Lockhart River

Lockhart River was originally an Anglican Mission, relocated from 'Old Site' south of Cape Direction, to its present location on Quintell Beach. This community is most famous for the Lockhart River Art Gang, a group of artists working from a small studio here.

Contemporary Aboriginal artwork is sold internationally for many thousands of dollars. Visit the studio and see the work assembled for exhibition to the United States and other parts of Australia. You can even try to buy works before they are shipped south - or overseas. Look out for artists who are making a name on the international scene - Rosella Namok, Silas Hobson and Fiona Omeenyo.

Lockhart River is a coastal community with a barge ramp on Quintell Beach serviced by supply vessels regularly. While the community has a well-stocked supermarket and there's both petrol and diesel available, you'd be wise to not let the days slip away from you when travelling. Fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products are limited to the arrival of the supply vessel.

A National Park Ranger station is on the outskirts of Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council area. Within the community you'll find medical facilities and a police station.

Lockhart River has an Alcohol Management Plan (AMP). AMPs aim to reduce alcohol-related violence.

AMPs vary from community to community. They include alcohol restrictions, home brew bans and dry place declarations which operate within a defined boundary, known as a 'restricted area'. These strategies set the quantity and type of alcohol you may possess in the restricted area.

Penalties apply for possessing or attempting to bring illegal alcohol into a restricted area.

To find out more about AMPs for each community, visit the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs web site.

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Cape Melville National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
This beautiful yet rugged park features the rocky headlands of Cape Melville, massive tumbled granite boulders of the Melville Range, sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay, sandstone escarpments of Altanmoui Range and inland dunes. Rainforest, mangroves, heathlands, woodlands and grasslands are found here. The isolation of this park means that many plants and animals are found only here and nowhere else in the world; the best-known of these endemic species is the foxtail palm. Bush camp on the eastern side of Bathurst Bay near Cape Melville in one of several camping areas along the beach, or at Ninian Bay camping area on the park's eastern coast. Walk along the sandy beaches of Bathurst Bay or take the short track up to the Mahina monument that commemorates lives lost in the pearling fleet disaster of 1899. Fish and boat in the adjacent marine parks. Take your mountain bike or trail-bike along the park's internal roads and tracks. This park is extremely remote and visitors must be well prepared and entirely self-sufficient. Be aware of estuarine crocodiles (be croc wise) and dangerous stinging jellyfish. Camp only in the designated areas.
Free Entry
Formerly known as Mungkan Kandju National Park, this large park stretches from the McIlwraith Range foothills, between the Archer and Coen rivers, and features open eucalypt woodlands, melaleuca swamps and a variety of rainforest types. This park is a living cultural landscape, rich in significance for the Aboriginal Traditional Owners. Bush camp at one of several secluded camp sites. Go birdwatching around waterlily-covered lagoons and forest-fringed riverbanks. Go spotlighting in the rainforest to see the common spotted cuscus. Drive to the Old Archer Crossing, the historical site of the main access to northern Cape York Peninsula. Ride mountain bikes or trail bikes or drive your 4WD through the park's network of internal roads. Try your luck fishing in the park's many creeks and lagoons. Remember to always be croc wise.
Free Entry
This remote coastal park in northern Cape York Peninsula features long sweeping beaches, rugged heath-clad ranges and the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Australia. The park protects a unique collection of wildlife, including mammals, frogs, lizards and snakes that are found nowhere else, and is a refuge for birds that are rare in Australia but also live in New Guinea. Enjoy bush camping by the river or creek in the rainforest, or behind the dunes at Chilli Beach, in the park's popular camping areas. Take the 10 kilometre one-way walk following the Old Coen track through rainforest and open woodland where birdwatching is excellent. At night, spotlight for green pythons and common spotted cuscus. During the day, look for eclectus parrots and palm cockatoos, wander along the white sands of Chili Beach and visit the viewing platform for scenic views of Mount Tozer and surrounding heathland.
Free Entry
In this vast, remote wilderness near the tip of Cape York Peninsula, the sandstone landscape is dominated by the mighty Jardine River and its many streams and swamps, and is rich in Aboriginal and European cultural heritage. Heath, rainforest and woodland cover low sandy ridges separated by swamps. Shrub lands and vine thickets cover massive coastal dunes. Bush camp at Eliot Falls, beside the Jardine River, or near the coast at Captain Billy Landing and Ussher Point. Enjoy short walks along the creeks at Eliot and Fruit Bat falls, to view crystal-clear water and striking waterfalls. Look for carnivorous pitcher plants and delicate sundews along moist creek margins. At Captain Billy Landing, explore remote scenic beaches.
Free Entry
This iconic remote park has a rich and diverse landscape that features spectacular wetlands and river systems. In the north, grasslands and woodlands, wetlands, coastal estuaries, mangroves and mudflats, are prominent, while in the south, sandstone hills and escarpments dominate the landscape. Lakefield is a wildlife refuge for threatened species including the red goshawk, Lakeland Downs mouse and spectacled hare-wallaby. Hann and Kalpowar crossings are two of the many significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites found in this landscape. Bush camp beside a waterhole at one of many camping areas. Take your pick from popular busy camping areas with all facilities or camp sites that are remote bush getaways. Visit the Old Laura Homestead for a brush with the pastoral history of the cape. Fish for barramundi in the waterholes. Take your binoculars and marvel at the diversity of waterbirds at Low Lake. Admire the beautiful lotus-lilies carpeting Red and White Lily lagoons. Explore the Kalpowar discovery walking track or take your bicycle or trail-bike along the network of internal roads throughout the park. This is croc country so remember to be croc wise!

Flinders Group National Park

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Seven remote and ruggedly attractive islands, with a rich cultural landscape, form Flinders Group National Park. The islands contain important Aboriginal story and burial sites, along with nationally significant rock art showing early contact with Europeans. The islands lie adjacent to Cape Melville and are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Visit the islands on a commercial cruise vessel or in your private boat. Walk the 2.8 kilometre interpretive trail to learn about the Yiithuwarra 'saltwater people'. Contemplate their rock art in the Ship and Yindayin rock shelters on Stanley Island (Yindayin). Bush camp on Flinders Island (Wurriima). Watch seabirds and look for turtles and dugong. Enjoy the remoteness of this unique park.

Great Detached Reef Dive Site

Cooktown, Cook Area
Free Entry
Situated north of Cooktown, close to the Queensland cape, Great Detached Reef is a large complex of several reefs sitting on an old fossil mountain range. With roughly 46 kilometres of edge, wall diving is spectacular here, with steep cliffs dropping down to over 400 metres and small caves scattered across the reef walls. Barracuda, trevally and sharks, along with schools of basslets, fusiliers and sometimes blue-lined snapper, peer over the edges of the Great Detached Reef, while moray eels, lobster, shrimp and nudibranch pocket the coral and rock surfaces. Large potato cod as well as manta rays and turtles are also frequent visitors.
Free Entry
Southern Small Detached Reef, 80 kilometres North of Lockhart River in Far North Queensland, is a remote but stunning reef. Sitting so far off the coast, the walls of the reef drop to over 100 metres, with the deep waters inviting lots of larger marine life such as turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays, pelagic fish and occasional manta rays. The reef walls are decorated with a spectacular array of corals, large gorgonians, long sea whips, spike soft coral trees and sponges, which provide shelter for hosts of multi-coloured reef fish. The outstanding amount of marine life and the enormity of the reef walls make for breathtaking photos, so don't forget your camera!

Tijou Reef

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Located off Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef is Tijou Reef, home to many different dive sites, particularly the coral gardens on the inner side and wonderful wall dives on its outer eastern side. The northern tipis commonly known as Shark City. Whitetip, Grey and Silvertip reef sharks are always seen cruising along the wall. Shark feeds are sometimes conducted here. Masses of pelagic and reef fish gather along the steep wall which is covered with incredible variety of colourful corals and invertebrates.

Weipa

Weipa, Cook Area
Weipa is a mining town built by Comalco to house its employees and their families, government workers and support people for its Bauxite and Kaolin operations. Weipa has the largest Bauxite deposit in the world. Fishing enthusiasts flock to Weipa because of its terrific coastal location and abundant marine life. Distance from Brisbane (State Capital): 2611 kilometres. Amenities consist of hospital, dentist, private medical centre and pharmacy, supermarket (not open on Sundays), post office, newsagency, specialty shops, bakery, butcher, cafe, and Four Wheel Drive and fishing tackle supply stores. There is also a Centrelink office located at the shopping centre. The town's two service stations (open daily) also have a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, ice and grocery items. The nearby community of Napranum has a small supermarket which is open daily. A boat and car wash facility, along with several mechanical workshops and a hardware store are located at Evans Landing. The Western Cape Cultural Centre is also located at Evans Landing which provides local cultural and tourist information as well as exhibiting local artwork. The Western Cape Cultural Centre is open 10am to 2pm Tuesday to Friday and entry is free. Light refreshments and a great view of the harbour are offered. Accommodation options in Weipa include a camping ground with self-contained cabins and a dedicated fishing lodge, a resort hotel, a motel, and budget (donga-style) accommodation. Fishing in the Western Cape is great! Fishing can be shore-based at Gonbung Beach, Evans Landing, Kerr Point, Red Beach and Wallaby Island or on the banks of the creeks and rivers. With a boat. the Mission, Hey and Embley River estuaries and Port Musgrave (Mapoon) provide opportunities. Boat ramps are located at Rocky Point and Evans Landing in Weipa, Napranum, Cullen Point. Cloughs Landing and Mapoon. Fish species to entice anglers are: Mackeral, Queenfish, Trevally, Mangrove Jack, Bream, Grunter, Tuskers, Jewfish and Estuary Cod. In deeper waters chasing Marlin and Sailfish is becoming popular. Boats and houseboats are for hire and fishing tours/extended fishing charters are available - enquire at Weipa Tackle World.
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