Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL)

Iron Range National park, Damon Smith / Courtesy of Tourism Queensland
Fishing Toilets Wildlife Camping area Four-wheel drive touring Ranger Walking


Situated on the far north-east coast of Cape York Peninsula, Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park Cape York Aboriginal land (CYPAL) protects the largest area of lowland rainforest in Australia, much of it in a pristine state. This dense, tall rainforest lies between rugged, heath-covered ranges inland and long sweeping beaches with rocky headlands at the coast. The park boasts over 320 plant species, and is home to some unusual wildlife species, many of which are found only here and in New Guinea. These include the brilliantly coloured eclectus parrot, the palm cockatoo, the nocturnal green python and the common spotted cuscus, a small possum-like animal.

This remote area was once home to the Kuuku Ya’u people, including the Kungkay and Kanthanampu groups; their descendants now live at Lockhart River. European contact began in 1792 when William Bligh’s boat landed near here after the Bounty mutiny. Goldmining during the 1930s and 1940s has left relics near Gordon Creek, and there are abandoned military sites near the coast – the area was a staging post for thousands of American troops during World War II, who described it as the worst airfield they had experienced in the war.

There is only one lengthy walking trail in the park, which is the Old Coen Track (10 km one way, 4–5 hours, easy), leading from the banks of the Claudie River through rainforest and open woodland. There is a lookout with interpretive signs at Mount Tozer that provides scenic views over the surrounding heathland; and a short marked walking trail at Chilli Beach (720 metres return, 10 minutes). Fishing is allowed at Chilli Beach, although great care must be taken as estuarine crocodiles live in the waters. Visitors must be self-sufficient, bringing all supplies and water with them. There are four camping areas with minimal facilities; private accommodation is available at Portland House, a beachfront holiday house for rent on Portland Roads.

Fact file


Four bush camping sites; permit and fees apply

Location and access

2640 km north of Brisbane; 752 km north of Cairns via Peninsula Developmental Rd and Portland Roads Rd; 4WD access only

Park information

NPRSR 13 7468


53 160 ha

Visitor information

Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula (07) 4069 6004

See Also


Chilli Beach camping area

Chilli Beach is near the north-east boundary of the park, reached by 4WD off Portland Roads Rd. From this campsite for self-sufficient campers you can take the 5 km walk to the mouth of Chilli Creek at the southern end... Find out more

Cooks Hut camping area

Cooks Hut is near the Rainforest camping area on the banks of the Claudie River, near the junction of Portland Roads and Lockhart River rds. The campsite surface is a combination of dirt and grass and there are 4 defined... Find out more

Gordon Creek camping area (bush camping)

This campground is on the banks of Gordon Creek at the Portland Roads Rd, about 8 km north of the ranger HQ and less than a kilometre west of the Cooks Hut camping area. There are no facilities so you need to bring... Find out more

Rainforest camping area (bush camping)

Accessible by 4WD only, the Rainforest campsite is set in riverine rainforest on the banks of the Claudie River. The campsite surface is a combination of dirt and grass and there are 4 defined campsites available within... Find out more

See Also

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