Snapshot of Lake Tinaroo – A tropical camping destination

Lake Tinaroo, located 60km from Cairns via the Gillies Highway on the Atherton Tablelands, is the tropical north’s largest national recreational site. This adventure playground near Cairns attracts water skiers, sailors, canoeists and kayakers; you can hit adventurous mountain biking trails, go fishing, birdwatching and bushwalking and retire at dusk at your choice of five campgrounds. Lake Tinaroo (protected as Danbulla State Forest) is accessed via Danbulla Forest Drive, a scenic 28km unsealed road that attracts day trippers to check out the famous ancient Cathedral Fig Tree and Mobo Creek Crater.

The Tinaroo Falls is also worth a visit. This waterfall is on the Barron River and is situated just below lake Tinaroo dam.

Camping at Lake Tinaroo

All campgrounds at Tinaroo offer excellent facilities, but are distinctly different. If you are boating or water skiing, Platypus, Downfall and Fong-On Bay campgrounds have the easiest access for trailers. However, peaceful Kauri Creek and School Point campgrounds are ideal for canoeists and kayakers keen to explore the extensive shallow estuaries where birdlife congregates. If you arrive and haven’t prebooked, Fong-On Bay is the most spacious site and the only area that offers self-registration.

The lake is well stocked with Barramundi which grow to large sizes, making these a great fish to chase. Along with Barramundi you find species of catfish, grunter, cod, perch, long tom and crayfish.

All campgrounds provide toilets, drinking water, fireplaces, rubbish bins and picnic tables.

Have you stayed at Lake Tinaroo? Share your experience with us!


A calm morning on Lake Tinaroo, Queensland
A calm morning on Lake Tinaroo, Queensland


Red backed Fairy Wren, Lake Tinaroo Qld
Red backed Fairy Wren, Lake Tinaroo Qld


Eastern Yellow Robin, Lake Tinaroo Queensland
Eastern Yellow Robin, Lake Tinaroo Queensland


Lake Tinaroo near Cairns, Qld
Lake Tinaroo near Cairns, Qld

Photo Credits: Used with permission.

Big barra!
© Billy Dawson

Calm morning at Lake Tinaroo
© Claus Rind

Eastern Yellow Robin
Red-backed Fairy-Wren
© Graham Winterflood[email protected]/

Lake Tinaroo
© Capturing Cairns[email protected]/

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