Book your next stay!
You must book your campsite, limited spots available.
Lake Paluma is nestled among our world heritage-listed wet tropics rainforest. Access to Lake Paluma is approximately 12 kilometre north of the township of Paluma.
The offers unique opportunities for day visitors and campers to spend time in a biologically diverse rainforest environment.
Camping at Lake Paluma
Lake Paluma is a popular camping destination. There are a limited number of camp sites available and you must have a booking. Without a booking you are not guaranteed a camp site.
Council Rangers patrol the area daily. People who camp without a booking will be fined.
Camp sites must be vacated by midday on the day of departure.
Schools and large groups are encouraged to use Magar Yamba, the large group camping area.
Book a camping permit
Our online booking system allows you to select a camp site, pay your camping fees, and obtain a booking confirmation, you may stay up to 12 consecutive nights. The system allows you to book up to 60 days in advance. There are 25 sites to choose from with a mixture of large, double, and single sites.
When your booking is completed you will be emailed a booking confirmation. Within this email you will find a Booking details attachment which will contain your campsite number and relevant information. You must print and display your Booking details attachment.
Notice to the public
Any person using this Lake and adjoining area for swimming, camping, non-motorised boating, or other recreational activity does so at his/her own risk. Townsville City Council accepts no responsibility to any such person for any damage to or loss of property, or any injury caused, contributed to or sustained by that person whether caused by other persons, concealed dangers, or any other cause whatsoever.
Points to remember
- Book you campsite before traveling to Lake Paluma
- Be self-sufficient as basic supplies are 30 minutes away
- All plants and animals are protected
- Check road and weather conditions before you travel. Strong winds and heavy rainfall can cause road closures
- Firewood is available for purchase at Lake Paluma (payment by credit/debit card only - no cash transactions). Campers can obtain firewood when rangers are on site daily. Campers may supply their own untreated firewood. Collection from surrounding forest is not permitted.
Camping fees will be refunded, provided you give at least seven days’ notice prior to the date of your booking.
Campers who change their plans and cancel at short notice effectively limit or prevent others from using the allocated camp site.
Council will not refund camping permit fees for circumstances outside of its control, including:
- The occurrence of unfavourable weather, or
- Personal decisions to change plans
Checklist for campers
We recommend that you take the following items when you go camping at Lake Paluma:
- Booking details document
- Waterproof tent and tarp
- Fuel stove
- Torch for walking at night
- Radio (for forecasts) and spare batteries
- Bags for storage and rubbish
- Sufficient non-perishable food, drinking water etc.
- Warm clothing and sturdy shoes
- Raincoat or waterproof jacket
- Insect repellent
- Hat and sunscreen
- Well-stocked first aid kit
- Binoculars, camera and film
- Axe or block splitter
- Fire starters
- Untreated firewood
For your safety
- A dedicated emergency phone connecting direct to 000 is located outside the Lake Paluma Office.
- Do not feed any wildlife in the campground and do not leave any food which may be scavenged.
- Supervise your children, especially near water.
- Be careful when swimming. Never dive or jump into the water.
- We strongly recommend all children using canoes/kayaks/boats wear an approved personal floatation device.
- Boil or treat water before use.
- Please drive carefully and observe speed limits.
- Stay on walking tracks and carry water and food on longer walks.
- Wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Wear protective clothing to avoid bites, scratches or stings
Large group camping
Magar Yamba is a group camping area at Lake Paluma. Magar Yamba was constructed with the assistance of the local traditional owners of the Paluma area, the Gu Gu Badhun and Nywaigi people.
In Gu Gu Badhun traditional language, 'Magar' means 'scrub' and 'Yamba' means 'camp'.
Six traditional owners worked with staff from Council to develop the site as part of a training program under the Community Development and Employment Scheme. The site is available for use by all groups, with a priority given to education and community organisations.
Designed around a central fireplace, Magar Yamba features:
- Raised tent sites
- BBQ tables and seats
- Group BBQ
- Covered food preparation area
- Communal fire place with seating
- Separate parking area (suitable for coaster bus) and
- Non-potable water supply (boil before drinking)
Site capacity - nine tent sites for three to four person sized tents.
Parking - coaster bus plus four vehicles.
Camping fees - fees for Magar Yamba include access to non-potable water. List of Lake Paluma Fees available here.
Bookings - are essential. Magar Yamba can be booked by calling the Customer Service Centre on 13 48 10 or via the booking system. Bookings for the large site are not instant, they require further details and reviews by our onsite Rangers. You will be contacted once the booking is confirmed.
- Water levels for Paluma Dam
- Information on Mt Spec and Paluma Range National Park
- Paluma accommodation and food outlets
- Wet Tropics Rainforest web site
- Hidden Valley Cabins 20km west of Lake Paluma
- Kookaburra tours
Keep up-to-date with handy tips and alerts before, during and after disaster events.