Watch out for the snapping handbags. Pic: parks.des.qld.gov.au

Rinyirru National Park is a little far afield for a quick weekend jaunt out of Brisbane, perched as it is 100km or so inland of Cooktown in the state’s far north.

As out of the way as it is, this is one of those places that’s worth making time for, whether you’re a far north QLD resident or plan a stopover as part of a pilgrimage to Cape York.

Most visitors to this part of the world come by way of Cairns, access from which is via the Peninsula Development Road.

The wet season shuts down most travel north of Laura, so it’s safest to plan your visit during the dry months between April and October, or during the shoulder season if you don’t do crowds.

There’s some phenomenal fishing to be had in the rivers and tributaries of the park, with boat use allowed and canoes discouraged due to the presence of some XOS saltwater crocs.

Boat access is available to Princess Charlotte Bay, widely recognised as one of Queensland’s tropical fishing hotspots.


4WDING is available on the park’s network of dirt roads, which are shared with quad bike and trail bike riders as well as pedestrians, so be sure to keep an eye out for potential hazards.

The closer to wet season you visit, the more certain you are to have to deal with water hazards, chopped up tracks and endless amounts of mud. Access to the park is shut off during the height of the wet season when conditions are at their worst.

FISHING is very popular in the park’s rivers as well as the rich waters of Princess Charlotte Bay for a range of tropical species including barramundi, threadfin salmon, mangrove jack, grunter and trevally.


LOCATION: 335km northwest of Cairns in far north Queensland. Access is via the Peninsula Development Road and Endeavour Battlecamp Road and takes around four hours from Cairns.

CAMPING is available at a large number of sites positioned mostly around scenic waterholes and at the larger river crossings. All camping must be booked in advance, so head online to www.nprsr.qld.gov.au to lock in your site early.

FUEL is available at Laura.

MORE INFO is available at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au

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