if you choose to drive through it, but to do it in detail this park is large enough to be a destination on its own.


And that is how it's most often done - by people who come to fish and camp, and stay for weeks each time.


But apart from fishing, there are also some walks, there is wildlife to spot, and there is even some great history.

   lakefield national park

Unlike many other places in the eastern Cape York, the vegetation in this national park is not rainforest.

   lakefield road 

Like Oyala Thumotang it's eucalypt woodland, but there is one big difference - Lakefield gets a lot more flooded during the Wet Season, because there are a lot more large rivers. 

   lakefield travel

During the Dry Season the water levels drop back, the marine floodplains become grasslands, but all the permanent waterholes and lily lagoons remain, attracting birds and other wildlife.

Southern Lakefield National Park

In the southernmost section of the national park, there are camping grounds on Laura, Kennedy and Normanby Rivers - at Horseshoe Lagoon, Welcome Waterhole, Old Laura Homestead, Six Mile Waterhole and Twelve Mile Waterhole.

   lakefield national park camping

There is no camping at Lake Emma, but you may spot wildlife like a sand goanna. The best historical attraction in this part, and in fact in the whole Lakefield National Park is the Old Laura Homestead.
 
   lakefield old laura homestead

A little further north is another lot of camp spots at Kennedy Bend, Old Faithful Waterhole, Dingo Waterhole and Mick Fienn Waterhole. There is no camping at Catfish Waterhole, but it may be worth driving in and having a look.

Central Lakefield National Park

In the central section of Lakefield National Park are two areas of camping spots: those along the Normanby, and those along the North Kennedy River.

   lakefield kalpowar crossing

The Normanby spots are Kalpowar Crossing (the central and most popular camping gound in the park, with most facilities), Midway Waterhole, Hanush's Waterhole, Melaleuca Waterhole, Orange Plain Waterhole, Top Whiphandle Waterhole and Bottom Whiphandle Waterhole.

   lakefield kalpowar camping

The central North Kennedy spot is Hann Crossing - the second most popular camping ground, with toilet facilities.

   lakefield hann river crossing

Along the main Lakefield road which goes between the two rivers, there are the White Lily Lagoon, Red Lily Lagoon, and the Old Breeza Homestead - another historical landmark, the second best in the park.

   lakefield breeza homestead

Northern and North Western Lakefield NP

North from the Hann Crossing are the Basin Hole, Bizant River and Brown Creek camping grounds.

   lakefield five mile creek

And in the north west are Nifold Plain, Rarda-Ndolphin Low Lake and Marina Plains, with camping at Saltwater Crossing, Sweetwater Lake, Five Mile Creek and Annie River.

Walks and Wildlife

Lakefield National Park does not have many bushwalks, but there is one stroll you can do from Kalpower Crossing camping ground. It is a four kilometres easy walk that goes to Normanby River and back through vine forest and open woodland.

   lakefield national park crocodile

And you don't need to walk to see the park's most famous wildlife - the crocodiles. The photo above is taken from a drive in the middle of the day.

Lakefield Accommodation

In the Musgrave end of the park is Lotusbird Lodge. This is the closest accommodation to the park, all the rest is camping.

   lakefield accommodation

Lakefield Map

I always use HEMA maps - they are the best maps in Australia, which decribe places in a great detail with lots of information, symbols for services found in places, and even phone numbers.

This map is no exception - every single camping site, small dirt road and waterhole is mapped, and there are phone numbers to rangers stations. There is no better map you can ever find about the park.











Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

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Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.


Bring to the Trip... the full Visit Cape York Destination Guide

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This complete 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)



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