Bauxite mine, Australian Geographic

Population 2832

This coastal part of Cape York was reputedly the first area in Australia to be explored by Europeans (1605). The town of Weipa was built in 1961 on the site of a mission station and Aboriginal reserve, and is now home to the world's largest bauxite mine. Although the town is remote, it offers a full range of services for travellers.

Visitor Information

Evans Landing; (07) 4069 7566.

Nearby national parks

In Town

Western Cape Cultural Centre This centre was established to introduce the visitor to the culture of western Cape York. The range of artefacts and photos bring the area's Indigenous and European history alive. A highlight is the ceramic wall mural depicting sacred images of the local Aboriginal people. There is also information about the landscapes and ecosystems of the Cape, and sales of local arts and crafts. Open 10am–3pm daily; Evans Landing; (07) 4069 7566.

Tours of bauxite mine: guided tours provide insight into the mining process at Weipa; details from visitor centre.

Fishing tours: Weipa's fishing spots can be explored on tours; details from visitor centre.

Boat and houseboat hire: details from visitor centre.


Thursday Island and the Torres Strait Australia’s only non-Aboriginal indigenous people come from this group of around 100 islands off the northern tip of Cape York. The islands stretch from the tip of Cape York Peninsula to Papua New Guinea and comprise 17 inhabited islands. The first Europeans passed through the islands in the 1600s, and by the late 1800s a pearling industry was established, which continues today along with crayfishing, prawning and trochus industries. Thursday Island is the administrative centre, reached by ferry from Seisia or Punsand Bay or by ship or plane from Cairns. The Torres Strait Islander people are of Melanesian descent and include among their number the late Eddie Mabo, famous for his successful 1992 land claim in Australia’s High Court.Visit the Torres Strait Island Cultural Centre – it preserves the cultural heritage of the islands and documents their art, culture, geography and history in an excellent interpretive display. Other surrounding islands worth a visit are Friday Island where you can see pearls being cultivated at Kazu; Horn Island, which was an important posting for Australian Troops in WW II; and Badu Island, where you can enjoy traditional dances, arts and crafts and food. Getting to the Islands involves either a flight from Cairns, a trip on a cargo vessel from Cairns (through Seaswift, (07) 4035 1234), or a ferry ride from Cape York (through Peddells, (07) 4069 1551).

Jardine River National Park This remote park is on the north-east tip of Cape York Peninsula. It was known to early explorers as the 'wet desert' because of its abundant waterways but lack of food. These waters attract varied birdlife including the rare palm cockatoo. See the Fruit Bat Falls from the boardwalk or fish in restricted areas. 4WD access only. Visit between May–Oct; off Peninsula Development Rd, south of Bamaga; (07) 4069 5777.

Fishing and camping: a number of areas developed for the well-equipped visitor.

Mungkan Kandju National Park: wilderness park of open forests, swamps and dense rainforest. There is excellent birdlife around lagoons and bushwalking along Archer River. 4WD access only; visit between May–Nov; (07) 4060 1137; turn-off 29 km N of Coen.

Mapoon: camping and scenery; permit required; 85 km N.



National Park: this important lowland tropical rainforest park is a haven for wildlife. There is good fishing at Chili Beach, and bush camping for self-sufficient visitors only. 4WD recommended; visit only between Apr–Sept; (07) 4060 7170; 216 km E.

Travellers note: Roads to the Cape may become impassable during the wet season (Nov–Apr). Motorists are advised to check the RACQ Road Conditions Report on 1300 130 595 (or www.racq.com.au) before departing. Permits for travel over Aboriginal land can be sought in Weipa; details from visitor centre. Beware of crocodiles in rivers, estuaries and coastal areas. Also beware of marine stingers in coastal areas (Oct–Apr) and swim within enclosures where possible.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Aurukun Wetland Charters 82 km

Explore one of Australia’s largest wetland areas, the 11 000-square-kilometre Aurukun Wetlands on the west coast of the Peninsula, with guides from the proud Wik and Wik Way people. In a three-night tour, you will... Find out more

Campsites around town

Weipa Camping Ground 6 km

A 5.5 ha beachfront camping ground on Kerr Point Rd, this site has a pool, general supplies kiosk and laundry facilities. If upgrading, an accommodation block on site has 12 air-conditioned units. Weipa is at the... Find out more

Stoneys Crossing camping area (bush camping) 28 km

This basic campground for self-sufficient campers is 30 km east of Mapoon Rd and 58 km north-east of Weipa. Camping and vehicle permits can be obtained from the Weipa Camping Ground. This campsite is closed during the... Find out more

Pennefather River camping area 44 km

This basic campground for self-sufficient campers is 71 km north of Weipa, signposted off Mapoon Rd. Camping and vehicle permits can be obtained from the Weipa Camping Ground. This campsite is closed during the wet... Find out more

False Pera Head camping area 59 km

This campground for self-sufficient campers is north of the Aurukun Community, reached from Aurukun Rd, off the Peninsula Developmental Rd. Camping and vehicle permits are required and you need to bring all... Find out more

Janie Creek camping area 64 km

This campground for self-sufficient campers is 21 km from Mapoon near Weipa, with access via Mapoon Rd and Cullent Point. Weipa is at the northern end of the unsealed (4WDR only) Peninsula Developmental Rd, about 200 km... Find out more

Cullen Point camping area 74 km

Self-sufficient campers can stay at Cullen Point, 10 km north of Mapoon and 95 km north of Weipa, with access via Mapoon Rd. Note: alcohol restrictions are enforced in Mapoon Shire and heavy penalties apply; check... Find out more

Moreton Telegraph Station 85 km

Moreton Telegraph Station is an ideal stopover if you’re travelling to the tip of Cape York. It is just under 300 km south of the tip, about 130 km from the nearest town of Weipa. The 6 ha grounds are spacious and... Find out more

Bramwell Junction camping area 94 km

Refuel with hamburgers and beverages at the roadhouse, then set up camp at this site at the junction of the Telegraph Track and Bypass Rd, about 40 km north of Cape York’s Old Moreton Telegraph Station. Fireplaces... Find out more

Telegraph Track camping areas – Bramwell Junction to Eliot Falls (bush camping) 96 km

These small clearings are along the Telegraph Track, leading in a northerly direction towards the Jardine River from Bramwell Junction. Narrow and winding, there are 14 river crossings to negotiate before reaching the... Find out more

Bramwell Station Tourist Park 97 km

The most northerly cattle station in Australia, Bramwell Station is east of Cape York’s Peninsula Developmental Rd, signposted 12 km south of Bramwell Junction. The campground is grassy and shady, with several... Find out more

What's on around town

Fishing Competition: June.

Bullride: Aug.

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