What's special?Wild coastal scenery is protected in remote and rugged Cape Melville National Park on Cape York Peninsula. Tropical rainforest, mangroves, heathlands, woodlands and grasslands grow in this park.
Because the park is so remote and isolated, many plants and animals are found nowhere else, such as the rare and unusual foxtail palm, now a popular garden plant in northern Australia.
Traditional owners for Cape Melville belong to several clan groups including Daarba, Junjuu muli, Bagaarrmugu, Wurri, Manyamarr, Gambiilmugu and Yiirrku.
Exploring Cape MelvilleBush camp along the beach. Get your camping permit from the Cooktown QPWS office or ranger base at Lakefield. No facilities are provided so visitors must be totally self-sufficient. Take plenty of drinking water and a fuel stove. Remove your rubbish.
Beware of estuarine crocodiles which live in the sea and estuaries here and pose a serious threat to humans. Never cross any tidal creeks at high tide or swim in the creeks. Be croc-wise.
Getting thereCape Melville is on the eastern end of Bathurst Bay. The park’s western boundary is 85km north-east of Lakefield Ranger Station. Access from the west is via Kalpowar Crossing in Lakefield National Park. The journey to Bathurst Bay takes five to six hours. The closest supplies are at Laura, seven to eight hours away.
The southern access road is north of Cooktown via Starcke Homestead, a difficult 225km journey which can take 12 hours. Visit the Cooktown office before travelling to Melville from the south for local advice and track conditions.
The park is accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles only in dry weather. Plan your visit for later in the year. Access can be difficult before June or July. Check current road conditions with the Lakefield Ranger Station before travelling.