Camping at Lake Tinaroo
Well I’ve been pretty absent from my blog for some time because there just hasn’t been much going on. However campsites reopened a few weeks ago in Queensland, and with extra time on my hands I have dubbed winter 2020 the winter of camping. It kicked off two weeks ago with a one night trip to the Mitchell River for just me and Conor. A week later we returned with some friends. I won’t go into too much detail about those two particular trips, as I have wrote about this spot the first time we visited at the end of last year – you can read it here.
Fast forward to this week, when we have just returned from a night away at Lake Tinaroo in the Atherton Tablelands – somewhere I have wanted to visit for some time. Travelling there from Port Douglas, you can take one of two routes: via Cairns or Via Mareeba. We decided that the Mareeba route would be more suitable for two old four wheel drive cars that were fully loaded, and the trip took about two hours.
Camping at Lake Tinaroo costs just $6.50 per night, as is the same with all Queensland national parks. There are multiple campsites to choose from, and we selected Downfall Creek. Side note – we were going to opt for Kauri Creek but it was fully booked. We did, however, drive down and check it out, and both are beautiful camping areas.
Four wheel drive isn’t necessary to reach the campsites however it certainly helps, especially if it’s wet (which it was). We chose a scenic spot with a fire pit and a view of the beautiful lake and set up camp. The camping area has flushing toilets and shower cubicles for those who bring their own camp showers. Unfortunately the shower cubicles are closed at present to slow the spread of COVID.
Whilst we knew that rain was expected, we didn’t expect it to rain all day (it is the dry season after all), and I also didn’t anticipate how cold it would be – oopsy. Once we had got set up, we settled down under the awnings and got started on the beers whilst we waited for the rain to pass. It didn’t.
After a rainy night, the next day was somewhat drier with just a few showers, so we decided to take the regeneration walk that goes all the way to Kauri Creek camping area. The one-way walk is 2.4KM, and very picturesque. The path took us through lush rainforest scenery, with informative signs telling us about the flora and fauna that lined the walkway. Little bridges and creeks added to the stunning scenery. This walk is a must for anyone staying here, even if you don’t go all the way to Kauri Creek.
At this point it was time to leave, so unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to fully experience the lake. If we had visited on a drier day, we would have enjoyed kayaking, fishing, and swimming. I would love to return in the future when the weather is nicer and we can really make the most of it.
More information on camping at Lake Tinaroo can be found here.
The winter of camping continues in a couple of weeks with a two-day stint at Chillago, where we will be exploring caves. Look out for a post coming soon!