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.
Unlike many other places in the eastern Cape York, the vegetation in this national
park is not rainforest.
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
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
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.
is no camping at Lake Emma, but you may spot wildlife like a
goanna. The best historical attraction in this part, and in fact in the
whole Lakefield National Park is the Old Laura Homestead.
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
central section of Lakefield National Park are two areas of camping
spots: those along the Normanby,
and those along the North
The Normanby spots are Kalpowar
(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
The central North Kennedy spot is Hann
Crossing - the second most popular camping ground, with
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.
Northern and North Western
from the Hann Crossing are the Basin Hole, Bizant River and Brown 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
Walks and Wildlife
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.
And you don't need to walk to see the park's most famous wildlife - the
The photo above is taken from a drive in the middle of the day.
In the Musgrave
end of the park is Lotusbird
Lodge. This is the closest
accommodation to the park, all the rest is camping.
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.
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
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
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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