Lakefield National Park
North of Cooktown lies the beautifully remote and diverse Lakefield (Rinyirru) National Park, renowned for its vast river systems and spectacular wetlands. In the wet season the river systems form vast flood plains while shrinking back in the dry season to leave large permanent waterholes, lakes and lagoons that attract an array of animals, particularly waterbirds.
Open woodlands of eucalypts and paperbarks cover the floodplains, while extensive grasslands, with patches of the unique corypha palm, cover the marine plain. Gallery rainforest grows along parts of the Normanby and Kennedy rivers. Salt flats and fringing mangroves are common in the tidal zones around Princess Charlotte Bay.
The landscape is of Aboriginal cultural significance sites associated with occupation, ceremonies and stories of ancestral spirits occur throughout the park. The area is also rich in European cultural heritage, associated with early explorers, geologists and surveyors, and tangible links to the establishment of the Palmer Goldfields and early cattle industry.